Health Physics Undergraduate Program

Health Physics Undergraduate Program


Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's Undergraduate Health Physics

Health Physics (Radiation Safety)

Bloomsburg University offers the only baccalaureate degree program in Health Physics in Pennsylvania. There are few health physics graduates, and yet the demand for them is great — in hospitals, in nuclear power plants, in homeland security, and in environmental protection.

Many BU health physics graduates have gone on to obtain master's and/or doctoral degrees.

Yes, I'm interested!

Please contact David Simpson, program coordinator, at dsimpson@bloomu.edu for more information about BU's health physics program and NRC scholarship programs.

What is Health Physics?

"Health physics" is the profession devoted to protecting people and their environment from potential radiation hazards, while making it possible to enjoy the benefits of the peaceful use of the atom.

Radiation control incorporates an understanding of many disciplines. It has common scientific interests with many areas of specialization: physics, biology, biophysics, engineering (nuclear, civil, mechanical, or electrical), chemistry, genetics, ecology, environmental sciences, metallurgy, medicine, physiology, and toxicology. The wide spectrum of knowledge required of the health physicist makes this profession both challenging and rewarding.

What Do Health Physicists Do?

Health physicists work in a variety of disciplines, including research, industry, education, environmental protection, and enforcement of government regulations. Although the health physicist usually concentrates in one of these disciplines, a professional health physicist typically performs duties in several Power Reactors.

A power reactor health physicist is responsible for all phases of radiation protection at a reactor site. Selecting, purchasing, and maintaining radiation protection, laboratory, and detection equipment are some of the responsibilities.

Medical Health Physicists

The responsibilities of a medical health physicist are broad and ever challenging. These individuals work wherever radiation sources are used to diagnose and treat human diseases. Hospitals, clinics, and major medical centers use radiation sources, including x-ray machines, particle accelerators, and many types of radioactive materials.

Health Physicists in Regulatory Enforcement and Occupational Safety

Whether it be nuclear power, medical uses, industry, environmental restoration, waste management, or educational uses of radioactive materials, there are rules and regulations that guide and provide a margin of safety. There are many occupational opportunities for health physicists in regulatory and occupational safety sectors.

Environmental Health Physicists

The environmental health physicist is the professional most closely associated with protecting the public and environment from unnecessary exposure to man-made and technologically enhanced natural radioactivity. One important aspect is the environmental surveillance for radioactivity, which involves many types of instrumentation and field sampling technologies.

Radiation Safety Officers and Staff

The Radiation Safety Officer and his staff ensure that facilities using radiation sources or radioactive materials are in compliance with state and federal regulations. They also assist in designing facilities, equipment, and programs to optimize radiation protection efforts. Opportunities exist for such positions at many universities, research centers, and industrial sites.