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Student Handbook

Medical Physics at the University of Wisconsin

Medical Physics is one of ten basic science departments of the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. It awards MS degrees in Medical Physics and Health Physics and doctoral degrees in Medical Physics. The graduate program is accredited by CAMPEP, the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs, Inc. Didactic education in all aspects of medical imaging and radiological physics and dosimetry is available.

Prospective students are requested to review the Admissions Information (link at left), where undergraduate coursework requirements, application deadlines, etc. are presented. Brief course descriptions and typical course sequences are also provided.

An Oral Qualifier Examination covering the core curriculum and advanced courses is taken at the end of the spring semester of the second year of enrollment. Students are required to pass the Qualifying Examination for candidacy to the doctoral degree.

A variety of opportunities are available for students who are interested in obtaining clinical medical physics experience. In recent years, graduate programs have shifted their focus more to didactic education, with clinical training provided mainly through medical physics residencies. Many clinical positions require board certification, most commonly (in the US) from the American Board of Radiology (ABR). Students in CAMPEP programs may take Part 1 of the ABR exam while enrolled in graduate school. Completion of a CAMPEP-accredited medical physics residency program is required to be eligible for Part 2. See the ABR web site for further details.

The UW-Madison medical physics program allows students to earn an MS or PhD degree without taking all courses specified by CAMPEP Graduate Education Standards. Each student who completes all core courses will receive, in addition to his/her diploma, a certificate from the program certifying he/she has completed all such courses, with each course specifically stated. Students who "opt out" of the full set of CAMPEP-specified core courses will not receive this certificate. This allows a student to develop, if desired, a medical physics education program that is not restricted by CAMPEP core curriculum requirements. However, this choice may negatively impact the student's ability to successfully register for the ABR examination and/or compete for a medical physics residency position in the future.

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