Master of Science in Medical Health Physics Academics
The graduate programs in radiological sciences at UT Health San Antonio is a multi-disciplinary program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences that prepares students to participate in the development and transmission of scientific knowledge concerning the uses of radiant energy forms in the diagnosis and treatment of human disease. The degrees offered are (1) Ph.D. degree in Radiological Sciences or (2) an M.S. degree in Medical Health Physics. The Ph.D. program is subdivided into four tracks with specialized training in Medical Physics, Radiation Biology, Neuroscience Imaging and Human Imaging. The M.S. program in Medical Health Physics and the Medical Physics track of the Ph.D. program in Radiological Sciences are independently accredited by the Commission for the Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP).
The curricula provide opportunities for students to acquire a core of fundamental knowledge through a synergistic program of formal courses, seminars, teaching opportunities and hands-on research experiences. After completing a qualifying exam, each student under supervision of a research advisor and research advisory committee, designs an individual course of study and research project consistent with career goals. The research programs in radiological sciences bridge the biomedical sciences and medical applications. Exceptional facilities are available in the areas of advanced radiation treatment delivery technologies, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission computed tomography, computer image analysis, nuclear medicine imaging, x-ray imaging, radiation dosimetry methodologies, and imaging pharmaceutical development. Ongoing research programs cover a wide range of modern imaging, irradiation effects, and radiation applications. These programs are supported by grants and contracts from federal, state and private agencies. Extensive facilities and equipment are available to aid in the study of a wide range of translational research programs involving the use of ionizing and non-ionizing radiations. In addition, a professional Doctorate in Medical Physics (DMP) education program was started at UT Health San Antonio in 2014.
The focus of the graduate programs in radiological sciences is to prepare students for academic careers and to be competitive for career development grants and research positions in university, industrial and government laboratories. In addition, the Ph.D. in Radiological Sciences--Medical Physics track aims for graduates to be competitive for medical physics residency positions in therapeutic medical physics, diagnostic medical physics, and nuclear medical physics. Beyond the coursework in science and technology, the curriculum includes a supervised pedagogical training that allows the student to develop the skills of lecture preparation, lecture presentation and student testing. Students are also required to participate in seminars during which they make research-oriented presentations while their peers listen to and critique them. Presentation of papers at national scientific meetings may be substituted for up to two seminar classes.
The Radiology Department also administers a competitive research grant program for students under an endowment established by Julio Palmaz M.D., inventor of the coronary stent. In addition, students are trained in procedures and processes of obtaining research funding by preparing research proposals in National Institutes of Health (NIH) format as part of their qualifying examination prior to admission to candidacy for the Ph.D degree. This process gives the student experience to be competitive for other grants administered within the university for the state and federal governments and by national research organizations. Student competition programs at regional, national and international scientific meetings are also used to encourage frequent oral presentation of research results. Publication of results in peer reviewed journals is also encouraged by offering the opportunity of a dissertation format combining at least three or more published papers as chapters, with a small amount of additional background and a final section drawing the papers together into a recognizable dissertation topic.
The M.S. degree program in Medical Health Physics (CIP code 51.2205.00) is highly integrated with the Ph.D. program in Radiological Sciences, sharing coursework, faculty and accreditation status.