Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Physics (PhD)

Overview

Medical physicists are health care professionals with specialized training in the medical applications of physics. Their work often involves the use of x-rays and accelerated charged particles, radioactive substances, ultrasound, magnetic and electric fields, infra-red and ultraviolet light, heat and lasers in diagnosis and therapy. Most medical physicists work in hospital diagnostic imaging departments, cancer treatment facilities, or hospital-based research establishments. Others work in universities, government, and industry.

Graduates of the Ph.D. in Medical Physics program will:

  • understand the physics of medical imaging and radiation oncology;
  • achieve independence in original medical physics research;
  • work effectively in clinical and research environments that include oncologists, radiologists, nuclear medicine physicians, cardiologists, neuroscientists, radiation therapy professionals and biomedical engineers;
  • be prepared for positions at medical physics research institutions as well as healthcare institutions.
 
 

Program Enquiries

If you have reviewed the information on this program page and understand the requirements for this program, you may send an enquiry

Admission Information & Requirements

In order to apply to this program, the following components may be required.

Online Application

All applicants must complete an online application form and pay the application fee to be considered for admission to UBC.

Minimum Academic Requirements

The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies establishes the minimum admission requirements common to all applicants, usually a minimum overall average in the B+ range (76% at UBC). The graduate program that you are applying to may have additional requirements. Please review the specific requirements for applicants with credentials from institutions in:

Each program may set higher academic minimum requirements. Meeting the minimum requirements does not guarantee admission as it is a competitve process.

Transcripts

All applicants have to submit transcripts from all past post-secondary study. Document submission requirements depend on whether your institution of study is within Canada or outside of Canada.

English Language Test

Applicants from a university outside Canada in which English is not the primary language of instruction must provide results of an English language proficiency examination as part of their application. Tests must have been taken within the last 24 months at the time of submission of your application.

Minimum requirements for the two most common English language proficiency tests to apply to this program are listed below:

90
22
21
22
21
6.5
6.0
6.0
6.0
6.0

Other Test Scores

Some programs require additional test scores such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) or the Graduate Management Test (GMAT). The requirements for this program are:

The GRE is not required.

Letters of Reference

A minimum of three references are required for application to graduate programs at UBC. References should be requested from individuals who are prepared to provide a report on your academic ability and qualifications. 

Statement of Interest

Many programs require a statement of interest, sometimes called a "statement of intent", "description of research interests" or something similar.

Supervision

Students in research-based programs usually require a faculty member to function as their supervisor. Please follow the instructions provided by each program whether applicants should contact faculty members.

This program has not specified whether applicants should reach out to faculty members. Please review the program website for additional details.

Citizenship Verification

Permanent Residents of Canada must provide a clear photocopy of both sides of the Permanent Resident card.

Tuition & Financial Support

Tuition

FeesCanadian Citizen / Permanent Resident / Refugee / DiplomatInternational
Application Fee$106.00$168.25
Tuition *
Installments per year33
Tuition per installment$1,698.56$2,984.09
Tuition per year
(plus annual increase, usually 2%-5%)
$5,095.68$8,952.27
Int. Tuition Award (ITA) per year (if eligible) $3,200.00 (-)
Other Fees and Costs
Student Fees (yearly)$944.51 (approx.)
Costs of living (yearly)starting at $16,954.00 (check cost calculator)
* Regular, full-time tuition. For on-leave, extension, continuing or part time (if applicable) fees see UBC Calendar.
All fees for the year are subject to adjustment and UBC reserves the right to change any fees without notice at any time, including tuition and student fees. Tuition fees are reviewed annually by the UBC Board of Governors. In recent years, tuition increases have been 2% for continuing domestic students and between 2% and 5% for continuing international students. New students may see higher increases in tuition. Admitted students who defer their admission are subject to the potentially higher tuition fees for incoming students effective at the later program start date. In case of a discrepancy between this webpage and the UBC Calendar, the UBC Calendar entry will be held to be correct.

Financial Support

Applicants to UBC have access to a variety of funding options, including merit-based (i.e. based on your academic performance) and need-based (i.e. based on your financial situation) opportunities.

Program Funding Packages

All full-time students who begin a UBC-Vancouver PhD program in September 2018 or later will be provided with a funding package of at least $18,000 for each of the first four years of their PhD. The funding package may consist of any combination of internal or external awards, teaching-related work, research assistantships, and graduate academic assistantships. Please note that many graduate programs provide funding packages that are substantially greater than $18,000 per year. Please check with your prospective graduate program for specific details of the funding provided to its PhD students.

Scholarships & awards (merit-based funding)

All applicants are encouraged to review the awards listing to identify potential opportunities to fund their graduate education. The database lists merit-based scholarships and awards and allows for filtering by various criteria, such as domestic vs. international or degree level.

