Contact: Garnette Roberts

Senior Graduate Program Coordinator

Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences

(734) 615-8810

1916 Cooley


Medical physics is a discipline involving the application of physics to biology and medicine. The clinical practice of medical physics, for medical diagnosis and therapy, involves the application of both ionizing and nonionizing radiation to patients. Current US standards of professional practice require medical physicists to complete structured clinical training and either have graduated from accredited graduate programs or obtain a certificate approved by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP). The University of Michigan now offers a CAMPEP-accredited Medical Physics Certificate, administered through our Medical Physics Residency Program, as a collaboration with the Rackham Graduate School and Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences.

Doctoral Degree Curriculum and Requirements

The Medical Physics Certificate Program is open to students with a Ph.D. in physics, engineering or a science field related to medical physics. The certificate program is currently open for enrollment.

To qualify for CAMPEP certification, students must take a specific set of six courses with a total of 19 credits.  Students who have completed some of these courses while undergraduates or as part of previous graduate study will be required to take any additional CAMPEP-required core courses as well as a sufficient number of approved technical elective courses, for a minimum of 12 credits being attributed solely to graduate certificate studies through Rackham. As CAMPEP requires a doctorate (for students that do not have a CAMPEP approved medical physics MS) to enter a residency program for clinical training, official enrollment into the Medical Physics certificate will only be granted after the doctoral degree is earned.

Requirements for the Medical Physics certificate include:

  1. Completion of 12-19 credits of approved medical physics courses, which include up to six core courses required to qualify for CAMPEP certification (as indicated in the following table). Students who have previously completed some core courses will take the balance needed for CAMPEP plus additional approved electives for a minimum of 12 credits to be counted toward the Medical Physics certificate.
  2. For students who are also taking a Rackham master’s degree, no more than six credits required for the degree may be double-counted for the certificate. Of the courses counted toward the certificate, students may double-count no more than six credits required for the degree.
  3. Receipt of a doctoral degree in an appropriate field.

The medical physics certificate curriculum will cover the following core topics:

  1. Radiological Physics and Dosimetry
  2. Radiation Protection and Radiation Safety
  3. Fundamentals of Imaging in Medicine
  4. Radiobiology
  5. Anatomy and Physiology
  6. Radiation Therapy Physics

Courses eligible to satisfy the 12-19 credits requirement are listed in Table 1. Courses designated with an asterisk are required to satisfy professional standards for CAMPEP (see above).

Table 1: Medical Physics Certificate Associated Course List

Course Term(s) Offered Credits
NERS 555* (Introduction to Radiologic Physics and Dosimetry) Winter (term subject to change) 2
NERS 582* (Medical Radiological Health Engineering) Fall 3
NERS 584* (Radiation Biology) Fall 3
NERS 581* (Radiation Therapy Physics) Winter 3
ANAT 403* (Human Anatomy: Structure and Function) Winter or Fall 5
NERS 579* (Physics of Diagnostic Radiology) Summer/Fall 3
NERS 481 (Engineering Principles of Radiation Imaging) Winter 2
NERS 518 (Advanced Radiation Measurements and Imaging) Fall (alternate years) 2
NERS 554 (Radiation Shielding Design) Winter 4
NERS 580 (Computational Projects in Radiation Imaging) Winter 1
NERS 484 (Radiological Health Engineering Fundamentals) Fall 4
NERS 583 (Radiological Dose Assessment and Response) Winter 3
NERS 586 (Applied Radiological Measurements) Winter 4
NERS 587 (Internal Dose Assessment) Fall (NERS 582 and NERS 587 alternate) 3
NERS 588 (Radiation Safety and Medical Physics Practicum) Fall, Winter, Spring/Summer Up to 6
BME 510 (Medical Imaging Laboratory) varies 3
BME 516 (Medical Imaging Systems) varies 3
BME 519 (Bioengineering Physiology) varies 4

*Denotes courses that are required to meet professional standards per CAMPEP. See text for additional details.

Students who have not taken any prior medical physics courses will need to take the CAMPEP required courses (totaling 19 credits) in order to satisfy certificate requirements.

Admissions and Enrollment Planning

Candidates who have earned a PhD in an appropriate field such as Nuclear Engineering and Radiological Sciences (NERS), Biomedical Engineering (BME), and other related science and engineering fields, may apply for the certificate program.   Applications are submitted through the Rackham Graduate School application portal.

Current Rackham students may apply for the certificate program using this process:  Current Rackham Graduate Students

(Note that enrollment in the program cannot be officially granted the candidate has earned his or her Ph.D.)   

Prerequisites, which must be completed before admission, are the following:

  1. A doctoral degree in physics, engineering, or a related field.
  2. Completion of at least three upper-level physics courses (e.g., electricity and magnetism, classical mechanics, modern physics, quantum mechanics, atomic and nuclear physics, thermodynamics, etc.), which may be through Physics, NERS, or another appropriate department

In addition to an application form, applicants will be required to submit at least 3 letters of reference, official undergraduate and graduate transcripts, and a personal statement relating their experience and interest in medical physics.  The accomplishments, coursework, and research of those applicants will be judged against the latest requirements for CAMPEP residencies. The MPCC will assess each applicant for the appropriate credentials and prerequisites. If admission is granted, the candidate will be assigned a mentor based upon their interests.

Current Rackham Graduate Students

Financial Information

Students with existing PhDs who are admitted to the program must be self-supported.  Private educational loans are available to students in certificate programs, and students are encouraged to contact financial aid for more information on such programs.

Program Leadership

Name Department(s) Rank Medical Physics Certificate Committee Role
Martha M. Matuszak Radiation Oncology, NERS Assistant Professor Director
Kimberlee J. Kearfott NERS, BME, Radiology Professor, Professor, Adjunct Professor Co-Director
Joann I. Prisciandaro Radiation Oncology Associate Professor Member
Alex F. Bielajew NERS Professor Member
Mitchell M. Goodsitt Radiology, BME, NERS Professor, Professor, Adjunct Professor Member