Syllabus for RPT-270



This course provides a comprehensive introduction to radiation health physics and the role of physics professionals in the field of radiation protection/health.

Radiation protection applications in connection with nuclear power generation, as well as the nuclear fuel cycle, research, government, industry, medicine, emergency preparedness, and the environment are covered. Students will learn the fundamental tenets of radiation health physics that they can apply when advancing their education and pursuing a potential career in this broad field.



After completing this course, you should be able to:

     CO1    Describe the profession of radiation protection/health physics and its applications for various


     CO2    List the fundamental principles of radiation protection.

     CO3    Describe the natural and man-made sources of radioactivity and radiation, as well as the typical

                 types of ionizing radiation.

     CO4    Describe and discuss radiation risks and potential health effects.

     CO5    Describe and discuss the primary elements of a typical radiation protection program.

     CO6    List the typical types of nuclear reactors in use and describe the nuclear fuel cycle.

     CO7    Explain the key factors of radiation protection at a nuclear power plant.

     CO8    List the key authoritative bodies on radiation protection and regulatory guidance.

     CO9    Identify and discuss the key regulations for the use of radiation and radioactive materials.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course.

Operational Health Physics Training

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission


Introduction to Nuclear Engineering Technology and Radiation Health Physics is a three-credit, online course consisting of six modules. Modules include an overview, topics, learning objectives, study materials, and activities. Module titles are listed below.

         Course objectives covered in this module: CO1, CO2, CO5


Course objectives covered in this module: CO2, CO3


Course objectives covered in this module: CO8, CO9


Course objective covered in this module: CO4


Course objectives covered in this module: CO6, CO7


Course objectives covered in this module: CO5, CO6




For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in online discussion forums, complete written assignments, and complete a final project. See below for details.

Consult the Course Calendar for due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum, you are required to participate in six graded online class discussions.


Communication with your mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online class discussions involves two distinct activities: an initial response to a discussion question and at least two subsequent comments on classmates' responses.


All of these responses must be substantial. Meaningful participation is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate or your mentor, state and support your position.


You will be evaluated on the quality and quantity of your participation, including your use of relevant course information to support your point of view, and your awareness of and responses to the postings of your classmates. Remember, these are discussions: responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, mature, and respectful.

Written Assignments

You are required to complete six written assignments. The written assignments are on a variety of topics associated with the course modules.

Case Study and PowerPoint Presentation

You will be required to choose a topic and develop a 15-slide presentation on a course-related case study of a nuclear engineering technology or radiation protection activity or event. This case study may be something that already interests you, may be something in the course material that interests you, or may be something that is related to current events in the radiological world, like the Iranian nuclear program or the new types of nuclear reactors that are presently being developed in the United States or are being built in other countries.

Details about your case study and PowerPoint presentation can be found in Modules 2, 3, 4, and 5 and in the Case Study area of the course.

Final Project: Research Paper

You are required to complete a final project in the form of a research paper which will be due at the end of the semester. This paper, which you will put together in four stages, should examine some aspect of radiation protection or nuclear engineering technology that interests you. The focus of this paper might be a look backward to your experience or forward to a topic that a more in-depth knowledge of will help you to meet your professional goals.


Details about your research paper can be found in the Final Project area of the course and in Modules 2, 3,  4, and 6. Due dates associated with this assignment can be found in the Course Calendar.



Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., assignments, discussion postings, final project).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The University expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State University are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the University community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the University Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State University expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the University insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State University is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The University takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > Citing Sources.)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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