M.S. in Health Physics

Medical & Health Physics

M.S. in Health Physics

To meet increasing demand by industry and government for trained health physicists, LSU's Department of Physics & Astronomy offers a Master of Science degree with a concentration in Health Physics. The M.S. degree program seeks to train students for a professional career in health physics, including successful completion of future board certification exams. Students completing the health physics concentration should be competitive for entry-level health physics positions. Some students choose to continue their education by pursuing a PhD degree.

Students spend their first year in the classroom learning the fundamentals of health physics: radiation detection and instrumentation, radiation protection, radiation biology, and additional topics. Second-year students in the health physics concentration take courses relevant to applied nuclear science and radiation protection to prepare them for careers either with industrial companies, hospitals, and national laboratories that use radiation sources or for Federal or State government agencies that regulate radiation use.

Students in the health physics concentration complete a thesis based on hypothesis-driven research during the second year of training. Thesis research culminates in a public presentation and thesis defense. The results of the thesis are expected to be submitted for publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

Objectives - Health Physics

The Health Physics concentration of the M.S. Program is designed for individuals who wish to be educated in health physics. The Program’s objective is to prepare the student for an opportunity such as:

  • A career as a professional health physicist in a Federal or State government agency,
  • A career as a professional health physicist in nuclear power or related industry,
  • A career as a professional medical health physicist in a hospital environment,
  • A career as a researcher in a health physics research laboratory, and
  • Further research training in a Ph.D. health physics or medical physics program.

Health physicists typically complete the American Board of Health Physics Certified Health Physicist (CHP) exam.

Health Physics Curriculum

The MS degree with concentration in health physics requires 33 credit hours of course work, in addition to a minimum of six hours of thesis research. This degree can be completed within 2 years. Consult the LSU General Catalog for specific degree requirements, course descriptions, and related information.

The typical health physics student completes the following courses during the graduate program (credits hours are listed for each course):

  • MEDP 4111 Introduction to Medical Imaging (3)
  • MEDP 4331 Radiation Protection and Exposure Evaluation (3)
  • MEDP 4351 Radiation Detection and Instrumentation (2)
  • MEDP 4352 Radiation Detection Laboratory (1)• MEDP 7121 Radiobiology (3)
  • MEDP 7530 Radiation Shielding and Accelerators (3)
  • MEDP 7537 Radiation Interactions and Transport (3)
  • MEDP 7995 Seminar (1)
  • MEDP 8000 Thesis Research (1-12 per sem.)
  • NS 4352 Environmental Radiological Evaluation and Remediation (3)
  • NS 4570 Nuclear Facility Safety (3)

Additional special topics and elective courses available to health physics students include:

  • EXST 7004 Experimental Statistics I (4)
  • MEDP 7098 Radiation Research Technology and Methods (3)
  • MEDP 7111 Advanced Medical Imaging Physics (3)
  • MEDP 7331 Radiation Therapy Physics (3)
  • MEDP 7538 Monte Carlo Simulation of Radiation Transport (3)
  • MEDP 7991 Advanced Projects in Medical Physics and Health Physics (1-3)
  • MEDP 7992 Advanced Topics in Medical Physics and Health Physics (1-3)
  • MEDP 7999 Report Investigation (1-6)