Echocardiography - BA, BS

A degree from St. Kate's will give students the best possible professional preparation for a satisfying, rewarding and successful career in sonography. St. Kate's specializes in educating healthcare professionals - we've been leading the way since 1905. St. Kate's has an outstanding reputation in the healthcare community as the metro area's leading healthcare educator - and an extensive clinical network where students will gain training in real-world conditions.

Sonographers have extensive, direct patient contact that may include performing some invasive procedures. They must be able to interact compassionately and effectively with people who range from healthy to critically ill.

Cardiac sonographers, also known as echocardiographers, use ultrasound to examine the heart's chambers, walls, valves, and vessels. The sonographer uses sophisticated diagnostic ultrasound imaging machines and transducers which use high-frequency sound waves to produce dynamic visual images to complete detailed images and aid in the diagnosis of the patient.

 A typical day includes reviewing the patient's history, performing the echo examination along with blood pressures, and presenting the echo findings to the physician and other allied health staff.  Sonographers in this field work directly with healthy and critically ill inpatients and outpatients of all ages in predominantly noninvasive procedures.

An echocardiographer must be organized and able to function independently. They must possess strong human relation and communication skills, able to cope with high stress situations, and have the ability to accurately document patient information.

The program is four years in length.  Students following this track take two years of liberal arts and sciences courses prior to starting the major courses. St. Catherine University offers a rigorous and comprehensive academic program that can give you credentials and knowledge you can use to work towards becoming a leader in your field.

Clinical experience is a vital part of the program. We offer clinicals in the Twin Cities and out-state locations. These experiences allow students to work alongside experts in the field and practice cardiac sonography in a wide range of medical situations.

Upon completion of the program, graduates are awarded a Bachelor of Science in Echocardiography and are eligible to take the national registry exams in sonography principles and instrumentation (SPI) and Adult Echocardiography.

Acceptance to Major

Admission to the echocardiography major is expected to be competitive. Students will be considered for admission in two groups:

1. Students may apply for the Guaranteed Admission Program (GAP) during their senior year of high school. Students who apply to St. Catherine on or before February 15 of their senior year will be given priority consideration for early admission. Students who apply on or after February 16 will be considered on a space-available basis.

2. Students who meet the minimum criteria below will be considered. First-year, transfer and second major students will be considered in one pool, and admission is contingent upon the number of positions available.

  • Successful completion of prerequisite courses (C or above)1
  • Prerequisite GPA of 3.25 or above
  • Overall cumulative GPA of 3.25 or above
  • If a prerequisite course grade is C- or lower, this course (or an alternative course approved by the program coordinator) must be repeated no more than once. Students may have only one withdrawal (W) in a prerequisite course.
  • Meet physical requirements
  • Current certification as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) in the State of Minnesota

1Students are strongly advised to complete college algebra, BIOL 2610 Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab and BIOL 2620 Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab no more than five years prior to entering St. Kate's. Prospective students are advised to contact their admissions counselor for more information. Enrolled students are advised to contact the sonography department program director for more information

This major is offered in the College for Women only.

Curriculum

Required Courses 1
SON 1620Embryology of the Heart4
SON 1630Cardiovascular Principles4
SON 1635Cardiovascular Principles I Lab1
SON 1645Cardiovascular Princ II Lab1
SON 2015Ultrasound Physics and Instrumentation4
SON 2100Adult Echo4
SON 2115Adult Echo I Lab1
SON 2125Adult Echo II Lab1
SON 2450Congenital Heart Disease4
SON 2460Concepts in Echocardiography2
SON 2500Stress Echo4
SON 3XXXComp Review Lab1
SON 3XXXClinical Practicum I7
SON 3XXXClinical Practicum II10
SON XXXXSeminar in Advanced Echo Imaging2
Total Credits50
Prerequisite courses 1
BIOL 2610Human Anatomy and Physiology I with Lab 24
BIOL 2620Human Anatomy and Physiology II with Lab 24
IPE 1030Healthcare Teams Foundations and Medical Terminology2
IPE 1040Healthcare Teams and Quality Outcomes2
PHYS 1050Conceptual Physics (OR PHYS 1080 and PHYS 1090, OR PHYS 1110 and PHYS 1120)4
SON 1500Communication for the Sonography Professional2
College level algebra/statistics or higher 24
Total Credits22
Required supporting courses 1
COMM 1030Speaking to Lead and Influence4
IPE 4200WHealthcare Teams - Evidence-Based Practice4
MGMT 3460Managing Within a Diverse Workforce4
PHIL 3400Biomedical Ethics4
Total Credits16

Echocardiography majors satisfy the Writing Requirement for Majors by completing IPE 4200W Research Methods. They complete the Liberal Arts and Sciences Core Writing Requirement with three other writing-intensive courses (CORE 1000W The Reflective Woman or CORE 2000W The Reflective Woman, CORE 3990W Global Search for Justice, and another writing-intensive course in another department).