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Post-Graduate Certificate in Medical Physics

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 one of only 11 programs in the US and Canada that are 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 will provide 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, and was ranked as the number two research medical school in America by U.S. News & World Report.

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 will 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/BE583) (1 c.u.)
  • Image-Based Anatomy (MMP 511), required by the American Board of Radiology (1 c.u.)
  • Medical Radiation Engineering (PHYS 582) (1 c.u.)
  • Introductory Practicum (MMP 525), a non-credit seminar course (0 c.u.)

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), required by the American Board of Radiology (1 c.u.)
  • Introductory Practicum II (MMP 526), a noncredit seminar course (0 c.u)

*Academic credit is defined by the University of Pennsylvania as a course unit (c.u.). Generally, a 1 c.u. course at Penn is equivalent to a three or four semester hour course elsewhere. In general, the average course offered at Penn is listed as being worth 1 c.u.; courses that include a lecture and a lab are often worth 1.5 c.u.

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 avallable to master's and certificate students.

See Course Descriptions >

Am I Eligible for the Certificate?

Admissions and Eligibility

Admission to the post-graduate certificate program is highly selective. Learn more about applicant qualifications.

See Admissions and Eligibility >