Applying for Medical Physics Phd

In summary, the individual is seeking help in applying for a medical physics PhD, preferably in the area of Radiation Therapy. They have a BA in Physics and an MSc in Medical Physics from Trinity College Dublin, as well as two years of experience as a part II clinical scientist trainee in the UK. They are interested in programs in the USA, New Zealand, Australia and Europe, but have not seen many available projects to apply for. They are wondering if it is normal to contact groups directly and if it is necessary to apply for a graduate program before a PhD. They are also seeking information on applying as an international student and any advice from others who have gone through the process. The conversation also mentions Canadian programs, which are listed on the
  • #1
hcaulfield85
4
0
Hi all,

I am just looking for some help in applying for a medical physics Phd, preferably in the area of Radiation Therapy. A bit of background: I have a B.A. in Physics and a M.Sc. in Medical Physics from Trinity College Dublin. I also have two years experience as a part II clinical scientist trainee in the UK. Basically a residency trainee program. I am interested in doing a Phd and I have been looking at programs in the USA, New Zealand, Australia and Europe. However, I have not seen many projects come up to apply to. Is it the norm to just contact groups directly and see what they have? I have done this before for programs in the USA and I was told that you need to apply for the graduates program for admission first. Is this correct? Can anyone give me any information they have on applying for medical physics Phds, especially if they were an international student applying or any other advice they have?

Thanks

h
 
Physics news on Phys.org
  • #2
In the US and Canada you are generally accepted into the graduate program first and then once you've completed your graduate coursework, you begin work on a PhD project.

However, most programs should be willing and open to talk about the projects their current students are working on as well as potential projects in the coming years - especially with prospective students. And as a student, you should have a good idea of the projects that are available through the program you're considering.

Have you considered Canadian programs? We have a number of CAMPEP-accredited programs.
 
  • #3
Thanks for your reply. Excuse my ignorance but what exactly is the graduate program and what does it entail? In Ireland/UK/Europe you can start a Phd after you have obtained your bachelors degree if accepted.
I have considered Canadian programs. I just haven't researched them much. Are there any Phd programs available and are they difficult to get accepted into as an international student?

Thanks again,

h
 
  • #4
hcaulfield85 said:
Thanks for your reply. Excuse my ignorance but what exactly is the graduate program and what does it entail?
When I say "graduate program" I'm referring to either a Master's or PhD program. In North America a PhD in medical physics requires you to complete a set of didactic coursework (radiation physics, imaging, nuclear medicine, treatment planning, radiation biology, anatomy and physiology, etc. - sometimes including other advanced 'core' physics classes like electrodynamics and quantum mechanics) and then complete a thesis project. This is after you've completed an undergraduate degree.

I have considered Canadian programs. I just haven't researched them much. Are there any Phd programs available and are they difficult to get accepted into as an international student?

Go to the CAMPEP website: http://www.campep.org/campeplstgrad.asp
I hope I'm not missing any, but they are:
- Carleton University (Ottawa)
- McGill University (Montreal)
- University of Alberta (Edmonton)
- University of British Colombia (Vancouver)
- University of Calgary
- Universite Laval
- University of Manitoba (Winnipeg)
- University of Victoria

The University of Toronto, McMaster University and the University of Western Ontario (London) also have graduate programs in medical physics, but to my knowledge they are not accredited, which would present a challenge if you were interested in obtaining certification with either the CCPM or ABR.

I know they all accept international students. I can't say if anyone is particularly more or less favourable towards international students.
 
  • #5
I think I understand now, thanks. If I have already completed a Masters, that would have covered most if not all of the coursework, will I still need to do it or would I just be able to start the thesis project?
I have just browsed over all of the universities on the site and a lot of them have research groups in areas that would interest me. However, I notice that there is an application fee for each graduate program application. I didn't know this and it's not the norm in the UK I don't think. This would be a main stumbling block as I don't think I could afford to apply to many of them with the drawback that I might not get selected for any. Is there any way of gauging my credentials against other potential or past applicants or anything like that?

