Are you interested in combining physical, biological and medical sciences in a professional setting? Are you interested in state-of-the-art research?

The MS degree program in physics 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. This concentration includes a research thesis (one year). Physics faculty offer a wide range of cutting-edge research projects.

The medical physics concentration is a joint program with the Department of Radiation Oncology (Brody School of Medicine) and 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. A research thesis is optional. Instead, students participate in a clinical rotation (20 hours per week, for one semester) to gain valuable insights and first-hand practical experience in a clinical setting.

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. Also in this concentration, a research thesis is optional. Instead, students participate in an internship (10â??16 weeks over the summer) in an academic, clinical or industrial setting to experience a realistic workplace for a health physicist.

ECU Advantage

The Physics Department is a research-oriented department with both masters and PhD programs and an active academic life. Students enjoy a lot of personal contact between faculty and students. Our faculty are involved in cutting-edge research in various areas of radiation physics, biomedical physics, medical physics and other areas. The medical physics concentration is CAMPEP accredited.

What You Will Study

Program Coordinator: Michael Dingfelder (127 Austin Building; 252-328-0882; dingfelderm@ecu.edu)

The Department of Physics offers the master of science in physics with concentrations in applied physics, health physics, and medical physics. Students seeking a MS degree must apply and be admitted into one of these three concentrations. A satisfactory knowledge of an acceptable computer language or of an acceptable foreign language is required. Attendance at a minimum of one-half of the regular Department of Physics seminars given during the student's residence in the graduate program is required.

The applied physics concentration requires minimum of 34 s.h. of courses and the completion of a thesis. The health physics concentration requires a minimum of 39 s.h. of courses, and, 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. The medical physics concentration requires a minimum of 39 s.h. of courses that include a minimum of 6 s.h. of clinical study in lieu of a thesis.

1. Core - 16-22 s.h.
  • PHYS 5410 - Introduction to Quantum Mechanics *
  • PHYS 5600 - Modern Electronics
  • PHYS 5601 - Modern Electronics Laboratory
  • PHYS 5900 - Computational Physics
  • PHYS 5901 - Computational Physics Laboratory
  • PHYS 6816 - Seminar
  • Applied physics concentration:
    • PHYS 7000 - Thesis (repeated once)
    • Minimum of 6 s.h. electives from:
      • PHYS 6250 - Classical Mechanics
      • PHYS 6700 - Health Physics
      • PHYS 6715 - Biomedical Physics
      • PHYS 6900 - Introduction to Research
    Health physics concentration:
    • EHST 5164 - Radiological Health Field Operation
    • EHST 5800 - Solid and Hazardous Waste Management and Laboratory
    • EHST 5801 - Solid and Hazardous Waste Management and Laboratory
    • PHYS 6900 - Introduction to Research
    • Minimum of 3 s.h. electives from:
      • EHST 6700 - Industrial Hygiene Application
      • PHYS 6200 - Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
      • PHYS 7450 - Solid State Physics
    Medical physics concentration:
    • PHYS 6992 - Radiation Therapy Physics or
    • RONC 6992 - Radiation Therapy Physics

    • PHYS 6993 - Clinical and Medical Dosimetry or
    • RONC 6993 - Clinical and Medical Dosimetry
    • Minimum of 3 s.h. electives from:
      • PHYS 6300 - Electrodynamics I
      • PHYS 7992 - Clinical Rotation in Radiation Therapy Physics
2. Concentration - 12-20 s.h.

(Choose one area.)

    Applied physics concentration - 12 s.h.:
    • PHYS 5311 - Mathematical Physics I
    • PHYS 6200 - Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
    • PHYS 6300 - Electrodynamics I
    • PHYS 7450 - Solid State Physics
    Health physics concentration - 19 s.h.:
    • RONC 7370 - Biological Effects of Radiation
    • HLTH 6011 - Introduction to Epidemiology
    • PHYS 6700 - Health Physics
    • PHYS 6750 - Risk Assessment, Risk Communication and Regulations
    • PHYS 7730 - Radiation Instrumentation
    • PHYS 7740 - Special Problems in Radiation Dosimetry and Modeling
    Medical physics concentration - 20 s.h.:
    • RONC 7370 - Biological Effects of Radiation
    • PHYS 6700 - Health Physics
    • PHYS 6710 - Nuclear Medicine Physics
    • PHYS 6715 - Biomedical Physics
    • PHYS 6720 - Physics of Medical Imaging
    • PHYS 6722 - Physics of Medical Imaging Laboratory

    • PHYS 6718 - Therapeutic Radiological Physics or
    • RONC 6718 - Therapeutic Radiological Physics

*Students in the medical physics concentration who have had an undergraduate course in quantum mechanics may substitute the 3 s.h. elective, listed above, for PHYS 5410.

In addition, a student in the medical physics concentration must demonstrate a satisfactory knowledge of medical terminology.

Termination rule: A student, because of inappropriate behavior in a clinical setting, will be immediately suspended by the instructor. A review by the Graduate Committee will determine if the student is eligible to continue in the medical physics option.

    For more information about this degree visit the university's academic catalogs.

    Careers With This Degree

    Graduates with this degree are successful in many fields and careers, including the following:

    • Physics
    • Physicists
    • Physics Teacher, Postsecondary
    • Scientific and Technical Services
    • Education and Training
    • Medicine
    • Physics

    Career Opportunities

    ECU has developed resources to help you learn more about career opportunities and job market outlook. In addition, the websites below provide specific information on careers in the various majors from which students may choose:

    NC Tower

    This website provides graphs and tables of in-depth information on employment rates, wages and ongoing higher education enrollment of graduates from the North Carolina Community College System and from the University of North Carolina system schools. NC Tower includes data on former UNC students who are working in roughly 90% of all jobs in North Carolina. This database excludes information for graduates who are:

    • Self-employed;
    • Work for the federal government, including the military: or
    • Work outside of North Carolina.

    US Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook

    This website also provides in-depth information regarding pay, projected new jobs, required education, growth rate and on-the-job training information on various occupations.

    Degree-specific internships

    For information on internship information for specific majors, go to the home page of the department in which the major is located and, as available, find the link to the information on internships in that major.