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Master of Health Physics with Specialization in Radiochemistry

To be a radiochemist requires a specialized knowledge of radiation and chemistry, of nuclear reactions, decay modes, and the chemical properties of radioactive elements and isotopes. Currently, the need for radiochemists in the United States is urgent.

Radiochemistry is essential for:

  • The production of radioisotopes for medical diagnosis and treatment, drug synthesis of radiopharmaceuticals, and development of reagents in nuclear medicine
  • environmental chemistry and bioassay for radionuclides, including fission products and actinides, for the detection, measurement, and removal of radioactive materials
  • the nuclear fuel cycle, including high-level, nuclear waste processing technology, nuclear waste management, and nuclear reactor facilities
  • nuclear forensic science for homeland security related issues, including the detection of forensic signatures, and analysis of indicators and source attribution
  • protection against nuclear threat and illicit transportation of radioactive materials, as well as emergency response

If you are a scientist interested in a career in nuclear medicine, homeland security, or environmental protection, apply to Illinois Tech’s brand new radiochemistry track, a specialization of Illinois Tech’s well-established Master of Health Physics program. Our radiochemistry specialization has the added advantage of access to the University of Missouri Research Reactor Center (MURR) where admitted students take a specially designed radiochemistry laboratory course taught by experts.

To earn the Master of Health Physics with Specialization in Radiochemistry degree, students must satisfactorily complete a minimum of 32 credit hours, maintain a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 3.0, and pass a final comprehensive exam. For more information see our FAQ »

All health physics students take a one–week instrumentation course at Illinois Tech's Mies Campus in Chicago.

Health Physics students take the Radiation Instrumation Laboratory course June 2019. All Health Physics students are required take the one–week course at Illinois Tech's Mies Campus in Chicago.


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.

Course of Study 

Sample curriculum

Course Title Credit hours
Core Courses   (24)
PHYS 550 Radiation Instrumentation Laboratory 3
PHYS 561 Radiation Biophysics 3
PHYS 571 Radiation Physics 3
PHYS 573 Standards, Statutes, and Regs. 3
PHYS 575 Case Studies in Health Physics 3
PHYS 580 Introduction to Radiochemistry 3
PHYS 581 Radiochemistry Laboratory 3
PHYS 582 Application of Radiochemistry 3
Elective Courses (choose 1)    (2-3)
CHEM 509/PHYS 539 Physical Methods of Characterization 3
CHEM 512 Spectroscopy II Inorganic 2
PHYS 566 Environmental Health Physics 2
Professional Courses (choose 2)                         
MATH 525 Statistical Models and Methods 3
SCI 511 Project Management 3
SCI 522 Public Engagement for Scientists 3
  Total 11 Courses 32

All of the courses listed above are offered online except for PHYS 550 – Radiation Instrumentation Laboratory and PHYS 581 - Radiochemistry Laboratory. All students in the radiochemistry track are required to complete PHYS 550 before taking PHYS 581. Each of these two courses is offered in the summertime and consists of one week of intensive, hands-on training. PHYS 550 is held on Illinois Tech’s main campus in Chicago while PHYS 581 is offered at MURR in Columbia, Missouri. Students must first pass PHYS 571 – Radiation Physics with a minimum grade of C before registering for PHYS 550.

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.

Program Contact 

Program Director
S.Y. Chen, Ph.D., CHP
Department of Physics
Illinois Institute of Technology
tel: 312.567.3145

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

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