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Radiological Sciences & Protection Doctoral Program

Radiological Sciences Option - Doctor of Philosophy Degree Program

The Applied Physics Concentration is designed to expand the scope of the Ph.D. Program in Physics to encompass an option in Radiological Sciences. It is intended to develop advanced professional and academic competence in practical, applied, technological health physics and medical physics and to provide professional training for students whose previous specialization need not necessarily have been in the field of physics, but could have involved engineering, other science, or mathematical disciplines. This program is particularly well suited for those seeking to pursue careers in research, education or public service.

For physics majors, the acquisition of the doctoral degree would normally require about four years beyond the bachelor's degree, or a minimum of two years beyond the master's degree; for non-physics majors, an additional year of study would customarily be entailed.

Admissions Requirements 

The application for this program requires three letters of recommendation and official GRE test scores. For more information on admissions requirements, please see the UMass Lowell Graduate Admission website.

Graduate Credits 
At least 60 graduate credit hours are required, of which at least 15 and at most 24 are to be Ph.D. Dissertation Research. At most 3 credits of Physics Colloquium and seminar courses may be applied to the 60 credit requirement.

Colloquia and Seminars
Attendance at departmental colloquia, PHYS.7010/7020, and seminar in Radiological Sciences, RADI.7110/7120, each carrying l credit per semester, is obligatory in each semester of graduate enrollment.

Computer Skills 
All candidates are required to demonstrate proficiency in computer programming, which may be accomplished by passing the Departmental computer language exam or by achieving a grade of at least B in a high level programming language, or by demonstrating equivalent competence to the Physics Department.

Language Requirement
There is no foreign language requirement.

Comprehensive Examination
All candidates must pass a written and oral Physics Comprehensive Examination. The examination covers I. Classical mechanics, II. Electricity and magnetism, and III. Radiological sciences. In addition Part I includes some elementary thermo-dynamics and Part II elementary optics. Part III is based on the advanced undergraduate course requirements in Radiological Health Physics.

Graduate Research Admission Examination
Before commencing Ph.D. dissertation research each doctoral candidate must pass two semesters of Advanced Projects in Physics PHYS.7310L/7320L and defend this project in an oral examination before a committee of the Physics graduate faculty. Students who have already completed a master’s thesis in Physics or a related discipline may apply for a waiver of the Advanced Projects requirement. However, if the M.S. degree is from another institution the student must make an oral presentation of the M.S. work before a committee of the Physics Faculty to satisfy the Graduate Research Admission Examination requirement. Alternatively, a one-semester M.S. project may be substituted for one semester of Advanced Project on the recommendation of the student's research supervisor. The Graduate Research Admission Examination must be passed before a student may submit a Ph.D. dissertation proposal.

The dissertation is to be based upon original research performed under the supervision of a member or adjunct member of the Physics Faculty (or the Faculty of a Department participating in a joint program with the Physics Department) holding an earned doctoral degree. If a student wishes to do a dissertation under the supervision of a faculty member in another department, the student must also have a co-supervisor who is a member of the Physics Faculty. Ph.D. candidates must submit to the Department, for its approval, eleven copies of a typewritten proposal briefly describing the research to be carried out. The proposal must bear the written approval of the research supervisor. A student may not register for Ph.D. Dissertation Research until the Comprehensive Examination and the Graduate Research Admission Examination have been passed. Furthermore, the dissertation proposal must be submitted prior to or during the first semester in which the student is registered for Ph.D. dissertation research. Students registered for Ph.D. Thesis must submit a brief progress report on the research to the Graduate Coordinator each semester unless a thesis is submitted. After completing the work, the student must submit four copies of a typewritten dissertation to the Department. The student then must pass an oral examination, administered by a Dissertation Committee appointed by the Physics Graduate Coordinator, based on, but not necessarily limited to, the dissertation work.

Course Requirements
PHYS.5130 Classical Mechanics (4-0)4 
PHYS.5530/5540 Electromagnetism I,II (3-0)(3-0)6 
PHYS.5350/5360 Intro Quantum Mechanics I/II (3-0) (3-0)6 
PHYS.6050/6060 Mathematical Methods of Physics I,II (4-0)(4-0)8
PHYS.5610/6620 Nuclear Physics I,II (3-0)(3-0)6 

Plus, at least twelve credits from among the following graduate level Radiological Sciences courses, assuming the core courses for the Master of Science Degree in Radiological Sciences and Protection have already been completed.

RADI.5140 Advanced External Radiation Dosimetry (3-0) 3
RADI.5160 Advanced Internal Radiation Dosimetry (3-0) 3
RADI.5410 Radiochemistry (3-0) 3
RADI.5430 Radiochemistry Lab (1-0) 1
RADI.5520 Special Topics in Radiological Sciences (3-0) 3
RADI.5750 Certification Preparation in Radiological Sciences (3-0) 3
RADI.5810 Mathematical Methods of Radiological Sciences (3-0) 3
RADI.5820 Numerical Methods of Radiological Sciences (3-0) 3
RADI.5850 MCNP for Radiological Sciences (3-0) 3
RADI.5960 Medical Physics (3-0) 3
RADI.6700L/RADI.6930L Various Health or Medical Physics Internships (1/2/3-0)

Note: It is expected that the requirements for the Master of Science degree in Radiological Sciences and Protection will be met during the first four semesters if the student has not already earned an M.S. degree.

See Physics and Applied Physics section for related information.