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

Illinois Tech offers a five-year, co-terminal Bachelor of Science in Physics/Master of Health Physics degree program should you 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 career seekers in the government, 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 IIllinois Tech? The unique opportunity to take classes online, as well as on campus, sets Illinois Tech apart from other health physics programs. According to a recent survey by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education, Illinois Tech ranked third in the number of health physics master's degrees awarded in 2010. Illinois Tech is one of only a handful of universities that offer this five-year, co-terminal opportunity. Illinois Tech faculty also has professional connections to help you find an appropriate health physics internship.

Program Details

After enrolling in the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) program in physics, you 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 is 3.25 at the time of application.

In order to complete both the bachelor's and master's degrees in five years, you will follow Illinois Tech'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 you 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 you might need to be in classes year-round during the final two years of study. The online availability of our health physics classes allows you to hold internships while taking classes during the summer semester. You will take 126 credit hours for your bachelor's degree and 31 credit hours for your master's degree, and will receive both degrees upon satisfactory completion of both programs.

Course of Study 

YEAR 1
SEMESTER 1CREDIT HOURSSEMESTER 2CREDIT HOURS
Intro to the ProfessionPHYS 100
2
General Physics II: Electricity and MagnetismPHYS 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, 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 566577, 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