M.S. in Medical Physics

Medical & Health Physics

M.S. in Medical Physics – CAMPEP Accredited

To meet increasing demand by hospitals, clinics, and industry for trained medical physicists, LSU's Department of Physics & Astronomy offers a Master of Science degree with a concentration in Medical Physics. This degree is CAMPEP-accredited. The M.S. degree program seeks to train students for a career in clinical medical physics, including successful completion of professional certification exams by the American Board of Radiology or similar boards. Students graduating from the medical physics concentration are well prepared to enter a medical physics residency program or to continue their training in a PhD program.

Students spend their first year learning the fundamentals of medical physics: radiation detection and instrumentation, radiation protection, radiation biology, and additional topics. In the second year, in additional to completing advanced courses in medical physics, medical physics students apply the knowledge gained in the classroom through a clinical training practicum, working side-by-side with medical physicists, medical dosimetrists, and radiation oncologists at Mary Bird Perkins Cancer Center.

Students in the medical physics concentration complete a thesis based on hypothesis-driven research during their second and third years. Thesis research culminates in a public presentation and thesis defense. The results of the thesis are expected to be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Objectives - Medical Physics

The Medical Physics concentration of the M.S. Program is designed for individuals who wish to be educated in clinical medical physics.  The Program’s objective is to provide clinical and research training in Medical Physics, which give the student opportunity to prepare for advanced training in a clinical physics residency program. M.S. Program graduates are well prepared for:

  • A career as a qualified medical physicist in a clinical environment following completion of a medical physics residency;
  • A career as a professional medical physicist in a clinical-support industry;
  • A career as a professional medical physicist in a clinical-support research laboratory; or
  • Further research training in a Ph.D. medical physics program.

Students pursuing a clinical medical physics career should expect to acquire comprehensive clinical training through a CAMPEP-accredited medical physics residency program. Most medical physicists pursue ABR professional certification exam in medical physics; M.S. in medical physics students typically take Part I of the ABR exam at the end of their second year of graduate study. Since 2014, Eligibility for Part 1 of the ABR exam  requires an undergraduate physics background comparable to a minor in physics.

Medical Physics Curriculum

The MS degree with concentration in medical physics requires 36 credit hours of course work and clinical work, in addition to a minimum of six hours of thesis research. This degree can be completed within 3 years. Consult the LSU General Catalog for specific degree requirements, course descriptions, and related information.

The typical medical physics student completes the following courses during the graduate program (credits hours are listed for each course). Additional special topics and elective courses are available. Although not counted towards degree requirements, a course in human anatomy is necessary for eligibility to sit for the American Board of Radiology certification exam in radiological physics.

  • MEDP 4111 Introduction to Medical Imaging (3)
  • MEDP 4331 Radiation Protection and Exposure Evaluation (3)
  • MEDP 4351 Radiation Detection and Instrumentation (2)
  • MEDP 4352 Radiation Detection Laboratory (1)
  • MEDP 7098 Radiation Research Technology and Methods (3)
  • MEDP 7111 Advanced Medical Imaging Physics (3)
  • MEDP 7121 Radiobiology (3)
  • MEDP 7210 Clinical Principles of Radiation Therapy (3)
  • MEDP 7260 Clinical Medical Physics Rotation (4)
  • MEDP 7270 Advanced Radiation Therapy Physics (3)
  • MEDP 7331 Radiation Therapy Physics (3)
  • MEDP 7530 Radiation Shielding and Accelerators (3)
  • MEDP 7537 Radiation Interactions and Transport (3)
  • MEDP 7995 Seminar (1)
  • MEDP 8000 Thesis Research (1-12 per sem.)

The degree program is “MS in Medical Physics and Health Physics”, in which students complete a concentration in either medical physics or health physics.  The CAMPEP-accredited medical physics track is documented in transcripts by the degree name ("Master of Science"), the major ("Medical Physics & Health Physics") and the concentration ("Medical Physics").