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The MIS degree is a 12-month program in which all students will complete at least 30 credit hours. This requirement is met by 24 credit hours of Core and elective courses completed during the fall and spring semesters, followed by a research project (6 credit hours) completed in the summer after the second semester.

  • Laboratory classes (1 credit hour) will be offered to provide hands-on, practical instruction using imaging equipment.
  • Students will participate in the VUIIS Weekly Seminar (1 credit hour) and have opportunities to rotate in Clinical Radiology to gain an understanding of current clinical issues in imaging.
  • The research project will be supervised by a VUIIS faculty member and provide experience working in a research laboratory.
  • While the typical format for this program is full-time for 1 calendar year, there is flexibility for students who seek part-time enrollment to take longer than 1 year.
  • Courses offered in a given year will vary depending on student demand and faculty availability.

Sample schedule

Semester 1
2 Core courses6 hours
1 elective course
3 hours
2 practical labs2 hours
1 seminar1 hour
Semester 21 Core course3 hours
2 practical labs2 hours
2 elective courses6 hours
1 seminar/rotation1 hour
SummerResearch Project6 hours


Core courses

The physics of image formation by different modalities that are used for medical applications. The course emphasizes concepts of imaging science common to different types of imaging, along with understanding how information is limited by physical phenomena.

This course connects methods of imaging to the underlying biological processes that give rise to image information. It provides the background by which students learn not only what biological properties affect the signals used to construct images but also how various imaging approaches may be used to understand biological processes.

This course emphasizes the technical aspects of making quantitative measurements of structure and function using different imaging methods as well as image
analysis algorithms and the use of modeling or data analytic techniques for assessing function.

This course provides a comprehensive overview of relevant multimodal cellular and molecular imaging techniques for use in vivo, and of the design and characteristics of imaging probes and contrast agents, including optical, X ray, nuclear, MR, and ultrasound imaging

Elective courses

An in-depth treatment of the methods of imaging with ionizing radiation, including x-ray radiography, CT, PET and SPECT. The focus is on the physical limitations on noise, contrast, and spatial resolution, more advanced methods of image reconstruction, and how they affect practical applications.

An in-depth treatment of fundamental spin physics, imaging hardware and techniques, and the basis of advanced MR methods. The course covers more advanced concepts of MRI and MRS suitable for students intending to develop an ability to use and develop MRI as a research and diagnostic tool.

An in-depth treatment of the physics of ultrasound in complex media, instrumentation and techniques along with advanced applications.

Basic techniques of image processing. Topics include image enhancement, registration, distortion and correction, segmentation and feature extraction.

Application of machine learning, informatics, and other advanced data science methods to detect and quantify variations in tissues in a multitude of clinical

A survey of the abilities and aims of different imaging approaches to understanding tumor biology and detailed studies of how imaging is used in preclinical and clinical science. The role of imaging in diagnosis, staging and treatment response, in clinical trials and in studies of the tumor microenvironment in animal models.

This course surveys methods and applications of structural and functional imaging of the brain and including the relevance of imaging to normal and pathological states. Particular attention is paid to the benefits of complementary information from different modalities, such as the integration of fMRI and electrophysiology, and of PET and SPECT imaging.

This course covers the use of technology to improve the specificity of delivering therapy to a diseased tissue while minimizing the exposure of healthy tissue. Includes image guided surgery, interventional radiology, MR guided HIFU and other methods of ablation.

This course will cover applications of animal models in drug development, cancer research, studies of metabolism and neuroscience.

Practical labs

This lab will give students hands-on experience acquiring data on MRI, PET, SPECT, ultrasound, X-ray, CT, and optical small animal imaging systems.

This lab will give students hands-on experience managing and analyzing the data acquired in the CSAI Laboratory. It will also serve as an introduction to computer programing.

This lab will give students hands-on experience acquiring data on MRI, PET, CT, and ultrasound human imaging systems.

This lab will give students hands-on experience managing and analyzing the data acquired in the Human Imaging Laboratory


To stay abreast of current topics in imaging science, students will attend seminars in imaging science, discuss them, and write and edit brief summaries of them. The class will meet coincidentally to the VUIIS seminar series and for 30-60 minutes afterwards, when they will have the opportunity to discuss the seminar and ask questions of the speaker and/or course coordinator.

Research Project

A key component in the graduate program will be completion of a research project supervised by a faculty member. Research projects are designed to allow the students to participate in and contribute to a specific research area and gain experience working in a research laboratory. Projects suitable for completion will be developed and advertised to the students in their second semester so that they can sign up with a research mentor and begin the research project at the start of the summer semester.