The Radiological Science Master of Science Program is designed for medical residents accepted to Radiation Oncology or Diagnostic Radiology residency programs at Rush. The studies required for the master's degree may be carried out concurrently with a medical residency program, provided prior approval is given by the chairman of the department in which the medical resident is being trained. Each student will submit a thesis on his/her research and will take a final examination in defense of the thesis.
The medical residents in Radiation Oncology or Diagnostic Radiology interested in this program should submit a letter of application stating his/her motivation for pursuing research in medical physics. A letter of recommendation from the clinical residency program director or the chairman of the clinical department in which the medical resident is being trained is also required for admission. The division director and the admissions committee evaluates applicants for admission to the program and considers the applicant's overall academic record, recommendations, scientific research interests and previous ability to pursue independent studies successfully. The program director also determines whether additional supporting evidence would aid evaluation of the application and, if so, will require more information from the applicant.
A minimum of 48 quarter hours of required courses, including research, is required for the Master of Science degree with a major in radiological sciences. Of these, a minimum of 18 quarter hours of medical physics courses, excluding research, is required. A minor is not necessary in this program. The maximum amount of medical physics credit acceptable for transfer from another institution is 12 quarter hours. There is no foreign language requirement. The time limit for completing the program is five years.
The graduate program director acts as an academic advisor to each new student. The director determines the course schedule with students and monitors their progress. Soon after entry, the students select the area of research they wish to consider for their master's theses. Each student seeks out a faculty member of the Division of Medical Physics who will become his or her scientific advisor. The advisor and student assemble an advisory committee of five members, at least three of whom are on The Graduate College faculty. The advisor serves as chair of the advisory committee. The committee is responsible for adapting continued coursework to the student's needs and for providing advice and evaluation at all stages of the graduate program. Specifically, the committee will evaluate the student's theses proposal, theses and performance at the thesis defense. Before beginning the specific thesis research, the student must present a detailed proposal, including a literature review, to the advisory committee. At that time, the student will be required to give an oral defense of the study that demonstrates his/her understanding of the study's goals and methods. When the committee is satisfied with the proposal, the student may begin the research project. Although the major advisor will closely supervise the research, it is the student's responsibility to attain the research goals.
The thesis is a scholarly work based on an original project. Its format and review by the advisory committee and dean must comply with the requirements of The Graduate College. Oral defense of the thesis serves as the final examination in partial completion of the requirements for the master's degree. The examining committee includes a minimum of four faculty members approved by the department advisory committee. At least three examiners, including the student's principal and associate advisors, are selected from within the division. One examiner may be selected from outside the division, preferably, though not necessarily, from outside the University. Distinguished scientists may be invited as guests of the division to examine the thesis and to participate in the final defense. Passing the final examination is based upon the recommendation of the majority of the examiners. If the student fails to pass the final examination, the student may appeal to the dean of The Graduate College.
The following courses are required for medical residents in radiation oncology: MPH 500, MPH 521, MPH 522, MPH 523, MPH 525, MPH 623, MPH 625. Other Rush courses may be chosen as electives in the master's degree program: MPH 524, MPH 526, MPH 527, MPH 608, MPH 621, MPH 622 and MPH 900. For official information about course requirements for the degree, see the Rush University Catalog.
The department advisory committee, at the request of a student, will resolve a grievance between the student and faculty concerning:
Course grade and preliminary examination results that may result in the student's dismissal.
Unreasonable delay in completing the thesis/dissertation research.
Failure to pass final oral defense of the thesis/dissertation.
The student may appeal the decision of the department advisory committee to The Graduate College Council and to the dean, according to The Graduate College policies and procedures.
Students can propose thesis research on a variety of topics. For example, thesis can be performed in, but not limited to the following research areas:
Study of basic mechanisms by which radiation transfers energy to biological and chemical materials.
Development of new techniques for directing and measuring various radiations used in the detection, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.
Application of 4-D imaging in radiation treatment planning, delivery and verification.
Optimization of physical parameters for specific studies in diagnostic medical imaging and radiation therapy.