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Medical Physics

Degree Awarded: Bachelor of Science (Honours)
Program Website: ryerson.ca/physics
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 theory and practical lab applications, graduates are well-prepared to plunge into the workforce of healthcare and industry-related fields, or continue their education toward relevant graduate degree programs.

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

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.

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. All students enrolled in Medical Physics have the option to enrol in the Management Science Specialization.

Co-operative Program


An optional co-operative program is available which provides the graduating students with 12 months of work experience that enhances their organizational and technical abilities as well as their oral and written communication skills.

Although the Career & Co-op Centre, opens in new window cannot guarantee work term employment, they provide assistance in locating suitable positions and counselling students in their search for suitable jobs. This co-op program enables students to earn competitive wages to offset the costs of a university education.

Students who have completed the first year of the program must apply through this department for admission to the co-operative program before the beginning of the second year. Enrolment in the co-op program is limited. Admission will be based on a portfolio.

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

WKT courses are graded on a pass/fail basis. Students must successfully complete a minimum of three 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, opens in new window and the Medical Physics Co-op Faculty Advisor.

Optional Specialization in Management Sciences (OS MS)

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, opens in new window.
  2. Students should contact supervisors whose research interests them by email or in person. Students must give their potential supervisor an unofficial transcript, opens in new window, 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. Follow the instructions available in the PDF fileResearch Practicum Application Form, opens in new window.

Career Opportunities

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 (Additional physics courses might be required);
  • 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).

Liberal Studies

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, opens in new window.

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, BLG 850, CHY 583, MTH 511, and MTH 599 are not available for credit.

Minors

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.

The G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education Certificates

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, opens in new window for complete details.

1st & 2nd Semester

1st Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 143 Biology I
CHY 103 General Chemistry I
MTH 131 Modern Mathematics I
PCS 120 Physics I
SCI 180* Orientation


REQUIRED GROUP 1:
One course from the following:

CPS 109 Computer Science I
CPS 118 Introductory Programming for Scientists

 

* 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 & 4th Semester

3rd Semester

REQUIRED:

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

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

4th Semester

REQUIRED:

MTH 430 Dynamic Systems Differential Equations
PCS 227
Biophysics
PCS 228 Electricity and Magnetism
PCS 401 Quantum Mechanics I
PCS 521 Mathematical Physics

  

5th & 6th Semester

5th Semester

REQUIRED:

BLG 311 Cell Biology
PCS 230 Photonics and Optical Devices
PCS 622 Mathematical  Methods in Medical Physics
PCS 623 Biostatistics

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I, opens in new window.

6th Semester

REQUIRED:

PCS 352 Nuclear Physics/Radiation Protection
PCS 335 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
PCS 405 Medical Imaging

LIBERAL STUDIES:

One course from Table A - Lower Level Liberal Studies.

LIBERAL STUDIES/PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:

One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies

OR

One course from Table I*.

 

* Timetabling Flexibility: Students who take a Table B course in 6th Semester will take a Table I course in 7th Semester. Students who take a Table I course in 6th Semester will choose a Table B course in 7th Semester.

  

7th & 8th Semester

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

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

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

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I.

LIBERAL STUDIES/PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:

One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies

OR


One course from Table I.

 

* Timetabling Flexibility: Students who take a Table B course in 6th Semester will take a Table I course in 7th Semester. Students who take a Table I course in 6th Semester will choose a Table B course in 7th Semester.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

PCS 40A/B Medical Physics - Thesis
PCS 407 Radiation Therapy

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table I.

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

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

  

5th & 6th Semester

5th Semester (Offered in Fall Term Only)  

REQUIRED:

BLG 311 Cell Biology
PCS 230 Photonics and Optical Devices
PCS 622 Mathematical Methods in Medical Physics
PCS 623 Biostatistics

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I.

6th Semester 

REQUIRED:

PCS 352 Nuclear Physics/Radiation Protection
PCS 335 Thermodynamics and Statistical Physics
PCS 405 Medical Imaging

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

LIBERAL STUDIES/PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:

One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies

OR

One course from Table I.*

* Timetabling Flexibility: Students who take a Table B course in 6th Semester will take a Table I course in 7th Semester. Students who take a Table I course in 6th Semester will choose a Table B course in 7th Semester.

  

7th & 8th Semester

7th Semester

REQUIRED:

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

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

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: One course from Table I.

LIBERAL STUDIES/PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED:

One course from Table B - Upper Level Liberal Studies

OR


One course from Table I.*

 

* Timetabling Flexibility: Students who take a Table B course in 6th Semester will take a Table I course in 7th Semester. Students who take a Table I course in 6th Semester will choose a Table B course in 7th Semester.

8th Semester

REQUIRED:

PCS 40A/B Medical Physics - Thesis
PCS 407 Radiation Therapy

PROFESSIONALLY-RELATED: Two courses from Table I.

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

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

  

Co-operative Work Terms

These WKT sequencing are for students admitted Fall 2020 and before. Students admitted Fall 2021 and after see revised WKT sequencing below.

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

Option 1:

  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 --

Option 2:

  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 6th Semester
WKT 505 - Work Term II
Year 4 WKT 506 - Work Term III WKT 605 - Work Term IV
WKT 606 - Work Term V
Year 5 7th Semester 8th Semester --

Option 3:

  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 6th Semester
WKT 505 - Work Term II
Year 4 7th Semester
WKT 506 - Work Term III WKT 605 - Work Term IV
Year 5 WKT 606 - Work Term V 8th Semester --

These revised WKT sequences are for students admitted Fall 2021 and after.

The sequencing of academic and work terms is shown below:

Medical Physics  
Fall Term Winter Term Spring/Summer
Term

Year 1

1st Semester 2nd Semester Off

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

6th Semester or
WKT 605 - Work Term IV
6th Semester or 7th Semester WKT 606 - Work Term V

Year 5

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

WKT courses are graded on a pass/fail basis.

Students must successfully complete a minimum of three work terms in order to graduate from the co-op program.

The co-op program requires five years to complete the degree in Medical Physics. The regular program can be completed in four years.

All co-op placements must be approved by the Career & Co-op Centre, opens in new window and the Faculty Advisor for the Medical Physics co-op program.

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 PDF fileSenate 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