Unique to Houston: Health Physics at TSU

The health physics degree program at Texas Southern University is the first program of its kind in Houston, Texas. It prepares students to work in both the medical field and in any industry utilizing nuclear radiation energy. Graduates are trained to oversee and monitor safe working and living environments affected by nuclear radiation sources whether in hospitals, nuclear power plants, government or private research facilities. With a B.S. in Health Physics from TSU, students may command a six-figure salary in a rapidly expanding field dealing with nuclear energy safety. The program is directed by Dr. C. R. Handy, while Dr. Elena Stefanova, an assistant professor in experimental nuclear physics, serves as the scientific coordinator. It was established through various federal grants from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission totaling close to $570,000. An additional $180,000 in scholarships was received through a University of Texas-Austin led consortium sponsored by the Office of Naval Research. The Health Physics program’s first students will graduate in May 2010, including a student in the 18-24-month post-baccalaureate program, which allows students with existing B.S. degrees in the sciences, engineering, and mathematics to update their degree with specialized training in this highly marketable area, resulting in a second B.S. degree. Certificate programs will also be offered in the near future.

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