The Master of Health Physics degree at Illinois Tech was founded in 1997 by Carlo Segre, professor of physics, with Eli Port, a former Illinois Tech radiation safety officer and early student of Herman Cember. This non-thesis master’s degree can be completed in less than three years of part-time online study with just one short on-site instrumentation course. The current curriculum, designed by S.Y. Chen, Ph.D., CHP, emphasizes 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
Health physicists’ benefits include highly competitive salaries (2016 HPS Salary Survey) and a professionally rewarding career. Students 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). Hear what our students have to say in our Rad Hawks Talks series!
If you are interested in pursuing graduate work in radiochemistry, take a look at our new Master of Health Physics with a Specialization in Radiochemistry.
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.
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.
To earn the master’s degree, students 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 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.
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.
|PROFESSIONAL HEALTH PHYSICS ELECTIVE COURSES (select two of the following)|
|PHYS 566||Environmental Health Physics|
|PHYS 574||Introduction to Nuclear Fuel Cycle|
|PHYS 577||Operational Health Physics|
|PHYS 578||Medical Health Physics|
|OTHER ELECTIVE COURSES (select two of the following)|
|MATH 525||Statistical Models and Methods|
|SCI 511||Project Management|
|SCI 522||Public Engagement for Scientists|
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.
PHYS 573 (required) and PHYS 574 (elective) are courses 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.
S.Y. Chen, Ph.D., CHP
Department of Physics
Illinois Institute of Technology
Director, Professional Master's Programs and New Initiatives
Elizabeth Friedman, Ph.D.
College of Science
Illinois Institute of Technology