Medical Physics Graduate Programs

Admission Process and Application Requirements

Admission Cycle
Application Deadline
PhD in Bioengineering - Medical Physics Track Coordinated Degree  Fall semester 2023 December 15, 2022
Master of Science in Medical Physics Fall semester 2023 January 15, 2023
Certificate in Medical Physics Fall semester 2023 January 15, 2023

The application for Fall 2023 admission will open on September 1, 2022 with a link posted on this page. To give you the most favorable consideration, we must receive all supporting materials (including transcript(s), letters of recommendation, etc.) by the deadline. International applicants should submit the additional requirements (if applicable) as described below.

Admission Process

Our Admissions Committee takes a holistic approach to evaluating applications. Along with a solid academic record and communication skills, our program is looking for individuals who desire to make an impact in the field of medical physics.  An interview is required for admission.  Select applicants will be invited to interview virtually.  Admitted applicants will be invited for Visit Day.

Application Requirements -- Master of Science in Medical Physics and PhD in Bioengineering - Medical Physics Track Coordinated Degree (note explanations marked by *)

  1. Bachelor’s degree in physics, engineering, or physical sciences discipline from an accredited institution (or the equivalent of a U.S. four-year bachelor’s degree)
  2. *Minimum of an undergraduate minor in physics or its equivalent
  3. Complete one computer science/programming course (one semester/course). This course must be listed on the applicant's transcript
  4. **Transcript(s) of all post-secondary (post-high school) institutions attended 
  5. Current résumé  (uploaded by applicant into online application)
  6. Three letters of recommendation (contact information of recommenders required in online application; application system will ask these individuals to upload their letters)
  7. ***Personal statement (uploaded by applicant into online application
  8. ****Additional requirements for international applicants 
  9. MS applicants
    • completion of online MS application (via "Apply Now" button at top of page)
    • payment of $75 application fee
  10. Coordinated Degree applicants:
    • completion of online MS application (via "Apply Now" button at top of page)
    • In MS application "Other Programs Applied To" section:  list Doctoral Program in Bioengineering at the University of Pennsylvania
    • In MS application "Personal Statement" section: indicate if you want to be considered for admission to the MS program if not admitted to the doctoral degree in bioengineering.
    • In MS application:  payment of $75 application fee
    • completion of application for admission to the Doctoral Program in Bioengineering

Please note: Applicants who have completed or will be completing a master's degree in medical physics from a CAMPEP-accredited program are not eligible for the PhD in Bioengineering - Medical Physics Track Coordinated Degree program.  Instead, they should apply to the Bioengineering doctoral program

It is optional that applicants:

  • Submit a Graduate Record Exam (GRE) score.  Applicants who would like the Admissions Committee to consider their GRE scores may still submit them (use ETS institutional code 2900).

It is preferred that applicants:

  • Take undergraduate coursework in these subject areas: Differential Equations, calculus (four semesters/courses), chemistry (two semesters/courses), biology (one semester/course)

While there are no minimum scores needed for admission, successful applicants typically have a 3.5 cumulative grade point average (GPA) or higher, with grades of “B” or better in physics and math courses.   

I would advise any prospective master's student to spend time shadowing a medical physicist in a radiation oncology department before applying.  Once in the program, it's important for students to expose themselves to all aspects of the field.  Having experience in research and the clinic, in addition to a strong academic portfolio - all of which the master's program offers - are necessary for success in your next professional steps. 

-- Jessica Scholey, MMP '15, Clinical Instructor of Medical Physics, Department of Radiation Oncology, University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) 

Application Requirements -- Certificate in Medical Physics (note explanations marked by *)

  1. PhD degree in physics or a related field (e.g., engineering, computer science or physical chemistry) from an accredited institution  
  2. *Minimum of an undergraduate minor in physics or its equivalent 
  3. **Transcript(s) of all post-secondary (post-high school) institutions attended  
  4. Current résumé  (uploaded by applicant into online application)
  5. Three letters of recommendation (contact information of recommenders required in online application; application system will ask these individuals to upload their letters)
  6. ***Personal statement (uploaded by applicant into online application
  7. ****Additional requirements for international applicants (if applicable) 
  8. Completion of online application and payment of $75 application fee

*Minimum of an undergraduate minor in physics or its equivalent:

