Medical Physics Graduate Program - Admissions Requirements

Applicants must meet the general requirements for admission to the Purdue University Graduate School (see Graduate School Bulletin). In addition, the applicant should have an undergraduate degree in physics, electrical engineering, or comparable academic training. The number of available slots for new students each year is very limited. Because the number of applicants far exceeds the available number of openings, successful applicants will generally be those who have a strong academic record, outstanding GRE scores, and good recommendations.

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Admission Requirements

Applicants to the MP program are expected to have an undergraduate degree in physics, engineering or comparable academic training, such as Purdue’s B.S. degree in Pre-Medical Physics. Typical minimum undergraduate coursework should include:

  • Analytic Geometry and Calculus (2 semester sequence), Multivariate Calculus and Differential Equations (1 semester)
  • General Chemistry (2 semester sequence), Organic Chemistry (1 semester)
  • Fundamentals of Biology (2 semester sequence)
  • Human Anatomy and Physiology (2 semester sequence)
  • Modern Mechanics, Electricity and Optics, Electricity and Optics Laboratory, Modern Physics, Modern Physics Lab, Intermediate Mechanics, and Quantum Mechanics
  • Elementary Statistical Methods

Students that have not completed prior coursework in anatomy and physiology upon entry into the program are required to take a 2-semester sequence of anatomy and physiology (BIOL 301/302 or BIOL 203/204) or BMS 510 Gross Anatomy (1 semester). Alternate plans of study are available for students that do not have the equivalent of a B.S. or minor in physics. Students with other deficiencies in their undergraduate curriculum may be accepted or conditionally accepted into the program at the discretion of Head of the School. Students accepted on a conditional basis may be required to take additional 100, 200, 300 or 400 level classes to address coursework deficiencies. A grade of B or better in all 100, 200, 300 or 400 level classes and a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or better at Purdue University is required for students accepted on a conditional basis. Upon completing the identified deficiencies, the Head of the School, in consultation with the RHS Program Director and GC Chair, re-evaluate the admission status of conditionally accepted students and either accept or deny admission into the MP graduate program. Conditionally accepted students that are ultimately denied admission into the MP program are counseled on possibly alternate degree paths at Purdue as well as alternative career paths.

Admissions Timeline and Applicant Review

Applications and all supporting documentation must be received on or before the School graduate program deadlines: (1) fall admission May 15, (2) spring admission October 15, and (3) summer admission May 1. Applications are reviewed by a minimum of 2 RHS faculty. Based on the recommendations of the RHS faculty, the GC chair consults with the RHS Program Director and recommends to the Head of the School acceptance or rejection of the applicant. The Head reviews the applicant file, faculty and GC chair recommendations and sends a letter of acceptance or rejection to the applicant, typically within 4-6 weeks of receiving the completed application. Because most of the core medical physics courses are only offered in the fall or spring and must be completed in a specific sequence, applicants from other universities are typically only accepted into the program in the fall of each year. Students wishing to be considered for financial assistance are strongly encouraged to apply no later than January 15. Students accepted into the program must notify Purdue of their intent by April 15. Students completing a B.S. in Pre Medical Physics or other closely related degrees at Purdue (e.g., physics and nuclear engineering) may be accepted into the program in the spring or summer semesters.

Beginning in the 2010-2011 academic year, the application process and timeline for fall admission to the medical physics program will be revised as follows:

Review of applications received by January 15: before Feb 1
Review of applications received by February 15: before Feb 28
Letters of Acceptance, Rejection and Alternate List Sent: before Mar 15
Student Notification of Intent: before Apr 15

Applications will be reviewed and ranked together in one of two groups (Group 1: applications received prior to Jan 15; Group 2: applications received prior to Feb 15) by all RHS faculty members (Drs. Dydak, Liu, Nie, Stantz and Stewart). Final decisions on acceptance or rejection into the medical physics program will be made by the Head of the School in consultation with the RHS Program Director and the GC Chair. Lower ranked applicants deemed acceptable may be placed on an alternate list. Students submitting a completed application on or before January 15 will be given priority for financial assistance (fellowships, research and teaching assists). At the discretion of Head of the School, in consultation with the RHS Program Director and GC Chair, students completing a B.S. in Pre Medical Physics or other closely related degree at Purdue (e.g., physics and nuclear engineering) may be accepted into the MP graduate program for the fall (before May 15), spring (before October 15) or summer (before May 1) semesters.

In the event that a top-ranked student accepted into the program elects not to choose the Purdue University graduate program, a student from the alternate list will be given a letter of acceptance to the graduate program. Should students from the alternate list also choose not to come to Purdue, the next top-ranked student on the alternate list will be given a letter of acceptance and so on until the number of available student slots are filled. Consideration of late applications will be at the discretion of the Head of the School in consultation with the GC chair and RHS Program Director. No regularly scheduled campus visits are held for perspective students, although top-ranked applicants are contacted by the Head of the School, RHS Program Director or GC chair and encouraged to arrange a campus visit.

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