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Course Descriptions

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.

Medical Physics course descriptions

  • Mathematics for Medical Imaging (MATH 584)
    Covers the basic principles of mathematical analysis, the Fourier transform, interpolation and approximation of functions, sampling theory, digital filtering and noise analysis.
  • Introduction to Radiation Protection (MMP 501)
    Introduction to applied nuclear and atomic physics; radioactive decay; radiation interactions; biological effects and safety guidelines; radiation detection, instrumentation and protection.
  • Medical Ethics/Governmental Regulation (MMP 502)
    Fundamentals of professional ethics for medical physicists through exploration of Code of Ethics (published by the American Association of Physicists in Medicine); case studies; survey of governmental regulations pertinent to medical physics will be covered.
  • Physics of Radiation Therapy (MMP 506)
    Clinical radiation oncology physics; principles of radiation-producing equipment; photon and electron beams; ionization chambers and calibration protocols; brachytherapy, dose modeling and calculations; treatment planning.
  • Physics of Medical/Molecular Imaging (MMP 507)
    Physical principles of diagnostic radiology, fluoroscopy, computed tomography; principles of ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging; radioisotope production, gamma cameras, SPECT systems, PET systems; diagnostic and nuclear medicine facilities and regulations. The course includes a component emphasizing the emerging field of molecular imaging.
  • Image-Based Anatomy (MMP 511)
    Taught by a radiation oncologist, this medical physics course will focus on major organ systems and disease areas and be presented from a radiologic or imaging (including cross-sectional) viewpoint in addition to a standard anatomy and physiology presentation. This course is required by the ABR.
  • Radiation Biology (MMP 512)
    Fundamental knowledge of mechanisms and biological responses of human beings to ionizing and non-ionizing radiation through the study of effects of radiation on molecules, cells and humans; radiation lesions and repair; mechanisms of cell death; cell cycle effect, radiation sensitizers and protectors; tumor radiobiology; relative sensitivities of human tissue and radiation carcinogenesis. This course is required by the ABR.
  • Mathematical Methods (PHYS 500)
    Concepts and techniques of classical analysis employed in physical theories. Topics include complex analysis, Fourier series and transforms, ordinary and partial equations, and Hilbert spaces.
  • Electromagnetic Phenomena (PHYS 516)
    Electrostatics and magnetostatics, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves and radiation.
  • Advanced Laboratory (PHYS 521)
    Directed experiments in classical, modern and medical physics introducing the student to modern laboratory instrumentation and techniques.
  • Electromagnetism I (PHYS 561)
    Intermediate course covering electrostatic fields and potentials, dielectrics and direct currents.
  • Electromagnetism II (PHYS 562)
    A continuation of PHYS 561 covering magnetic fields and potentials, electromagnetic induction, Maxwell's equations, electromagnetic waves and radiation.
  • Medical Radiation Engineering (PHYS 582)
    Fundamental concepts underlying radiological physics and radiation dosimetry. Covers photon and neutron attenuation, radiation and charged particle equilibrium, interactions of photons and charged particles with matter and radiotherapy dosimetry, including photographic, calorimetric, chemical and thermoluminescence dosimetry.

Hospital affiliations

Program Resources

Penn's Medical Physics Programs work in collaboration with area hospitals to offer additional practicum experiences and hands-on medical physics training. 

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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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