The Department of Physics offers the following degree programs:
Students need to apply for one concentration and are admitted to that concentration. Only students in the MS in Physics, Medical Physics concentration graduate from the CAMPEP accredited program track. Concentrations are reflected in the academic transcripts and the officially issued documents from the registrar.
Information about all degree program concentrations as well as the application process is given below.
Please contact Dr. Michael Dingfelder (Assistant Chair for Graduate Studies, Program Director for the MS in Physics and the PhD in Biomedical Physics) or Brandi Griffin (Graduate Program Assistant, tel: 252-328-6476) for more information or specific questions.
The Department of Physics in general only admits students for Fall semesters. The Graduate School at East Carolina University handles all aspects of graduate applications and graduate admissions. Please visit the Graduate School's website (http://www.ecu.edu/gradschool) for more information, especially for deadlines and requirements. Useful are the tabs Prospective Students and International. You can also apply online on that website.
The Department of Physics accepts new students in the fall semester. Deadline for application is March 1. Successful applicants are normally contacted starting in the last week of March. Late applications are screened periodically until all available places are filled.
Besides the required documents from the Graduate School (test scores (GRE, English language tests if applicable) and transcripts), we request in addition three letters of recommendation, personal statement explaining why the applicant wants to be admitted in our programs, and a curriculum vitae. All documents can be submitted electronically during the application process.
The MS in Physics is designed for a completion over a two-year period and offers one academic (Applied Physics) and two professional (Medical Physics, Health Physics) concentrations:
The Applied Physics concentration is built around a core curriculum designed to give the candidate a thorough foundation in the major fields of physics. It requires the successful completion of a research thesis and prepares graduates for academic (teaching) positions, PhD programs, and industrial opportunities.
The Medical Physics concentration is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (www.campep.org). It is designed as a terminal degree program with a substantial clinical component that enables its graduates to move into a diagnostic or therapeutic medical physics residency or career.
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.
A minimum of thirty-four semester hours of credit is 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. The curriculum includes the following courses:
(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).
The Medical Physics concentration was initiated in 1990 and has graduated more than 80 students. It is CAMPEP accredited since 2006. A historical overview and some statistical facts on applicants and graduates are given here.
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. The curriculum includes the following courses:
The Health Physics concentration was initiated in 2010 and has since then graduated 3 students. All students found jobs immediately.
A minimum of thirty-nine semester hours of credit is 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.
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.
The PhD program requires a minimum of forty-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. Courses offered beyond the master's curriculum include but are not limited to:
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.