Medical Physics (Master of Science)
The MS in Medical Physics program offers training for individuals interested in pursuing a career in medical physics. As you gain a solid foundation in advanced physics, you’ll learn how to apply that science to serve the needs of patients and providers in a health care setting. The 43-hour master’s degree program provides didactic training in the fundamentals of:
- medical and health physics
- radiological physics and radiation dosimetry
- nuclear physics and instrumentation
- nuclear medicine
- medical imaging
You’ll also gain the research (MS thesis option) and clinical experience to prepare to be a practicing medical physicist.
Medical physicists are typically engaged in a clinical setting, often affiliated with Departments of Radiology and Radiation Oncology within a hospital. Here their primary responsibility is to assure the safe and effective use of radiation for desired diagnostic or therapeutic objectives in patient care. They work in consultation with physicians to plan radiation therapy treatments using either external beams of radiation or radiation from radioactive sources placed internally.
Within the U.S., medical physicists are certified by the American Board of Radiology (ABR) and the American Board of Medical Physics (ABMP). Initial certification requires the completion of a three-part board exam.
Completion of the MS in Medical Physics will prepare candidates for:
- part 1 of the American Board of Radiology exam
- participation in clinical residency programs
- PhD programs in medical physics
- careers as a medical physicist in a clinical or related industry
Historically, prior to offering the Master of Science in Medical Physics, the Creighton University Physics Department has had many graduates who have earned the MS in Physics degree and gone on to successful careers in medical physics. Our graduates are employed in Omaha and throughout the Midwest.
The MS program in medical physics provides students with the basic and applied knowledge necessary for further education and research in medical physics. To this end, students completing the program will:
- demonstrate competency in physics, mathematics, computer programming and other basic science knowledge, required for research and clinical practice in medical physics;
- demonstrate professional attributes and ethical behaviors required of medical physicists;
- demonstrates skills in communication through writing and oral presentation;
- demonstrate proficiency in theoretical or experimental research design;
- effectively use the research process to pose and address relevant problems in research and clinical settings;
- demonstrate a conceptual and methodological understanding of how research leads to the creation of new knowledge and the re-interpretation of existing knowledge,
- present effective progress reports on their research;
- complete a MS thesis which demonstrates effective synthesis and analysis of current research and scholarship in medical physics;
- demonstrate deliberate reflection for personal and professional formation;
- develop communication and interpersonal skills needed to function in a collaborative environment; and
- demonstrate an awareness of the complexity of knowledge in medical physics as well as receptiveness to alternative interpretations, new knowledge, and alternative approaches to problem solving.
Students who enter the program having already completed one or more of these courses will have the course requirement waived at the discretion of the graduate program director. However, a minimum of 30 credit hours must be completed at Creighton University. After reviewing the student’s background preparation, the graduate program director may also recommend additional courses be taken to ensure success in the graduate coursework. To prepare for future clinical residency, students should consider taking courses in Human Anatomy and Physiology if they have not already done so.
- Society of Physics Students
The Creighton Chapter of the Society of Physics Students encourages interest in physics on campus and in the local community. The organization strives to further students’ knowledge of the field through academic conferences, field trips and contact with physics professionals outside the Creighton community.
To be eligible for admission, students must have a bachelor’s degree with a major in physics (preferred), engineering, or another science discipline. If the bachelor’s degree is not in physics, students must have completed at least 18 credit hours of undergraduate-level physics, with at least 9 hours in upper-division physics courses and a minimum 3.0 GPA. Appropriate undergraduate chemistry (at least 1 year), biology (at least 1 year), mathematics (two years, Calculus and Differential Equations), and computer science (proficiency in at least one programming language) preparation is also required.
The general GRE exam is required. The Physics GRE subject exam is not required. International students must complete the TOEFL exam with a minimum total score of 90 (iBT) and a minimum score of 20 in each of the four test sections.
Teaching and research fellowships are awarded to select applicants each year. Fellows receive a stipend and full remission of tuition for up to 18 credit hours per calendar year. Tuition remission is also extended to fellows in the summer sessions adjoining the fellowship year. Teaching fellows are required to provide the equivalent of 20 hours per week of instruction and service. Upon recommendation of the department, fellowship appointments may be renewed for a second year. Fellows must take a minimum of eight (8) credit hours of course work per semester, and are restricted to a maximum course load of 12 hours per semester.