The UNLV department of chemistry and the department of health physics and diagnostic sciences co-founded the Radiochemistry Ph.D. program in 2004, creating a student driven, research intensive program that stresses the fundamental aspects of radiochemistry science. The curriculum and research opportunities provide a comprehensive and interdisciplinary examination of topics and experiences necessary to produce graduates who are ready to secure employment and participate in radiochemistry research.

Graduate students receive unique training and educational opportunities with hands-on experiences in handling, manipulating, and detecting unsealed radioactive material. Given Nevada's unique relationship with nuclear activities, UNLV has emerged as a premier location for studying the chemistry of the actinides, technetium, and other radionuclides.

Students have access to a wide range of equipment housed within more than 1,500 square feet of radiochemistry laboratory space, enabling research requiring radionuclide counting facilities, spectroscopy, microscopy, and x-ray diffraction.

Researchers and staff scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s national laboratories hold seminars and lecture series as part of the program. UNLV also hosts the Department of Energy sponsored Radiochemistry Fuel Cycle Summer School, which provides radiochemistry PhD students with the unique experience of mentoring undergraduate students in radiochemistry research that is relevant to their thesis pursuits.


Radiochemistry Curriculum

The Ph.D. program requires 60 credits of research and courses beyond the baccalaureate degree. Credit is required for four courses in nuclear chemistry, radiochemistry, detectors, and laboratory. The remaining courses are based on students’ areas of interest and include laboratory research. Students are required to maintain a B average and show progress in their research.

To advance in the program, students must pass an oral exam about their general radiochemistry knowledge and an outside topic related to a specific radiochemistry topic.