  • A minor in physics, required by CAMPEP, is defined as two calculus-based introductory physics courses and at least three upper-division (junior- or senior-level) undergraduate physics courses.  Upper-division physics courses include Electricity and Magnetism (preferred), Atomic Physics (preferred), Modern Physics (preferred), Quantum Mechanics (preferred), Classical Mechanics (preferred), Optics, Nuclear Physics, and Heat & Thermodynamics. The advanced physics courses should address theoretical principles from a physics curriculum.  Courses that are primarily applied and related to engineering, chemistry, health, or medical physics are not acceptable. 
  • Per the American Board of Radiology (ABR), standards for course acceptability are:  1) the course must appear on an official transcript; 2) the course must be equivalent to a standard 3-credit course; and 3) the course must have a passing standard.  It is recommended that you contact the professor of the course to inquire if you are unsure of whether a course meets these standards, or if you are unsure if the course is considered introductory or upper-division at the undergraduate level as compared to the other physics courses offered at the institution.  Massive open online courses (MOOC) such as EdX and Coursera typically do not meet these standards and thus are are not acceptable. 
  • Applicants may earn the equivalency of a physics minor at any regionally accredited institution.  Transcripts of all courses taken for credit are a requirement of the application. 


If the degree required for admission was completed and awarded by the time of application (e.g., bachelor’s degree for MSMP or PhD for Certificate), aofficial, final transcript is required (see below). 

If the degree required for admission is still in progress at the time of application (e.g., bachelor’s degree for MSMP or PhD for Certificate), an unofficial transcript (see below) is required from each post-secondary institution where coursework was completed (uploaded by applicant into online application).

Unofficial transcripts:

  • Must show the applicant name, institution name, names of courses completed, and grades earned.  If an unofficial transcript does not show this information, you must submit an official transcript.   
  • The admissions committee desires to see grades of courses completed.  Therefore, it is advisable to wait until your fall semester grades have been posted to the transcript before you upload an unofficial transcript.    

Official transcripts:

  • Should be emailed (preferred) to directly from issuing institution's official electronic delivery service.   
  • Original paper transcript with official stamp, seal and/or embossed marking, and which arrives in a sealed envelope bearing the institution's stamp or seal mailed directly from the issuing institution, or, in exceptional cases, from the applicant directly, are acceptable. Copies, opened or unsealed envelopes, unofficial printouts, or facsimiles will not be accepted.

Mailing address:
Department of Radiation Oncology
Medical Physics Graduate Programs 
Perelman Center for Advanced Medicine 2 West
3400 Civic Center Blvd. Philadelphia, PA  19104

***Personal statement: 

  • In 1000 words or less, please describe your career objectives and reasons for choosing the Master of Science in Medical Physics or Certificate in Medical Physics program at Penn (including any previous experience with the field of medical physics).  Also, use this as an opportunity to tell us about yourself and help us get to know you better.  A well-written and thoughtful, though concise, essay is an important part of your application. 
  • Applicants to the PhD in Bioengineering - Medical Physics Track Program should indicate in the personal statement: 1) you are applying for this track (there is no separate checkbox within the MSMP application); 2) if you want to be considered for admission to the Master of Science in Medical Physics program if not admitted to the doctoral degree in bioengineering. 

****Additional requirements for international applicants   

  1. Course-by-course evaluation of all post-secondary international transcripts through a credential verification service, such as World Education Services (WES) or CertiFile, which is administered through Educational Perspectives. It is recommended that you request a course-by-course evaluation at least 2 months before the application deadline, although the process may take less time.   
    • WES reports (WES Basic or ICAP) should be sent to:
      • Division:  Perelman School of Medicine
      • Department:  Medical Physics Graduate Programs
      • Attention To:  Department of Radiation Oncology
    • CertiFile reports can be directly selected from within the online application.  
  2. English Proficiency:  Applicants whose first language is not English or who do not hold a degree from an English-language college or university must submit Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) scores to demonstrate English proficiency.
    • The minimum TOEFL score required for admissions consideration is: 100 (iBT), 250 (CBT) or 600 (PBT).  To send official scores, use ETS institutional code 2900. 
    • The minimum IELTS score required for admissions consideration is 7.  
    • The Medical Physics Graduate Programs reserves the right to request an English proficiency test or interview from any applicant, may make enrollment in English language courses a condition for admission, and/or may subsequently require that an admitted student enroll in English language courses based on an assessment of the student’s English language skills in the classroom.

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