Master of Science in Medical Health Physics

The Master of Science in Medical Health Physics degree program trains students in: (1) the sciences and technologies that are used to produce radiant energy forms, (2) the scientific knowledge gained by using radiant energy forms to understand and modify biological processes, and (3) the application of radiant energy forms for the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. 

The curriculum provides an opportunity for students to acquire a core of fundamental knowledge through a synergistic program of formal courses, seminars, teaching opportunities, and hands-on research experience. Each student is encouraged to design, with the assistance of a research advisor, an individual course of study consistent with his/her career goals.

Admissions Requirements

Graduate Record Exam (GRE) general test and a minimum GPA of 3.0/4.0 are required. Three letters of recommendation are required. During the application process, essays stating (1) the reasons for your interest in Medical Health Physics, (2) description of professional goals and (3) an outline of your undergraduate, industrial or summer research, as well as teaching experience and clinical experience are required.

Students accepted into the CAMPEP-accredited (www.campep.org), M.S. in Medical Health Physics degree program shall have acquired a strong foundation in basic Physics.  This should be documented by either an undergraduate degree in physics or a degree in a related engineering or physical science with coursework that is equivalent to a minor in Physics (includes at least three upper level undergraduate physics courses). Applicants also must have undergraduate credit for the following courses: 1) Biology: Two semesters of general biology; 2) Chemistry: Two semesters of general chemistry;  3) Mathematics: Through calculus and ordinary differential equations; 4) Computer Science: Introduction to Computer Science (one semester).  The admission process includes review of academic history as well as experience and goals of applicant. Telephone and on-campus interviews are conducted for qualified applicants selected by the Admissions Committee.

Degree Requirements

A minimum of 30 credit hours and a minimum overall GPA of 3.0 is required for the M.S. degree. In addition, all master’s candidates must register for Thesis for at least one semester in order to graduate. The student must successfully defend a thesis and be recommended by their program COGS for approval of their degree to the Dean of the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences.

Plan of Study

First Year
FallCredit Hours
RADI 5001Basic Radiation Safety 1
RADI 5005Fundamentals Of Radiation Dosimetry 3
RADI 5015Physics Of Diagnostic Imaging 1 3
RADI 6030Physics Of Radiotherapy 3
RADI 6049Intro To Magnetic Resonance 2
 Total Credit Hours: 12.0
First Year
SpringCredit Hours
RADI 5007Statistics in the Radiological Sciences 2
RADI 5020Principles of Health Physics 1 3
RADI 5090Sem Radiological Science 1
RADI 6012Phys Nuclear Medi Imaging 3
RADI 6024Radiological Anatomy & Physiology 3
 Total Credit Hours: 12.0
Second Year
FallCredit Hours
RADI 5025Molecular Oncology & Radiobiology 3
RADI 6021Prin/Health Physics 2 3
RADI 6097Research 1
Health Physics Elective  3
TSCI 5070Responsible Conduct Of Patient-Oriented Clinical Research 2
 Total Credit Hours: 12.0
Second Year
SpringCredit Hours
RADI 5018Physics Measurements In Imaging Lab 2
RADI 5090Sem Radiological Science 1
RADI 6016Physics of Diagnostic Imaging 2 3
RADI 6071Supervised Teaching 1
RADI 6097Research 2
Health Physics Elective  3
 Total Credit Hours: 12.0
Third Year
FallCredit Hours
RADI 6098Thesis 12
 Total Credit Hours: 12.0

Objectives/Program Outcomes

  1. Proficiency in Core Biomedical and Medical Health Physics Principles
  2. Capacity to Conduct Biomedical Research
  3. Critically Review and Interpret Research Literature
  4. Demonstrate Competence in Written Communication
  5. Demonstrate Competence in Verbal Communication
  6. Conduct Research in an Ethical Manner

RADI 5001. Basic Radiation Safety. 1 Credit Hour.

This course provides the student with the opportunity to gain a conceptual understanding of the radiation protection principles involved in the research, diagnostic, and therapeutic uses of radiation sources. This course will cover the safe receipt, use, storage, and disposal of radiation sources in the biomedical research setting. The contents of this course fulfill HSC training requirements in order to use radioactive materials on campus. Successful participants will earn three HSC safety certificates of completion: Basic Radiation Safety Training, Basic Laser Safety Training, and Basic Laboratory Safety Training.

RADI 5005. Fundamentals Of Radiation Dosimetry. 3 Credit Hours.

The aim of this course is to introduce the students to the fundamentals of radiation dosimetry, including dosimetry quantities, interactions with matter, cavity theory and calibration protocols. More specifically, the topics that will be covered during this course are the following: 1) Introduction/Ionizing Radiation, 2) Quantities for describing interactions, 3) Exponential attenuation, 4) Charged particle and radiation equilibria, 5) Absorbed dose in radioactive media, 6) Radioactive decay, 7) X-ray interactions with matter, 8) Charged particle interactions with matter, 9) Cavity theory, 10) Dosimetry Fundamentals, and 11) Calibration protocols.

