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Degree Requirements

The Medical Physics program offers MS degrees with either a Thesis or Non-Thesis option, and PhD degrees in Interdisciplinary Program in Biomedical Sciences, with a concentration in Medical Physics. The minimum course work required by the Graduate School for a Master of Science degree with thesis is 30 credit hours, including up to 6 credits of thesis research credit. The Graduate School requirement for a Master of Science with the non-thesis option is at least 30 credits with no more than 6 credits of S/U graded courses. The course work required for the MS in the Medical Physics Program is illustrated in the Sample Curriculum. Students who have previously completed the subject matter included in the program’s standard curriculum may petition the faculty to be exempt from the subject requirement of specific courses, but they must still comply with the Graduate School’s minimum requirements.

Prerequisites for the program include the equivalent of an undergraduate minor in Physics, and one course in Ionizing Radiation Detection and Instrumentation. Students may be admitted to the program without the full completion of these prerequisites, but must establish an academic plan for the completion of the required courses as early as their course schedule permits. Additional requirements are that the student must have at least one course in Technical Communications, and that they are expected to know at least one advanced programming language.

Courses in the curriculum are typically offered once per year. Most courses are offered every year, but the faculty reserve the right to defer a course from its normal offering in the event of low student enrollment. The Master’s degree curriculum provides traditional didactic training, clinical training, and research training. Graduate studies begin with didactic training, and students transition to clinical and research projects as they progress. Clinical experience through laboratory sessions integrated with the clinical course sequences (Diagnostic Radiological Physics I-III and Therapeutic Radiological Physics I-III) to provide the students with an overview of clinical physics in diagnostic radiology and radiation oncology. Master’s degree candidates are also required to complete a research project, submitted as either a non-thesis project or a formal Master’s thesis.

The Doctor of Philosophy degree requires a minimum of 90 credits beyond the bachelor’s degree and master’s degree included in this minimum, must have been earned in the last seven years. No more than 30 hours of a Master’s degree from another institution may be transferred to a doctoral program. PhD students must complete the MS coursework, or demonstrate the equivalent subject coverage in courses taken at other institutions. Additional course requirements for doctoral degrees are dictated by the student’s field of research and are defined by the student’s supervisory committee. Prior to being admitted to candidacy the student must complete a written comprehensive examination in medical physics, and successfully present a research proposal to their supervisory committee. Finally, they must successfully defend their dissertation to meet graduation requirements.

Candidates for all graduate degrees must be in good standing with the graduate school, having a GPA of 3.0/4.0 or greater, and have no Incomplete grades on their transcripts.