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Master of Health Physics

Earn your Master of Health Physics degree in less than three years of part-time, online study with just one short, on-site instrumentation course. No thesis required.

The program, founded in 1997, has evolved over the last two decades to stay current with our nation’s needs. The current curriculum, designed by S.Y. Chen, Ph.D., CHP, emphasizes the expertise of the instructors and the accrued knowledge of the profession, including:

  • Applying radiation protection principles
  • Implementing radiation protection programs
  • Assessing radiation exposure and human health risks
  • Monitoring radiological release and environmental radiation
  • Designing radiation controls and measurement devices
  • Developing radiation protection measures for regulatory compliance

As a student at Illinois Tech, you have the opportunity to become involved in the profession through Illinois Tech’s Health Physics Society Student Chapter, the Midwest Chapter of the Health Physics Society, and the Oakridge Associated Universities (ORAU).

  • In June, students enrolled in the online Master of Health Physics program gathered on campus for the week–long Radiation Instrumentation Laboratory class.
    In June, students in the online Master of Health Physics program gathered on campus for the week–long Radiation Instrumentation Laboratory class.
  • The Illinois Tech contingent including current Health Physics students, alumni, faculty and friends, gather poolside after the Annual Health Physics Society Meeting in Orlando, July 2019
    The Illinois Tech contingent including current Health Physics students, alumni, faculty, and friends gather poolside after the Annual Health Physics Society Meeting in Orlando, July 2019
  • Health Physics students (l to r) Ian Hoppie, Aldrich Rivera, and John Edwards celebrate at commencement, May 2019.
    Health Physics students (l to r) Ian Hoppie, Aldrich Rivera, and John Edwards celebrate at commencement, May 2019.

Health physics is a professionally rewarding career with highly competitive salaries (2018 HPS Salary Survey). Hear what our students have to say in our Rad Hawks Talks series and join the 140+ health physics alumni who have graduated from our program!

To earn the master’s degree, you must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 31 credit hours, maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, and pass a final comprehensive exam. For more information see our FAQ.

If your career goals do not require a full master's degree, you can earn a Certificate in Radiological Physics by taking just 12 credit hours of health physics courses. You may also have the option of taking up to nine credit hours as a non-degree seeking student.

To meet our nation’s critical needs, we are proud to announce a new curriculum for a Master of Health Physics Specialization in Radiological Security, Emergency Preparedness and Response. If you are more focused on pursuing graduate work in radiochemistry, then please take a look at our Master of Health Physics with a Specialization in Radiochemistry program.

If you are an undergraduate student, you can apply for our Co-terminal Bachelor of Science/Master's degree program (B.S./M.A.S.) where you can complete a Bachelor of Science in Physics and a Master of Health Physics in just five years.

If you are already a Certified Health Physicist (CHP), you can hone your skills by earning your master's degree or by taking individual courses for AAHP Continuing Education Credits.

Admission 

 To be considered for admission, applicants must have completed coursework in calculus and a calculus-based general physics sequence. A course in modern physics, including some basic quantum mechanics, is strongly recommended.

Students are required to hold a bachelor's degree in physics, biology, chemistry, or engineering, with a GPA of at least 3.0/4.0 from an accredited institution of higher education and a minimum GRE score of 304 [quantitative + verbal] and 2.5 [analytical writing]. The GRE requirement may be waived at the director’s discretion.

For more information on how to apply, please visit the Office of Graduate Admission. Note that International applicants must meet English language requirements and submit financial support documents.

Program Requirements 

Sample curriculum

Course Title Credit hours
Core Courses   (21)
PHYS 550 Radiation Instrumentation Laboratory 3
PHYS 561 Radiation Biophysics 3
PHYS 571 Radiation Physics 3
PHYS 572 Introduction to Health Physics 3
PHYS 573 Standards, Statutes and Regulations 3
PHYS 575 Case Studies in Health Physics 3
PHYS 576 Radiation Dosimetry 3
Elective Courses (Choose 2) (4)
PHYS 566 Environmental Health Physics 2
PHYS 577 Operational Health Physics 2
PHYS 578 Medical Health Physics 2
Professional Courses (Choose 2) (6)
MATH 525 Statistical Models and Methods 3
SCI 511 Project Management 3
SCI 522 Public Engagement for Scientists 3

Minimum credit hours required for graduation: 31

BREAKDOWN OF THE CURRICULUM

PHYS 550, PHYS 561, PHYS 571, PHYS 572, and PHYS 576 emphasize the basics of radiation science and serve as a foundation to the health physics profession.

Students must first pass PHYS 571 – Radiation Physics with a minimum grade of C before registering for PHYS 550.

PHYS 573 (required) is a course specific to the health physics field.

PHYS 566, PHYS 577, and PHYS 578 are designed for specialized areas in health physics and taught by instructors well-experienced in the related fields. These are elective courses offered once every two years.

PHYS 575 is a capstone course and requires independent research, investigation, and writing, similar to a master’s degree thesis. Students take this course towards the end of the program.

SCI 511, SCI 522, and MATH 525 (strongly recommended) explore essential career skills (non-health physics courses) required for the profession. You are required to take two of these courses.

We hope this information offers you some insight into your selection going forward. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Program Contact 

 

Program Director
S.Y. Chen, Ph.D., CHP
Department of Physics
Illinois Institute of Technology
tel: 312.567.3145
email: schen32@iit.edu

Director, Professional Master's Programs and New Initiatives
Elizabeth Friedman, Ph.D.
College of Science
Illinois Institute of Technology
tel: 312.567.7973
email: friedman@iit.edu

 

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