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Medical Physics Masters Degree

The MS in Medical Physics program is designed for graduates of accredited undergraduate programs in engineering, physics, or a closely related field who would like to become certified Medical Physicists and/or conduct research in Medical Physics. Students that desire a more in-depth research experience may want to pursue the MS in Medical Physics on their way towards a PhD in Nuclear Engineering.

All entering students shall have a strong foundation in basic physics demonstrated either by an undergraduate or graduate degree in physics, or by a degree in an engineering discipline or another of the physical sciences and with coursework that is the equivalent of a minor in physics (i.e., one that includes at least three upper-level undergraduate physics courses that would be required for a physics major).

The UT Medical Physics programs have received accreditation from CAMPEP.


The minimum requirements for the MS in Medical Physics are:

  • A major consisting of 20 credit hours of graduate courses in engineering which must include each of the following core courses BME 574, NE 490, NE 551, NE 565, NE 566, NE 567, NE 568, NE 569.
  • An additional 2 graduate courses from the following list of electives: NE 406, NE 542, NE 550, NE 552, NE 582, NE 583, NE 588.
  • Two foundational courses: BCMB 230 (5 credit hours) and EEB 240 (4 credit hours) (see the current undergraduate catalog for course descriptions). NOTE: These courses cannot be taken for graduate credit.
  • Option Requirements
    • Thesis Option: NE 500 Thesis, minimum 6 credit hours
    • Project Options (NOTE: Research topic must be related to Medical Physics):
      • Two engineering practice projects, NE 598 for 6 credit hours
      • One engineering practice project, NE 598 for 3 credit hours, plus 3 credit hours of additional nuclear engineering (NE) course work as approved by the graduate committee.

Students must fill out a course completion form and attach with their admission to candidacy form. The form also includes a course substitution form in case it is needed.

Download the form

The determination of which option a student may undertake is made by the student’s graduate committee and is based on the student’s personal interests, academic background, and work experience, as well as the nature of projects currently available in the department. A thesis project requires the student to conduct independent, in-depth research. An engineering practice project is similar to a thesis project but smaller in scope and can involve research, design, product development, or a critical review of published literature in a specific technical area. The final report for an engineering practice project is normally prepared in thesis format (i.e., according to the Graduate School, Guide to the Preparation of Theses and Dissertations); however, another formal report format may be used if approved by the student’s graduate committee. The student must also register for the appropriate number of credit hours of either NE 500 or NE 598, as specified by the student’s Major Professor, during each semester that work is performed on a thesis or engineering practice project. Finally, the student must pass an oral examination on all work presented for the degree (all course work and all projects).

Please note that clinical experiences are part of the Medical Physics curriculum, so students are required to be cleared by Tennessee Clinical Placement System (TCPS). A list of documentation required for TCPS clearance is available on the Admissions page.

See the graduate catalog for more details.

Showcase Curriculum

Total of 32 graduate credit hours over 4 semesters.

Term 1 (Fall)

  • NE 490 Radiation Biology, 3 credit hours
  • NE 551 Radiation Protection, 3 credit hours
  • NE 567 Medical Physics I, 3 credit hours
  • NE 565 Medical Physics I clinic, 1 credit hour

10 graduate credit hours total

Term 2 (Spring)

  • NE 568 Medical Physics II, 3 credit hours
  • NE 566 Medical Physics II Clinic, 1 credit hour
  • NE XXX Technical Elective, 3 credit hours
  • EEB 240 Human Anatomy, 4 undergraduate credit hours

7 gradate credit hours total

Term 3 (Summer)

  • NE 569 Medical Physics Clinic Experience, 3 credit hours
  • NE 584 Nuclear Engineering Practice, 3 credit hours

6 gradate credit hours total

Term 4 (Fall)

  • BME 574 Medical Imaging, 3 credit hours
  • BCMB 230 Human Physiology, 5 undergraduate credit hours
  • NE XXX Technical Elective, 3 credit hours
  • NE 584 Nuclear Engineering Practice, 3 credit hours

9 gradate credit hours total