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Ph.D. in Applied Physics With Concentration in Medical Physics

This CAMPEP-accredited degree program is a cooperative effort between the University of South Florida’s Department of Physics and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute’s Departments of Radiation Oncology, Diagnostic Imaging and Interventional Radiology and Machine Learning.

The program's main objective is to train future applied physics scientists with fundamental knowledge and research experience in the field of Medical Physics, and thus it is designed as a Ph.D. program. Moreover, the graduates will be fully prepared for entry into a Medical Physics residency if they so choose. For students to successfully complete the program they must:

  • Fulfill the curriculum requirements for a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from USF
  • Fulfill the CAMPEP course requirements for Medical Physics
  • Perform Medical Physics research leading to a dissertation and a minimum of two papers submitted to peer-reviewed journals before graduation 

As designed, the program will impart knowledge and skills to students per CAMPEP standards for graduate programs, specifically:

  • Fundamental knowledge in Physical Sciences and Mathematics
  • A rigorous understanding of scientific research and how it leads to the creation of new knowledge, reassessment of existing knowledge, and the overall advancement of science
  • Competence in the application of the scientific method to solve specific problems
  • Comprehensive knowledge of current research and scholarship in Medical Physics
  • Communication skills to succeed in the current collaborative and competitive world
  • Commitment to life-long learning, discovery and dissemination of knowledge
  • An understanding of the role of patient safety and a culture of safety in clinical practice
  • Professional and ethical standards pertaining to Medical Physicists

Upon successful completion as stated above, in addition to the Ph.D. degree/diploma in Applied Physics, postgraduates will also receive a letter of attestation from the program director certifying that they have fulfilled the CAMPEP-accredited medical physics curriculum.

Therapeutic Medical Physics at Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC)

Medical Physics is a medical specialty that applies physics principles to ensure that diagnostic and therapeutic procedures prescribed by physicians are delivered accurately and safely. To practice clinically, Medical Physicists are required to pass a rigorous set of examinations administered by the American Board of Radiology after completing a two-year clinical residency. Radiation Oncology, Radiology and Nuclear Medicine are highly technologically advanced medical fields and thus require a highly skilled professional and technical team to ensure optimal patient care. The Medical Physics Team provides clinical physics and dosimetry services at the Moffitt Cancer Center clinics. It currently consists of 19 physicists (nine faculty), 18 dosimetrists, and two medical physics residents. Program faculty from MCC also includes non-physicists from various clinical and research departments.

A comprehensive set of state-of-the-art technologies are supported including three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), surface-guided radiation therapy (SGRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), tumor motion management (4D imaging, planning and delivery; respiratory gating), magnetic resonance guided radiation therapy (MRIgRT with a MRI-Linac), total-body/marrow irradiation (TBI & TMI), total skin electron therapy (TSET), high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, intraoperative  radiotherapy for breast cancer, and radiopharmaceutical therapies. MCC also offers a comprehensive set of medical imaging technologies (CT, MRI, PET, SPECT, etc.) as well as pre-clinical technologies (microCT, microPET, microMR, various molecular imaging, irradiators, etc.). In addition to clinical services, medical physicists are engaged in research and teaching.

Helpful links:

Summary of students in and out of the program: USF-MCC Medical Physics Ph.D. Program Disclosure Statement

Degree requirements: 2023-24 Graduate Catalog

General description of what Medical Physicists do: