Radiation Health Physics Graduate Programs

Mar 05, 2018

A program in radiation health physics includes coursework in measuring radiation dosages, tools used in this field, and mitigating against radiation based health hazards.

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Radiation health physics is also known as health physics. Graduate programs in radiation health physics are commonly found at the master's level as either Master of Science or Master of Health Physics programs. You will be expected to study about the pros and cons of using technologies that depend on the use of radiation in one of these programs.

Radiation Health Physics Coursework

Coursework in radiation health physics can range from an introduction to the fundamentals of radiation hazards to a review of how radiation poses hazards and how to mitigate against those hazards. The following are a few of the courses you can expect to encounter.

Radiological Physics or Radiophysics

Students in the health physics program will need to have a core understanding of atomic and nuclear physics. Coursework in this area involves instructing students in the fundamentals and applications of atomic physics. Topics that are commonly covered in this course include nuclear shell structure, radioactive decay, exposure calculations and fission characteristics.


This course helps students to better understand the impact of radiation damage and the dose response of biological systems to radiation. Other topics that students can expect to study include radiation genetics and oncogenesis.


Coursework in this class focuses on radiochemical analysis. Students will learn how radiotracer applications are used in both physical and biological systems. They may also learn about microbial reactions to radionuclides, actinide chemistry, and activation analysis.


Dosimetry coursework introduces students to concepts of radiation risk. Courses focus on the impact of radiation when ingested, inhaled, or injected in the form of radionuclides. Other topics that students may encounter include energy deposition and biokinetics.

Radiation Safety

This course focuses on safety in nuclear science and engineering. Study in this area includes coming to a better understanding of health physics principles that can reduce the hazardous risks to humans. These courses also instruct students in how to design safety methods, assess outcomes, and revise standards when incidents do occur.

Admission Requirements

Students hoping to apply to one of these programs will have to typically meet the following requirements. Students commonly need a bachelor's degree with at least a 3.0 GPA for undergraduate work and will need to submit their transcripts. It's also common for schools to ask for a student's GRE scores. Scores must typically have been acquired in the last five years and schools usually do not publish a minimal GRE score for admission. You will also have to submit three letters of recommendation and will often be asked to submit your resume along with the rest of your application. You will also most likely be required to write a statement of purpose.

A program in radiation health physics is heavily focused on learning about the impact of radiation on human health and developing processes that reduce radiation hazards. Students can anticipate going in-depth with courses that discuss the dosages of radiation that pose hazards and how radiation is measured in the field.

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