Aspiring medical physicists can find master's and doctoral programs at 4-year colleges and universities. Applicants to these programs typically need an undergraduate background in the sciences, engineering or mathematics.
Schools for Medical Physicists
Here's a list of schools with relevant programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition 2015-2016|
|University of Minnesota||Minneapolis, Minnesota||4-year, Public||Master's, doctoral||In-state $15,844
|University of Wisconsin||Madison, Wisconsin||4-year, Public||Master's, doctoral||In-state $10,728
|University of Arizona||Tucson, Arizona||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $11,040
|Louisiana State University||Baton Rouge, Louisiana||4-year, Public||Master's, doctoral||$8,813|
|Duke University||Durham, North Carolina||4-year, Private||Master's, doctoral||$47,590|
|Columbia University||New York, New York||4-year, Private||Master's certificate||$42,280|
|University of Miami||Coral Gables, Florida||4-year, Public||Master's, doctoral||$33,300|
|University of Missouri||Columbia, Missouri||4-year, Public||Master's||In-state $8,402
|University of Pennsylvania||Philadelphia, Pennsylvania||4-year, Private||Master's, certificate||$31,068|
Sources: National Center for Education Statistics, School websites
School Selection Criteria
Some important considerations for prospective students include:
- Medical physics programs are generally offered at the graduate level. Admission typically requires a bachelor's degree in a field like chemistry, engineering, mathematics, natural sciences or physics.
- Look for a program that prepares graduates to sit for the American Board of Radiology certification exam.
- Find a school with state-of-the-art facilities for clinical practice or research, depending on your interest.
- Students should look for programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP). Such accreditation ensures a quality education that meets CAMPEP's standards of excellence.
Master's Degree Options
A master's degree, taking about two years, prepares students to enter the workplace by taking courses that combine physics with chemistry and biology. A combined bachelor's and master's program might take up to five years.
Doctoral Degree Options
A Ph.D. in Medical Physics can be finished in 2-4 years and generally involves a clinical internship. Doctoral candidates might choose a specialization within medical physics, such as therapeutic radiology, diagnostic radiology, radiation oncology, medical health physics or nuclear medicine, with clinical rotations customized according to a student's specialty track. A research thesis is another piece of most curriculum.
Before looking into a medical physics graduate program, students should make sure they meet the prerequisites. Students should also ensure they'll be prepared for certification and will have access to a proper facility for research.