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Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Program Website: ryerson.ca/science/programs/undergraduate/medicalphysics
Administered by: Department of Physics
Program Format: Full-time, four-year program.
Full-time, five-year co-op program.

Using physics concepts in the field of medicine, the program will teach students the methodologies to medical imaging, radiation therapy, radiation protection and dosimetry. With a combination of internships and practical lab applications, graduates are well-prepared to plunge into the workforce of healthcare and industry-related fields.

Admission Information

O.S.S.D. with six Grade 12 U/M courses, including Grade 12 U courses in: English, Advanced Functions (MHF4U), two of Biology (SBI4U) or Chemistry (SCH4U) or Physics (SPH4U).

Notes:

  1. ENG4U/EAE4U is the preferred English.
  2. The grade(s) required in the subject prerequisites (normally in the range of 70 percent) will be determined subject to competition.
  3. Completion of all three science courses is recommended. Physics (SPH4U) is strongly recommended.
  4. Subject to competition, candidates may be required to present averages/grades above the minimum.
Program Overview/Curriculum Information

First Year: The BSc (Hons) in Medical Physics shares a point of entry with the programs in Biology and Chemistry. This allows students to explore various science-based routes to degree completion before they commit to the Medical Physics program. In addition to foundation courses, the first year of studies will include an introduction to the use of computers as scientific tools, and an orientation course that will support students in making a successful transition to university and planning their steps to degree completion. All students in Science programs must enrol in SCI 180 in their first semester of studies.

Upper Years: In the upper years, students will develop expertise and technical skills in physics, focusing on the applications of physics principles and methodologies in medicine, such as diagnostic imaging and radiation therapy. Students will also explore applications in health physics which deals with environmental exposures to radiation. Laboratory work will provide students with relevant practical experiences, reinforcing key concepts. In the final year, students will consolidate their learning by undertaking an independent, faculty-supervised thesis project in an area of their academic focus.

Students can also select to participate in the Co-operative program or the 16-month Industrial Internship Placement (IIP). All students enrolled in Medical Physics have the option to enrol in the Management Science Specialization.

The optional co-operative (hereafter co-op) program in Medical Physics offers graduating students an opportunity to complete a minimum of 16 months of work experience that enhances their organizational and technical abilities as well as their oral and written communication skills.

Although neither the Department nor the Office of Co-operative Education can guarantee a placement, they provide assistance in locating suitable positions and in counselling students in their search for suitable jobs. The co-op program enables students to earn competitive wages to offset the costs of a university education.

Students wishing to be admitted to the co-op program must contact the Medical Physics Co-op Faculty Advisor preferably before the end of their 3rd Semester (to complete 5 work terms) or no later than before the start of their 5th Semester (to complete 4 work terms). Note that enrolment in the co-op program is limited, and as such, admission into the program will be based on the student's grade point average.

The co-op program in Medical Physics is normally completed in five years, whereas the regular program can be completed in four years.

The following table shows the sequence of academic and work terms for this program:

  Fall Winter Spring/Summer
Year 1 1st Semester 2nd Semester --
Year 2 3rd Semester 4th Semester WKT 405 - Work Term I
Year 3 5th Semester WKT 505 - Work Term II WKT 506 - Work Term III
Year 4 WKT 605 - Work Term IV 6th Semester WKT 606 - Work Term V
Year 5 7th Semester 8th Semester --

WKT courses are graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must successfully complete a minimum of four work terms in order to graduate from the co-op program. All co-op placements must be approved by the Office of Co-operative Education and the Medical Physics Co-op Faculty Advisor.

Students can enrich their studies and hone their management skills with the Optional Specialization in Management Sciences. Courses within the optional specialization cover four major areas in management sciences: Strategic Engineering Management, Operations Management/Operations Research, Finance and Organizational Behaviour. For eligibility, registration, and course information see Optional Specialization in Management Sciences (OS MS).

Research Practicum

SCI 999 - Research Practicum gives students the chance to gain hands-on research experience, in a lab or in the field, by engaging in the research work of a faculty member. Ryerson records participation in the practicum on the student’s Official Transcript.

SCI 999 is a non-credit, pass-fail course that is not used to fulfil degree program requirements. Students who meet the expectations for the research will get a passing grade. These expectations will be worked out between the student and the professor at enrolment. To take part in SCI 999, students must have a CGPA of 2.5 or more, and they must commit to a minimum of 5 to 10 hours each week (on average) for one term.

There are no tuition fees associated with this practicum.

How to Enrol

  1. Students must first find a supervisor. Descriptions of faculty research are available on the Faculty of Science website.
  2. Students should contact supervisors whose research interests them by email or in person. Students must give their potential supervisor an unofficial transcript, a one-page resumé and a brief covering letter. This package must include their contact information, degree program and stream, a brief statement of their career goals and how this research experience would further those goals, and any relevant work experience (paid or volunteer).
  3. Fill out the Research Practicum Application Form (available at the office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs in VIC-741). When students find a faculty member who agrees to supervise them, they will both fill out and sign the Application Form.
  4. Enrol in the course. After the course director has approved the form, students must take it to the office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs at VIC-741.

