Medical Physics PhD Program

Ph.D. in Applied Physics With Concentration in Medical Physics

This CAMPEP-accredited degree program is a cooperative effort between the University of South Florida’s Department of Physics and the H. Lee Moffitt Cancer Center and Research Institute’s Departments of Radiation Oncology, Diagnostic Imaging, and Cancer Physiology.

The program's main objective is to train future applied physics scientists with a fundamental knowledge and research experience in the field of Medical Physics, and thus it is designed as a Ph.D. program. Moreover, the graduates will be fully prepared for entry into a Medical Physics residency program if they so choose. In order for the students to successfully complete the program they must:

  • Fulfill the curriculum requirements for a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from USF
  • Fulfill the CAMPEP course requirements for Medical Physics
  • Perform Medical Physics research leading to a dissertation and a minimum of two papers submitted to peer-reviewed journals before graduation. 

As designed the program will impart knowledge and skills to students per CAMPEP standards for graduate programs, specifically:

  • Fundamental knowledge in Physical Sciences and Mathematics
  • An rigorous understanding of scientific research and how it leads to the creation of new knowledge, reassessment of existing knowledge, and the overall advancement of science
  • Competence in the application of the scientific method to solve specific problems
  • Comprehensive knowledge of current research and scholarship in Medical Physics
  • Communication skills to succeed in the current collaborative and competitive world
  • Commitment to life-long learning, discovery and dissemination of knowledge
  • An understanding of the role of patient safety and a culture of safety in clinical practice
  • Professional and ethical standards pertaining to Medical Physicists

Upon successful completion as stated above, in addition to the Ph.D. degree/diploma in Applied Physics, postgraduates will also receive a letter of attestation from the program director certifying that they have fulfilled the CAMPEP-accredited medical physics curriculum.

Medical Physics at MCC

Medical Physics is a medical specialty that applies physics principles to ensure that diagnostic and therapeutic procedures prescribed by physicians are delivered accurately and safely. In order to practice clinically, Medical Physicists are required to pass a rigorous set of examinations administered by the American Board of Radiology after completing a two-year clinical residency. Radiation Oncology, Diagnostic Radiology and Nuclear Medicine are highly technologically advanced medical fields and thus require a highly skilled professional and technical team to ensure optimal patient care. The Medical Physics Group provides clinical physics and dosimetry services at the Moffitt Cancer Center (MCC) clinics. It currently consists of 18 physicists (8 faculty) and 16 dosimetrists. Program faculty from MCC also includes non-physicists from various clinical and research departments.  

A comprehensive set of state-of-the-art technologies are supported including three-dimensional conformal radiation therapy (3D-CRT), intensity-modulated radiation therapy (IMRT), image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT), volumetric modulated arc therapy (VMAT), stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS), stereotactic body radiation therapy (SBRT), tumor motion management (4D imaging, planning and delivery; respiratory gating), magnetic resonance guided radiation therapy (MRIgRT with a MRI-Linac), total-body/marrow irradiation (TBI & TMI), total skin electron therapy (TSET), high-dose rate (HDR) brachytherapy, and intraoperative  radiotherapy for breast cancer (ITORT). The Department of Diagnostic Imaging provides opportunities in medical imaging (CT, MRI, PET, SPECT, etc.) and the Department of Cancer Physiology offers a comprehensive set of pre-clinical imaging technologies (microCT, microPET, microMR, etc.), including molecular imaging, and research laboratories. In addition to clinical services, medical physicists are engaged in research and teaching.

Degree requirements from the 2019/2020 Graduate Catalog