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Tracks for the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree

From Radiological Sciences

[edit] Program Goal and Objectives

The Graduate Program in Radiological Sciences (GPRS) is a consolidated program in the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences (GSBS) at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. The consolidation of the program was approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in September, 2013.

The GPRS is a multi-disciplinary program that prepares students to participate in the development and transmission of scientific knowledge concerning the uses of radiant energy forms in the diagnosis and treatment of human disease.

The degrees offered are:

  1. PhD degree in Radiological Sciences, specializing in Radiation Biology (CIP code 26.0209.01)
  2. PhD degree in Radiological Sciences, specializing in Neuroscience Imaging (CIP code 26.0209.02)
  3. Medical Resident / PhD degree in Radiological Sciences, specializing in Human Imaging (CIP code 26.0209.03)
  4. PhD degree in Radiological Sciences, specializing in Medical Physics (CIP code 26.0209.04)
  5. MS degree specializing in Medical Health Physics (CIP code 51.2205.00)

Only the Medical Physics PhD program and Medical Health Physics MS program are accredited by CAMPEP.

For PhD students, both degree and track name are printed on the diplomas and transcripts. The GSBS does not award Latin honors or other distinctions, so the line normally devoted towards honors (i.e. Cum Laude) is used by GSBS to designate the sub-plan. For MS students there is only one track and the third line is blank. The following are examples of how the three lines would be utilized:

Doctor of Philosophy

Radiological Sciences

Medical Physics

Master of Science

Medical Health Physics

(Blank Line)

The curricula provide opportunities for students to acquire a core of fundamental knowledge through a synergistic program of formal courses, seminars, teaching opportunities and hands-on research experiences. After completing a qualifying exam, each student under supervision of a research adviser and research advisory committee, designs an individual course of study and research consistent with his/her career goals.

The research programs in the GPRS bridge the biomedical sciences and medical applications. Exceptional facilities are available in the areas of advanced radiation treatment delivery technologies, magnetic resonance imaging, positron emission computed tomography, computer image analysis, nuclear medicine imaging, x-ray imaging, radiation dosimetry methodologies, and imaging pharmaceutical development. Ongoing research programs cover a wide range of modern imaging, irradiation effects, and radiation applications. These programs are supported by grants and contracts from federal and private agencies. Extensive facilities and equipment are available to aid in the study of a wide range of translational research programs involving the use of ionizing and non-ionizing radiations.

Although clinical medical physics training has been an important component of the graduate program, time for this component is limited by general academic requirements and the desire to prepare PhD-level students to be competitive for establishing research careers. Due to recent increases in the credentials required for entry-level positions in medical physics, graduates of the medical physics tracks of the GPRS, at both the MS and PhD levels, are no longer qualified for entry-level medical physicist positions in therapeutic medical physics, diagnostic medical physics, and nuclear medical physics. Thus the GSBS is replacing the MS tracks, except for the Medical Health Physics MS track, with a new professional Doctorate in Medical Physics education program, which started in July 2014.

The focus of the GPRS is to prepare students for academic careers, both in learning pedagogical methods for teaching physical science and in research. This consists of a course on teaching that includes creation of a teaching plan, lecture preparation, lecture presentation and student testing. Students are also required to participate in seminars during which they make research-oriented presentations while their peers listen to and critique them. Presentation of papers at national scientific meetings may be substituted for up to two seminar classes. The Radiology Department also administers a competitive research grant program for students under an endowment established by Julio Palmaz, inventor of the coronary stent. In addition, students are trained in procedures and processes of obtaining research funding by preparing research proposals in NIH format as part of their qualifying examination prior to admission to candidacy for the PhD degree. This process gives the student experience to be competitive for other grants administered within the University for the state and federal governments and by national research organizations. Student competition programs at national radiology and scientific meetings are also used to encourage frequent oral presentation of research results at the national level. Publication of results in peer reviewed journals is also encouraged by offering the opportunity of a dissertation format combining at least three or more published papers as chapters, with a small amount of additional background and a final section drawing the papers together into a recognizable dissertation topic.

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This page has been accessed 2,082 times. This page was last modified 21:25, 11 September 2014.

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