Feb 06, 2023  
2012-2013 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. Twelve semester 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. Students seeking entry to the medical physics specialization must have a strong foundation in physics and, as such, applicants are required to have either an undergraduate degree in physics or a degree in a related engineering or physical science discipline with course work equivalent to a minor in physics (includes at least three upper level undergraduate physics courses).
  5. A score ranking in the 50th percentile or higher on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE). Tests taken prior to August 2011 require a composite score of 1,000 or higher on the verbal and quantitative sections of the Graduate Record Exam (GRE).
  6.  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.
  7. A statement of approximately 300 words indicating the student’s professional goals and reason for seeking graduate education.
  8. 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. Pass the comprehensive oral examination.
  6. Continuously register for three credit hours of: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 Allied Health 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 research 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 40 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 (21 credits):

  (three times)
2.  Completion of thesis or professional paper (6 credits)
3a.  Environmental Health Physics Core (4 credits):
HPS 718 - Radiochemistry Laboratory 

HPS 719 - Introduction to Radioanalytical Chemistry 

3b.  Environmental Health Physics Electives (9 credits):
Graduate-level health physics or other approved graduate-level courses. These include:         
4.  Medical Physics Core (13 credits)
5.  Comprehensive Examination:  Comprehensive Examination: The comprehensive oral exam will be taken by all students after completion of the second semester of enrollment in the program. The exam will be pass/fail. Students who fail the exam may re-take the exam at the end of their third semester of enrollment. Students who fail their second attempt will be separated from the program. Students may not defend their thesis prospectus until successful completion of the oral exam. The exam will be administered by the graduate faculty from Health Physics.



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