This is the preliminary (or launch) version of the 2024-2025 VCU Bulletin. Courses that expose students to cutting-edge content and transformative learning may be added and notification of additional program approvals may be received prior to finalization. General education program content is also subject to change. The final edition and full PDF version will include these updates and will be available in August prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

Program accreditation
Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Educational Programs

Program goals

The Ph.D. in Medical Physics offers students course work and research training in physics as it is applied to the diagnosis and treatment of human diseases. The mission of the doctoral program is to serve the commonwealth of Virginia and the nation by helping to meet the demand for competent medical physicists in both the health care delivery and biomedical research settings. The program will prepare students for careers as independent investigators in the field of medical physics and jointly for careers in university departments, research institutes, laboratories and hospitals as trainee clinical medical physicists. Research areas include brachytherapy, hyperthermia, image-guided radiation therapy, intensity-modulated radiation therapy, proton therapy, medical imaging technologies, radiomics, image processing and reconstructions, functional imaging, novel treatment device fabrications, robotics, and 4-D treatment technology development.

Professional competency: To develop professional competency in medical physics by providing a framework in which students progressively develop a mastery of the current state of medical physics and an ability to synthesize this information and apply it in research and clinical settings. Additionally, the program aims to develop skills in the various means of communicating both the core of medical physics knowledge and expression of experimental design, results, and interpretation to a variety of potential audiences.

Scientific competency: To develop scientific competency in medical physics by providing a framework by which candidates develop skills to design, conduct and implement theoretical and clinical research which answers identified questions. The research focus may lead to new and/or improved applications of physics for diagnosis and treatment of diseases. In broad terms, candidate research will be directed toward advancing "minimally invasive medicine” through applications of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation.

Student learning outcomes

  1. Communication skills: The candidate should demonstrate that an appropriate level of oral, written and visual communication skills have been acquired. The candidate will demonstrate the achievement of an appropriate level of oral communication skills with respect to the content,
    organization, logical flow, presentation and appropriate use of language incorporating the use of visual aids, as measured by rubric. The candidate will demonstrate the achievement of an appropriate level of written communication skill with respect to grammar, syntax, spelling and use of vocabulary to effectively present information including the use of figures, tables and citations as measured by rubric.
  2. Experimental design: The candidate should demonstrate an appropriate level of skill in the theoretical and technical design of experimental procedures and the technical conduct of experimentation related to his or her research. This includes demonstration of an appropriate level of competence in the ability to appraise, modify and/or create, and implement experimental protocols and to design and develop experiments as measured by rubric.
  3. Knowledge of medical physics literature: The candidate should demonstrate a general knowledge of medical physics literature and a more detailed knowledge of his or her area of research, including an appropriate familiarity with the research literature and the ability to evaluate and critique publications as measured by rubric.
  4. Problem-solving: The candidate should demonstrate an appropriate level of skill in the identification of meaningful medical physics research problems, including the ability to defend said identifications, and the design and implementation of appropriate problem-solving methods as measured by rubric.

VCU Graduate Bulletin, VCU Graduate School and general academic policies and regulations for all graduate students in all graduate programs

The VCU Graduate Bulletin website documents the official admission and academic rules and regulations that govern graduate education for all graduate programs at the university. These policies are established by the graduate faculty of the university through their elected representatives to the University Graduate Council.

It is the responsibility of all graduate students, both on- and off-campus, to be familiar with the VCU Graduate Bulletin as well as the Graduate School website and academic regulations in individual school and department publications and on program websites. However, in all cases, the official policies and procedures of the University Graduate Council, as published on the VCU Graduate Bulletin and Graduate School websites, take precedence over individual program policies and guidelines.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on academic regulations for graduate students.

Degree candidacy requirements

A graduate student admitted to a program or concentration requiring a final research project, work of art, thesis or dissertation, must qualify for continuing master’s or doctoral status according to the degree candidacy requirements of the student’s graduate program. Admission to degree candidacy, if applicable, is a formal statement by the graduate student’s faculty regarding the student’s academic achievements and the student’s readiness to proceed to the final research phase of the degree program.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following degree candidacy policy as published in the VCU Graduate Bulletin for complete information and instructions.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on degree candidacy requirements.

Graduation requirements

As graduate students approach the end of their academic programs and the final semester of matriculation, they must make formal application to graduate. No degrees will be conferred until the application to graduate has been finalized.

Graduate students and program directors should refer to the following graduation requirements as published in the Graduate Bulletin for a complete list of instructions and a graduation checklist.

Visit the academic regulations section for additional information on graduation requirements.

Other information

School of Medicine graduate program policies

The School of Medicine provides policies applicable to all programs administratively housed in the school. Information on doctoral programs is available in the Graduate Bulletin.