Health Physics (M.A.S.)

Comprehensive Exam FAQ

  1. Do I need to take a comprehensive exam?
    In order to be granted a Master of Health Physics degree, a candidate must have satisfied all course requirements on their program of study form (courses approved by the program adviser) with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. Additionally, the candidate must pass a written comprehensive exam administered by the Illinois Tech health physics program.
    1. The comprehensive exam will be waived if the candidate has earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher based on the following set of courses: PHYS 550, PHYS 561, PHYS 571, PHYS 572, PHYS 573, PHYS 575, PHYS 576, and one of the following: PHYS 566, PHYS 574, PHYS 577, or PHYS 578.
    2. If the candidate fails their attempt at passing the written comprehensive exam, they will be required to take an oral exam administered on campus by the Illinois Tech health physics program director and other invited faculty.
    3. Any student who began the program prior to fall 2013 may continue to have a passing mark on the ABHP Exam (Part I) honored according to the old policy as passing the comprehensive examination.
  2. How is the exam structured?
    It is a written exam that includes a combination of multiple choice and calculation/essay questions to be assembled by faculty members of the health physics program. The exam is closed book, but a formula sheet will be provided. Additional information may be appended to the exam. There is three-hour time limit to complete the exam. If you fail the written exam, you will be given an oral exam administered by faculty members of the health physics program on Illinois Tech's Mies Campus. The oral exam will be focused on basic concepts and applications of health physics principles. The oral exam is closed book with a two-hour time limit. 
  3. Do I need to wait until I have finished all my classes before sitting for the comprehensive exam?
    You need to wait until you have met the requirement in Item 1, and earned at least a B in PHYS 571 and PHYS 572.
  4. May I sit for the exam without prior approval from my adviser?
    No, it is at the discretion of your adviser to determine if you are ready to take the comprehensive examination.
  5. When is the exam offered?
    The exam is offered twice a year—once in the fall and once in the spring.
  6. How do I sign up to take the exam?
    Contact your adviser when you receive the announcement from the program director.
  7. Do I need to be registered to take the comprehensive exam?
    If you are enrolled in at least one course during the semester that you are taking the exam, no special registration is required. If you are not taking any classes, then you must register for GCS 600, a discounted one credit-hour course to ensure active status.
  8. If I fail the exam, may I retake it?
    If you fail the written exam, you will have an opportunity to take an oral exam. If you fail both the written and oral exams, there is no appeal.
  9. How should I study for this exam?
    Review all course materials thoroughly, including your homework assignments and course exam questions.