Close Menu

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 may be offered only during the summer so students might need 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 126 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 

YEAR 1
SEMESTER 1CREDIT HOURSSEMESTER 2CREDIT HOURS
PHYS 100 2 PHYS 221 4
PHYS 123 4 CHEM 125 4
CHEM 124 4 MATH 152 5
MATH 151 5 Humanities or Social Sciences Elective 3
  15   16
YEAR 2
SEMESTER 1CREDIT HOURSSEMESTER 2CREDIT HOURS
PHYS 223 4 PHYS 240 3
MATH 251 4 PHYS 348 3
CS 105 or 115 2 MATH 252 4
Social Sciences Elective 3 Social Sciences Elective (300+) 3
Humanities 200-level Course 3 Social Sciences Elective (300+) 3
  16   16
YEAR 3
SEMESTER 1CREDIT HOURSSEMESTER 2CREDIT HOURS
PHYS 300 4 PHYS 304 3
PHYS 301 3 PHYS 309 3
PHYS 308 3 PHYS 406 3
PHYS 405 3 IPRO Elective I 3
Humanities Elective (300+) 3 Free Elective 3
  16   15
YEAR 4
SEMESTER 1CREDIT HOURSSEMESTER 2CREDIT HOURS
PHYS 413 3 PHYS 414 3
PHYS 427 3 PHYS 440 3
PHYS 485 1 PHYS 485 1
PHYS 571 3 MATH Elective, 300-level or above 3
PHYS 576 3 PHYS 566, 574, 577, or 578 2
Free Elective 3 PHYS 572 3
    Graduate Professional Course 3
  16   18
YEAR 5
SEMESTER 1CREDIT HOURSSEMESTER 2CREDIT HOURS
PHYS 550 3 PHYS 566, 574, 577, or 578 2
PHYS 561 3 PHYS 575 3
PHYS 573 3 Graduate Professional Course 3
IPRO Elective II 3 Humanities Elective (300+) 3
Free Elective 3 Free Elective 3
  15   14
    Total Credit Hours 157