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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

Graduate Studies in Medical Physics

IMPORTANT: Not accepting students for Fall 2017

The University of New Mexico Department of Nuclear Engineering and the School of Medicine Department of Radiology have united to create a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering with a concentration in Medical Physics. The program is administered through the Department of Nuclear Engineering. The University of New Mexico Master of Science Program in Medical Physics received its accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Program (CAMPEP) in December of 2009. From the inception of this program in 2006 through 2013 twenty three students have graduated from the program.

  • A technical bachelor's degree.
  • One year of general college physics with laboratory
    (purely descriptive courses are insufficient; calculus based courses are desired).
    This must be equivalent to a minor in physics.
  • One year of general college chemistry with laboratory.
  • One year of differential and integral calculus.
  • A survey course in general biology, human biology or mammalian physiology.
  • 32 hours of science and math.


Students entering the program must have the necessary prerequisites so no leveling is required.


There are 35 hours required for the Masters in Nuclear Engineering with a concentration in the Medical Physics Option. Currently, no electives are available in the curriculum but additional classes may be offered in the near future. The M.S. degree does not require a thesis, but this option is available. Since this program is administered by the Department of Radiology within the School of Medicine at UNM, preference will be given to students interested in medical imaging physics. Future expansion into a PhD program is planned and prospective students are encouraged to explore this option.


The Graduate School requires a Master's Comprehensive Examination that can be either written or oral, or both. However, an oral comprehensive exam is required for this program in the area of medical radiation physics. It will cover material from the core classes and experience acquired through the practicum.

In addition to the final examination, a student wishing to obtain a Master’s degree must complete the department’s course requirements as well as the residence requirement of the Graduate School (two full-time semesters).


For the University, a student must maintain a GPA of a least 3.0 in all courses taken for graduate credit. A student is placed on probation after 2 NC/Fail's and will be removed from the program if a third NC or Fail is received. For this program, the student should maintain at least a 3.3 GPA in all courses that apply towards the degree.

Financial Support

For the MS program there is no formal financial aid. Some teaching assistant positions and research assistance positions may be available and are awarded on a semester basis to graduate students. These appointments are usually at the level of one-third time.

Program Performance

Year Number of
Matriculated Graduated
2006 na na 10 0
2007 na na 5 3
2008 9 7 4 10
2009 15 6 1 1
2010 25 7 5 2
2011 21 0 0 0
2012 5 1 1 5
2013 4 0 0 2
2014 5 5 2 0
2015 12 5 0 0
2016 0 0 0 1

The normal enrollment starting in fall 2011 dropped significantly. This drop was intentional to help minimize the oversupply of M.S. level medical physicists into the field. The UNM program will be restarted in Fall 2014. With new faculty appointments in 2014 and a healthy outlook for research funding, the program is expected to be strong and competitive.

Destination of Graduates
Year Residency Industry Clinical
Academic Advanced
2007     3      
2008   1 9   1  
2009   1 1      
2010     1      
2012 1   2 1   2
2013   1 1 1    
2016        1    



All medical physics graduate students should consider becoming a student member of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM). The following is a link to their application page.
Take some time to browse the AAPM website to learn about the association.