Society News Archive

1 April 2014
Health Physics Education Study Performed by ORISE Released

A new report titled Health Physics Enrollments and Degrees Survey, 2013 Data, found that the number of college students graduating with majors in health physics between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 has increased slightly for bachelor's degrees, but decreased for both master's and doctoral candidates. The report was performed and published by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).

"We are concerned about the vitality of health physics teaching programs at several colleges and universities," said Dr. Darrell R. Fisher, president of the Health Physics Society. "To remain vibrant and healthy, these programs need highly dedicated faculty, long-term support from university administrators, and adequate sponsored funding for fellowships and research. Graduate programs also need to actively recruit from undergraduate talent pools to maintain a critical mass."

The report also showed:
  • Enrollment in health physics programs increased for undergraduates, but declined for graduates in 2013.
  • The top degree-granting programs were Oregon State University, Texas A&M University, Idaho State University, and University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
  • High enrollment rates for undergraduates indicates that the number of bachelor's degrees is likely to increase in the coming years, but because the number of graduate enrollments is the lowest reported since the early 1970s, the number of graduate degrees are expected to decrease.
  • Postgraduation plans reported for 2013 graduates were reviewed and ORISE concluded that more than half of the bachelor's graduates and one-fifth of the master's graduates are uncertain of their next step upon completing their current degree program.

Read the full press release with a short summary of the report on the ORAU website media center.

Read the report on the ORISE website.