Department of Environmental and Radiological Health Sciences

Health physics is the discipline associated with using radiation for the benefit of society. This includes applying scientific principles and practical knowledge to ensure that these benefits are obtained without unreasonable risks to humans or the environment. The profession has evolved into a necessary part of all applications involving radiation, including radiation use in medical and industrial settings. Sources of radiation range from naturally occurring radioactivity to man-made sources of radiation, such as reactors. Successful professionals in health physics have broad backgrounds in physics, biology, and instrumentation, and understand risks and risk analysis.

The required coursework is structured to provide a sound foundation in the basic skills essential to the health physics profession. Students may concentrate on specific areas of interest through a wide selection of elective courses. Laboratory exercises​, field trips, and research supplement the formal coursework.

The M.S. in Radiological Health Sciences, Plan B, Health Physics Specialization is accredited by the Applied Sciences Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Effective Fall 2021

ERHS 530Radiological Physics and Dosimetry I3
ERHS 531Nuclear Instruments and Measurements2
ERHS 550Principles of Radiation Biology3-5
or ERHS 450 Introduction to Radiation Biology
ERHS 561Radiation Public Health2
ERHS 563Environmental Contaminant Modeling I2
or ERHS 570 Radioecology
ERHS 630Radiological Physics and Dosimetry II3
ERHS 632Techniques in Radiation Dosimetry1
ERHS 665Radiochemistry3
ERHS 693DResearch Seminar: Health Physics1
ERHS 786Practicum3
Select one of the following courses:3-4
Biostatistical Methods for Quantitative Data
Quantitative Methods for Radiation Safety
Design and Data Analysis for Researchers I
Select at least 3 credits from the following:3
Environmental Toxicology
Fundamentals of Toxicology
Non-Ionizing Radiation Safety
Environmental and Occupational Health Issues
Industrial Hygiene
Industrial Hygiene Laboratory
Quantitative Methods for Radiation Safety 1
Environmental Contaminant Modeling I 1
Chemical and Biological Warfare Agents
Radioecology 1
Aerosols and Environmental Health
Design and Data Analysis for Researchers II
Statistics for Environmental Monitoring
500-level or greater elective 23
Program Total Credits:32-35

A well-written, comprehensive, and scholarly professional paper prepared on a topic approved by the student’s graduate committee that is successfully defended in an oral examination. 


ERHS 555, ERHS 563 and ERHS 570 may only be used from the list if they have NOT been previously selected for the preceding requirements. 


Elective course must be approved by the student’s graduate committee.