Students graduating from the program will acquire training in the multidisciplinary field that is of critical importance to Canada. Graduating students will have the necessary skills to:

  • be admitted into a graduate program in Medical Physics, Medical Biophysics, Biophysics or Physics;
  • secure an entry level position in Health Physics (with, for example, Hydro One);
  • secure industrial employment in the biomedical technology, bioinformatics and health sectors;
  • secure a Clinical Physics Assistant or Research Assistant position at an Ontario Cancer Centre;
  • work as technicians in research laboratories or companies; as well as
  • proceed to professional school (Medicine, Education, Business and Law).

Students must take three lower level liberal studies courses and three upper level liberal studies courses to graduate. Students must not choose courses that are restricted for their program or major.

Please refer to the liberal studies chapter of this calendar for more information on the Liberal Studies Policy. Further information on liberal studies can also be found at the Faculty of Arts' Liberal Studies website.

Table A - Lower Level Restrictions

PCS 111, BLG 181, BMS 150, CHY 182, CHY 183 and SCI courses are not available for credit.

Table B - Upper Level Restrictions

Biology, Biomedical Sciences, Chemistry, Contemporary Science, Medical Physics

BLG 599, BLG 699, CHY 583, MTH 511, and MTH 599 are not available for credit.

Students may pursue any Minor offered by Ryerson (with some exceptions). Please refer to the Minors chapter of this calendar for further information on individual Minor requirements and exclusions.

Undergraduate students wishing to pursue a continuing education certificate program should be aware of possible program exclusions. Please refer to the Certificate Registration section of the Curriculum Advising website for complete details.

Medical Physics - Common First Two Years

1st Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 143 Biology I
CHY 103 General Chemistry I
CPS 118 Introductory Programming for Scientists
MTH 131 Modern Mathematics I
PCS 120 Physics I
SCI 180* Orientation

* This course is graded on a pass/fail basis.

2nd Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 144 Biology II
CHY 113 General Chemistry II
MTH 231 Modern Mathematics II
PCS 130 Physics II

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

3rd Semester

REQUIRED:

MTH 108 Linear Algebra
MTH 330 Calculus and Geometry
MTH 380 Probability and Statistics I
PCS 229 Introduction to Medical Physics
PCS 300 Modern Physics

 

4th Semester

REQUIRED:

MTH 430 Dynamic Systems Differential Equations
PCS 227 Biophysics
PCS 230 Photonics and Optical Devices
PCS 400 Quantum Physics I

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

Full-Time, Four-Year Program

5th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 311 Cell Biology
BLG 701 Anatomy
MTH 501 Numerical Analysis I
PCS 352 Nuclear Physics/Radiation Protection

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

6th Semester

REQUIRED:

PCS 228 Electricity and Magnetism
PCS 335 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table I.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

PCS 40A/B Medical Physics - Thesis
PCS 354 Radiation Biology
PCS 405 Medical Imaging

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table I.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

PCS 40A/B Medical Physics - Thesis
BLG 601 Physiology
MTH 820 Image Analysis

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PCS 40A/B is a two-term course.

Full-Time, Five-Year Co-Op Program

5th Semester (Offered in Fall Term Only)  

REQUIRED:

BLG 311 Cell Biology
BLG 701 Anatomy
MTH 501 Numerical Analysis I
PCS 352 Nuclear Physics/Radiation Protection

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

6th Semester (Offered in Winter Term Only) 

REQUIRED:

PCS 228 Electricity and Magnetism
PCS 335 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table I.

LIBERAL STUDIES:
One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

PCS 40A/B Medical Physics - Thesis
PCS 354 Radiation Biology
PCS 405 Medical Imaging

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table I.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

PCS 40A/B Medical Physics - Thesis
BLG 601 Physiology
MTH 820 Image Analysis

LIBERAL STUDIES:
Two courses from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies.

PCS 40A/B is a two-term course.

The following table shows the sequence of academic and work terms for this program.

  Fall Winter Spring/Summer
Year 1 1st Semester 2nd Semester --
Year 2 3rd Semester 4th Semester WKT 405 - Work Term I
Year 3 5th Semester WKT 505 - Work Term II WKT 506 - Work Term III
Year 4 WKT 605 - Work Term IV 6th Semester WKT 606 - Work Term V
Year 5 7th Semester 8th Semester --

WKT courses are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Program Advisory Council

A Program Advisory Council (PAC) is a group of volunteers that provides expert advice to a school or department on program related matters such as curriculum, program review, technology and trends in the industry, discipline or profession. For more information, see Senate Policy #158 (Program Advisory Councils).

Dr. Alex Vitkin
Associate Professor, University of Toronto
(Medical Biophysics and Radiation Oncology)
Senior Scientist, Ontario Cancer Institute
Clinical Physician, Princess Margaret Hospital

Jatin Patel
Health Physicist
Radioactive Materials Shipping Broker
Energy Solutions Walker Operations Facility

Melissa Martinez
Technology and Patent Analyst
Morgan Solar, Inc.

Dr. Katharina Sixel, FCCPM
Chief of Physics | Radiation Programme Head | Radiation Safety Officer
R.S. McLaughlin Durham Regional Cancer Centre
Lakeridge Health

Dr. Brian M. Keller, DABR, FCCPM
Department of Medical Physics
Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre / Odette Cancer Centre

Dr. James A. Smith
Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
York University