Teaching and Research Assistantships

Student service appointments are intended to help qualified graduate students meet the cost of their studies at the University. Student appointments may involve part-time duties in teaching, research, or other academic activities.

Financial aid (need-based funding)

Canadian and US applicants may qualify for governmental loans to finance their studies. Please review eligibility and types of loans.

All students may be able to access private sector or bank loans.

Foreign government scholarships

Many foreign governments provide support to their citizens in pursuing education abroad. International applicants should check the various governmental resources in their home country, such as the Department of Education, for available scholarships.

Working while studying

The possibility to pursue work to supplement income may depend on the demands the program has on students. It should be carefully weighed if work leads to prolonged program durations or whether work placements can be meaningfully embedded into a program.

International students enrolled as full-time students with a valid study permit can work on campus for unlimited hours and work off-campus for no more than 20 hours a week.

A good starting point to explore student jobs is the UBC Work Learn program or a Co-Op placement.

Tax credits and RRSP withdrawals

Students with taxable income in Canada may be able to claim federal or provincial tax credits.

Canadian residents with RRSP accounts may be able to use the Lifelong Learning Plan (LLP) which allows students to withdraw amounts from their registered retirement savings plan (RRSPs) to finance full-time training or education for themselves or their partner.

Please review Filing taxes in Canada on the student services website for more information.

Cost Calculator

Applicants have access to the cost calculator to develop a financial plan that takes into account various income sources and expenses.

Career Outcomes

Career Options

Graduates will be equipped to pursue careers in hospitals, specialized areas of medicine (e.g. cancer treatment and research and brain research), government, industry and other medical research environments. Their work is interdisciplinary in nature and in many cases, translates to innovative solutions to real world medical problems relating to diagnosis and treatment of many disease types from cancer to brain and cardiac research.

Many of our medical physics faculty hold associate or adjunct professor status in the Department of Physics and Astronomy but have primary appointments in Departments of the Faculty of Medicine (Radiology, Surgery, Oncology) or work at the BC Cancer Agency Treatment or Research Centres.

In BC alone, population growth and replacement of retirements requires about 5 new radiotherapy physicists each year.  Growing demand for advanced medical imaging (CT, MRI, PET) creates a similar requirement for imaging physicists. 

Research Supervisors

This list shows faculty members with full supervisory privileges who are affiliated with this program. It is not a comprehensive list of all potential supervisors as faculty from other programs or faculty members without full supervisory privileges can request approvals to supervise graduate students in this program.

  • Ford, Nancy (Imaging, Biomedical Technologies, micro-computed tomography, physiological gating, models of respiratory disease, image-based measurements, dental imaging, x-ray imaging)
  • Kolind, Shannon (Imaging, MRI, medical physics, multiple sclerosis, spinal cord, brain, Neurological Disease, myelin)
  • Kozlowski, Piotr (development and application of MRI techniques to study pre-clinical models of human diseases with specific focus on cancer and spinal cord injuries; development of the multi-parametric MRI techniques for prostate cancer diagnosis in the clinical setting.)
  • Laule, Cornelia (Imaging, Neurological Diseases, Neurodegenerative Diseases, Spinal Cord Diseases, Pathology, Central Nervous System Inflammatory Diseases, Cerebral Atrophy, Auto-Immune Diseases, Multiple Sclerosis, Nervous System Development, Pain, Schizophrenia, Neuronal Systems, magnetic resonance imaging, brain, spinal cord, myelin, Spinal cord injury, image analysis)
  • Rauscher, Alexander (Algorithms, Brain Metabolism, Imaging, Neurological Diseases, Modelization and Simulation, magnetic resonance imaging, physics, quantitative susceptibility mapping, myelin water imaging, brain)
  • Reinsberg, Stefan (Medical physics, MRIs )
  • Sossi, Vesna (Medical Imaging, Brain imaging )
  • Xiang, Qing-San (Magnetic Resonance Imaging )
  • Zeng, Haishan (Family practice, dermatology)

Further Program Information

Specialization

Required core courses of the Medical Physics program include Quantum Mechanics I (PHYS 500), Radiotherapy Physics I (PHYS 534), Radiotherapy Physics II (PHYS 535), Advanced Radiation Biophysics (PHYS 536), Radiation Dosimetry (PHYS 539), Image Reconstruction (PHYS 540), and Anatomy, Physiology and Statistics for Medical Physicists (PHYS 545) and Clinical Experience in Medical Physics (PHYS 546). There is one elective which should be chosen from Nuclear Medicine (PHYS 541), Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Imaging (PHYS 542), and Biomedical Optics (PHYS 543).

Faculty Overview

Program Identifier

VGDPHD-T6
 
 
 

Supervisor Search

 

Departments/Programs may update graduate degree program details through the Faculty & Staff portal. To update the application inquiries contact details please use this form.

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