Medical Physics Graduate Program

The Medical Physics Graduate Program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP) and offers MS and PhD degrees.

The goal of the program is to prepare students for entering a clinical medical physics residency program in therapy or imaging physics and/or to pursue a career in research and teaching in radiation therapy, radiology, or magnetic resonance imaging. 

The program meets the requirements of the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota, AAPM Reports 197, 197S, and the CAMPEP Standards for Accreditation of Graduate Educational Programs.

The Medical Physics Graduate Program generally admits students in the Fall semester. This program does not grant conditional admissions. The deadline for receipt of application and all supporting materials is January 7, 2022.

What is Medical Physics?

Medical physicists are professionals with education and specialist training in the concepts and techniques of applying physics in medicine. Medical Physicists work in clinical, academic or research institutions. (Source: IOMP)

Medical physicists are concerned with three areas of activity:

     Clinical service and consultation in radiation oncology and radiology departments

     Research and development in areas such as cancer, heart disease, …

     Teaching medical physics students, resident physicians, and radiology and radiation therapy technology students

(Source: AAPM)


Med Phys

Program Governance

The program governance includes the Director of Graduate Studies (DGS), the Steering Committee, and the Admissions Committee. The Steering Committee addresses the long term needs of the program and any short term issues. The Admissions Committee reviews applications for admissions and makes admissions decisions.

The majority of the instructors for the program are from the Departments of Radiation Oncology and Radiology at the University of Minnesota. Faculty are listed as full if they advise and support student(s) in the program at least once every five years, actively participate in the program by serving on student(s) MS and PhD committees, teaching courses, or serve in one of the graduate program committees.


The facilities and clinical equipment of the University of Minnesota Medical Center are available to the faculty and students of the graduate program in Medical Physics. These include departments of Radiation Oncology and Radiology, including The Center for Magnetic Resonance Research.  

 Delivery Units


Additional facilties within various University of Minnesota departments and centers are also available to graduate students as needed.

The full resources of the University of Minnesota Library systems both online and its physical holdings are available to all graduate students of the University of Minnesota. Other materials not directly accessible within the University of Minnesota Library system can be acquired via interlibrary loan.

Read a general description of the University of Minnesota Libraries.

Read about particular library services offered to graduate students.

Active Research Projects

 Research Projects

Recent Student Publications and Presentations


2021 Publications: 

Courtney Oare, Christopher L. Deufel, Jordan M. Cutsinger, Tania De la Fuente Herman, Clara Ferreira, “On the importance of quality assurance (QA) for COMS eye plaque Silastic inserts: A guide to measurement methods, typical variations, and an example of how QA intercepted a manufacturing aberration”, J Appl Clin Med Phys  2021

Darren Zuro, Srideshikan S. Madabushi, Jamison Brooks, Bihong T. Chen, Janagama Goud, Amandeep Salhotra, Joo Y. Song, Liliana E. Parra, Antonio Pierini, James F. Sanchez, Anthony Stein, Monzr Al Malki, Marcin Kortylewski, Jeffrey Y.C. Wong, Parham Alaei, Jerry Froelich, Guy Storme, Susanta K. Hui, “First Multimodal, Three-Dimensional, Image-Guided Total Marrow Irradiation Model for Preclinical Bone Marrow Transplantation Studies, Int  J Radiat Oncol Biol Phys  2021

Xueyan Tang, Eric Ehler, Eric Brost, Damien Mathew, “Evaluation of SrAl2O4:Eu,Dy phosphor for potential applications in thermoluminescent dosimetry”, J Appl Clin Med Phys 2021

Kellen Mulford, Chuyu Chen, Kathryn Dusenbery, Jianling Yuan, Matthew Hunt, Clark C. Chen, Paul Sperduto, Yoichi Watanabe, Christopher Wilke, “A radiomics-based model for predicting local control of resected brain metastases receiving adjuvant SRS”, Clin Transl Radiat Oncol (29): 27-32, 2021

Efrain Torres, Taylor Froelich, Paul Wang, Wang P, ,Lance DelaBarre, Michael Mullen, Gregory Adriany, Daniel Cosmo Pizetta, Mateus José Martins, Edson Luiz Géa Vidoto, Alberto Tannús, Michael Garwoodet, B1-gradient–based MRI using frequency-modulated Rabi-encoded echoes,  Magn. Reson Med 00: 1– 12, 2021

Alex Gutierrez, Michael Mullen, Di Xiao, Albert Jang, Taylor Froelich, Michael Garwood, Jarvi Haupt, Reducing the Complexity of Model-Based MRI Reconstructions via Sparsification. IEEE Trans Med Imaging. 9: 2477-2486. 2021

