Skip to page content
Return to Top

Nuclear Engineering Classes

Medical Physics Track

Medical Physics Track

The Medical Physics Track is designed for students who are interested in the application of physics to medical and biological problems. This includes students interested in pursuing a career in Medical Physics, Medicine, Dentistry, or Bioengineering.

For the past twenty years, physics and bioengineering majors have been either first or second on the MCAT exam used for medical school admission. (See the Medical Physics Flyer with the latest MCAT survey results).

Physics is also excellent undergraduate training for other professional programs including Law (Physics majors are number 1 on the LSAT exam).

The medical physics track combines traditional physics and mathematics course work with additional courses in medical physics and in the medical applications of nuclear physics. Our extensive accelerator and nuclear lab facilities provide hands on experience in ion beam production and nuclear detection and our affiliation with the Texas Physics Consortium provides unique faculty expertise in the medical and health physics areas. The degree also includes additional course work in biology and chemistry. A student who completes this degree will meet the course requirements for admission to medical school as well as the more extensive course requirements for the U.T. Medical Physics programs.

Texas Physics Consortium offers several Advanced Electives in Medical Physics and Health Physics on a rotating basis including Medical Imaging, Medical Physics I & II, Radiation Detection I & II, and Dosimetry. In addition, students in the Medical Physics Track are encouraged to take at least 8 hours of general biology, 8 hours of College Chemistry, and at least 4 hours of Organic Chemistry. Other courses that can be used for electives in Medical Physics track include Organic Chemistry 2, Biochemistry, Medicinal Chemistry, Optics, and Physiology. 

In  Spring 2012, Cletus Furhman became the first Tarleton graduate of the Medical Physics track. Mr. Fuhrman, tied the Tarleton record on the MCAT as a junior by placing in the top 2% of students in the U.S. and is presently attending UT Southwestern Medical School. Two additional Tarleton students will be graduating from the program in Spring 2013 with the intention of pursuing graduate studies in Medical Physics.

Medical Physics (Wikipedia)

Medical physics is a rapidly growing field involving the application of physics principles to solve medical problems. The primary fields of application are 1) Imaging (CRT, NMR, etc); 2) Therapeutic Radiation (IMRT, Proton Therapy, etc); and 3) Health Physics. Medical physicists work in both University and Clinical Settings. Medical physicist's duties range from working with a doctor to design radiation treatment plans, development of new imaging or radiation techniques and hardware, the training of technicians, training of physicians, the purchasing new hardware and the overseeing of compliance testing. Health Physicists do radiation monitoring and safety planning at Power plants and other industrial facilities. To work in any of these fields, you must either obtain a graduate degree in Medical Physics or obtain a graduate degree in Physics and work under a Medical Physicists. You must then pass the State Licensing Exam.

The Profession of Medical Physics (MD Anderson Center)

Medical physics is a field of study and practice that applies the facts and principles of physics and engineering to medical practice. It is distinct from biomedical engineering, biophysics, and health physics in its focus on patient care. Medical physics is a profession because its practitioners work independently, albeit often as members of health care teams, taking personal responsibility for the quality of their work.

There are two main specialties in medical physics: Therapy and imaging. Therapy is the delivery of ionizing radiation with palliative or curative intent and imaging uses ionizing and nonionizing radiation for diagnostic purposes. Many medical physicists practice all aspects of medical physics, but specialization as a therapeutic radiological physicist or medical health physicist is becoming more common. Medical physics requires a solid undergraduate preparation in physics or another technical discipline (for example, nuclear engineering) and graduate study.

To read the rest of the discussion on the MD Anderson Website

Medical Physics Videos

Graduate Medical Physics and Medical Programs