Medical Physics Courses

A highlight of the Carleton medical physics graduate program is a set of rigorous courses that provide a background in the short term for your research project, and in the longer term a firm physics-based foundation for a career in the field, whether it be in a clinic, a research institute or university, industry, or government. Throughout your career you will take continuing education courses, but there is a good chance that the courses in your graduate degrees are the last ones you will take for marks.

For Master of Science program

About half the load in the MSc is coursework and the remaining half is thesis research under the direction of a medical physicist at Carleton or at one of the clinical or government labs in Ottawa such as The Ottawa Hospital or the NRC.

Typically you will take five single-term courses of 0.5 credit each (known as "half courses" at Carleton).

All incoming students can expect to take the foundation course Phys 5203 Medical Radiation Physics. This course introduces the basis of the application of ionizing radiation in medicine and opens the door to many applications in imaging and therapy. Incoming students are also expected to take Phys 5002 Computational Physics.

The three areas of specialization are imaging physics, cancer therapy physics, and medical biophysics.

Students specializing in imaging need Phys 5204 Physics of Medical Imaging. This course teaches the principles of imaging systems analysis and gives details on x-ray imaging including CT, nuclear medicine, mri, and ultrasound. Students taking this course might also need to take Phys 4203 Physical Applications of Fourier Analysis as preparation. This is a senior undergraduate course which can also be used as credit towards a master's degree. It gives the essentials of linear systems analysis using Fourier techniques and includes applications to imaging, using the basics of CT and mri reconstruction as examples.

Students specializing in cancer therapy need Phys 5206 Medical Radiotherapy Physics.

Students specializing in medical biophysics need Phys 5207 Radiobiology.

All medical physics students must take one course in physics outside of medical physics, such Phys 5601 Experimental Techniques of Nuclear and Particle Physics, Phys 5302 Classical Electrodynamics, or Phys 5318 Modern Optics.

Other courses to choose from are Phys 5208 Radiation Protection, Phys 5209 Medical Physics Practicum, and Phys 5291 Advanced Topics in Medical Physics.

There is an OCIP graduate student seminar series in which all students participate, and graduate students also present their work at the monthly seminars of the OMPI, which rotates through the medical physics locales across the city. Medical physics in Ottawa covers a diverse range of specialties and this is your opportunity to find out what everyone is doing!

For Doctor of Philosophy (from M.Sc.) program

The minimum number of single-term courses of 0.5 credit each (known as "half courses" at Carleton) for the PhD is four. Most of the load in the PhD is original research.

The PhD is CAMPEP accredited and is designed to provide you with a comprehensive foundation in medical physics.

By the end of the PhD, you must have completed Phys 5203 Medical Radiation Physics, Phys 5204 Physics of Medical Imaging, Phys 5206 Medical Radiotherapy Physics, Phys 5207 Radiobiology, Phys 5209 Medical Physics Practicum, and Phys 5210 Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Physicists.

If you complete the MSc at Carleton, then some of these courses will already have been completed before you enter the PhD. During the PhD you will complete the rest of them.

In addition there is the OCIP graduate student seminar series in which all students participate, and medical physics graduate students also present their work at the monthly seminars of the OMPI.

For Doctor of Philosophy program (fast tracked)

Students with strong performance in courses and research during their first year of the MSc will be offered the opportunity to fast track into the PhD without writing up the MSc.

List of Graduate Courses in Physics

  • PHYS 5203: Medical Radiation Physics (Fall)
  • PHYS 5204: Physics of Medical Imaging (Winter)
  • PHYS 5206: Medical Radiotherapy Physics  (Winter)
  • PHYS 5207: Radiobiology  (Fall)
  • PHYS 5208: Radiation Protection  (Winter)
  • PHYS 5209: Medical Physics Practicum  (Fall)
  • PHYS 5210: Anatomy and Physiology for Medical Physicists (note: this course has a credit weighting of 0)
  • PHYS 5291: Advanced Topics in Medical Physics (Fall or Winter)
  • PHYS 5XXX/6XXX: Half Course Outside of Medical Physics  (Fall or Winter)

Course Descriptions

More Information from Graduate Calendar