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Graduate Degree Programs in Physics

If you would like to obtain detailed information about our programs or have specific questions please contact:

Dr. Michael Dingfelder

Graduate Admission Applications are handled by the Graduate School. You can apply online by clicking on this link www.ecu.edu/gradschool. There you will also find more information about the application process, deadlines, and requirements.

The Graduate Program at the Department of Physics at East Carolina University offers Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Physics and MS degrees in Physics with concentrations in Applied Physics, Medical Physics, and Health Physics to satisfy the career goals of most physics students. The MS concentration in Medical Physics was initiated in 1990 and has graduated more than 70 students. Currently there are 12 students enrolled and 6-8 are accepted new each year. The MS concentration in Health Physics was initiated in 2010. We graduated our first student in May of 2012. Currently, we have 2 students enrolled in the program, and we are planning to accept up to 8 – 10 new students each year in Fall.

The Ph. D in Biomedical Physics was initiated in 1998 and has currently 19 students enrolled. We are planning to accept 3 to 4 new students each year and plan to grow to about 30 students.

The MS degree program is designed for completion over a two-year period.

The Applied Physics concentration is built around a core curriculum designed to give the candidate a thorough foundation in the major fields of physics.

The Medical Physics concentration is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP) (www.campep.org/campeplstgrad.asp). It is designed as a terminal degree program with a substantial clinical component that enables its graduates to move into a career in diagnostic or therapeutic medical physics.

The Health Physics concentration is designed to fill an urgent need for trained Health Physics professionals brought about by resurgence in the development of nuclear power, an expansion of programs in national security, and an ageing cadre of current Health Physics professionals.

The primary objective of the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Physics is to graduate scientists who can apply the tools and concepts of physics to solve significant biological and medical problems and advance our understanding of fundamental biomedical processes.

MS: Applied Physics Concentration

A minimum of thirty-four semester hours of credit are required of candidates in this concentration. All candidates for the Applied Physics concentration participate in a project involving original research and complete a Master's thesis. This project may involve participation in an already active research program or may be initiated by the student under the active sponsorship of a graduate faculty member.

Curriculum:  The requirement of the Master of Science in Physics with concentration in Applied Physics (MS-AP) may be found in the latest ECU Graduate Catalog (http://catalog.ecu.edu/index.php?catoid=3). The curriculum includes the following courses:

Core/Required (28 semester hours of credit):
PHYS 5311 Mathematical Physics I (3 semester hours of credit)
PHYS 5600/01 Modern Electronics (3,0)
PHYS 5900/01 Computational Physics (3,0)
PHYS 6200 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (3)
PHYS 6300 Electrodynamics I (3)
PHYS 6410(1)Quantum Mechanics I (3)
PHYS 6816 Seminar (1)
PHYS 7000 Thesis (repeated once) (3+3)
PHYS 7450 Solid State Physics (3)
Elective (minimum of 6 semester hours of credit):
PHYS 6250 Classical Mechanics I (3)
PHYS 6700 Health Physics (3)
PHYS 6715 Biomedical Physics (3)
PHYS 6900 Introduction to Research (3)

(1) It is recommended that students in the Applied Physics concentration take the graduate level Quantum Mechanics course instead of the introductory course (Phys 5410).

MS: Medical Physics Concentration

A minimum of thirty-nine semester hours of credit are required of candidates in this concentration, including a minimum of six semester hours of credit of clinical study in lieu of a thesis. Although there is no formal thesis requirement, involvement in research leading to a publication is recommended in the medical physics concentration. Medical Physics students participate in extensive clinical training at the Brody School of Medicine, the Vidant Medical Center (formerly Pitt County Memorial Hospital), and the Leo Jenkins Cancer Center.

Curriculum:  The requirement of the Master of Science in Physics with concentration in Medical Physics (MS-MP) may be found in the latest ECU Graduate Catalog (http://catalog.ecu.edu/index.php?catoid=3). The curriculum includes the following courses:

Core/Required (36 semester hours of credit):
PHYS 5410 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3 semester hours of credit)
PHYS 5600/01 Modern Electronics (3,0)
PHYS 5900/01 Computational Physics (3,0)
PHYS 6700 Health Physics (3)
PHYS 6710 Nuclear Medicine Physics (3)
PHYS 6715 Biomedical Physics (3)
PHYS 6718 Therapeutic Radiological Physics (3)
PHYS 6720/22 Physics of Medical Imaging (4,0)
PHYS 6816 Seminar (1)
PHYS 6992 Radiation Therapy Physics (3)
PHYS 6993 Clinical and Medical Dosimetry (3)
RONC 7370 Biological Effects of Radiation (4)
Elective (minimum of 3 semester hours of credit):
PHYS 6300Electrodynamics I (3)
PHYS 7992Clinical Rotation in Radiation Therapy Physics (8)

MS: Health Physics Concentration

A minimum of thirty-nine semester hours of credit are required of candidates in this concentration. In addition, students must complete a 10-16 week rigorous practicum in applied health physics in an industrial, university or national laboratory setting in lieu of a thesis. This program is offered in collaboration with the Department of Health Education and Promotion, College of Health and Human Performance.

