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Post-Graduate Certificate in Medical Physics

Penn’s goal is to ensure that the Medical Physics Programs continue to provide the most advanced, rigorous and innovative education in this highly competitive and evolving field. We are currently putting a hold on admissions in order to do a full evaluation of our curriculum, research opportunities and professional development. The current master’s and post-graduate certificate programs will continue to serve its currently enrolled students. However, we will not admit a new class in fall 2017 and we are no longer accepting application submissions. We welcome you to contact our program team if you have any questions about this update.

The University of Pennsylvania’s Post-Graduate Certificate program in Medical Physics offers a career pathway for individuals who have already earned a PhD in physics or a related field (e.g., engineering, computer science or physical chemistry with a strong physics minor). The program is fully accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP). As such, our program prepares you to enter a CAMPEP-accredited residency program in medical physics, which provides you with the clinical experience required for certification by the American Board of Radiology.

The Medical Physics Post-Graduate Certificate program at Penn is a partnership among the departments of Radiology and Radiation Oncology in the Perelman School of Medicine, the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Department of Bioengineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science. The School of Medicine includes the Roberts Proton Therapy Center, the largest and most advanced facility in the world for this precise form of cancer radiation.

The Post-Graduate Certificate program successfully prepares students to compete for residency positions. You will have the opportunity to shadow a qualified medical physicist on an elective basis throughout your time in the program at the University of Pennsylvania or at one of our hospital affiliates.

Post-Graduate Certificate courses & curriculum

The Post-Graduate Certificate in Medical Physics provides you with a curriculum based on the recommendations of AAPM report #197S, which outlines the ideal training for a post-graduate education in medical physics. The coursework includes radiological physics, radiation protection, medical imaging, medical ethics/government regulation, anatomy and physiology, radiobiology and the physics of radiation therapy. You complete a total of six course units (c.u.)* over two semesters (18 semester hours total).

Fall semester curriculum

During the first semester, students will take the following five required courses (3.5 c.u.):

  • Introduction to Radiation Protection (MMP 501, .5 c.u.)
  • Physics of Medical/Molecular Imaging (MMP 507, 1 c.u.)
  • Image-Based Anatomy (MMP 511, 1 c.u.), required by the American Board of Radiology
  • Medical Radiation Engineering (PHYS 582, 1 c.u.)
  • Introductory Practicum (MMP 525, 0 c.u.), a non-credit seminar course

Spring semester curriculum

During the first semester, students will take the following four required courses (2.5 c.u.):

  • Medical Ethics/Governmental Regulation (MMP 502, .5 c.u.)
  • Physics of Radiation Therapy (MMP 506, 1 c.u.)
  • Radiation Biology (MMP 512, 1 c.u.), required by the American Board of Radiology
  • Introductory Practicum II (MMP 526, 0 c.u.), a noncredit seminar course

*Academic credit (PDF) is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). A course unit (c.u.) is a general measure of academic work over a period of time, typically a term (semester or summer). A c.u. (or a fraction of a c.u.) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One c.u. is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

Have undergraduate experience in physics?

Master's of Medical Physics

Penn offers a CAMPEP-accredited Master of Medical Physics program.

See Master's of Medical Physics >

Course descriptions

Course Descriptions

Read about the medical physics courses available to master's and certificate students.

See Course Descriptions >

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Penn LPS

3440 Market Street, Suite 100
Philadelphia, PA 19104-3335

(215) 898-7326
(215) 573-2053

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