Medical Physics (M.S.) Program Details

Degree Requirements

    ❱   Required coursework
    ❱   Graduate School writing proficiency requirement
    ❱   Graduate School Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement
    ❱   Research paper 
    ❱   Final oral examination

Research Specializations

    ❱   Radiological dosimetry
    ❱   Intensity-modulated radiotherapy
    ❱   Radiopharmaceutical therapy
    ❱   Charged particle therapy
    ❱   Radiobiological-guided treatment

Career and Industry Outlook

Job openings for physicists, including medical physicists, are expected to grow faster than average (8 percent from 2020 to 2030), according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, especially in health care.

Medical physicists are healthcare professionals with specialized training in the medical applications of physics. They enjoy many job opportunities, including academic, research, and clinical practice, and practice therapeutic medical physics, diagnostic medical physics, nuclear medical physics, medical health physics, and magnetic resonance imaging.

Medical physicists use their knowledge of physics to research and develop new and safer medical technologies and new treatment therapies for patients with cancer and heart disease, for example. For more general information, we recommend the AAPM Career Services Website.

Program of Study* 


PHYS 284  Medical Imaging Technology

PHYS 286  Radiological Physics & Dosimetry

PHSC-317  Structures & Functions in Therapeutics

PHYS 278  General Seminar


PHYS 287  Radiation Therapy Physics 

PHYS 291  Ethics/Professional Issues in Academia & Clinical Practice

PHYS 292  Health Physics and Radiation Safety

PHYS 299  Graduate Research


PHYS 290  Clinical Medical Physics Laboratory

PHYS 299  Graduate Research


PHYS 285  Computational Physics 

PHYS 293  Radiation Biology

Elective *

PHYS 279  General Seminar


BIOL 430   Biostatistics**

Elective *

PHYS 299 Graduate Research


* Electives currently include the following taken at other schools within Howard University or DC consortium institutions, subject to the offering of the courses:

Howard University:

  • Biol 420 Cancer Biology (3CR)
  • CSCI 660 Introduction to Artificial intelligence (3CR)
  • CSCI 672 Introduction to Machine Learning (3CR)

University of DC: 

  • CSCI 435 Digital Image Processing (3CR)

George Washington University:

  • BME 3907 Medical Imaging Analysis (3CR)
  • DATS 6101 Introduction to Data Sciences (3CR)
  • DATS 6103 Introduction to Data Mining (3CR)

Courses included in the sample program of study are subject to change. Students should consult with their programs regarding their required program of study. 

Admission to Candidacy 

Students are admitted to formal candidacy by the Graduate School when they have completed the required coursework, submitted an approved topic for research, and been recommended by the Department. Candidates must also have satisfied the Graduate School writing proficiency requirement and Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) requirement.

Graduate Funding 

Graduate research or teaching assistantships that may be available at the department level which provide tuition remission and/or a stipend during the academic year. Research assistants and teaching assistants work no more than 20 hours a week under the program's direction, usually in support of faculty research (research assistants) or in support of assigned courses (teaching assistants).