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Why DKU Medical Physics Program

Founded in 2014, the medical physics (MP) program was one of the first three master programs at Duke Kunshan University (DKU). Though a brand-new program, it sets itself apart from other similar medical physics graduate programs in many aspects. We list eight reasons why choosing DKU to start your journal in medical physics field.

Our program has a world-class faculty team with extensive clinical, research, mentoring, and teaching experience from internationally recognized medical centers. Click here to see our faculty team members.

Duke Kunshan’s MP program offers comprehensive training in three major medical physics tracks: Radiation therapy, diagnostic imaging, and nuclear medicine. Students may choose to concentrate on one track or across tracks. Click here [link the courses webpage] to see the courses design.

The program curriculum design follows the AAPM (American Association of Physicists in Medicine) guidelines and is SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) accredited. Upon graduation, students will complete all of the courses required for applying for Ph.D. programs in medical physics in the U.S. and Canada, which is an innate advantage for our students in Ph.D. program application.

In the summer session and fall semester following the first year, students pursue their graduate studies variously at Duke University in the United States and/or at DKU and at various intern/research locations in China. An admission decision by the DKU program is required specific to each arrangement of study locations. This admission decision is indicated at the same time as the scholarship offer.


Scholarship projects and thesis projects are important aspects of year-2 studies.


The scholarship project option provides students with flexibility to build toward many different career objectives. Many DKU medical physics students seek, for example, careers that are predominantly clinical. A scholarship project – in conjunction with increased relevant coursework – enables students to develop skill, insight, and knowledge in clinical areas, while also having a research component, such that students build their ability to improve clinical techniques via good research methodology. The scholarship project and corresponding independent-study coursework can include a clinical internship as a component. This concept isn’t limited to students with a clinical inclination. It can also apply, for example, to students with an entrepreneurial inclination (which is a recognized career direction in medical physics) or to students who want to develop in-depth machine-learning skills (which are emerging as clinical tools).


The thesis project option challenges students to accomplish substantial original research. It is an immersive research experience, pursued under the guidance of expert and prominent faculty researchers. Through this process students build their research skill, and they are expected to accomplish novel research results that have scientific and medical significance.

Through practicum courses, students gain clinical training in AAPM QA protocols (followed in the United States and Canada and many other countries) and IAEA QA protocols (followed in China and Europe and many other countries). To our knowledge, Duke Kunshan’s MP program is the only one in the world that covers the two leading international protocols, benefitting graduates when applying for jobs at multinational corporations.

The DKU Medical Physics Graduate Program is a graduate program within the Duke University Graduate School. Students who successfully complete the DKU Medical Physics Graduate Program receive a Duke University degree.

With English-language instruction at a global university that is located in China, the DKU Medical Physics program prepares students for careers all over the world. For students whose first language is English, the program provides an opportunity to learn medical physics in their native language while broadening their horizons through study in China. With students for whom English isn’t their native language, DKU Medical Physics provides a comprehensive English-language education in medical physics, including an in-depth experience with English-language scientific and technical terminology. This education experience has value for application to PhD programs around the world, for jobs with multinational and globally oriented companies, and for many aspects of academic, government, and clinical work.

DKU is an international and multi-cultural university, with students and faculty from around the world. Through its location in China and sponsorship by Wuhan University, DKU bears the influence of and offers an experience in one of the world’s longest-lasting cultures and one of the world’s largest and most vibrant and technological economies. Through its sponsorship by Duke University, DKU carries the educational style and methods of one of the great western universities and one of the world’s great university medical centers. Many Duke University faculty are involved with the DKU Medical Physics Graduate Program and with DKU broadly. It provides a unique education experience. Distinct in its style. Aiming to enable students to develop as leaders, to build successful careers that include service and personal satisfaction, and to be confident and capable in an increasingly global world.

Our graduates go to jobs in hospitals or companies or to studies in PhD programs. About 35% have gone to PhD programs in the United States, Canada, and Hong Kong. About 45% have gone to clinical medical physics jobs in hospitals in China or in their home country. About 15% have gone into industry jobs, and about 5% have taken jobs at universities.

Duke Kunshan provides an international educational experience within a close-knit community of students and faculty from various fields of graduate and undergraduate study. The campus features beautiful ponds, walkways and academic buildings with striking architecture. Its conference center also creates an additional opportunity for the flow of ideas and current events to campus.