Medical Physics

Medical physics applies the principles and experimental techniques of physics to medical problems. A common example is the use of different forms of radiation in medical diagnosis and treatment. This specialization prepares students for a graduate program in medical physics.

About this Program

To graduate with this major, students must complete all university, college, and major requirements.

Department Information

The Department of Physics is making strides toward becoming one of the premier physics departments in the United States. With active groups in astrophysics, biological physics, condensed matter/materials physics, and elementary particle physics, undergraduate and graduate students participate in cutting-edge research that prepares them for successful careers in a wide variety of fields.
Website

CONTACT

Email 352.392.0521 (tel) | 352.392.0524 (fax)


P.O. Box 118440
2001 Museum Road
Gainesville FL 32611-8545

 Curriculum

A physics major provides a wide range of career options. Many students pursue further studies in physics, other scientific disciplines, and various branches of engineering and medicine. Professional physicists work in universities and government laboratories seeking answers to fundamental questions about nature, in industry leading the development of new technologies, and in the medical sector performing clinical service and research. The analytical, problem-solving, and communications skills acquired by physics majors also lead to career opportunities in business and finance.

The Department of Physics offers two undergraduate degree programs: The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) is intended for students who wish to pursue graduate study in physics as well as for other students with a deep interest in the subject. The Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) is intended for students who seek the benefits of a physics degree but desire greater flexibility to follow interests in other fields.

Medical Physics

The Physics B.S specialization in Medical Physics requires a minimum of 41 credits in Physics including a specific Physics elective, 3 specific courses outside of Physics (9-11 credits), and 28 other credits of related coursework. Minimum grades of C are required for coursework counted toward the major. The coursework is listed below in three different categories: Physics Required Coursework, Required Electives for the Medical Physics specialization, and Related Coursework required for all Physics B.S. degrees.

Required Coursework

PHY 2048Physics with Calculus 13
or PHY 2060 Enriched Physics with Calculus 1
PHY 2048LLaboratory for Physics with Calculus 11
PHY 2049Physics with Calculus 23
or PHY 2061 Enriched Physics with Calculus 2
PHY 2049LLaboratory for Physics with Calculus 21
PHY 3101Introduction to Modern Physics3
or PHY 3063 Enriched Modern Physics
PHY 3221Mechanics 13
or PHZ 3113 Introduction to Theoretical Physics
PHY 3323Electromagnetism 13
PHY 3513Thermal Physics 13
PHY 4222Mechanics 23
PHY 4324Electromagnetism 23
PHY 4523Statistical Physics3
PHY 4604Introductory Quantum Mechanics 13
PHY 4802LLaboratory Physics 13
PHY 4803LLaboratory Physics 23
PHZ 4710Introduction to Biological Physics3
Total Credits41

Required Course Outside of Physics | Medical Physics

APK 2100CApplied Human Anatomy with Laboratory4
ENU 4612Nuclear Radiation Detection and Instrumentation3
MAP 4413Fourier Analysis3
Total Credits10

Related Coursework

  • Three semesters of Calculus (MAC 2311, MAC 2312, MAC 2313; 12 credits)
  • One year of college-level general chemistry, including one chemistry laboratory course (CHM 2045 and CHM 2046, CHM 2045L; 7 credits)
  • Differential Equations MAP 2302 (3 credits)
  • Six credits minimum in approved math courses beyond MAP 2302 Differential Equations.
  • Certain computer science courses may substitute for one of the math electives.
  • Minimum grades of C for coursework counted toward the major

Critical Tracking records each student’s progress in courses that are required for progress toward each major. Please note the critical-tracking requirements below on a per-semester basis.

For degree requirements outside of the major, refer to CLAS Degree Requirements: Structure of a CLAS Degree.

Equivalent critical-tracking courses as determined by the State of Florida Common Course Prerequisites may be used for transfer students.

Semester 1

Semester 2

Semester 3

Semester 4

Semester 5

  • Complete MAP 2302 with a minimum grade of C
  • Complete 2 required 3000-level physics courses with minimum grades of C (upper-division tracking)
  • 2.5 critical-tracking GPA
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 6

  • Complete the remaining required 3000-level physics courses with minimum grades of C
  • Complete 1 of 4 courses required for the Medical Physics specialization
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 7

  • Complete PHY 4802L or PHY 4803L
  • Complete 2 required 4000-level physics courses with minimum grades of C in addition to PHY 4802L
  • Complete 2 of 4 courses required for the Medical Physics specialization
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

Semester 8

  • Complete the remaining required 4000-level physics courses with minimum grades of C
  • Complete 1 4000-level or higher physics elective with a minimum grade of C
  • Complete all 4 courses required for the Medical Physics specialization
  • 2.0 UF GPA required

This plan is structured for students taking Calculus 1 the first semester. Students can have different schedules when they enter UF because of their backgrounds. In particular, students are encouraged to take Physics with Calculus 1 (PHY 2048 or PHY 2060) as soon as they have completed Calculus 1, even if this means delaying chemistry. For all physics courses, adequate mathematical preparation is essential and is built into the suggested plans. Physics majors should meet with a department advisor before planning their schedules.

Additional sample schedules are available on the department's website.
More Info

Students are expected to complete the writing requirement while in the process of taking the courses below. Students are also expected to complete the general education international (GE-N) and diversity (GE-D) requirements concurrently with another general education requirement (typically, GE-C, H, or S). MAC 2312, MAC 2313, MAP 2302, and math electives count towards 3000 level or above electives outside of the major.

