Frequently Asked Questions
Below is a list of frequently asked questions from prospective medical physics graduate students. You are welcome to reach out to our team by email to discuss your questions in further detail: email@example.com
Additional frequently asked questions are addressed on the main OHSU School of Medicine Graduate Studies website: https://www.ohsu.edu/school-of-medicine/graduate-studies/admissions
Can you provide a general overview of the master’s program?
The OHSU Medical Physics master’s program is a 21-month program beginning in September (year one) and ending in June (year two). All students complete the same courses during their first year of study. During the second year, students elect to pursue a track in 1) radiation therapy physics, or 2) diagnostic imaging physics. A thesis project is also required of all students as part of the degree requirements. Our sample curriculum is available on our website here. Students traditionally continue on to a residency or further their education through a PhD in Medical Physics. Historically, cohort sizes range from 5-10 students. OHSU is Oregon’s only academic hospital, and the OHSU Medical Physics Graduate Program is the only CAMPEP-accredited program in the Pacific Northwest.
What steps should I take to apply for admission?
Visit our admissions webpage: https://www.ohsu.edu/school-of-medicine/medical-physics-graduate-program/admission-requirements. Applications are accepted through the application portal between September 1st and January 15th each year for Fall term admissions. All materials must be submitted through the application portal by the application deadline.
What are the minimum prerequisite criteria for admission to the MS program in medical physics?
For prospective master’s students, we require a bachelor’s degree, most commonly in physics (major or minor), radiation health physics, or engineering fields. Within undergraduate course work, it is a requirement that all of our accepted students have taken a minimum of 3 upper division physics courses, along with core physics courses and laboratory sessions, including:
- Two calculus-based introductory physics courses (at least 3 semester credit hours each)
- Three advanced physics courses (at least 3 semester credit hours each). The advanced physics courses should be from the usual advanced physics curriculum. Courses that are primarily related to engineering, chemistry, health, or medical physics are not acceptable.
- Commonly approved upper-division physics courses include: Electricity and Magnetism; Atomic Physics; Modern Physics; Quantum Mechanics; Optics; Nuclear Physics; Heat and Thermodynamics; Advanced Mechanics.
A minimum 3.0 cumulative GPA (on a 4.0 scale) is required.
Is a Master’s in Medical Physics required to apply to the PhD program?
Yes, a Master’s in Medical Physics from a CAMPEP-accredited program is required to apply to the PhD program. A list of CAMPEP-accredited programs is available on their website: https://www.campep.org/campeplstgrad.asp
Which application should I submit?
I am interested in the PhD program but have not completed/am not in the progress of completing a CAMPEP-accredited master’s degree in Medical Physics. Which application should I submit?
You can apply for either the MS or PhD in Medical Physics, but applicants who do not have an MS specifically in Medical Physics from a CAMPEP-accredited program begin by taking the same coursework for their first two years of their time in the program. For that reason, we encourage students who do not have any Medical Physics degree to apply to our MS program as a first step, even if their longer term goal is to obtain a PhD.
Can the TOEFL/IELTS requirement be waived?
The University requires that all foreign applicants for whom English is not a native language must take either the Test for English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or English Language Testing System (IELTS). These will only be waived if the applicant has obtained an undergraduate or graduate degree at an accredited college or university in the United States or other native English-speaking country. A waiver may also be requested in cases where there is strong evidence that the applicant is fluent in reading and writing English. OHSU School of Medicine Graduate Studies accepts MyBest scores for the TOEFL test, in addition to TOEFL scores from a single test date. Please request all official test scores to be sent to the following institution code: 4865. Visit the Grad Studies website for full info: https://www.ohsu.edu/school-of-medicine/graduate-studies/admissions
Is the GRE required?
Yes, the GRE General Test is required. We can accept the GRE General Test at-home option. We do not have a minimum score requirement for the GRE. There is no expiration date for your GRE scores.
What is your institution code?
OHSU’s institution code: 4865
Where do I send my official transcripts?
If your institution offers secure digital transcripts (preferred), please send official transcripts to our program email inbox: firstname.lastname@example.org
Official hard copy transcripts shall be mailed to:
OHSU SoM Graduate Admissions
3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd
Mail Code: L102GS
Portland, Oregon 97239
Am I required to submit a WES report with my application?
