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What will I learn?

Program goals

The Master of Science in Medical Physics offers students course work and practical clinical training in physics as it is applied to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. The mission of the master’s program is to serve the commonwealth of Virginia and the nation by helping to meet the demand for competent medical physicists in the health care delivery setting. The program will prepare students for careers as qualified and independent clinical medical physicists. Required course work provides theoretical and practical training in radiation dosimetry, radiation biology, radiation therapy, medical imaging and health physics.

Professional competency: To develop professional competency in medical physics by providing a framework in which students progressively develop mastery of the current state of medical physics and an ability to synthesize this information and apply it in a clinical setting. Additionally, students in the program will develop skills in the various means of communicating the core of medical physics knowledge and clinical applications of that knowledge to a variety of potential audiences.

Clinical competency: To develop clinically competent medical physics graduates by providing a framework in which students progress from didactic knowledge to clinical knowledge and demonstrate application of clinical medical physics principles, practices and procedures.

Student learning outcomes

  • Clinical performance: The candidate should demonstrate an appropriate level of skill in the theoretical, practical and technical conduct of medical physics in the clinical setting. This includes demonstration of an appropriate level of competence in the ability to:
  1. Design and quality assure radiation therapy treatment plans for both brachytherapy and external beam radiation therapy
  2. Quality assure radiation therapy delivery devices
  3. Quality assure radiation therapy treatment charts
  4. Perform calibration and/or beam delivery commissioning measurements as measured by instructor evaluation in compliance with accepted clinical standards
  • Communication skills: The candidate should demonstrate that an appropriate level of oral, written and visual communication skills have been acquired. The candidate will demonstrate the achievement of an appropriate level of oral communication skills with respect to the content, organization, logical flow, presentation and appropriate use of language incorporating the use of visual aids, as measured by course work and the quality of the thesis. The candidate will demonstrate the achievement of an appropriate level of written communication skill with respect to grammar, syntax, spelling, chart notation and use of vocabulary to effectively present information including the use of figures, tables and citations as measured by course work and the quality of the thesis.
  • Medical physics knowledge base: The candidate should demonstrate satisfactory knowledge of the base of scientific information required to practice clinical medical physics. This includes general knowledge of medical physics scientific materials, clinical policies and procedures, and translational scientific literature. The student should demonstrate the ability to evaluate and integrate such knowledge into the solution of clinical problems as measured by course work and the quality of the thesis.
  • Problem-solving: The candidate should demonstrate an appropriate level of skill in the identification of clinical medical physics problems and the design and implementation of appropriate problem-solving methods and solutions as measured by course work, annual review and the quality of the thesis.

Which department am I in?

School of Medicine

Study options

Full Time (Minimum 30 graduate credit hours)

Tuition fees
$24,741.00 (18,36,658) per year

*Price shown is for indicative purposes, please check with institution

Start date

Expected August 2021

Venue

School of Medicine

VCU Medical Center,

1201 E Marshall St,

RICHMOND,

Virginia,

23298, United States

Entry requirements

For students from United States

Successful applicants will typically have the following credentials: A baccalaureate degree or its equivalent at the time of enrollment, with an undergraduate GPA of 3.5.

For international students

In addition to the general admission requirements of the VCU Graduate School and the School of Medicine, students are expected to satisfy the following minimum standards for admission.

  • Students must have a minimum of 30 credit hours in undergraduate physics, physical science or engineering, of which at least 18 credit hours must be at the upper level. Background courses should include calculus one and two, linear algebra, differential equations, modern physics, and electricity and magnetism.
  • Applicants must present a minimum GPA of 3.0 on a 4-point scale for the undergraduate degree or most recently completed graduate degree.

The university minimum TOEFL score requirement is 550 (paper-based) or 80 (Internet-based). The university minimum IELTS score requirement is 6.5. The PTE is also accepted with a minimum score of 65. Deadline: Fall: Jan 15.

*There may be different IELTS requirements depending on your chosen course.

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About Virginia Commonwealth University

Virginia Commonwealth University is a top 100 research university and number one public postgraduate arts school in the US.

  • VCU is one of the top 3 research universities in Virginia
  • 21% growth in sponsored awards in a 10-year period
  • 1,600 international students from 108 countries
  • 173-acre campus in downtown Richmond