The written master's degree qualifying examination is offered after the spring semester (usually the Thursday before Memorial Day weekend). Students are advised to take this exam at the end of the semester (usually the 2nd) in which they complete the relevant courses. Three hours are allowed to complete the exam, which will include material from selected courses.
For students in the General Medical Physics option, the qualifier material is taken from Medical Physics 463 (Radioisotopes), 501 (Radiological Physics and Dosimetry), 566 (Radiotherapy Physics), 567 (The Physics of Diagnostic Radiology), and 569 (Health Physics).
For students in the Image Science Track option, required qualifier questions are taken from Medical Physics 573 (Medical Image Science: Deterministic Aspects), 574 (Medical Image Science: Stochastic Aspects), and 567 (The Physics of Diagnostic Radiology). Then two additional question topics are chosen by the student from the following five options: 463 (Radioisotopes), 501 (Radiological Physics and Dosimetry), 568 (Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)), 577 (Principle of X-ray Computed Tomography (CT)), and 575 (Diagnostic Ultrasound Physics).
There are two levels at which this exam can be passed:
- A basic pass, required for attainment of the M.S. degree, or
- An advanced pass which not only satisfies the M.S. degree requirements but also is a prerequisite for the student to become a candidate for the Ph.D. degree in Medical Physics.
A student who fails the qualifying exam, or who receives a basic pass, may repeat it one year later. Only one such repeat examination is allowed. The qualifying examination must be taken at the latest in the spring of completion of the 5th semester of graduate work. Failure to receive a basic pass on the second try will not disqualify from the M.S. Degree a student who received a basic pass on the first attempt.