The Master of Science (M.S.) in Physics, Option in Medical Physics

The Oklahoma State University Department of Physics offers a CAMPEP-accredited Masters Degree in Physics with an option in Medical Physics designed to prepare graduate students for clinical and research careers in medical physics in a broad range of areas such as diagnostic imaging and x-ray, electron, and proton beam cancer therapy. Students graduating from this program will receive a certificate indicating their successful completion of a masters degree program in medical physics that is CAMPEP accredited.

 

Typical undergraduate training for students admitted to the Medical Physics graduate program can be found here: Physics and math background recommended for the Medical Physics program.


The M.S. medical physics option program requires the completion of a minimum of 30 credit hours consisting of at least six (6) courses specific to medical physics (18 credit hours), two (2) core courses in physics (6 credit hours), at least six (6) credit hours of supervised thesis research (PHYS5000), together with the successful submission and defense of an approved thesis.

 

The required six (6) medical physics courses (18 credit hours) are:

  • PHYS 4663(G) Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics
  • PHYS 5533 Dosimetry and Radiation Protection
  • PHYS 5563 Radioactivity and Nuclear Physics Laboratory
  • PHYS 5573 Radiation Biophysics
  • PHYS 5583 Physics of Medical Imaging
  • PHYS 5593 Physics of Radiation Therapy

 

The two (2) core physics courses are:

  • PHYS5453 Methods of Theoretical Physics
  • PHYS5613 Quantum Mechanics I

 

Additionally, students interested in pursuing clinical board certification during their career may take two (2) optional clinical training courses. These two (2) optional courses are:

  • PHYS5990 Clinical Methods in Medical Physics (clinical rotation course)
  • ZOOL3204 Human Anatomy and Physiology

 

The topics for thesis research required for the M.S. medical physics option fall within a broad range of research projects currently being pursued within the OSU Radiation Dosimetry Laboratory and Radiation Physics Laboratory. Such research topics include:

  • Development of an optical fiber Optically Stimulated Luminescence (OSL) system for in situ patient dosimetry during radiotherapy and radiodiagnostic procedures and for remote dosimetric monitoring of radiotherapy and radiology facilities;
  • Development of new luminescence materials for use in radiation dosimetry applications in radiotherapy and diagnostic radiology;
  • Measurement and computer modeling of the contribution from secondary neutrons to total patient dose outside the treatment field during proton and x-ray cancer therapy;
  • Development, testing, and calibration of a portable, self-contained Tissue Equivalent Proportional Counter (TEPC) for use in characterizing the charged- and neutral-particle radiation fields in and around proton and carbon therapy beams;
  • Assessment of induced radioactivity of materials in and around proton and x-ray radiotherapy beams;
  • Study of dose received by patients during CT scans, including new detectors for measuring CT dose;
  • Development of in-vivo range verification methods for proton beam radiotherapy through the measurement of secondary gammas emitted from the patient during treatment delivery;
  • Enhancement of the Relative Biological Effectiveness (RBE) of proton radiotherapy through the internalization of gold nanoparticles in tumor cells.

 

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