Health Physics (M.A.S.)

Comprehensive Exam FAQs

1. Do I need to take a comprehensive exam?

In order to earn a Master of Health Physics, a Master of Health Physics with Specialization in Radiological Security, Emergency Preparedness and Response, or a Master of Health Physics with a Specialization in Radiochemistry, you must have satisfied all course requirements on the program of study form (courses approved by the program adviser) with a minimum grade-point average of 3.0. Additionally, you must pass a written comprehensive exam administered by the Illinois Tech health physics program. If you have earned a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or higher for all required and elective health physics courses (PHYS designation) in your program of study, the comprehensive exam will be waived.

2. How is the exam structured?

The comprehensive exam 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.

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 requirements in Q1 above, 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 written exam, may I retake it?

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. 

9. If I fail the oral exam, can I appeal?

No, if you fail the oral exam you cannot appeal.