RADI 5007. Statistics in the Radiological Sciences. 2 Credit Hours.

An overview of biomedical statistics methods and basic applications to experimental design with special emphasis given to those methods used in radiation detection, image analysis, and evaluations of diagnostic efficacy. Students will learn the theory behind these methods and apply them to actual and simulated problems in the Radiological Sciences using the R statistical programming environment.

RADI 5015. Physics Of Diagnostic Imaging 1. 3 Credit Hours.

This course introduces the student to the basic principles and radiological practice using noninvasive imaging systems. Topics include production of x-rays, interaction of radiation with matter, and the physics of imaging using computed tomography, ultrasound, and magnetic resonance. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

RADI 5018. Physics Measurements In Imaging Lab. 2 Credit Hours.

This is a laboratory course focusing on performance of measurements used in quality assurance (QA), system characterization, and acceptance testing of medical imagers. Corequisites: RADI 5015.

RADI 5020. Principles of Health Physics 1. 3 Credit Hours.

This course covers the basic principles of protection dealing with the major forms of ionizing radiation.

RADI 5025. Molecular Oncology & Radiobiology. 1.5-3 Credit Hours.

This course is an overview of the physics and chemistry of radiation biology; the biological effects of ionizing and non-ionizing radiations and hyperthermia at the cellular and tissue levels and whole body and late effects.

RADI 5090. Sem Radiological Science. 1-9 Credit Hours.

Each student is required to register a minimum of two terms if following an M.S. degree plan or four terms if following a Ph.D. plan. Seminars will review current findings in the field.

RADI 6012. Phys Nuclear Medi Imaging. 3 Credit Hours.

This course is a study of physical principles of planar, SPECT, and PET radionuclide imaging; instrument theory; dosimetry; computer uses; and safety considerations. Prerequisites: RADI 5011.

RADI 6016. Physics of Diagnostic Imaging 2. 3 Credit Hours.

This course includes theory and applications of various forms of electronic imaging systems; advanced diagnostic imaging principles involving mathematical image analysis, digital image processing, digital image display, and concepts of electronic imaging. Prerequisites: consent of instructor.

RADI 6021. Prin/Health Physics 2. 3 Credit Hours.

RADI 6024. Radiological Anatomy & Physiology. 3 Credit Hours.

This course will provide students with an opportunity to learn anatomy, physiology, and commonly used medical terminology as it relates to radiologic imaging. Anatomic and physiologic features will be illustrated with radiologic images in formats commonly encountered in clinical radiology. By the end of the course, students are expected to be familiar with basic medical terminology and have a good understanding of medical anatomy, physiology, and some basic pathology as related to specific organs for which radiologic images are commonly applied.

RADI 6030. Physics Of Radiotherapy. 3 Credit Hours.

Theory, design, and operation of radiation-producing equipment used in radiation therapy are introduced. Exposure and absorbed dose calculations, patient dosimetry, treatment planning, and use of computers in radiation therapy are covered.

RADI 6049. Intro To Magnetic Resonance. 2 Credit Hours.

This course presents the basics of the practice of magnetic resonance as the experimentalist or clinician first meets them. The approach begins with images, equipment, and scanning protocols. The student will have the opportunity to face issues pertinent to practice with theoretical background added as experience grows. Through this approach, key ideas are introduced in an intuitive style that is faithful to the underlying physics.

RADI 6071. Supervised Teaching. 1-12 Credit Hours.

This course is a presentation of lectures and supervised teaching under the direction of faculty.

RADI 6097. Research. 1-12 Credit Hours.

This course is supervised research under the guidance of a faculty member.

RADI 6098. Thesis. 1-12 Credit Hours.

Registration for at least two terms is required for M.S. candidates. Prerequisites: admission to candidacy for the Master of Science degree.

TSCI 5070. Responsible Conduct Of Patient-Oriented Clinical Research. 2 Credit Hours.

This interdisciplinary course is designed to train participants in the responsible conduct of patient-oriented clinical research. Students will have the opportunity to learn to and, by the end of the course, be required to: (1) delineate a history of hallmark abuses of humans enrolled in clinical research; (2) describe the evolution of national and international codes and regulations guiding inclusion of human subjects in clinical investigations; (3) list the elements of informed consent and describe procedures and precautions for enrolling special populations into clinical investigation; (4) write a consent form in understandable language; (5) recognize different forms of scientific misconduct; (6) describe the role and processes of a peer review board to judge violations in research ethics; (7) develop strategies for self-assessment and validation of scientific objectivity in one's own research; and (8) recognize the ethical responsibilities and consequences of whistle blowing.