PhD in Biomedical Physics

A PhD in biomedical physics focused on advancing medicine and science

Bring a unique perspective to the study and practice of medicine with a PhD in biomedical physics from East Carolina University. Our intensive, 50-78-credit-hour program introduces students to the practical use of physics in biology and medicine to solve significant biological and medical problems while advancing our understanding of fundamental biomedical processes.

If you’re like most students considering this program, you might be asking, “What is biomedical physics and how does it fit into the world of science and medicine?” Biomedical physics specialists examine biological samples and living systems through a quantitative, physical science-inspired lens to improve the understanding of biomedical processes. Our program will prepare you for biomedical physics jobs and a variety of specialized medical physics careers.

Customize your biomedical physics PhD

Biomedical physics is a vast field with many opportunities for rewarding medical physics careers. That’s why we offer two concentrations to help you map out the PhD pathway the leads to the position of your dreams. Choose between the traditional biomedical physics PhD and an integrated PhD in biomedical physics, which incorporates the medical physics concentration of an MS in physics. While both paths culminate in a dissertation project, the MS in physics integrates extensive clinical training—ideal for students wanting to gain experience in a program accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs.

Why study biomedical physics at ECU?

What is biomedical physics at ECU? It’s innovation in the world of medicine and science. It’s challenge and rewarding results. It’s about pushing medicine and science into the future. Biomedical physics at ECU is a deep dive into the fast-growing field of science that uses physics in medicine and biology to create and improve medical technologies. As you earn your biomedical physics PhD here, you’ll benefit from:

A distinguished faculty

Thanks to our small class sizes, you can work closely with highly experienced faculty mentors who are leaders in their respective fields, which range from cancer treatment using nanotechnology tools to the study of fibrinolysis.

Real-world experience

In addition to the clinical training that students in our medical physics concentration receive, every student in the biomedical physics PhD program is eligible for teaching assistantships and community outreach opportunities. Gain experience while building a robust resume, serving others, and helping to pay for your education.

Cutting-edge resources

What is biomedical physics without the latest technology and labs? At ECU, we offer state-of-the-art facilities for students to learn and work in, including ECU Health Cancer Care, two biomedical optics labs, and an accelerator lab. Master the tools used every day in medical physics careers.

Earn an Integrated PhD and MS in Medical Physics

Advance your career even further by earning an Integrated PhD and MS in Physics — Medical Physics Concentration. Students admitted to this concentration will need to independently fulfill all requirements for both the MS in physics – medical physics concentration and the PhD in biomedical physics. Both degrees will be awarded concurrently.

Courses you will take in the biomedical physics PhD program

Making use of physics in medicine and biology requires a wide breadth of knowledge in physics and biology.

Our 50-credit-hour post-master’s PhD program includes a minimum of six semester hours from a physics core, a minimum of six semester hours from a biomedical core, and a minimum of 36 semester hours of dissertation research courses. Students entering with a baccalaureate degree will complete an additional 28 credit hours of master’s level physics courses. Students in the medical physics concentration will complete a minimum of 39 semester hours in addition to the PhD requirements.

Some of the courses that you can choose from include:

  • Biomedical Optics
  • Cell Biology
  • Biochemistry
  • Biological Effects of Radiation

View the PhD in biomedical physics curriculum

View the MS in physics—medical physics concentration curriculum

What can you do with your biomedical physics PhD?

Our rigorous program prepares you for a diverse range of biomedical physics jobs and other medical physics careers. Earning your biomedical physics PhD at ECU will help you stand out from other applicants on the job market and when promotions arise.

More career opportunities with a biomedical physics PhD

The interdisciplinary approach our program takes to studying physics in medicine and biology means that you’ll have more career options throughout both medicine and physics.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for both physicists and medical scientists is projected to grow faster than the average for all occupations by 2030, adding up to 12,600 new jobs each year. There has never been a better time to prepare for biomedical physics jobs.

Where are biomedical physics graduates working?

Our biomedical physics program prepares students for positions in academia, clinics, hospitals, and the private sector, not to mention medical physics career fields.

Past graduates have found rewarding biomedical physics jobs at MD Anderson, Harvard University, and Duke University. They have also started medical physics careers at regional hospitals in more than 10 states and two foreign countries.

Many of our graduates now work as:

  • Clinical physicists
  • Educators
  • Imaging specialists
  • Researchers
  • Nonclinical physicists

Get started on your biomedical physics degree

Take the next step toward earning your degree and preparing for exciting biomedical physics jobs around the world. Want to learn more about the importance of physics in medicine and biology? We have the resources to answer all your questions and help you get started.

Degree programs related to biomedical physics

Accreditation for medical physics at ECU

While the biomedical physics program does not hold accreditation, our medical physics concentration is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP). This accreditation means that employers and universities across the country will recognize your degree as meeting the high standards set by the Commission.