Radiological Sciences

Overview | Program Requirements Education Goals | CareersAdmissions | Course Work | Sample ScheduleContact

Radiological Sciences Overview

Director: Norman J. Kleiman, PhD

Environmental Health Sciences investigates how environmental exposures to biological, chemical, and physical agents affect human health and disease. As the need to understand radiation exposure grows, so does the need for professionals with intensive scientific training. The Department of Environmental Health Sciences offers the Master of Science degree with a concentration in Radiological Sciences.

Our curriculum is aimed at fulfilling an unmet need for public health expertise in understanding and communicating the health effects of radiation exposure. The unique focus of the Radiological Sciences track, the first such program offered by a School of Public Health, is at the intersection of environmental health science and the human health risks of radiation exposure arising from accident, nuclear disaster, or terrorism.

Understanding the health effects of radiation and how to protect the public from excessive exposure is of critical importance in today’s uncertain world. Trained professionals with expertise in radiation safety are vital and necessary to protect energy resources, national security, and public health. Individuals with expertise in radiological science AND effective public speaking and writing skills are especially needed to communicate the relative health risks and benefits of radiation exposure with the general public, elected officials, and regulators. 

Through rigorous coursework, practicum, and research, students will gain valuable expertise and training in health physics and radiobiology, conceptual and methodological foundations in biostatistics and epidemiology, and critical thinking and practical skills through hands-on experience. Students will learn how to conduct studies on the effects of radiation in a variety of biological systems.

In addition to full time academic faculty with globally recognized expertise and research, our faculty includes instructors with real-world experience, enhancing the practical, career-oriented aspects of the curriculum. Students will also receive instruction from world renowned faculty in the Columbia University Center for Radiological Research.

Program Requirements

The Radiological Sciences track is designed to be completed in 12 months but can accommodate part-time students, who may take up to three years to complete the program. In addition to coursework, students will gain conceptual and methodological foundations in biostatistics and epidemiology and develop critical thinking and practical skills through hands-on experience.  Graduates will obtain the competency required to begin the American Board of Health Physics certification process.

 Students in this program will complete:

  • At least 40 credits of course work (listed below)

  • A three month Practicum (150-300 hrs)

  • A Master’s Research thesis

Education Goals

The Department’s Radiological Sciences MS degree program will:

  • Provide students with a foundation for interpreting the adverse human health effects associated with exposure to radiation.

  • Train graduates for careers in government and non-profit institutions tasked with evaluating risk and creating guidelines for exposure, as well as for careers in radiation research and development in academia, medicine, industry and the military.

  • Give students the skills to assess risks associated with exposure and to devise methods for minimizing exposure and designing processes for mitigation and remediation.

  • Equip students with research experience through a Master’s thesis and workplace experience via a Practicum/internship.

  • Provide the needed competence in the fundamentals of health physics required for certification by the American Board of Health Physics.

Careers

There is a growing need for professionals with expertise and skill in understanding and communicating potential environmental and human health risks of radiation exposure arising from industrial use, accident, nuclear disaster, or terrorism. Graduates will be well equipped to seek employment in government, non-profit organizations with expertise in radiation regulation and policy, in universities or research institutions, in industry, defense, or nuclear power.

Admissions

Requirements and submission instructions can be found here. 

Prerequisites: Applicants may have an undergraduate degree in any field, but need to demonstrate a strong background in physics, chemistry, biology, and at least two semesters of calculus. 

Application Deadline: Due June 1 of each calendar year to begin studies the following fall

Application Components:

  • College transcript(s)

  • GRE scores

  • A personal statement

  • Three letters of reference

Course Work

Required Courses (34 Credits):

P6104 - Introduction to Biostatistics
P6330 - Radiobiology
P6400 - Principles of Epidemiology
P8310 - Health Physics
P9300 - Capstone: Critical Thinking and Analysis in Environmental Health Science
P9303 - Applied Environmental Public Health Science
P9361 - Master's Essay Research I
E4010 - Introduction to Nuclear Sciences
E4600 - Fundamentals of Radiological Physics and Radiation Dosimetry
E4710 - Radiation Instrumentation and Measurement Laboratory
P9xxx - Radiological Accidents and Environmental Health
P9xxx - Radiation Health Policy

Suggested Elective Courses

P6360 - Analysis of Environmental Health Data
P6385 - Principles of Genetics and the Environment
P8307 - Molecular Epidemiology
P8319 - Biomarkers in Environmental Health
P8323 - Laboratory Methods in Environmental Health Sciences
P9362 - Master's Essay Research II

 

Sample Schedule

FALL (15 credits)

E4010 - Introduction to Nuclear Sciences
P8310 - Health Physics
E4600 - Fundamentals of Radiological Physics and Radiation Dosimetry
E4710 - Radiation Instrumentation and Measurement Laboratory
P6104 - Introduction to Biostatistics

SPRING (13 Credits)

P6330 - Radiobiology
P6385 - Principles of Genetics and the Environment
P6400 - Principles of Epidemiology
P9361 - Master's Essay Research I
P9xxx - Radiation Health Policy

SUMMER (12 Credits)

P9300 - Capstone: Critical Thinking and Analysis in Environmental Health Science
P9303 - Applied Environmental Public Health Science
P9361 - Master’s Essay Research II (Thesis)
P9xxx - Radiological Accidents and Environmental Health
Internship/Practicum
 

Contact Us

Nina Kulacki, MBA
Director of Academic Programs
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Columbia University
(212) 305-3466

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