Photo of students and faculty at work in the physics radiation lab

Health Physics (M.A.S.)

Designed for professionals working in nuclear security, environmental waste, government, medicine, research, and industry, this health physics program combines technical depth with the essential skills of communication, management, and leadership.

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This professional master’s degree program delves into the knowledge and skills needed to enter the workforce as a highly trained health physics professional. Key skills to be accrued include applying radiation protection principles, implementing radiation protection programs, assessing radiation exposure and health risks, monitoring radiological release and environmental radiation, designing radiation controls and measurement devices, and developing radiation protection measures for regulatory compliance.

The degree is ideal for working professionals as all coursework, with the exception of a week-long instrumentation course and an optional radiochemistry lab course, can be taken online. The program also focuses on developing skills needed to succeed as a professional, such as project management, public speaking, and team leadership. Specializations include Radiochemistry and Radiological Security, Emergency Preparedness and Response.

Note: This program requires a few days of onsite lab work.

Program Overview

For more than 25 years Illinois Tech has graduated leaders in the health physics field. Gain critical skills in radiation safety, control, and containment as well as communications and team leadership to become a highly successful health physics professional.

Career Opportunities

 Health physicists are employed in the following sectors: healthcare, nuclear energy, higher education, government, and the military. Job titles include:

  • Radiation Safety Officer
  • Medical Health Physicist  
  • Health and Safety Specialist
  • Nuclear Licensing Specialist
  • Environmental Health Physicist
  • Nuclear Regulator
  • Dosimetrist  

Applicants must have completed coursework in calculus, or a calculus-based physics sequence. A course in modern physics, especially some basic quantum mechanics, is recommended.

A bachelor’s degree in physics, chemistry, biology, or engineering is required with an overall GPA of 3.0/4.0.

GRE scores: 304 (quantitative + verbal), 2.5 (analytic writing)

Master of Health Physics degree tracks


Certificate Program

Illinois Tech offers a graduate-level certificate program in Radiological Physics. This 12-credit hour program is designed for professionals to build or refresh knowledge of specific topics in health physics.

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Additional Information

Featured Faculty

David Scherer
Senior Lecturer Program Director, Master of Health Physics
Bryce Littlejohn
Associate Professor of Physics
Thomas Irving
Professor of Biology and Physics Executive Associate Chair, Biology Division, BCS Department Director, Biophysics Collaborative Access Team (BioCAT) Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Adjunct Professor of Physics
Adjunct Faculty Instructor
William Kendall Evans
Adjunct Instructor

I found the courses to be very useful and applicable to health physics challenges faced in the workplace. The curriculum applies the theory to real-world issues faced by health physicists, including studies of regulations and topical health physics issues with radiation physics courses. The faculty were excellent; they have real-world experience outside of a university setting. Most memorable from the courses are the past-experiences shared by the professors, from their careers in health physics, and how they addressed and learned from these experiences.

Allison Wilding (HP '16)

Allison Wilding

I had a great experience working with the faculty. I feel as though I will have people to reach out to in the future if I ever have questions in my field, or need something such as a recommendation. Meeting up with the faculty at the National HPS meetings every year also helped to make me and the other students feel comfortable. It creates a family-like atmosphere that I think is unique to the Illinois Tech health physics department. Even the administration were crucial in making everyone feel accepted and like a family.

Samantha Johnson (HP '20)

Samantha Johnson

I found the Illinois Tech curriculum to be of high quality and rigor. The first few courses were particularly challenging, especially for someone who was not coming in via a traditional undergrad physics or health physics background. I think being a self-driven independent learner is great asset for being successful in this program. I also took advantage of our local medical and radiation protection physicists who provided invaluable tutorage, and I enjoyed the challenge as well. Be prepared for hard work and a rigorous curriculum, which, in the case of the training I received, has greatly supported my career path.

Sandor Demeter (HP '16)

Sandor Demeter

The program is very well organized. Faculty were great, always giving prompt answers in classes and/or online. The online platform where all students could go through classes again, at home, patiently, was also super helpful. I remember watching great guest lectures with health physics professionals from around the country and taking good advice from them. During my time at Illinois Tech, I also had the pleasure to cofound the Health Physics Society IIT Student Chapter along with fellow students, which gave an impulse to student participation in the Health Physics Society and in other activities related to the field.

Bruno Jacques Barreto (HP '16)

Bruno Jacques Barreto