Biology Pre-Sonography Major

The new Biology Pre-Sonography program combines a solid foundation in biological sciences with specialized technical training.

Sonography is a non-invasive medical procedure that uses the echoes of high-frequency sound waves (ultrasound) to construct an image (sonogram) of internal organs or body structures.
 
The Saint Mary’s pre-sonography program is a four-year course of instruction that provides a Bachelor of Arts in Biology Pre-Sonography. Saint Mary’s is affiliated with the sonography training program at the highly regarded Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, based in Rochester, Minn.
 
Prior to a 21-month internship, students complete general education requirements and prerequisite courses at Saint Mary’s University (approximately two years of coursework). Acceptance to the clinical program at Mayo depends on the student’s academic achievement. Upon successful completion of the clinical program, the student receives a bachelor’s degree from Saint Mary’s, a certificate of completion from Mayo Clinic School of Health Sciences, and is eligible to take the certification exam administered by the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS).

Career Options

​A diagnostic medical sonographer is a highly skilled professional who uses specialized equipment to create images (sonograms) of structures inside the human body. Physicians interpret the images to make a medical diagnosis.

High School Preparation

High school coursework that will support a student in pursuit of a Biology Pre-Sonography degree includes experience in biology, chemistry, life science, and physiology and anatomy.

Enhance Your Experience

Students pursuing a degree in Biology Pre-Sonography often pursue a double major or minor in Biochemistry or Chemistry.

Degree Requirements

A. All of the following:

B110 Botany and Zoology I (3 cr.)

This introductory course serves both majors and non-majors.  Course topics include the process of evolution and ecology; biological molecules and basic chemistry; cell structure, cellular respiration and photosynthesis; the mechanisms of chromosome replication, transcription and translation; and Mendelian genetics. Three fifty minute or two seventy-five minute lecture/discussion periods are held weekly. 

B111 Botany and Zoology I Laboratory (1 cr.)

These laboratory studies complement the concepts presented in B110. Investigations include the scientific method and techniques; population growth; plant communities and invasive species; ecosystems and habitat quality; cell biology; osmosis; enzyme kinetics; photosynthesis; DNA electrophoresis and Mendelian genetics. The lab meets for one three-hour session each week.

B120 Botany and Zoology II (3 cr.)

This introductory course serves both majors and non-majors.  Course topics include the process of evolution; surveys of microbial, plant and animal life; plant anatomy and physiology; comparative animal anatomy and systems physiology.

B121 Botany and Zoology II Laboratory (1 cr.)

These laboratory studies complement the concepts presented in B120. Investigations include the scientific method and techniques; phylogenetic surveys of bacteria, Protista and fungi, the plant and animal kingdoms; and animal body systems physiology.

C131 General Chemistry I (3 cr.)

This course covers the fundamental principles upon which the study of chemistry is based. Stoichiometry, atomic structure, molecular structure, chemical bonding, behavior of gases, kinetic molecular theory, properties of solutions, chemical reactivity and thermochemistry are included.

C133 General Chemistry I Laboratory (1 cr.)

This laboratory is an inquiry-based approach to understanding the process of doing chemistry. Each week, as a team member with a specific role working for a consulting company, the student receives a letter from a "chemical client" requesting the solution to a chemical problem. It is the responsibility of the team to design a solution, collect data, and report the results to the client in report form.

C142 General Chemistry II (3 cr.)

This course includes the study of the chemistry of molecular forces, redox reactions, chemical kinetics, chemical equilibrium theory, electrochemistry, chemical dynamics, organic chemistry, phase behavior and solution chemistry.

C144 General Chemistry II Laboratory (1 cr.)

This laboratory is an inquiry-based approach to understanding the process of doing chemistry. Each week, as a team member with a specific role working for a consulting company, the student receives a letter from a "chemical client" requesting the solution to a chemical problem. It is the responsibility of the team to design a solution, collect data, and report the results to the client in report form.

C321 Organic Chemistry I (3 cr.)

