The easiest way to be eligible to sit for the ARDMS exam is to graduate from a program accredited by CAAHEP. (You can find the list of accredited programs on this site by conducting a search under the “Find an Accredited Program” section). But that is not the only way to qualify to sit for the exam and you should contact ARDMS directly (www.ardms.org) to see if you qualify under any of the other “Prerequisite” options.
But here is a note of caution based on the dozens of calls and emails that CAAHEP gets every month. One of the alternative routes to eligibility if you graduate from a non-CAAHEP-accredited program is to get an additional 12 months of full-time paid clinical experience (Prerequisite 1). That sounds simple enough, but the story we hear over and over is that people cannot find a job to give them that additional clinical experience because employers want folks who are certified. So you end up being unable to get the additional clinical experience because you’re not certified and unable to get certified because you don’t have the additional clinical experience – a classic “Catch-22.”
So, if a non-CAAHEP-accredited program is telling you that you will be “ARDMS-eligible,” check with past graduates of the program and employers in your area to assess the likelihood of your being able to get a full-time job upon graduation so as to satisfy the 12 month employment requirement.
More information on the importance of CAAHEP accreditation: What is CAAHEP Accreditation...and Why Should I Care brochure (PDF)
Things to Consider Before Selecting a Program