Program Spotlight: Professional Science Master in Medical Physics

May, 2023

Professional Science Master in Medical PhysicsThe Schmidt College of Science’s Professional Science Master in Medical Physics (PSMMP) degree program provides students with a strong foundation in radiological and applied physics training within the medical physics profession so that graduates can go on to create the cutting-edge medical technologies of tomorrow.

Medical physics is an applied branch of physics devoted to the application of concepts and methods from physics to the diagnosis, treatment of human disease, and the planning and development of treatment equipment. A qualified medical physicist is competent to practice independently in one or more of the subfields of medical physics, including radiation therapy, imaging physics, nuclear medicine, health physics, and engineering.

The two-year master’s curriculum integrates theory, research, pioneering clinical application and medical ethics training that prepares students for a career as innovative leaders in medical physics. Through partnerships with area hospitals, students gain the clinical experience necessary to apply for residencies and move into clinical practice, as well as research experience.

Among the program’s accomplished alumna is Panagiota Galanakou, M.S. ’20, PSMMP ’19. During her time at Florida Atlantic, Galanakou was involved in numerous research projects. As a PSMMP student, she developed a GPU-based algorithm for Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy optimization for prostate cancer based on the physical process of simulating annealing.

“FAU played a crucial role in my preparation for my future career goals through a carefully-designed course curriculum — which combined both theoretical and practical clinical rotations — as well as inspiring and enthusiastic mentors,” shared Galanakou.

Since her first day at FAU, Galanakou said that Theodora Leventouri, Ph.D., Professor of Physics, Director of Medical Physics and the Center for Biomedical Materials Physics, was her mentor and role model.

“From the very beginning, she provided me with guidance and support throughout my academic studies,” expressed Galanakou. “She motivated me to participate in any activity that could help develop my professional standing, and she always had time to answer any questions and give me detailed feedback. I was impressed not only by her immense knowledge in physics and professional accomplishments, but also by her mentorship and personality.”

Currently, Galanakou is working to complete her Ph.D. in Physics at the University of Miami. She anticipates graduating in summer 2023.

FAU’s PSMMP program was recently reaccredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Medical Physics Education Programs (CAMPEP) for an additional three years. FAU is one of only 44 graduate CAMPEP accredited programs in the nation, and has earned that distinction since 2013.

To learn more about FAU’s PSMMP degree, click here.