New Medical Physics Degree

What do you get when you combine physics and medicine? An innovative dual degree program that allows students to become medical physicists and enter a field that offers multiple career opportunities and salaries that often start with six figures.

URI, in collaboration with Rhode Island Hospital, will launch a 5-year medical physics degree in fall 2011 that combines a B.S. in physics with an M.S. in medical physics. The 162-credit program will be the first in New England and may well be the only 5-year program in the country. Only 26 universities in the U.S. and Canada currently offer accredited graduate medical physics programs.

There is a significant shortage of qualified clinical medical physicists. And, with each passing year, the shortage becomes more acute.

Why such demand? The increased development and use of complex technology in radiation oncology and medical imaging requires skilled scientists. Almost 1.1 million cancer patients underwent a course of radiation in 2009, up 15 percent from 2007. The increase may reflect the growth of cancer screening and early detection initiatives, along with the aging of the baby boomers.

To find out more about the program, contact Physics Professor Len Kahn at 401.874.2053 or