The training of a medical physicist must be broad. To participate fruitfully in this interdisciplinary profession, he or she must be thoroughly competent in physical and mathematical science, must understand biological and physiological systems, and must be able to understand and speak the language of physicians. The Department of Radiology and the Department of Radiation and Cellular Oncology together offer a program to provide aspiring medical physicists with the knowledge that they will need in their future profession
The University of Chicago academic year consists of four quarters. A full-time graduate program includes three courses each quarter. Graduate students in medical physics normally begin the program in the Fall Quarter and are in residence throughout the academic year. Applications for part-time enrollment and/or entry in the Winter, Spring, or Summer Quarter will be considered on an individual basis.
Students working toward a graduate degree in medical physics normally will be expected to have completed training equivalent to that required for the S.B. (Bachelor's) degree in Physics at this University prior to admission. In addition, after enrolling in the program, the following requirements must be met by candidates for either degree.
Basic Required Courses
Most students meet these requirements by following the suggested basic course sequence during their first two years in the program.
Official course descriptions can be found in the Medical Physics portion of the University's online course catalog.
|Course Name||Course Number|
|Practicum in the Physics of Medical Imaging I||MPHY 34200|
|Practicum in the Physics of Medical Imaging II||MPHY 34300|
|Practicum in the Physics of Radiation Therapy||MPHY 34400|
|Mathematics for Medical Physicists||MPHY 34900|
|Interactions of Ionizing Radiation with Matter||MPHY 35000|
|The Physics of Radiation Therapy||MPHY 35100|
|Anatomical Structure of the Body
(or equivalent course)
|Cancer & Radiation Biology
(or equivalent course) *
|The Physics of Medical Imaging I||MPHY 38600|
|The Physics of Medical Imaging II||MPHY 38700|
|Statistics in the Natural Sciences
(or another appropriate course in statistics)
|* Students will be required to have a college-level biology course as a prerequisite for MPHY 35900. If the student enters the program without such a course, he or she will be able to take the course at the University; however, this college-level biology course will not count towards degree requirements.|
Qualifying Comprehensive Examination
At the end of the first academic year, the student will take a written and oral Qualifying Comprehensive Examination covering the material of the courses studied up to that time in addition to basic undergraduate physics. The student should demonstrate both competency in medical physics and the ability to think through a posed situation.
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