Academic Programs

Health Science: Vascular Sonography

Considering a health care profession in sonography?

Sonography is a non-invasive technique using sound waves to image many areas of the body for diagnosis and treatment purposes. In addition to the well-known applications of fetal sonography, advances in technology have contributed to the development of this profession to include multiple specialties in medical diagnostic sonography, neurosonography, echocardiography and vascular sonography. Sonographers must have excellent communication skills as they work directly, and hands-on, with patients on a daily basis. They are responsible for collecting anatomic and physiologic images, pathology measurements and reporting directly to physicians. Success in this field requires strong technical, analytical and critical thinking skills.

For students interested in a career in health care, our Health Science or Biology major is the most common way for students to prepare for application to many professional programs (see those major sheets for additional details). However, students specifically interested in this career have a unique opportunity for a combined educational experience with Benedictine University at Springfield and Rush University (Chicago), to earn a bachelor’s degree (B.S. in Vascular Ultrasound) from Rush University. Eligible students spend two years in a traditional, undergraduate liberal arts educational experience at Benedictine University at Springfield. This curriculum is designed to give them the content area knowledge and quantitative problem-solving, critical thinking and communication skills required of those working in health care. Following acceptance to Rush University, students then have two years of didactic and clinical training culminating in this degree.  Advantages of this program include:

  •  A highly focused, streamlined sequence of courses designed to prepare students for a successful transition to Rush University’s Vascular Ultrasound program. All prospective students must still apply to Rush University; qualified students will be interviewed.
  • Students will spend just two years on the Springfield campus then transfer to Rush University. However, students in this program will not earn a degree from Benedictine University.
  • The Vascular Ultrasound Program at Rush University is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Educational Programs through the Joint Review Commission for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (JRCDMS).
  • Graduates of Rush University’s Vascular Ultrasound program are eligible to apply for the certification exam through the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography to earn their RVT (Registered Vascular Technologist) credential.

What does the Pre-Sonography program consist of?

  • Biology – Two semesters of Human Anatomy & Physiology with lab (8 semester hours), with additional HLSC and BIOL courses required or strongly recommended
  • Chemistry – one semester of Chemistry with lab (4 semester hours) and a second semester recommended
  • Physics – two semesters of College Physics with lab (8 semester hours)
  • Math – Trigonometry (3 semester hours) or higher level math
  • Additional Requirements – at least 37 additional semester hours or required/elective course work must be completed (see advisor for details)
  • All courses must be completed with a grade of C or higher, within 3 years of enrolling (as a freshman) at Benedictine University.
    A minimum GPA = 2.75 (cumulative) must be maintained.

How does the program work?

Eligible students must be classified as FRESHMAN upon acceptance to Benedictine University at Springfield, and all required course work (minimum of 60 credit hours) must be completed within three years. A minimum 2.75/4.0 GPA must be maintained.  Once a student declares this major, their assigned advisor will be the campus Coordinator of Pre-Professional Health Programs. Students must formally apply to the Rush University Vascular Sonography program by January 1 of their last year at Benedictine. This additional application must include 3 recommendations (one from the Director of Pre-Professional Health Programs at Benedictine) and acceptable TOEFL scores (if required). Eligible applicants will be invited to Rush for an interview prior to acceptance into the B.S. program.

Acceptance to Benedictine University does not guarantee acceptance in the Rush University program. Please visit the departmental website for additional details of Rush’s admissions requirements.