Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Medical Physics Ph.D.

Radiation Oncology Administration
Radiology
Medical School
Link to a list of faculty for this program.
Contact Information
Therapeutic Radiology, Dept of MMC 494 Mayo 8494A 420 Delaware St SE Minneapolis, MN 55455
  • Program Type: Doctorate
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Length of program in credits: 48
  • This program does not require summer semesters for timely completion.
  • no
  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
Along with the program-specific requirements listed below, please read the General Information section of this website for requirements that apply to all major fields.
The program is made up of faculty members with primary appointments in departments that include radiation oncology, radiology, physics, engineering, computer science, physiology, dentistry, and biochemistry. In addition to providing clinical experience in areas such as radiation oncology, radiation oncology, radiation safety and quality assurance, the program is active in research and provides graduate level training in medical physics. The goal of the program is to prepare students (1) for further education, teaching, and research in medical physics, (2) to qualify to enter a medical physics residency program in radiation oncology or diagnostic radiology, and (3) to provide the mathematical and technical knowledge needed to succeed in the increasingly complex field of medical physics.
Accreditation
This program is accredited by Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs, Inc. (CAMPEP)
Program Delivery
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Prerequisites for Admission
The preferred undergraduate GPA for admittance to the program is 3.00.
A degree in physics or engineering or other physical science. Equivalent of an undergraduate physics minor-at least 2 semesters of calculus based physics and at least 3 upper level physics courses.
Other requirements to be completed before admission:
All students should have some familiarity with physical chemistry, intermediate physics, intermediate mathematics, biostatistics, computer programming, biology, physiology, and biochemistry. This may be demonstrated by coursework completed at the undergraduate level or as part of the graduate program; by reading or practical experience; or by informal competency examinations.
Special Application Requirements:
Three letters of recommendation are required. The General Test of the GRE is required. The computer based GRE exam is provided year ­round by the Educational Testing Service. A list of test sites can be found at: http://www.ets.org/gre. Our institution code is R6874 with no department code. If the GRE was taken more than two years prior to application, the applicant will need to retake the examination. We have no absolute GRE cutoff score, but the score is taken into consideration among many individual factors in the evaluation of each application. Applicants are considered for admission in both semesters.
International applicants must submit score(s) from one of the following tests:
  • TOEFL
    • Internet Based - Total Score: 79
    • Internet Based - Writing Score: 21
    • Internet Based - Reading Score: 19
    • Paper Based - Total Score: 550
  • IELTS
    • Total Score: 6.5
  • MELAB
    • Final score: 80
Key to test abbreviations (TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB).
For an online application or for more information about graduate education admissions, see the General Information section of this website.
Program Requirements
48 credits are required in the major.
0 credits are required outside the major.
24 thesis credits are required.
This program may not be completed with a minor.
Use of 4xxx courses toward program requirements is permitted under certain conditions with adviser approval.
A minimum GPA of 3.00 is required for students to remain in good standing.
At least 1 semesters must be completed before filing a Degree Program Form.
Ph.D. students take preliminary written exams at the end of the first year of study or as soon as possible after completing the core course sequence in topics in physics for medicine and biology. An oral preliminary exam focuses on the plan for thesis research and the student's grasp of related information and is taken by the fall of the third year of full-time registration or its equivalent. Additionally, 24 thesis credits are required.
Required Courses
MPHY 5170 - Basic Radiological Physics (3.0 cr)
PHYS 5401 - Physiological Physics (4.0 cr)
MPHY 5138 - Research Seminar (1.0-5.0 cr)
MPHY 5173 - Medical and Health Physics of Radiation Therapy (3.0 cr)
PHYS 5402 - Radiological Physics (4.0 cr)
PHAR 5201 - Applied Medical Terminology (2.0 cr)
MPHY 5171 - Medical and Health Physics of Imaging I (3.0 cr)
MPHY 5172 - Radiation Biology (3.0 cr)
MPHY 5174 - Medical and Health Physics of Imaging II (3.0 cr)
MPHY 5177 - Radiation Therapy Physics Lab: Radiation Physics Basics (3.0 cr)
MPHY 8149 - Advanced Topics in Radiation Therapy Physics (2.0 cr)
MPHY 5139 - Seminar and Journal Club (1.0 cr)
Medical Physics Electives
Electives will be based on focus of program objectives with advisor.
MPHY 8148 - Advanced Digital Imaging Science (3.0 cr)
or MPHY 8147 - Advanced Physics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) (3.0 cr)
or Other electives as advised.
ADDITIONAL REQUIREMENTS (NOT FOR CREDIT)
In the fall semester of their first year, students must take the University ethics training: Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR), Parts 1 (a 3-hour session offered about 4 times/year) and 2.
