Cardiac Sonography (Echocardiography)

Cardiac sonographers use sophisticated diagnostic ultrasound equipment to produce dynamic real-time imaging of the heart's chambers, walls, valves, and great vessels to assist the physician in diagnosing cardiovascular disease. Cardiac sonographers complete important tasks, such as:

  • Acquiring information related to the heart's anatomy and physiology
  • Evaluating acquired and congenital cardiac abnormalities and associated complications
  • Evaluating narrowed or leaking heart valves
  • Looking for causes of murmurs, chest pain, shortness of breath
  • Tracking and evaluating chronic heart conditions
  • Acquiring images during a stress echocardiogram
  • Assist with image acquisition in the operating room for valve or device implantation

Career outlook for a cardiac sonographer

Cardiac sonographers can expect a median salary of $77,740, according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. The job outlook for cardiac sonographers in the U.S. is expected to grow faster than average.

Program Description

Program Description

The School of Cardiac Ultrasound is an accelerated, full-time (Mon. – Fri., 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.), 12-month certificate program offered through the Cleveland Clinic Sydell and Arnold Miller Family Heart, Vascular & Thoracic Institute. Students successfully completing the program are eligible to sit for the national registry exam through either Cardiovascular Credentialing International (RCS) or American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonographers (RDCS).

Classes start each year on the first Tuesday after Labor Day. All program classes are face-to-face.  These along with the clinical externship training are held at Cleveland Clinic’s main campus.

The core curriculum includes:

  • Adult Echocardiography I - III
  • Adult Echocardiography Lab I & II
  • Ultrasound Physics I – III
  • Clinical Externship I – III


The Cleveland Clinic School of Cardiac Ultrasound is approved by the Cleveland Clinic which is accredited by the Joint Commission (TJC).

The Joint Commission
One Renaissance Blvd,
Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181
Phone: 630.792.5800

In its inaugural year, the School of Cardiac Ultrasound is currently not accredited. The program will be seeking initial accreditation by CAAHEP, a national accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education (CHEA).

Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP)
1361 Park Street
Clearwater, FL 33756

The Cleveland Clinic School of Cardiac Ultrasound Program is approved by the Ohio State Board of Career Colleges and Schools (School Registration No. 2165).

Program Outcomes

The School of Cardiac Ultrasound is a new program offered by the Cleveland Clinic. There are currently no outcomes to report.

The first class will graduate in August 2023. Program outcomes will be posted when available.




Admission to the Cleveland Clinic’s School of Cardiac Ultrasound is selective. The application process is open to applicants who meet all the following minimum criteria at the start of the program:

  1. 18 years of age
  2. Completion of either:
    • Two-year associate’s degree in any field (healthcare preferred)
    • Accredited allied health program
    • Bachelor’s degree (any field)
  3. Completion of the following prerequisite coursework with a grade of C or better:
    • Anatomy and Physiology with Lab
    • College Algebra or higher
    • Communications (English, speech, composition course)
    • Physics (preferred but not required)
  4. Provide a signed shadowing form demonstrating you have shadowed for 4 hours in echocardiography*
  5. Provide proof of current immunizations and TB test
  6. Provide proof of current American Heart Association basic life support (BLS) certification
  7. Complete online Cleveland Clinic School of Cardiac Ultrasound Application Form (link below) and noted attachments

*Shadowing must be completed at any Cleveland Clinic facility and can be coordinated with the assistance of the Program Director if needed. Once completed, a signed shadowing form is required with the candidate’s completed application and supporting documentation.

Application Process and Timeline

Interested in our program? Apply Today! 

The school begins accepting applications on March 1 each year. Complete applications with all supporting documentation must be postmarked by the application deadline of June 1.  All forms may be found under the “Additional Information” tab.

  • Completed application
  • Completed, signed Shadowing Form
  • $25 application fee (non-refundable)
  • Resume
  • Two letters of reference (one work/professional, one personal)
  • Post-secondary educational transcripts (must be official)
  • Application Essay (see guidelines below)
  • Proof of American Heart Association Basic Life Support (BLS) certification

Application Essay Guidelines (500 – 750 words)

Your completed application includes an essay stating:

  • Why you want to pursue a career in cardiac sonography
  • How your prior experiences have prepared you
  • What specific qualities you possess that set you apart from other applicants
  • What personal characteristics you feel would be the most helpful to a person who chooses a medical career

Acceptance and denial letters are sent on July 1. Applicants must accept an offer to the program by July 14 by submitting a $500 non-refundable deposit to secure a position. This will be applied toward the initial installment due by the 1st day of school.

Additional Information

Additional Information


Tuition is $15,000 plus fees and may be paid in installments. Upon acceptance to the program, a $500 non-refundable deposit must be submitted to secure a position. This will be applied toward the initial installment due by the 1st day of school.

Tuition and Fees: $15,000

The tuition may be paid in a lump sum or in three installments of $5000 each. If paying in installments, the payments are due by the first day of each term.

1st day of fall term (September) $5,000
1st day of winter term (January) $5,000
1st day of summer term (May) $5,000

Students are responsible for other expenses including but not limited to textbooks and uniforms (navy). (~ $1,000 total). The school will reimburse the cost of the registry examination fee to the student upon passing the exam.


For more program information, please contact:

Amy Dillenbeck, MS, ACS, RDCS, FASE
Program Director
Cleveland Clinic
9500 Euclid Avenue/ J1-5
Cleveland, OH 44195
Phone 216.444.1055 or 216.389.8721
Email: dillena@ccf.org
Fax: 216.442.4975