Organized by chemical functional groups and reaction mechanisms, this course presents both classical and modern theories of organic chemistry while rigorously exploring chemical structure reactivity relationships. The fundamentals of nomenclature, physical properties, chemical structure, stereochemistry, organic-reactions, mechanisms, synthesis, purification, and compound characterization are emphasized. Biological, medical, and familiar real-world examples are discussed in the context of organic chemistry.

C323 Organic Chemistry I Laboratory (1 cr.)

This laboratory complements the lecture segment of the course by demonstrating and utilizing the concepts learned in the classroom to acquire, isolate, and characterize desired organic reaction products. In this laboratory, students become familiar with the equipment, glassware, techniques, and expertise required to implement the chemistry proposed on paper, to optimize it, and to communicate it to the chemical community. A practical context for the developed chemical intuition is provided.

B. Either M148 and M149 or M151:

M148 Calculus I with Precalculus (part 1) (4 cr.)

This course, followed by M151 or courses equivalent to college algebra and college trigonometry.

M149 Calculus I with Precalculus (part 2) (4 cr.)

This course completes the two-semester sequence that begins with M151.

M151 Calculus I (4 cr.)

This course provides an introduction to the differential and integral calculus. Topics include: the concepts of function, limit, continuity, derivative, definite and indefinite integrals, and an introduction to transcendental functions. Credit is not granted for this course and M149.

C. All of the following:

B305 Human Anatomy with Laboratory (4 cr.)

This course explores the design and structure of the human body. Lectures present cellular and histological features of the body systems.

B306 Medical Terminology (2 cr.)

This course is an organ systems approach to learning and understanding medical terms. A word building programmed learning format is utilized to understand Latin and Greek root words from which our English medical words originate. Common medical abbreviations and case studies are also incorporated into the course.

B313 Physiology with Laboratory (4 cr.)

This course explores the functions of the body systems of humans. The interrelationships of organ systems processes to maintain homeostasis are emphasized. Laboratory sessions provide experiences with procedures and instrumentation to gather data that highlight the function of the body systems. Course topics are particularly relevant to the health sciences.

P201 Introductory Physics I (3 cr.)

This course is the first half of a two-semester introductory, calculus-based, physics course for all students planning to enter one of the scientific professions. It covers the fundamental principles of mechanics, oscillations, and fluid mechanics.

P202 Introductory Physics I Laboratory (1 cr.)

One three-hour laboratory is held each week covering topics studied in the lectures.

D. One of the following:

PH305 Health Care Ethics (3 cr.)

This course provides a survey of some of the specific issues in health care ethics that are faced today by patients, providers, insurance companies and other constituencies in the health care arena. Such issues include: access — how are limited resources to be allocated? Informed consent – what information must patients possess in order to make reasonable and informed decisions about their health care? What compensatory obligations do providers have in the realm of informed consent? Funding — should the quality of health care vary by the means of the payer? Death — what is death? Also, should a patient have the right to choose the time and means of his or her death? Procedures and technologies — are all possible procedures and technical interventions morally defensible?

PH343 Contemporary Ethical Issues (3 cr.)

The course examines critically the foundations of ethical or moral judgments on vital issues such as abortion, birth control, capital punishment, civil disobedience, divorce, drug-use, ecology, euthanasia, homosexuality, marriage, pre-marital sex, suicide, segregation, stealing, truth: acquiring-revealing concealing, technology, war, and work.

PH346 Ethical Issues in the Sciences (3 cr.)

This course provides non-science as well as science majors the opportunity to examine key issues in the sciences in the light of major ethical theories. Among the issues to be examined are: abuses and uses of nuclear energy, behavior control and psychosurgery, chemical wastes and the environment, computerized files of personal information, computerization and depersonalization, experimentation with human subjects and animals, genetic engineering and screening, reproductive techniques, organ transplants, physician-patient relationships, and euthanasia.

E. Clinical Training

65 Credits in Mayo's Sonography Program