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FAQ

Admissions Deadline

What is the admissions deadline for the program?

For consideration for assistantships, the admissions deadline for the VCU Medical Physics Ph.D. program is January 15. New students are matriculated for the Fall Semester only.

Applicants to the M.S. program may be matriculated in either the Spring or Fall semester for the 2013 school year. The admissions deadline for the Spring is November 16. The admissions deadline for the Fall is January 15.

See also, "Spring Acceptance".

Late admissions may be possible; please contact the program director.

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How do I apply?

To apply to the VCU Medical Physics graduate program, applications must be submitted through the VCU Graduate School.

Visit the VCU Graduate School website to learn more about the application process and to apply.

MS Application Process

PhD Application Process

We are happy to answer any questions you have regarding the program.

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International Admissions

The Graduate School's Admission for International Students page has more information.

The VCU Office of International Education also has more information.

How can I pay for my international admission with a credit card?

Fill out the form and send it in with your application.

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Financial Aid

All Ph.D. students are funded by our program with either a research assistantship (RA) or teaching assistantship (TA).

For Ph.D. students, your application to the graduate program effectively serves as your financial aid application.

M.S. level students are not directly supported by the program but may be able to secure other means of financial aide. Find out more by clicking here.

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Transcripts

The VCU Graduate School requires two original, official transcripts for application to the program. If the transcripts are not in English, two copies of the English translation are also required.

The VCU Office of International Education requires only one original, official transcript, and if it is not in English, then one English translation of the original official transcript is also required.

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Do I have to connect with a potential Graduate Advisor before making my application?

No. You are welcome to contact faculty regarding their research programs, but Graduate Advisors are assigned after your acceptance to the program.

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Do you accept students for the spring semester?

Students are matriculated into the Medical Physics Ph.D. Program only in the Fall.

For the 2013 school year M.S. students may be matriculated in either the Spring or Fall semester.

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My letters of recommendation are old, is that ok?

The graduate admissions committee strongly considers the contents of recent recommendation letters in their admission decision process. Please ensure your application includes the 3 required letters of recommendation.

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GRE Questions

Are GRE scores required to apply?
General GRE scores are required for your application.

What GRE institution code should I use?
The institution code for VCU is 5570. There is no need to use a department code.

Is the Physics GRE required?
Physics GRE scores are preferred but not required.

Is there a minimum or "cut-off" GRE score?
No. Applications are not filtered for consideration by GRE. Instead, the GRE scores are weighed as individual factors among many in consideration of each application.

My GRE scores are old, is that ok?
If your GRE scores are older than two years, consider retaking the GRE.

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TOEFL Scores

VCU requires graduate students to receive the following TOEFL scores to be exempt from the English Language Program:

    Internet-based 100
    Computer-based 250
    Paper-based 600

The University also accepts IELTS scores of 7.0

Exceptional students may be given a conditional acceptance if they have a lower score. We would then require either a certain TOEFL score by a certain date or completion of the English Language Program (ELP). We may also choose to waive the TOEFL requirement if we consider the student to be proficient in English. Once students complete ELP, they may begin their academic classes.

Our department does not have a minimum or "cut-off" TOEFL score by which we filter applicants; your scores will be considered as one factor among many in your application.

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GPA Requirement

Applicants must have a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 on a scale of 4.0 from their last degree program to be eligible for the Medical Physics Graduate Program.

In the competitive review of applications, GPA is only one of the several components taken into account when judging eligibility for our program.

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Recareering

The Medical Physics Graduate Program is designed, in part, for non- traditional students hailing from varied backgrounds and experiences.

Your math education should be at least through differential equations and your physics education must include coursework beyond introductory physics.

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Transfer Credits

Our program was designed, in part, to accommodate degrees from other programs.

The application of previous course work is governed by the rules of the VCU Graduate School.

For PhD candidates, coursework work requirements are established in agreement with your adviser/advisory committee.

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I already have an MS in Medical Physics and want to pursue a PhD at VCU. How does this work?

Our program was designed, in part, to accommodate degrees from other programs.

The application of previous course work is governed by the rules of the VCU Graduate School.

For PhD candidates, coursework work requirements are established in agreement with your adviser/advisory committee.

When entering with an MS in medical physics, the 18 credits of required post-masters didactic course work would be selected from courses that you have not already taken as a part of your MS degree.(It would not be fair to have you take the same course twice for credit).

The 18 credits would include courses that would enhance your knowledge in your research area (like a minor).

Note, however, that our program does include a written comprehensive exam in which you are tested on the knowledge which is covered in the med phys courses.

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I already have an MS degree, but it is NOT in med phys and want to pursue a PhD at VCU. How does this work?

Our program was designed, in part, to accommodate degrees from other programs.

The application of previous course work is governed by the rules of the VCU Graduate School.

For PhD candidates, coursework work requirements are established in agreement with your adviser/advisory committee.

When entering with an MS from a discipline other than medical physics, the 18 credits of required post-masters didactic course work would mainly comprise of medical physics courses.

Additional coursework requirements would be determined in agreement with youradviser/advisory committee. This could range from no additional coursework requirements (beyond the med phys courses), to several additional courses required, depending on what courses you took as a part of your MS and what your thesis topic is on.

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How long does it take to complete the program?

Time to degree completion will depend upon the student, the project, and the advisor. The anticipated time for an entering B.S. to complete an M.S. is about 2 years. The antcipated time from for an entering B.S. to complete a Ph.D. is about 4-5 years.

See also, the time limit to complete a VCU graduate degree.

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Clinical Residency

The Medical Physics Graduate Program involves a course of clinical rotations but does NOT require a clinical residency.

Virginia Commonwealth University, VCU Health System and the Department of Radiation Oncology offer a two-year Medical Physics Residency Program. The program is designed for individuals with an M.S. or Ph.D. in medical physics, physics, engineering or a closely related field, who are interested in a career as a clinical medical physicist in radiation oncology.

To apply to or find out more about the residency program, go to the VCU Department of Radiation Oncology Medical Physics Residency Program Website.

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Do you offer evening/online courses?

Evening and online courses are not currently offered through the Medical Physics Graduate Program.

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Student Life and Richmond Information

If you want to know a bit about VCU, a good place to start is here or here.

This page and this one have information on everything from application processes, to financial aid, to housing, to life in Richmond.

International students might also want to look at the VCU web page created for international students and scroll down the page to the section on Student Life.

Also, A beginners guide to Richmond might be helpful too.

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Graduate Advisory Committees: Can someone teleconference in for the oral comprehensive exam and/or thesis defense?

Q: Can someone teleconference in for the oral comprehensive exam and/or thesis defense?

A: Committee members may participate via teleconferencing for meetings and examinations.

Reference: email 4/1/2008 from Dr. Hawkridge and Dean Boudinot.

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Links of interest for Medical Physics Education

IAEA Text Book Dosimetry and Medical Radiation Physics

MedPhysWiki

medphysfiles.com

Med Phys Files Glossary

Emitel2 Medical Physics e-encyclopedia

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External Fellowships that students can apply for

Hertz Foundation

Other:

Christine Mirzayan Science & Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship Program

East Asia and Pacific Summer Institutes for U.S. Graduate Students (EAPSI)e

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