What is a CAAHEP accredited sonography program, and what does it mean?

CAAHEP (Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs) is an accrediting agency, just like many other educational accrediting bodies in the United States. Sacramento Ultrasound Institute is an institution, accredited by ABHES (Accrediting Bureau for Health Education Schools); Sacramento Ultrasound Institute is not accredited by CAAHEP at this time.

Other institutions, for example, CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITIES, are accredited by WASC (Western Association of School and Colleges), but they are not accredited with CAAHEP. This means that Schools, Colleges, and Institutions can be accredited by different agencies - on an institutional or programmatic level. In addition to our ABHES accreditation, Sacramento Ultrasound Institute is also approved by:


What are the advantages/disadvantages of attending a CAAHEP accredited sonography program?

CAAHEP Accredited Programs

  • You do not need to have a bachelor's degree or associate's degree in allied health to take the ARDMS registry immediately after graduation under ARDMS Prerequisite 1. 
  • CAAHEP accredited schools are usually lower in tuition and costs.
  • CAAHEP accredited schools typically have more clinical sites available to students.

Non-CAAHEP Accredited Programs

  • Graduates without a bachelor's degree must work for one full year after graduating before becoming ARDMS eligible.
  • There are only 11 CAAHEP accredited sonography programs in California.
  • Usually, these CAAHEP accredited schools start a class only once a year, and there is typically a long waiting period.
  • Students must take required foundation courses such as Writing/Communication, Elementary Algebra, and Computer literacy before getting into actual ultrasound classes.

Are graduates from SUI ARDMS eligible after graduation?

YES! All graduates from SUI are eligible for ARDMS registry immediately after graduation because a bachelor's degree is required for admission into the Diagnostic Medical Sonography Program.

ARDMS requires students to pass the SPI Exam (Students are eligible for this exam after passing the Physics & Instrumentation course at SUI).

By using ARDMS Prerequisite 3a, graduates are immediately eligible to take any of the following specialty exams to become ARDMS Registered Sonographers:

  • Abdominal Sonography
  • Vascular Technologist
  • Obstetric and Gynecologic
  • Echocardiography

Please visit this link to view all the other prerequisites from the ARDMS official website:

ABHES vs. CAAHEP Educational Standards

Standards are the minimum requirements to which an accredited program or institution is held accountable.
Unlike most institutional accreditors, ABHES has specific standards for sonography. This means:

  • ABHES accredited schools provide quality education in sonography due to specific educational outcome requirements.
  • Sonography programs taught at ABHES accredited schools are approved by the ARRT.

ABHES Educational Standards

The Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools does not programmatically accredit diagnostic medical sonography programs. The standards listed in this document are sonography-specific requirements all ABHES accredited schools that offer sonography programs must meet.

CAAHEP Educational Standards

The Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs (CAAHEP) programmatically accredits diagnostic medical sonography programs. The standards listed in this document is what is required for CAAHEP Accreditation.

Samuel Yarmagyan

Samuel Yarmagyan

"It is our hope that this information enlightens you as you consider Ultrasound or Echocardiography Programs. I also wish you the best in any endeavors you choose to take: be it here or another school, healthcare field or not. Should you have any more questions, please feel free to contact us."