What Are the Top Medical Physics Schools?

Learn about what characteristics to look for in top schools specializing in Medical Physics. Degrees in medical physics are offered at the Master of Science (M.S.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and professional graduate certificate levels. Get more detailed information about three good schools, including program options, accreditation, school and program rankings. Review a list of ten additional schools with national rankings. Schools offering Community Health Education & Advocacy degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Medical Physics School?

If you're interested in studying medical physics at the graduate level, you might want to look for schools that offer opportunities to conduct research as well as its research facilities. You also might want to consider colleges and universities that have nationally ranked medical schools. Additionally, it could be beneficial to choose a school that offers programs accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP). You should expect to learn about biomedical engineering, physics, radiation oncology, and nuclear medicine.

What Are Three of the Best Medical Physics Schools?

Columbia University in New York, NY

This Ivy League university offers medical physics programs through its Mailman School of Public Health and Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC). U.S. News & World Report ranked Columbia third among national universities, fourth for public health and sixth for medical research as of 2019. Columbia's CAMPEP-accredited Master of Science (M.S.) in Medical Physics program can be completed on a full- or part-time basis. Students must earn an M.S. before they can pursue a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in the field. Medical physics offerings at Columbia include the following:

  • Master of Science in Medical Physics
  • Certificate of Professional Achievement in Medical Physics
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Applied Physics with a Specialization in Medical Physics

Duke University in Durham, NC

In 2019, Duke was ranked the eighth-best national university by U.S. News & World Report, and its medical school tied for 13th in research. Duke's medical physics program includes over 50 faculty members drawn from the university's biomedical engineering, physics, radiation oncology, radiation safety and radiology departments. As a medical physics student, you'll have access to the Carl E. Ravin Advanced Imaging Labs and centers for in vivo microscopy, brain imaging and advanced magnetic resonance development. You'll also have the opportunity to choose among tracks in diagnostic imaging, medical health physics, nuclear medicine or radiation therapy. Duke offers a medical physics residency through its Department of Radiation Oncology as well as the following CAMPEP-accredited graduate programs:

  • M.S. in Medical Physics
  • Ph.D. in Medical Physics

University of Chicago in IL

UC's Priztker School of Medicine was tied for 16th place for research by U.S. News & World Report in 2019. The university's medical physics programs, including a doctoral program and a certificate program for those who already have a Ph.D. in Physics, are a joint effort of the departments of radiology and radiation and cellular oncology. Research facilities available to medical physics students include the Multi-Modal Imaging Research Center and centers for breast imaging and radiologic image research and analysis. Additionally, the National Institutes of Health funds the university's EPR imaging center for in vivo physiology. Medical physics programs offered at UC include the following:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Physics
  • Ph.D. in Medical Physics

Top Medical Physics Schools

College/University Institution TypeLocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
Vanderbilt University4-year, Private Nashville, TN$48,000
University of Pennsylvania 4-year, Private Philadelphia, PA$39,000
SUNY University at Buffalo 4-year, Public Buffalo, NY$14,000
Georgia Institute of Technology 4-year, Public Atlanta, GA$16,000
Louisiana State University 4-year, Public Baton Rouge, LA$13,000
San Diego State University 4-year, Public San Diego, CA$9,000
University of Minnesota - Twin Cities4-year, Public Minneapolis, MN$19,000
Virginia Commonwealth University 4-year, Public Richmond, VA$14,500
Indiana University Purdue University4-year, Public Indianapolis, IN$9,500
University of New Mexico 4-year, Public Albuquerque, NM$6,000

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education

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