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Co-terminal Bachelor of Science in Physics / Master of Health Physics Degree Program


IIT offers a five-year, co-terminal Bachelor of Science in Physics/Master of Health Physics degree program for students who wish to combine a bachelor's degree in physics with a professional-track master's in health physics leading to a career as a radiation health physicist. This program is designed for students seeking careers in the government, in industry, the military, and environmental and health-related fields where radiation protection and planning are critical.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the Department of Energy, and the Health Physics Society (HPS) have all foreseen a significant need for new radiation health physicists. According to the HPS, "A projected shortfall in sufficiently educated radiation safety professionals has placed a burden on industries using radiation to support our nation's energy, security, and health needs. " The current workforce in government and industry is aging and those positions need to be filled.

A recent salary survey conducted by the Health Physics Society reveals that average entry-level salaries are up to $80,000 with significant increases upon board certification. The median salary of a health physics graduate with a master's degree is above $100,000.

Why IIT? The unique opportunity to take classes online, as well as on campus, sets IIT apart from other health physics programs. According to a recent survey by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, IIT ranked third in the number of health physics master's degrees awarded in 2010. IIT is one of only a handful of universities that offer this five-year, co-terminal opportunity and at IIT, faculty help students find an appropriate health physics internship.

Program Details

Students admitted to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program in physics may apply for admission to the co-terminal Master of Health Physics (M.H.P.) program after their second year of undergraduate study. The recommended minimum GPA for a successful applicant is 3.25 at the time of application.

In order to complete both the bachelor's and master's degrees in five years, students will follow IIT's standard B.S. Physics curriculum for the first three years and begin taking graduate Health Physics courses in their fourth year of study, when they will be dual-enrolled in the B.S. and M.H.P. programs. Both degrees will be awarded simultaneously. Some master's degree courses in health physics will be offered only during the summer so students are expected to be in classes year-round over their final two years of study. The online availability of our health physics classes allows the students to hold internships while taking classes during the summer semester. Students will take 128 credit hours for their bachelor's degree and 31 credit hours for their master's degree and will receive both degrees upon satisfactory completion of both programs.

Course of Study 

Co-terminal Bachelor of Science in Physics / Master of Health Physics Sample Curriculum

SEMESTER 1 Credit Hours
PHYS 100 Introduction to the Profession 2
PHYS 123 General Physics I 4
CHEM 124 Principles of Chemistry I 4
MATH 151 Calculus I 5
HUM 10x Introductory Humanities 3
Semester Total 18
 
SEMESTER 2 Credit Hours
PHYS 221 General Physics II 4
CHEM 125 Principles of Chemistry II 4
MATH 152 Calculus II 5
HUM/SS Elective 3
Semester Total 16
 
SEMESTER 3 Credit Hours
PHYS 223 General Physics III for Physics 4
CS 105 Intro. to Computer Programming 2
MATH 251 Multivariate & Vector Calculus 4
HUM/SS Elective 3
HUM/SS Elective 3
Semester Total 16
 
SEMESTER 4 Credit Hours
PHYS 240 Computational Science 3
PHYS 348 Modern Physics 3
MATH 252 Differential Equations 4
HUM/SS Elective 3
HUM/SS Elective 3
Semester Total 16
 
SEMESTER 5 Credit Hours
PHYS 308 Classical Mechanics I 3
PHYS 300 Instrumentation Laboratory 4
PHYS 571 Radiation Physics I 3
IPRO 497 Interprofessional Project 3
HUM/SS Elective 3
Semester Total 16
 
SEMESTER 6 Credit Hours
PHYS 309 Classical Mechanics II 3
PHYS 304 Statistical Physics & Thermo. 3
PHYS 572 Radiation Physics II 3
-------- Free Elective 3
IPRO 497 Interprofessional Project 3
Semester Total 15
 
SUMMER 1 Credit Hours
PHYS 561 Radiation Biophysics 3
Summer Total 3
 
SEMESTER 7 Credit Hours
PHYS 405 Quantum Theory I 3
PHYS 427 Advanced Physics Lab. I 3
PHYS 485 Colloquium 1
MATH xxx Mathematics Elective 3
PHYS 578 Therapeutic Medical Physics I 2
COM 523 Communicating Science 3
Semester Total 15
 
SEMESTER 8 Credit Hours
PHYS 406 Quantum Theory II 3
PHYS 428 Advanced Physics Lab. II 3
PHYS 485 Colloquium 1
MATH xxx Mathematics Elective 3
PHYS 576 Internal Dosimetry 2
CHEM 513 Statistics for Analytical Chemists 3
Semester Total 15
 
SUMMER 2 Credit Hours
PHYS 566 Environmental Health Physics 2
PHYS 770 Instr. for Rad. Health Physcis 2
Summer Total 4
 
SEMESTER 9 Credit Hours
PHYS 413 Electricity & Magnetism I 3
-------- Free Elective 3
-------- Free Elective 3
PHYS 575 Case Studies in Health Physics 3
Semester Total 12
 
SEMESTER 10 Credit Hours
PHYS 414 Electricity & Magnetism II 3
PHYS 440 Computational Physics 3
-------- Free Elective 3
PHYS 573 Standards, Statutes & Regs. 3
PHYS 563 Project Mgmt.: Business Princ. 2
Semester Total 14
 
TOTAL BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN PHYSICS 129
 
TOTAL MASTER OF HEALTH PHYSICS 31