Health Physics Track

Health physicists are the public health professionals that deal with radiation protection issues. They are trained in the recognition, evaluation, and control of both ionizing and nonionizing radiation. They oversee the safe use and application of radiation in a variety of occupational and nonoccupational settings. Health physics promote excellence in the science and practice of radiation protection. They typically work at facilities where radiation or radioactivity is used or produced, including medical institutions, government laboratories, research facilities, nuclear power plants, universities, and regulatory agencies. (Health physics is distinct from “medical physics,” which is a subspecialty of physics that specifically deals with delivery of radiation to patients in a clinical situation, such as a diagnostic radiology facility or a radiation oncology clinic.)

Health physcists are considered to be public health professionals, and the discipline of health physics is often referred to as one of the “allied health professions.” Practicing health physicists typically have undergraduate degrees in one of the basics sciences (biology, chemistry, physics, mathematics, engineering, environmental science, etc.), and a master’s degree specifically in health physics.

The tradition health physics track of the Georgetown University Health Physics Graduate Program specifcally trains students to be health physics professionals.

Required Courses

  • Radiation Science
  • Radiation Protection
  • Environmental Health Physics
  • Radiation Biology
  • Cancer Risk Assessment (or Mechanisms of Carcinogenesis)