For applicants with foreign degrees, we do require a World Education Services International Credential Advantage Package (WES ICAP) course-by-course credential evaluation. The WES ICAP credential evaluation differs from a regular WES evaluation in that it includes verified transcripts; no official foreign transcript needs to be sent to OHSU in addition to the evaluation if the WES ICAP is submitted. Applicants are responsible for the full cost of this service. For more information, including how to apply for a WES ICAP, please visit their website here: https://www.wes.org/
What is the application fee?
The OHSU application fee is $70.00 USD.
Are application fee waivers available?
Applicants who believe they qualify for a fee waiver can request one by email to email@example.com. Waivers must be requested before you submit your application. Application fee waivers are at the discretion of the OHSU School of Medicine Graduate Studies Office of Admissions eligibility criteria. They are typically granted to applicants with an economic or financial hardship.
What is the cost of attending the OHSU Medical Physics Graduate Program?
OHSU’s tuition and fee schedule is updated annually. The total cost of attendance is publically available through OHSU’s Estimated Cost of Attendance webpage here: https://www.ohsu.edu/education/estimated-total-cost-attendance. For a detailed breakdown of Medical Physics Graduate Program tuition and fees, navigate to the 2023-2024 OHSU Tuition and Fees dropdown and click the Tuition and Fees document. Medical Physics is listed on page 9.
Are there scholarships available for students?
Yes. Visit our Scholarships and Funding Information webpage for more details.
Are there job opportunities for MS students in the Medical Physics Graduate Program?
Yes, there have been many job opportunities for students in OHSU Diagnostic Imaging, Radiation Medicine, and the Radiation Safety Office. These are dependent upon the needs of those departments, and are generally filled by students after their first few terms in the program. Additionally, many of our students work outside of OHSU while attending our program, and most of our classes are scheduled on Tuesday/Thursday to accommodate this.
Will I be informed of admissions decisions?
Yes, every applicant will be notified of admissions decisions by email. Admissions decisions may occur as early as February. Final admissions decisions are generally made no later than mid-April.
Does your program have an online/remote option?
In normal university operations, we do not have distance/online learning options available. All credit-based courses take place in OHSU owned/operated facilities and OHSU clinical locations that utilize radiation-generating equipment (generally within the Departments of Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Medicine). The Medical Physics curriculum consists of hands-on instruction, demonstrations and simulations, laboratory sessions, and research activities.
At what point in the program do current students choose a track?
Students can pursue a track in either Diagnostic Imaging Physics or Radiation Therapy Physics. Students make this decision before entry into their second year of study. Summer term focuses on practicum courses in each specialization.
Can you tell me more about the thesis requirement?
In regards to thesis research, during the first term in the program students complete a matriculation seminar to gain a basic understanding of the roles of diagnostic imaging physicists and radiation therapy physicists. Students also complete a practicum experience during the summer term in both Diagnostic Radiology and Radiation Medicine, which gives students the opportunity to meet additional faculty members, learn about research projects, observe day-to-day procedures, and work with equipment to gain first-hand experience in clinical areas. Students typically select an advisor at the conclusion of the practica by connecting with relevant faculty members and having conversations about research interests. There are a wide range of graduate faculty available to serve as thesis advisors. In general, we like to give the students the opportunity to learn about the entire breadth of the field prior to picking research and an advisor, as this sets up the student with a stronger chance of doing what they really want to do.
Does OHSU have on-campus housing for students?
No, OHSU does not have on-campus housing. Students generally find rental apartments near campus. Robust public transportation is available in the Portland metropolitan area through TriMet: https://trimet.org/
Does the program accommodate part-time students?
Generally, only full-time students are permitted. The curriculum is lock-step and must be completed in sequence during the associated academic quarters.
For financial aid purposes, student credit loads are considered full-time during their first five academic quarters in the program (Fall, Winter, Spring, Summer, Fall), and students are considered part-time during their last two quarters in the program (Winter, Spring).
What are the minimum grade/score requirements for admission?
- Minimum GPA: 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale)
- Minimum GRE: GRE General test must be taken; we have no minimum score
- Minimum TOEFL:
- Internet-Based (iBT): 80; minimum score of 18 on each section
- Paper-Based: 550
- Minimum IELTS: 6.5