Medical & Health Physics
Medical & Health Physics

Overview & Program Goals

To meet the ongoing demand of university hospitals, clinics, and industry for medical physicists trained in research and clinical medical physics, LSU's Department of Physics and Astronomy offers a concentration in Medical Physics for its Ph.D. in Physics degree. The Ph.D. degree program provides students with

  • a fundamental knowledge of medical physics;
  • advanced courses in medical physics, physics, and other fields; and
  • advanced research training in a particular subfield of medical physics.

The Ph.D. curriculum requires a core medical physics component of 11 courses (27 credit hours), a course in human anatomy (3 credit hours), 9 credit hours of advanced medical physics courses, 6 hours of outside electives, and research credit hours as recommended by the student’s supervisory committee. Students must complete a written Qualifying Exam, an oral General Exam (typically the dissertation proposal), and a Final Examination / oral Dissertation Defense. Students are required to complete a dissertation based on hypothesis-driven research. Dissertation research should begin by the end of the second year and typically requires approximately 3 years of effort. The results of the dissertation are expected to result in multiple publications in peer-reviewed scientific journals. The full program of study is expected to take 5 years for the typical Ph.D. student.

Objectives - Medical Physics

The Ph.D. Program is designed for individuals who wish to be educated in medical physics with emphasis in research.  The Program’s objective is to provide a general knowledge of medical physics along with research training in a particular subfield of medical physics. The Ph.D. degree will prepare the student for:

  • An entry level research position, i.e., postdoctoral fellow position in an academic medical physics department,
  • A medical physics residency position under the supervision of a board-certified medical physicist in a clinical environment, or
  • A career as a medical physicist researcher in a clinical-support industry.

Students pursuing a clinical 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 the American Board of Radiology Part 2 or Part 3 examinations in medical physics requires that candidates must have completed a CAMPEP-accredited residency program.

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