 
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MPHY 5170 - Basic Radiological Physics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: BPhy 5170/TRad 7170
Typically offered: Every Fall
Theoretical/experimental aspects of radiological physics. Physical properties of various ionizing radiations, interactions of ionizing radiations with matter, methods of radiation dose measurement. prereq: instr consent
PHYS 5401 - Physiological Physics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Typically offered: Fall Even Year
Musculoskeletal system, circulatory system/membrane transport, biological control systems, propagation/action potential in nervous system, biomagnetism, electromagnetism at cellular level. prereq: One semester of introductory calculus-based physics, such as PHYS1301W. Students not sure if they meet prerequisites should consult instructor.
MPHY 5138 - Research Seminar
Credits: 1.0 -5.0 [max 5.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Fall
Topics introduce techniques/goals of biophysical sciences and medical physics. Lectures/demonstrations.
MPHY 5173 - Medical and Health Physics of Radiation Therapy
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: BPhy 5173/TRad 7173
Typically offered: Every Spring
Measurements of radiation quality, output, and depth dose distributions for clinical use. Treatment parameter calculation. Beam modification and shaping. Treatment planning for fixed field and rotational therapy in external beam, intracavitary, and interstitial therapy. Computer applications in treatment planning. Principles/criteria for radiation protection. prereq: 5170 or instr consent
PHYS 5402 - Radiological Physics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Prerequisites: Two semesters of introductory calculus-based physics, such as PHYS1302W. Students not sure if they meet prerequisites should consult instructor.
Typically offered: Spring Even Year
Signal analysis, medical imaging, medical x-rays, tomography, radiation therapy, nuclear medicine, MRI, similar topics. prereq: Two semesters of introductory calculus-based physics, such as PHYS1302W. Students not sure if they meet prerequisites should consult instructor.
PHAR 5201 - Applied Medical Terminology
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
This course will help students recognize medical abbreviations, relate terms to procedures and diagnostics, comprehend the meaning of medical terminology by using word elements, and apply medical terms in the context of patient care. Communication related to disease states, procedures, and diagnostics in healthcare can sometimes seem like another language. During this course, students will not only increase their medical vocabulary by more than 2500 words in a self-paced manner, they will also learn to identify and articulately describe a wide variety of medical conditions and processes. This is a completely online, self-paced course that runs on an accelerated 10-week schedule. Course information is sent to the U of M email addresses of registered students by the first day of classes each Fall, Spring, and Summer term. For more information, contact phar5201@umn.edu or 612-624-7976. prereq: basic knowledge of human anatomy/physiology
MPHY 5171 - Medical and Health Physics of Imaging I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: BPhy 5171/TRad 7171
Typically offered: Every Fall
Physics of diagnostic imaging: specification/quantification of image quality, X-ray production, image receptors, magnetic resonance imaging, radiation exposure and protection. Special imaging techniques, including mammography, computed tomography, and direct digital image capture. prereq: 5170 or instr consent
MPHY 5172 - Radiation Biology
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: BPhy 5172/TRad 7172
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Effects of ionizing radiation on cells, tissues, and organisms. Biochemical/physiological bases of radiation effects. Biological rationale for radiation therapy practices. prereq: 5170 or instr consent
MPHY 5174 - Medical and Health Physics of Imaging II
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: BPhy 5174/TRad 7174
Typically offered: Every Spring
Physics of diagnostic imaging. Ultrasound, theoretical/experimental applications of radionuclides in medicine and biology. Counting statistics and imaging systems associated with radiopharmaceuticals, radiation dosimetry, and safety in nuclear medicine. prereq: 5170 or instr consent
MPHY 5177 - Radiation Therapy Physics Lab: Radiation Physics Basics
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
This course provides students hands-on experience with Hardware/software used in radiation therapy clinic for physics measurements. prereq: 5170 or concurrent registration is required (or allowed) in 5173 or instr consent
MPHY 8149 - Advanced Topics in Radiation Therapy Physics
Credits: 2.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Fall
Special procedures. Total body irradiation, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, stereotactic radiosurgery/radiotherapy, image-guided radiation therapy. Treatment planning algorithms/techniques. Brachytherapy. prereq: [5170, 5173] or instr consent
MPHY 5139 - Seminar and Journal Club
Credits: 1.0 [max 2.0]
Grading Basis: S-N or Aud
Typically offered: Every Spring
Current research/topics related to goals/methods of biophysical sciences and medical physics. Lectures/discussions.
MPHY 8148 - Advanced Digital Imaging Science
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Fall & Spring
Role of digital image science in medical imaging. Measurement of image quality, digital radiography. Image reconstruction for CT, SPECT, PET, and MRI. 3D image processing, image registration/visualization. Picture archiving, communications systems. prereq: 5171 or instr consent
MPHY 8147 - Advanced Physics of Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Typically offered: Every Spring
NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) and MRI physics, spatial selection and encoding, imaging hardware and system engineering. Imaging sequences, associated contrast/resolution. Recent developments in MRI. prereq: 5174 or instr consent