Curriculum: The requirement of the Master of Science in Physics with concentration in Medical Physics (MS-MP) may be found in the latest ECU Graduate Catalog (http://catalog.ecu.edu/index.php?catoid=3). The curriculum includes the following courses:

Core/Required (36 semester hours of credit):
PHYS 5410 Introduction to Quantum Mechanics (3 semester hours of credit)
PHYS 5600/01 Modern Electronics (3,0)
PHYS 5900/01 Computational Physics (3,0)
PHYS 6700 Health Physics (3)
PHYS 6750 Risk Assessment, Risk Communication and Regulations (3)
PHYS 6816 Seminar (1)
PHYS 6900 Introduction to Research (3)
PHYS 7730 Radiation Instrumentation (3)
PHYS 7740 Special Problems in Radiation Dosimetry and Modeling (3)
HLTH 6011 Introduction to Epidemiology (3)
EHST 5164 Radiological Health Field Operation (1)
EHST 5800/01 Solid and Hazardous Waste Management and Laboratory (3,0)
RONC 7370 Biological Effects of Radiation (4)
Elective (minimum of 3 semester hours of credit):
PHYS 6200 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics (3)
PHYS 7450 Solid State Physics (3)
EHST 6700 Industrial Hygiene Applications (3)

PhD Biomedical Physics

The PhD program requires a minimum of fourty-eight semester hours of courses beyond the master's degree. The student will take a minimum of six semester hours of courses from a physics core, a minimum of six semester hours of courses from a biomedical core, and a minimum of thirty-six semester hours of dissertation research courses.

It is preferred that students enrolled in this program have a master's degree in physics, applied physics, medical physics, or related fields, or must have shown a significant progress towards obtaining a master's degree in the above fields. The PhD program will also accept students who have a BS degree in physics or a related science; these students must follow the MS: Applied Physics Concentration curriculum prior to being accepted for candidacy in the PhD program.

Curriculum:  The requirement of the PhD in Biomedical Physics (PhD-BMP) may be found in the latest ECU Graduate Catalog (http://catalog.ecu.edu/index.php?catoid=3). Courses offered beyond the master's curriculum include but are not limited to:

Physics Core (minimum of 6 semester hours of credit):
PHYS 6620/21 Advanced Techniques in Experimental Physics (2,1 semester hours of credit)
PHYS 6810 Topics in Atomic Collisions (3)
PHYS 7110 Mathematical Physics II (3)
PHYS 7310 Electrodynamics II (3)
PHYS 7410 Quantum Mechanics II (3)
PHYS 7715 Biomedical Optics (3)
PHYS 7730 Radiation Instrumentation (3)
PHYS 7740 Special Problems in Radiation Dosimetry and Modeling (3)
PHYS 8526/27/28 Advanced Readings in Physics I, II, III (1,2,3)
PHYS 8910 Research Problems in Biomedical Physics (3)
Biomedical Core (minimum of 6 semester hours of credit):
BIOS 7021/22 Biostatistics for Health Professionals I/II (3/3)
BIOC 7301 Biochemistry I (4)
BIOC 7310 Molecular Biochemistry (3)
BIOC 7345 Cell Motility (2)
BIOC 8320 Biochemistry II (4)
PHLY 7701 Graduate Cellular Physiology (3)
PHLY 7702 Graduate Organ Systems Physiology (5)
PHLY 7710 Advanced Topics in Physiology (3)
BIOL 6030 Topics in Cell Biology (3)
BIOL 7480/81 Cell Biology (4,0)
BIOL 7870 Molecular Genetics (3)

New Concentration: Integrated PhD and MS in Physics – Medical Physics Concentration

Students admitted to this concentration need to fulfill independently all requirements for both, the MS in physics – medical physics concentration and the PhD in biomedical physics. Both degrees will be awarded concurrently. We are planning to accept 1-2 students per year in this concentration.

Application:

Information regarding the application procedures and the application process itself can be found at http://www.ecu.edu/gradschool. The Department of Physics accepts new students in the fall semester. Deadline for application is the third Friday in February. Successful applicants are normally contacted in the last week of March. Late applications are screened periodically until all available places are filled.

In addition to the usual test scores (GRE) and transcripts, three letters of recommendation are required as well as a personal statement explaining why the applicant wants to be admitted in our programs. A resume or CV is appreciated but currently not required.