To remain on track, students must complete the appropriate critical-tracking courses, which appear in bold. These courses must be completed by the terms as listed above in the Critical Tracking criteria.

This semester plan represents an example progression through the major. Actual courses and course order may be different depending on the student's academic record and scheduling availability of courses. Prerequisites still apply.

Plan of Study Grid
Semester OneCredits
CHM 2045
2045L
General Chemistry 1
and General Chemistry 1 Laboratory (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1
4
MAC 2311 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 1 (Critical Tracking; State Core Gen Ed Mathematics) 1 4
State Core Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement 3
State Core Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
 Credits14
Semester Two
Quest 1 (Gen Ed Humanities) 3
CHM 2046 General Chemistry 2 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1 3
MAC 2312 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 2 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Mathematics) 1 4
Select one: 4
Physics with Calculus 1
and Laboratory for Physics with Calculus 1 (Critical Tracking) 1
Enriched Physics with Calculus 1
and Laboratory for Physics with Calculus 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1
Elective 1
 Credits15
Semester Three
Quest 2 (Gen Ed Biological Sciences OR Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences) 3
MAC 2313 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 3 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Mathematics) 1 4
Select one: 4
Physics with Calculus 2
and Laboratory for Physics with Calculus 2 (Critical Tracking) 1
Enriched Physics with Calculus 2
and Laboratory for Physics with Calculus 2 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1
Foreign language 4-5
 Credits15-16
Semester Four
MAP 2302 Elementary Differential Equations (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Mathematics) 1 3
PHY 3101 Introduction to Modern Physics (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1 3
PHY 3221 Mechanics 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1 3
Gen Ed Biological Sciences 3
Foreign language 3-5
 Credits15-17
Semester Five
PHY 3323 Electromagnetism 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1 3
PHY 3513 Thermal Physics 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1 3
PHY 4222 Mechanics 2 (Critical Tracking) 1 3
Gen Ed Biological OR Social and Behavioral Sciences (area NOT taken in semester 3) 3
Elective, or foreign language if 4-3-3 option 3
 Credits15
Semester Six
APK 2100C Applied Human Anatomy with Laboratory (Critical Tracking) 4
ENC 3254 Professional Writing in the Discipline (Recommended; Gen Ed Composition; Writing Requirement) 3
PHY 4324 Electromagnetism 2 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Science) 1 3
Mathematics elective 3
Gen Ed Humanities 3
 Credits16
Semester Seven
ENU 4612 Nuclear Radiation Detection and Instrumentation (Critical Tracking) 3
PHY 4604 Introductory Quantum Mechanics 1 (Critical Tracking; Gen Ed Physical Sciences) 1 3
PHY 4802L Laboratory Physics 1 (Critical Tracking) 1 3
Gen Ed Social and Behavioral Sciences 3
Mathematic elective 3
 Credits15
Semester Eight
MAP 4413 Fourier Analysis (Critical Tracking) 3
PHY 4523 Statistical Physics (Critical Tracking) 1 3
PHY 4803L Laboratory Physics 2 (Critical Tracking) 1 3
PHZ 4710 Introduction to Biological Physics (Critical Tracking) 3
State Core Gen Ed Humanities 3
 Credits15
 Total Credits120
1

Minimum grade of C required.


The laws of physics are the starting point for most scientific research and engineering applications. Students majoring in physics obtain broad-based knowledge and experience applying these laws as well as hands-on experience building electronic equipment and performing experiments. Many students go on to graduate study in physics, and a considerable number pursue advanced degrees in other science disciplines, all branches of engineering and medical school. Physics majors are employed in industry doing applied work and in academia seeking the answers to fundamental questions.

Before Graduating Students Must

  • Pass the UF physics field test, which consists of five parts. One part is given in each of these required courses:
    PHY 2060Enriched Physics with Calculus 13
    or PHY 3221 Mechanics 1
    PHY 3323Electromagnetism 13
    PHY 3513Thermal Physics 13
    PHY 4604Introductory Quantum Mechanics 13
    PHY 4802LLaboratory Physics 13
  • Complete requirements for the baccalaureate degree, as determined by faculty.

Students in the Major Will Learn to

Student Learning Outcomes (SLOs)

Content

  1. Identify, define and describe the core fields of physics: classical mechanics, electricity and magnetism, thermal physics and quantum mechanics.
  2. Identify, define and explain experimental physics and data analysis.

Critical Thinking

  1. Formulate, solve problems and draw conclusions from data.

Communication

  1. Effectively and clearly communicate ideas in speech and in writing in an accepted style.

Curriculum Map

I = Introduced; R = Reinforced; A = Assessed

Courses SLO 1 SLO 2 SLO 3 SLO 4
PHY 2048 or PHY 2060 I I
PHY 2048L I I I I
PHY 2049 or PHY 2061 I I
PHY 2049L I I I I
PHY 3101 or PHY 3063 I, R I, R R
PHY 3221 or PHZ 3113 R, A R, A R
PHY 3323 R, A R, A R
PHY 3513 R, A R, A R
PHY 4604 R, A R, A R
PHY 4802L R, A R, A R, A R, A

Assessment Types

  • Field test
  • Report
  • Presentation