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Master of 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 are no longer accepting application submissions. We welcome you to contact our program team if you have any questions about this update.


Penn’s Master of Medical Physics (MMP) degree prepares students to bridge physics and clinical medicine, overseeing clinical applications of radiation and creating the cutting-edge medical technologies of tomorrow. Our two-year program combines the resources of one of the world’s top research universities and most prestigious medical schools, offering an outstanding education and unmatched opportunities.

During the program, you gain the clinical experience necessary to apply for residencies and move into clinical practice. As a full-time student, you can complete the Master of Medical Physics program in two years. In the second year, clinical rotations place you in the University of Pennsylvania Health System or at one of our hospital affiliates.

As a Penn Master of Medical Physics graduate, you have the opportunity to compete for preferentially awarded positions in our Medical Physics Residency program in the University of Pennsylvania Health System. The year-long clinical experience may be renewed for a second year and counts toward requirements for certification by the American Board of Radiology.

Students also have the opportunity to do part-time clinical work in the University of Pennsylvania Health System to gain relevant clinical experience while earning a stipend.

Master of Medical Physics courses and curriculum

The Master of Medical Physics curriculum integrates theory, cutting-edge clinical application and medical ethics training to prepare you for a career as an innovative leader in medical physics. As you learn new theories and techniques, you put them into practice at our world-class medical facilities on Penn’s campus.

As you become more familiar with the diverse branches of medical physics available, you have the opportunity to follow your interests and explore your passion further by focusing your coursework in a subspecialty of medical physics and creating your year-long capstone research project.

The capstone, a project of your own design and choosing, culminates in a paper and presentation. The project challenges you to bring together your skills and understanding in the area of medical physics most fascinating to you. It defines your time in the MMP program to future employers and often serves as a springboard to your residency or further graduate study.

The Master of Medical Physics degree consists of 15 medical physics course units (CUs)* at the graduate level. The program can typically be completed full time in four semesters and one summer session. Exceptions for part-time study may be granted by the Program Director.

Year 1 curriculum

During the first year, students will take the following eight required courses (7 CUs):

  • Introduction to Radiation Protection (.5 CU)
  • Medical Ethics/Governmental Regulation (.5 CU)
  • Physics of Radiation Therapy (1 CU)
  • Image-Based Anatomy (1 CU), required by the American Board of Radiology
  • Radiation Biology (1 CU), required by the American Board of Radiology
  • NEW - Radiation Detection and Measurement (1 CU)
  • NEW - Computational Medical Physics (1 CU)
  • Medical Radiation Engineering (1 CU)

In addition to these medical physics courses, students will be required to complete a non-credit Introductory Practicum seminar series, where they will be introduced to the subspecialties of medical physics, including radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine, and medical health physics.

Year 2 curriculum

During the second year, all students will take the following seven required courses (8 CUs):

  • Physics of Medical/Molecular Imaging (1 CU)
  • Capstone Project (2 CUs)
  • Biomedical Image Analysis (1 CU)
  • NEW - Medical Physics Laboratory (1 CU)

Students beginning their second year will choose an area of clinical concentration. With the guidance of their academic advisor or Program Director, students then select and arrange the following:

  • Clinical Practicum (1 CU)
  • Two elective courses (2 CUs)

Elective medical physics courses 

The elective medical physics courses are an opportunity for you to bolster your learning in the area of your particular clinical concentration, or perhaps broaden your scope to include and explore a new subject. Elective courses may include:

  • Introduction to Machine Learning
  • Biostatistics
  • Molecular Imaging
  • Biological Physics
  • Optics
  • Cancer Biology
  • MRI Techniques
  • Quantitative Image Analysis
  • Other courses as approved by the Program Director

Introductory Practicum Series: Required, noncredit medical physics courses

The Medical Physics Introductory Practicum Series introduces students to the subspecialties of medical physics, including radiation oncology, diagnostic imaging, nuclear medicine and medical health physics. Leading scholars and practitioners of medical physics discuss possible career paths, new treatments and devices, and other topics from the front lines of the medical physics world. It introduces you to ideas and possibilities beyond the scope of your classes and creates the possibility for networking and finding your ideal career direction. All MMP students attend the noncredit lecture series as part of their medical physics course requirements.

Clinical Practicum

The clinical practicum gives students a practical experience in various aspects of medical physics. Taking place in a clinical setting, the practicum is designed to give you a better understanding of the clinical responsibilities of medical physicists, including instrumentation methodology, calibration, treatment planning and quality assurance. Students may choose a practicum focusing on radiation therapy, diagnostic imaging, radiation safety or nuclear medicine. Once you’ve chosen your area of clinical concentration, you work closely with your advisor to choose a clinical practicum. The program offers many choices of sites—large university health systems and smaller, private hospitals—at which qualified medical physicists supervise you while you spend 256 hours gaining valuable clinical experience. 

CAMPEP Accreditation

The University of Pennsylvania’s Medical Physics Programs is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs (CAMPEP). Your completion of our CAMPEP-accredited program affords you—and your future employers—the confidence that are educated and trained at the highest standards of graduate medical physics study.

CAMPEP is a non-profit organization that reviews and accredits educational programs in medical physics. Accreditation is a voluntary, non-governmental process of peer review. Accreditation serves as public recognition that a program or institution provides a quality education. Completion of a CAMPEP-accredited graduate program is a highly desired prerequisite for admission into a CAMPEP-accredited residency program.


*A CU (or a fraction of a CU) represents different types of academic work across different types of academic programs and is the basic unit of progress toward a degree. One CU is usually converted to a four-semester-hour course.

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. 

See Program Resources >

Already have a PhD?

Post-Graduate Certficate

Penn offers a CAMPEP accredited Post-Graduate Certificate in Medical Physics.

See Post-Graduate Certificate >

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Penn LPS

The lifelong learning division of Penn Arts & Sciences

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

(215) 898-7326
lps@sas.upenn.edu

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