Radiological Sciences

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Understanding the health effects of radiation exposure and how to protect the public is critically important. To protect our nation's energy, security, and health, more trained professionals with expertise in radiation safety are vital and necessary, as well as effective communicators who can share the relative health risks and benefits of radiation exposure to the general public, elected officials, and regulators.  

The MS degree program in the Department of Environmental Health Sciences has a track in Radiological Sciences, with a focus in either Health Physics or Radiobiology, the first such program offered by a nationally accredited School of Public Health. The unique focus of this track is on the intersection of the environmental and human health risks of radiation exposure.

Through rigorous coursework in radiation biology, dosimetry, environmental contamination, waste management and historical accidents and incidents, students will gain expertise and training in the environmental health sciences of radiation exposure, conceptual and methodological foundations in biostatistics and epidemiology, as well as critical thinking and practical skills through hands-on experiences. This degree also has a part-time option. 

Students in Health Physics will gain additional expertise in radiation safety, regulation, and policy. Students in Radiobiology will have the opportunity to focus on radiation research and to learn how to conduct studies on the effects of radiation on 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.

Course of Study

This is a 40 credit program which includes coursework in: nuclear science, radiation health policy, radiological physics and dosimetry, and laboratory training in radiation instrumentation and measurements. Students will gain conceptual and methodological foundations in biostatistics and epidemiology and develop critical thinking and practical skills through hands-on experience, in addition to obtaining the necessary competencies required to begin the American Board of Health Physics certification process.


There is a growing need for professionals with expertise in understanding potential environmental and human health risks of radiation exposure arising from industrial use, accident, nuclear disaster, or terrorism. Graduates with a MS degree in Radiological Sciences will be well prepared for positions in government, non-profit organizations with expertise in radiation regulation and policy, universities or research institutions, companies within the nuclear power industry, and the military.


Applicants to the program may have an undergraduate degree in any field but should have a strong background in biology, physical sciences, and have completed at least two semesters of calculus. Applications are due June 1 of each calendar year to begin studies the following fall, and should include college transcript(s), GRE scores, a personal statement detailing the applicant's reasons for applying, and three letters of reference. More information can be found here.

Learn More

View competencies, course requirements, sample schedules, and more.

Contact Us

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