Q&A


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Frequently Asked Questions & Answers

The following are the most frequently asked questions concerning the OSU medical physics program and medical physics laboratories and its answers.

Q1: I am interested in applying for the OSU medical physics graduate program. What is the required GPA/GRE/TOEFL scores and other documents?

A1: All prospective medical physics students are accepted by meeting or exceeding the general entrance requirements of the OSU physics graduate program. However, students with GPAs of 3.3 or higher are usually successful (the average GPA of accepted students is approximately 3.5). Exam scores are not the only factors for successful applications. We consider other factors such as (research) interest, prior research/clinical internship and (work) experience. Please refer to the following physics websites for other answers.

HOW TO APPLY

DOCUMENTS REQUIRED

EXAM SCORES

 

Q2: Should my undergraduate major be physics to apply for the medical physics program and what are the course requirements?

A2: Physics or closely related undergraduate majors (such as nuclear engineering and radiological sciences) are preferred. However, we accept students of related majors such as biomedical sciences/engineering, chemistry/chemical engineering, computer science/engineering, electrical/mechanical engineering, mathematics and medicine. Undergraduate courses such as general physics, modern physics, and nuclear physics as well as (bio)statistics are strongly desired but not required. Deficient courses could be taken after successful enrollments.

 

Q3: Does OSU provide financial support?

A3: We accept students from all around the world. All accepted (medical) physics graduate students are provided with financial supports (in the form of TA-ship or RA-ship) and tuition waiver for a normal period of their studies – 2 years for M.S. and 4 years for Ph.D. This allows most student to focus on their studies without worrying about other means of financial support. However, beginning the fall of 2017, approximately 50% of the offers of acceptance will be made without financial guarantee. We had to make this difficult decision due to the recent shrinkage of state budget and other factors. The recent drop in oil prices impacted the state economy. However, this will increase the chance of acceptance for self-paying students and students with scholarships/fellowships. In the case that your letter of offer does not contain the financial guarantee, you are encouraged to contact the professor of your research interest.  The research funding situation of individual professors can change over time, and therefore he or she may have the means to provide financial support for your graduate studies. We are hoping that the situation improves the following year, so that we will be able to provide financial support to all of our graduate students as we had previously been able to do. 

 

Q4: I already have an M.S. degree but not in Medical Physics and want to apply for the Ph.D. program.

A4: We strongly recommend students to start with an M.S. degree in Medical Physics. Due to the nature of Medical Physics being part academic and part professional, the prior academic M.S. degree in physics or related fields cannot be fully transferred or is not equivalent to M.S. in medical physics. Students who have completed M.S. in medical physics often finish their Ph.D. significantly quicker than students with no prior M.S. degree in medical physics. Unless students have a very strong background in this, we recommend for them to start with M.S. degrees in medical physics first and continue with Ph.D. 

 

Q5: The CAMPEP website indicates the OSU medical physics program as follows. What does it mean?
† Indicates insitutions offering tracks within its degree program that are not CAMPEP compliant. Students graduating from these institutions who have completed the CAMPEP accredited program will be appropriately identified through a certificate awarded on completion of the program.

A5: This means that the OSU medical physics graduate program offers only M.S degrees (which are CAMPEP compliant) within the OSU physics department that offers both M.S and Ph.D degrees in physics (which are not CAMPEP compliant). We are diligently working to have our Ph.D program to be CAMPEP compliant as well to have both the M.S and Ph.D accredited by CAMPEP. Upon completion of the OSU medical physics program, students receive a certificate indicating the completion of their CAMPEP accredited program.

 

Q6: I already completed M.S. in Medical Physics, however, in a non-CAMPEP accredited program or outside the United States/Canada and want to study Ph.D. in Medical Physics.

A6: Depending on the strength of his or her application, students are encouraged to apply for either M.S. or Ph.D. (or both) programs. Our M.S. is a CAMPEP accredited medical physics program but our Ph.D. program is not. Currently we have several Ph.D. students working with our medical/radiation physics faculty members in performing medical physics research. Those Ph.D. students often enroll in our CAMPEP accredited M.S. program (with no or minimum extra cost) and they take advantage of the same level of medical physics didactic and clinical training. In other words, CAMPEP M.S. students and Ph.D. students receive the same didactic and clinical training. By the time they finish their Ph.D., they receive an additional M.S. degree with a certificate indicating their completion of a degree from a CAMPEP accredited program. This qualifies students to apply for CAMPEP accredited residency programs. This extra enrollment in the M.S. program normally does not extend the duration of their studies since the requirements they met for their Ph.D. degree (60/90 credit hours for those with/without prior M.S.) exceed the requirements for M.S. degree (30 credit hours). But please remember that our Ph.D. degree is in physics and not in medical physics. Therefore, there are extra requirements for non-medical physics courses that students should take. In fact, this broadens the scope of future career paths for Ph.D. graduates.

 

​Q7: What are the career paths of the M.S. and Ph.D. graduates?

A7: Most of our M.S. graduates acquired residency or clinical positions or went on to acquire additional degrees immediately after their graduation. Most of our Ph.D. graduates have secured not only clinical positions but also research and professor positions in leading cancer hospitals. Please refer to the Medical Physics website.

 

Q8: How many students applied and were accepted?

A8: The information for M.S. applicants can be found on the Medical Physics website. A similar trend is applied to Ph.D. applicants.

 

Q9: I have a particular research interest. Who should I work with once I am accepted into the medical physics program?

A9: Currently there are 5 full-time (teaching/research) faculty members in our medical/radiation physics program. Please visit the following website and study each faculty’s research interest. Students even have freedom to switch to other physics majors (such as biophysics, nanostructure and condensed matter physics, etc) and work with any of our over 20 full-time faculty members arranged in various physics fields.

MEDICAL PHYSICS PROGRAM

DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS

 

Q10: I want to send email to a particular professor or the program director to ask about the possibility of entering the program or working with him or her.

A10: Professors normally receive hundreds of emails every day and a single professor does not decide which student gets accepted or not. Prospective students are encouraged to study the university/department websites for admission related enquiries and ask specific questions to one of the professors found in “CONTACT INFORMATION” in the DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS website.

For research related enquiries, please study each professor’s website and research publications first and then send emails for specific questions. If you have a strong interest to work with a particular professor, the best time to send email is once before applying (to check the compatibility between you and the professor) and once after submitting the complete application package (so that he or she can request your application packet from the graduate school for reviews).

INFORMATION FOR FUTURE (MEDICAL) PHYSICS STUDENTS

DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICS

INFORMATION FOR FUTURE OSU STUDENTS

OKLAHOMA STATE UNIVERSITY

MEDICAL PHYSICS LABORATORY