Thanks again

h
 
  • #6
hcaulfield85 said:
I think I understand now, thanks. If I have already completed a Masters, that would have covered most if not all of the coursework, will I still need to do it or would I just be able to start the thesis project?
They would look at the courses you've taken and decide whether or not to recognize them and give you credit, but I don't think there are any guarantees. It's something work emailing a few of the schools and asking about.

I have just browsed over all of the universities on the site and a lot of them have research groups in areas that would interest me. However, I notice that there is an application fee for each graduate program application. I didn't know this and it's not the norm in the UK I don't think. This would be a main stumbling block as I don't think I could afford to apply to many of them with the drawback that I might not get selected for any. Is there any way of gauging my credentials against other potential or past applicants or anything like that?
For sure, those application fees can add up. What I would suggest is that you spend some time reading about each program and then when you're really serious about a few of them, you just go ahead and contact them with some specific questions. Most schools should be able to tell you what a competative GPA has been in recent years. The fact that you have a master's degree and experience in the field will work in your favour.
 
  • #7
Thanks for all your help. Some last questions if you don't mind. If I get accepted on to the program is it funded while I do my coursework or does it depend on the university? Presuming I have to do it before starting my Phd which I presume is also funded.

Thanks again,

h
 
  • #8
hcaulfield85 said:
Thanks for all your help. Some last questions if you don't mind. If I get accepted on to the program is it funded while I do my coursework or does it depend on the university? Presuming I have to do it before starting my Phd which I presume is also funded.

It varies from school to school. In most programs the graduate students have the opportunity to do QA work and get paid as "physics assistants" which ends up being approximately equivalent to a typical teacing assistanceship. In some places a certain level of support is quaranteed. In others it isn't.

In Canada graduate students are also strongly encouraged to apply for external funding in the form of scholarships. One of the advantages of medical physics is that you can apply for an array of awards that ranger from those that focus more on pure science (NSERC) to some of the medically oriented ones. The major advantage of such awards is that you are then free to work completely on your thesis.
 

What are the requirements for applying to a Medical Physics Phd program?

The specific requirements for applying to a Medical Physics Phd program may vary depending on the university, but generally, applicants should have a bachelor's degree in a related field such as physics, engineering, or biology. They should also have a strong background in mathematics, chemistry, and biology. Additionally, most programs require applicants to submit GRE scores and letters of recommendation.

What is the difference between a Medical Physics Phd and a traditional Phd in Physics?

A Medical Physics Phd program is specifically focused on the application of physics principles to the field of medicine. This may include coursework and research in topics such as radiation therapy, imaging techniques, and nuclear medicine. A traditional Phd in Physics, on the other hand, may cover a broader range of topics within the field of physics, such as astrophysics, quantum mechanics, and particle physics.

What type of research opportunities are available in a Medical Physics Phd program?

Medical Physics Phd programs offer a wide range of research opportunities in areas such as medical imaging, radiation therapy, and radiation safety. Students may have the opportunity to work in a clinical setting, conducting research alongside medical professionals, or in a laboratory, developing new technologies and techniques. Many programs also offer the chance to collaborate with other departments, such as oncology or radiology, to further explore the intersection of physics and medicine.

What career opportunities are available with a Medical Physics Phd?

Graduates of Medical Physics Phd programs can pursue a variety of career paths within the healthcare industry, including roles in research and development, medical imaging, and radiation therapy. They may also work in hospitals, clinics, or research institutions. Additionally, some graduates may choose to pursue careers in academia, teaching and conducting research at universities and colleges.

What skills and qualities should I possess to be successful in a Medical Physics Phd program?

To be successful in a Medical Physics Phd program, it is important to have a strong foundation in physics, mathematics, and biology. Good analytical and problem-solving skills are also essential, as well as the ability to work independently and in a team. Additionally, applicants should have a strong interest in the intersection of physics and medicine, and a desire to contribute to advancements in the field of medical physics.

Similar threads

  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
6
Views
2K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
10
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
29
Views
519
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
3
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
2
Replies
52
Views
3K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
2
Views
973
Replies
6
Views
1K
  • STEM Academic Advising
Replies
4
Views
559
Replies
28
Views
647
Back
Top