Jun 21, 2024  
2009-2011 Graduate Catalog 

Health Physics M.S.

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Admission Requirements

Applications for admission may be obtained by contacting the Department of Health Physics or the Graduate College. Completed applications, official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) scores and one copy of official transcripts from all institutions attended after high school are submitted to the Graduate College. All other data (i.e., letters of recommendation and statement of professional goals) are submitted directly to the Department of Health Physics.

Students seeking admission to the graduate program in health physics must fulfill the following admission requirements:

  1. Overall GPA of 3.00 (A=4.00 or equivalent) in undergraduate work. Applicants with a GPA below 3.00, but not less than 2.75, may be admitted as a graduate provisional student.
  2. Successful completion (grade of C or better) of the following course work: a. Seven-semester credits in biology including an introductory modern biology course and one higher level course b. Ten-semester credits in chemistry or geology including a general chemistry sequence and one higher-level course c. Eight-semester credits in elementary calculus (mathematics through differential equations is recommended) d. Twelvesemester credits in physics including a general physics sequence e. A course in computer programming (an additional course in numerical methods or scientific computing is recommended) Applicants not meeting a limited number (maximum of nine credit hours) of prerequisite requirements may still be admitted to the program. However, prerequisite requirements may still be admitted to the program. However, prerequisite deficiencies must be completed during the first year of study and prior to registering for HPS 796 or 797.
  3. Completion of a baccalaureate degree in health physics, one of the basic sciences, or in a closely related scientific or engineering field. Applicants holding a degree in a non-related field may be given special consideration if they have completed all prerequisite course work.
  4. A composite score of 1,000 or higher on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  5. Three letters of recommendation from former instructors or employers that speak to the applicant’s potential as a graduate student. The individual writing the letter may use the form available from the Graduate College, which includes a release form for the student to sign.
  6. A statement of approximately 300 words indicating the student’s professional goals and reason for seeking graduate education.
  7. International applicants whose native language is not English must show competency in the English language before they can be admitted. A satisfactory score (minimum 550 on the written or 213 on the computerized version) on the “Test of English as a Foreign Language” (TOEFL) or comparable evidence of competency in English must be submitted by students as part of their application.


To progress in the program students must:

  1. Maintain a cumulative grade point average of 3.00 or above each semester enrolled.
  2. Receive a grade of B (3.00) or above in all core health physics courses. If less than a B is earned, the course may be repeated. The student must be in good standing to repeat a course, and any core course may be repeated only once.
  3. A student may register for a course only twice. A student who registered for the same core course twice and has received a grade less than B is ineligible for readmission unless unanimously approved by Health Physics Program graduate faculty.
  4. Complete a minimum of six semester hours in each calendar year.
  5. Continuously register for three credit hours of:
    HPS 796 - Professional Paper  or:
    HPS 797 - Thesis  each semester while working on the thesis or professional paper until completion.


The Health Physics Graduate Program Director will serve as academic advisor to all entering students for program planning. At the time the student selects his/her examination committee, the committee chairperson becomes the student’s official advisor.

Graduation Requirements

Students in the M.S. in Health Physics Program must adhere to the following requirements for graduation:

  1. Residency Credits. A minimum of 20 credits exclusive of thesis or special topic project must be earned at UNLV. A minimum of 15 credits must be accumulated within the School of Health and Human Sciences. Attendance at the University of Nevada, Reno does not interrupt, but does not contribute to, residency credits, because this institution is within the University and Community College System of Nevada.
  2. Credit by Challenge Examination. Graduate courses in the Health Physics program may not be challenged for credit.
  3. Six-year Completion Rule. All degree requirements must be completed within six calendar years from the date of matriculation. No credit may be used in an advanced degree program for course work completed more than six calendar years immediately preceding the term in which all degree requirements are completed.
  4. Allotment of Credits. Students have a choice of catalog under which they wish to graduate a) the year of official matriculation or b) the year of graduation. Students are encouraged to meet the requirements of the current catalog.
  5. A final oral examination will be held following completion of the thesis or professional paper resulting from a special topics project. The final examination must be held at least three weeks prior to the last day of instruction in the term in which the student plans to complete the degree requirements.

Degree Requirements

Requirements for the Master of Science in Health Physics include completion of 37 semester hours in required and elective graduate courses. These requirements will be established in consultation with the student’s advisor in accordance with the Department of Health Physics and Graduate College policy and shall include:

  1. Health Physics Core (22 credits):
    HPS 602 - Radiation Detection ,
    HPS 603 - Radiation Physics and Instrumentation Laboratory ,
    HPS 620 - Radiation Biology ,
    HPS 701 - Radiation Physics and Protection ,
    HPS 718 - Radiochemistry Laboratory ,
    HPS 720 - Radiation Dosimetry , and
    HPS 791 - Graduate Seminar  (three times)
  2. Electives (9 credits): Graduate-level health physics or other approved graduate-level courses. It is recommended that electives include a statistics course and either the Environmental Health Physics or Medical Physics areas listed below:
    1. Environmental Health Physics:
      HPS 670 - Environmental Health Physics ,
      HPS 680 - Industrial Hygiene ,
      HPS 750 - Radiation Risk Assessment 
    2. Medical Physics:
      HPS 740 - Medical Imaging Physics ,
      HPS 742 - Radiation Therapy Physics 
  3. Completion of a thesis or professional paper (6 credits):
    HPS 796 - Professional Paper  or:
    HPS 797 - Thesis .

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