College of Medicine
800 NE 13th St.
Oklahoma City, OK 73190
Jagadeesh Sonnad , PhD Director of Medical Physics Education Program
Susan Gaston , Administrator
For a complete listing of the departmental graduate faculty visit this web site
Master of Science
Doctor of Philosophy
AREAS OF SPECIALIZATION
Medical Physics, subspecializing in the Physics of Radiation Therapy, Diagnostic Radiology, Nuclear Medicine, Ultrasound, Computed Tomography and Magnetic Resonance Imaging.
Medical physics is an applied branch of physics that deals with medical imaging and applications in the treatment of disease and is closely allied with bioengineering and health physics. Medical imaging covers multiple modalities including diagnostic radiology, nuclear medicine, ultrasound, computed tomography, and magnetic resonance imaging while radiation therapy, a major subspecialty in medical physics, is concerned with the treatment of disease.
The medical physics program strives to provide a rigorous well rounded and clinically based training that is current in both diagnostic and radiation therapy physics. The graduate program in the Department of Radiological Sciences offers both MS and PhD degrees in medical physics.
Potential students are encouraged to correspond directly with the coordinator to obtain descriptive information on the profession of Medical Physics and the MS and PhD programs.
In addition to the general requirements listed in the Graduate College bulletin, applicants must present clear evidence of a strong foundation in chemistry and mathematics, as well as in both written and spoken English. Applicants must have also acquired a high degree of proficiency in physics with coursework equivalent to a baccalaureate minor in physics. The required coursework consists of the following courses and semester hours:
- Calculus (at least 8 semester hours) and Differential Equations (3 semester hours)
- Calculus-based General College Physics (at least 8 semester hours), Modern Physics (3 semester hours) and at least two other Upper Level Undergraduate Physics Courses (3 semester hours each for a total of 6 hours)
- General College Chemistry (at least 4 semester hours)
- College Level Anatomy and Physiology (at least 4 semester hours)
A maximum of two courses may be missed from this list prior to application. The missing course(s) must be completed with grade(s) of not less than a B within one calendar year of first enrollment in the graduate program. Credits acquired before or after enrollment to meet these minimum entrance requirements do not count towards degree-granting program.
In addition to the course requirements, applicants are expected to have taken the Graduate Records Exam (GRE). A minimum score of 400 in the verbal portion and a combined score (verbal plus quantitative) exceeding 1100 are required for admission.
Applicants to the doctor of philosophy program must meet additional requirements. They should present evidence of highly successful completion of a master’s degree with a thesis option in medical physics or related fields. Three reference letters are also required.
MASTER OF SCIENCE DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Candidates for the Master of Science degree in Radiological Sciences must complete a thesis based on their own research and must complete the following courses: RADI 5024, 5222, 5824, 6864, 6874, and 6884. The required number of semester hours for the MS degree is 32 with no more than six hours to be earned in RADI 5980, MS Thesis Research. The remainder of program requirement may be completed with graduate level courses from Radiological Sciences or graduate studies in appropriate academic areas which have been approved by the advisor or advisory committee.
Every student in the graduate program of the Department must present a seminar every year. Entering students shall complete prerequisite courses with a grade of B or better within the first 12 months of enrollment or prior to enrollment. Completion of this requirement will not be given graduate credit in the Radiological Sciences Graduate Program.
DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY DEGREE REQUIREMENTS
Candidates for doctoral degree must complete a minimum of 90 post-baccalaureate semester credit hours. Doctoral students are required to complete the Radiological Sciences core courses (or their equivalents) for the master’s degree described above.
All doctoral students are required to complete 10 additional hours beyond the core courses required for the masters students. They consist of (1) BMSC 5001 (Integrity in Scientific Research) or equivalent, (2) RADI 5303, (3) a 3 credit hour graduate course from one of the three area, mathematical physics/advanced statistics/numerical modeling, and (4) a 3 credit hour medical imaging course, currently offered as RADI 6960.
Two tracks of study, namely, diagnostic and radiation therapy, are available for doctoral students. Doctoral students are expected to complete 6 credit hours in their track specialization. For the diagnostic track this consists of RADI 5643 and a 3 credit hour course in MRI/CT/PET or a course recommended by the advisory committee. For the radiation therapy track, this consists of 3 hours selected from Radiobiologic modeling / Monte Carlo modeling/ advisory committee recommended course and another 3 credit hours selected from Proton Therapy / IMRT / IGRT / advisory committee recommended course. Apart from the advisory committee recommended courses, the other courses are currently offered as RADI 6960.
A maximum of 30 semester hours for enrollment in RADI 6980 count towards the total requirement of 90 hours. The remainder of program requirement may be completed with graduate level courses from Radiological Sciences or graduate studies in appropriate academic areas which have been approved by the advisory committee. Every student in the graduate programs of the Department must present a seminar every year.
Doctoral students must pass the departmental General Qualifying Examination before they can be admitted to candidacy. This examination consists of a written and an oral portion and may contain questions on any aspect of the Radiological Sciences. The General Examination consists of six subjects: production and absorption of radiation, radiation detection and measurement, physics in diagnostic radiology (including magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound), physics in nuclear medicine, physics in radiation therapy and radiation biology. Questions on radiation safety will be included. The General Examination should be satisfied within 3 years of enrollment into the program. Once a student becomes a candidate, the student will be expected to complete original research which represents a significant contribution to the field of Medical Radiological Sciences (Research for the Doctoral Dissertation).
For a doctoral student who has failed the General Examination, does not hold the master’s degree in medical physics, but has otherwise met all the departmental and graduate college requirements for the master’s degree, the following option is available: if the student has achieved satisfactory performance in at least four subject categories in the written portion of the general examination and has achieved grades of B or better in the graduate courses of the remaining subjects, he or she may request to be considered for a non-thesis master’s degree in Radiological Sciences.
Medical Physicists contribute in the subspecialty areas of Diagnostic Radiological Imaging, Radiation Oncology and Nuclear Medicine. Graduation from this program with the MS or PhD degree qualifies the individual for an entry level position in Medical Physics working with experienced individuals within medical facilities and with private medical physics groups across the United States. Currently, a significant number of openings exist nationally, with the majority of these being in the radiation oncology medical physics area. Position openings are advertised in a number of professional publications such as those of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) (www.aapm.org). The individual’s marketability increases with experience and with professional certification. Professional Certification is offered through the American Board of Radiology (ABR) (www.theabr.org ), the same board providing professional certification of radiologists and radiation oncologists, and is recognized by the prestigious American Board of Medical Specialties (www.abms.org ).
Current Courses: Search RADI prefix courses found online at http://apps.ouhsc.edu/StudentInfo/Courses.aspx?College=MED