Graduate Studies in Medical Physics

MSC01 1120
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

Physical Location:
Department of Nuclear Engineering

Phone: 505-277-5431
Fax: 505-277-5433


Nuclear Engineering will provide the background in basic radiation physics, radiation transport, photonics, neutronics, electron transport, transport methods, Monte Carlos methods and radiation shielding. As you move into the medical physics concentration you will be primarily concerned with the use of ionizing and non-ionizing radiation and the application of physical and mathematical techniques in the diagnosis and treatment of disease. You will work with the Department of Radiology on the physical aspects of diagnostic radiology, diagnostic ultrasound, magnetic imaging, radiation oncology, nuclear medicine, and radiation safety.

Program Calendar for 2014 – 2016

An abbreviated course schedule for the Medical Physics Master’s Program.

Fall 2014 Spring 2015 Fall 2015 Spring 2016
NE 524 NE 528 HSC 480 NE 591 Practicum or
NE 599 Thesis
NE 523 Lab MPhys 540 MPhys 527  
MPhys 516 MPhys 541 Lab MPhys 518  
MPhys 517 Lab   MPhys 519 Lab  


Course Descriptions

NE 523L. Environmental Measurements Laboratory. (3)

In-depth consideration of radiation detection systems and nuclear measurement techniques. Experiments using semi-conductor devices, MCA/MSCs, sampling techniques, dosimeters, tracer techniques and radiochemistry. Emphasis on selection of sampling techniques and instrumentation for measuring low –levels of radiation in air, soil and water. Course credit determined for each student based on the extent of related laboratory work in his or her undergraduate program. Two lectures, 3 hrs. lab.

NE 524. Interaction of Radiation with Matter. (3)

Nuclear models and energy levels, cross sections, decay processes, range/energy relationships for alphas, betas, gammas, neutrons and fission products. Ionization, scattering and radiative energy exchange processes. Effect of radiation on typical materials used in the nuclear industry. Both theory and application will be presented.

NE 528. External Radiation Dosimetry. (3)

Ionizing radiation, Kerma, Fluence, Dose and Exposure, Attenuation and Buildup, Charged Particle Equilibrium, Bragg-Gray Cavity Theory and other Cavities, Fundamentals of Dosimetry, Ionizations Chambers, Integrating Dosimetry, and Pulse Mode Detectors, and Neutron Interactions and Dosimetry. Both theory and applications will be presented.

HSCi 480*. Human Cross Sectional Anatomy. (3)

Course examines three dimensional relationships of skull, brain, CNS, thorax, abdomen and pelvis correlating this information with imaging modalities (CT, MRI, Nuclear Medicine).

MPhy 516 Medical Imaging 1: X-ray Physics (3)

Course provides review of x-ray interactions, x-ray production, film-screen and film-processing, mammography, fluoroscopy, image quality, digital radiography, physics of computed tomography, PACD and digital systems, and diagnostic radiation shielding.

MPhy 517L Medical Imaging Laboratory1: X-ray Physics (1)

Perform QC on a diagnostic x-ray system, a fluoroscopy system, CR system, DR system, CT scanner, mammography system. Evaluate radiation shielding in a diagnostic x-ray room. Perform a digital monitor evaluation and evaluate a film processor.

MPhy 518 Medical Imaging 2: MR, Ultrasound and Nuclear Medicine Physics (3)

MR basic physics, MR imaging equipment and ultrasound imaging physics. Nuclear medicine imaging physics including: radioactive decay, isotope production, detector systems, Nal gamma camera imaging systems, PET/SPECT Camera systems, regulations and patient dose calculations.

MPhy 519L Medical Imaging Laboratory 2: MR, Ultrasound and Nuclear Imaging Physics (1)

Perform MRI ACR QC tests and Ultrasound ACR QA tests. Perform QC tests on dose calibrator, gamma camera, PET camera, SPECT camera. Perform a leak test on a sealed radioactive material source. Visit a PET cyclotron.

MPhy 527 Radiation Biology for Engineers and Scientists (3)

Covering fundamentals of the biological effects of ionizing radiation on living systems, especially man; basic biological mechanisms which bring about somatic and genetic effects; and the effect of ionizing radiation on cell cultures.

MPhy 540 Radiation Oncology Physics (3)

The course will cover the operation of linear accelerators, measurement of absorbed dose and quality of x-ray beams, dose distribution and scatter analysis, and clinical dose calculations for electron and photon beams. Techniques such as IMRT, total body irradiation, and SRS will be discussed. Brachytherapy treatment planning including HDR< LDR, and intravascular treatments will be covered.

MPhy 541L Radiation Oncology Physics Laboratory (3)

Complete a number of clinical treatment plans, participate in the annual calibration of a linear accelerator, acquire basic photon and electron dose data for a computerized treatment planning system, perform several brachytherapy treatment plans including HDR and LDR plans, and perform and IMRT QA validation.

NE 591 Practicum in Medical Physics and Radiation Protection (6)

Obtain professional experience with an approved radiation oncology or diagnostic radiology facility in order to gain practical experience in medical physics. Requirements: A semester project in conjunction with the field experience, a written report and a PowerPoint oral presentation.