Frequently Asked Questions
Our goal is to provide you with the information you need. Below are some of our frequently asked questions. If you can't find what you are looking for, please don't hesitate to contact us at any time.
What do I need to know in order to apply for the University of Cincinnati Graduate Program in Medical Physics?
Please feel free to call or e-mail us anytime with questions about admissions. You can also access information on the admissions page.
Senior Thesis/Final Grades
The application deadline is Feb. 1. However, by Feb. 1, I won’t have final grades yet for my winter or spring courses. How do you deal with that? Also, I have some one full year courses (ex: undergraduate honors thesis). My honors thesis may be a significant factor for my application package, but it won't be completed before the Feb. 1 deadline. Can I still send what I have by that time?
Regarding final grades, most applicants in their senior year of undergraduate study will be in your situation, and this is not a problem. The faculty will base their admission decisions on the grades available by Feb. 1. Students who are admitted must submit final transcripts to this program when they graduate.
Most physics majors do not complete a senior thesis, but if this is an undergraduate requirement you have completed, you may certainly send your senior thesis proposal. (Note: it should be brief, the length of an abstract. If you are unsure, look in any peer-reviewed journal to get an idea of the format for an abstract; most are under a limit of 250-500 word.)
In fact, research is an important component of this degree program, and the faculty are interested in your potential for academic, scholarly presentations and publications during your graduate studies. You might consider asking your advisor to help you submit your proposal as an abstract for presenting at a conference, or for publication in a journal. Preparing research for presentation or publication and simply submitting it is a significant step to take in academic work; the faculty here would view it favorably, even if it’s not accepted.
Is there "waiting list" for the program?
No. However, all applicants are considered, and the strongest candidates are ranked. Offers are then tenured to the strongest candidates in rank order. Some applicants may decline the UC offer, and the faculty then proceed through the ranked list, making offers to other applicants until all positions are filled.
I would like to visit University of Cincinnati for the facility tour, and to experience the city of Cincinnati as a place to live. Can you help me plan my visit?
Please provide at least two weeks' notice if you would like to schedule a visit. We can then prepare a schedule with faculty and students and arrange for you to observe in the classroom, lab and clinical setting.
How can I learn more about the field of medical physics?
The American Association for Medical Physics (AAPM) is the national professional organization of Medical Physicists. Visit the AAPM website at www.aapm.org. Its website has links that explain every aspect of this career.
- Ask your physics faculty and academic advisor what they know about medical physics and see if they have any helpful contacts or guidance for you.
- Meet ABR-certified medical physicists in the radiation oncology department of the hospital nearest you. Introduce yourself and ask if you can shadow them and learn about their daily work or participate in their research.
- Click on any of the links below in the section "Where UC Alumni Work" to find out about the places where you might work once you are trained as a medical physicist.
How do I choose the program that's right for me?
The AAPM has established an accrediting body, CAMPEP, to evaluate and accredit academic programs that train medical physicists. It provides a complete listing of CAMPEP-accredited programs at its website, along with the criteria for accreditation.
ABR Board Certification
What is required for a medical physicist to become "board certified"?
Every medical physicist aims to become "board certified." This means that she or he meets the professional standards set by the American Board of Radiology. There are several steps involved, beginning with undergraduate study.
The American Board of Radiology specifies foundational undergraduate coursework, in order for a medical physicist to pursue the process of becoming board certified. If one completes a master’s degree without these undergraduate courses, one is not eligible to apply for board examinations. Hence, this program takes care to not admit any applicant who cannot meet ABR standards. You may wish to read more about ABR standards at its website: http://www.theabr.org.