Tao Wang, Xiao-Hong Zhu, Huan Li, Yi Zhang, Wei Zhu, Hannes M Wiesner, Wei Chen, Noninvasive assessment of myocardial energy metabolism and dynamics using in vivo deuterium MRS imaging, Magn Reson Med 2021


AAPM 2021 Presentations:

S Drehmel, D Mathew, E Ehler, Characterization of Phosphorescent Strontium Aluminate as a Real-Time Dosimeter

N Becerra Espinosa, L Claps, P Alaei, CBCT Manual Vs. Semi-Automatic Single and Multi-Slice Low Contrast Resolution Analysis

C Oare, B Gerbi, K Dusenbery, D Koozekanani, S Sun, C Ferreira, Defining Dose Thresholds to the Optic Disc and Macula to Predict Vision Complications: A COMS Retrospective Study


ISMRM 2021 Presentations:

K Mulford, D Darrow, S Moen, S Ndoro, B Jagadeesan, A Grande, D Nixdorf, PF Van de Moortele, The Feasibility of Radiofrequency Rhizotomy Lesion Visualization in the Trigeminal Ganglion using 7.0-Tesla MRI

K Mulford, S Moen, A Grande, D Nixdorf, PF Van de Moortele, Using MRI and Radiomics to Predict Pain in a Cohort of Trigeminal Neuralgia Patients Treated With Radiosurgery

W Zhu, X Ma, X-H Zhu, K Ugurbil, W Chen*, X Wu, Denoise functional magnetic resonance imaging with variance-stabilizing transformation and optimal singular value shrinkage (VST-SVS)


Other Conference Presentations:

S Fakhraei, E Ehler, D Sterling, LC Cho, P. Alaei, A Patient-Specific Correspondence Model to Track Tumor Location in Thorax during Radiation Therapy, ASTRO 2021

W Zhu, K Schaible, Y Zhang, X-H Zhu, P Hackett, W Low, W Chen, Functional Connectivity Alterations in MPS I Mouse Brain at the Laminar Level Revealed by Resting-state fMRI, WORLD Symposium 2021

Graduate Outcomes


Academic Year



Admissions Granted Enrolled in Program Degrees Awarded


Post Graduation

2014-15 35 7 2  3  
2015-16 52 10 4 0  
2016-17 39 11 8 0  
2017-18 62 5 4 1 Residency
2018-19 60 8 4 4

1: Residency

3: Grad. School

2019-20 42 13  4  5

 1: Residency

2: Grad. School

1: Academic Position

1: Industry Position

2020-21 59  11  2  7

4: Residency

2: Post Doc 

1: MPA

2021-22 49 13  4 (3 deferred)    

Program History

This graduate program was started as an interdisciplinary graduate program under the name Biophysical Sciences in the 1950s by Dr. Otto Schmidt to encourage collaboration among biologists, chemists, and physicists. Then, as now, faculty had their salaried appointments in various home departments, including departments within the Medical School, but participated in Biophysical Sciences because of their interests in collaborative, interdisciplinary projects.

  • 1960 - 1970
  • 1980 - 1990
  • 2000 - Present
  • 1960 - 1970

    By the late 1960s and early 1970s, disciplines such as biophysics, biochemistry, physical chemistry, etc. were established in the mainstream, so the emphasis in Biophysical Sciences shifted to health informatics (integration of computers for modeling and data base analysis) and medical applications of biochemistry with Dr. Gene Ackerman and Dr. Russell K. Hobbie as Directors of Graduate Studies. 

  • 1980 - 1990

    By the late 1980s the computerization of all disciplines had become routine and most of the faculty had minimized their participation in the Biophysical Sciences Program. At about that time, however, a resurgence of interest in applications of various disciplines to problems in “radiologic sciences” – medical imaging, radiation therapy, and radiobiology – resulted in a renewal of interest in the program. In the US, the field of radiologic science is known as a profession by the term “Medical Physics”. Thus, by the early 1990’s the emphasis of the program had shifted to Medical Physics. In 1993, the program underwent an internal review under the direction of Associate Dean Kenneth Zimmerman at the request of Vice President and Dean Anne Petersen. The purpose of the review was to explore the future of involvement of the Medical School in the program. E. Russell Ritenour, became Director of Graduate Studies at that time.

  • 2000 - Present

    In 2012, the name of the Biophysical Sciences and Medical Physics program was changed to Medical Physics to more closely align the name of the program with the focus of the majority of the students in the program. The program as it currently stands focuses on Medical Physics but does not preclude the student from having a graduate project that is outside the traditional borders of Medical Physics. This is due to the fact that there are several professors associated with the program that have interests aligned with Medical Physics that are not purely clinical in focus. To aid in this transition of the program and to promote the accreditation process, Bruce J. Gerbi, PhD was installed as the Program Director. Upon retirement of Dr. Gerbi, Parham Alaei, PhD was elected as program director in May 2017.