Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) Training

July 21-23 and July 28-30, 2023 | Subscribe to hear about the next training

The most recent in-person RSO training was July 21-23 & July 28-30, 2023. Subscribe below to hear about the next training!

40-Hour Training Course (Two Long Weekends)

Join us for two long weekends for the required 40 hours of training to become a Radiation Safety Officer (RSO)! This course meets the coursework training requirement for a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) type C license, providing the skills needed to successfully implement a radiation protection program in the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, university, hospital, or medical laboratory setting. 

Subscribe for updates on course details, registration, deadlines and content.

Jump to: Overview | Topics | Learning Objectives | Why Columbia | Requirements | Instructors | Testimonials | Registration Fees | Location & Travel | Additional Information

Course Overview

2023 dates: July 21-23 & July 28-30 (40 hours over two long weekends)
Fridays 2:00pm - 6:15pm EDT; Saturdays/Sundays 8:00am - 5:30pm EDT

Columbia University’s Department of Environmental Health Sciences offers a 40-hour course to meet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Class C Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) coursework training requirements.  The curricula is designed for individuals working in academia, industry, and government laboratories seeking training in the safe handling of radioisotopes to meet local, state, or federal regulatory and/or training requirements. Participants that complete this course will fulfill the 40-hour requirement as stated in 10CFR33.15 - Requirements for the issuance of a Type C specific license of broad scope:

The NRC requires any organization that uses radioactive material to have a licensed, designated Radiation Safety Officer (RSO).  This course is designed to help such organizations apply for or renew their license for use of radioactive materials. The course is not intended to meet the licensing requirements for medical use of radionuclides or fluoroscopic imaging.

Course instructors, with faculty appointments at Columbia University and the Columbia University Medical Center, are experts in their fields.  They include faculty from the Center for Radiological Research, the Department of Environmental Health Sciences, the Department of Medicine and the Department of Environmental Health & Safety. Learn more about the course instructors here.

Course Topics

  • Radiation and radioisotopes
  • The human health effects of ionizing radiation exposure
  • Radiation dosimetry and instrumentation
  • Radiation protection
  • Safe handling and disposal of radioisotopes
  • Inventory control
  • Record keeping and regulatory requirements
  • Transporation of radioactive materials
  • Hazard and risk assessment, reduction, and communication
  • Employee bioassay program
  • Emergency management, personnel contamination, and response

Course Learning Objectives

  • Develop RSO skill sets specific to University, Hospital, Medical, Health Department, Governmental or Biopharmaceutical lab environments
  • Gain expertise in maintaining compliance with radionuclide permit and licensing requirements at local, state and national levels
  • Create and maintain a safe laboratory working environment
  • Assess potential radiation risks and relevant human health effects
  • Develop work plan for employees to effectively reduce or eliminate risk
  • Limit potential for radiological terrorism using laboratory materials
  • Understand and apply Health Physics practice in a laboratory setting
  • Learn management of radiological solid and liquid waste
  • Understand regulatory requirements and expectations
  • Gain hands-on experience with instrumentation
  • Apply “tools of the trade” upon returning to your organization, with a comprehensive resource guide

Why RSO Training at Columbia University

  • One of only three RSO trainings offered in a University setting rather than a for-profit corporation
  • One of the very few RSO training courses offered in the Northeast
  • Course faculty are internationally recognized for their expertise in radiological science, dosimetry, waste management and public health and together have many decades of teaching and research experience
  • Faculty are always available for questions, additional information and personalized attention
  • Many Columbia University Medical Center resources are available to students while in attendance, including the library, study halls and computer labs
  • New York City provides students with numerous cultural and educational opportunities


There are no requirements to attend the RSO training.


Norman J. Kleiman, PhD
Course Director
Associate Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Director, Eye Radiation & Environmental Research Laboratory
Director, MS Degree Programs in Radiological Sciences and Toxicology
Department of Environmental Health Sciences
Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University

Sally Amundson, PhD
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology
Columbia University Center for Radiological Research
Columbia University Medical Center

Stephen Balter, PhD
Professor of Clinical Radiology (physics) (in Medicine)
Medical Physicist
Columbia University Irving Medical Center

David J. Brenner, PhD
Higgins Professor of Radiation Biophysics
Professor of Environmental Health Sciences
Director, Columbia University Center for Radiological Research
Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Guy Garty, PhD 
Associate Professor of Radiation Oncology
Center for Radiological Research
Columbia University Irving Medical Center

Lauren Kelly, CHMM, CDGP
Project Manager-Safety & Regulatory Affairs
Environmental Health & Safety
Columbia University

Peter Caracappa, PhD, CHP
Chief Radiation Safety Officer
Columbia University

Angela Ran Meng, MS, CHP
Deputy Radiation Safety Officer
Environmental Health & Safety
Columbia University

Learn more about the course instructors.


"Highly impressed with the training program for radiation safety officer provided by Columbia University. The passionate and knowledgeable professors and professionals provided an insightful boot camp which can help anyone with their new role as RSO." - Uloma C. from Kaiser Permanente, 2022

"A very in-depth dive into practical requirements for the aspiring Radiation Safety Officer! Highly recommend!" - Andrew H. from Targa Resources, 2022

"Absolutely amazing! A great compendium ranging from the basics of Radiation physics to the specific roles of an RSO. I truly felt I grew as a professional as we went through the lectures." - Ernesto T. from PET Imaging Radiology, 2022

"It doesn't matter if you don't have a radiation background, this course covers what it takes to be an RSO in a simple way." - Veronica F. from the University of Puerto Rico-Medical Science Campus, 2022

Additional Testimonials

Registration Fees

Early-bird rate (through 5/31/23): $1,650

Standard rate (6/1/23 - 7/14/23): $1,850

Registration Fee: Fee includes course material.

Invoice Payment and Group Registrations: If you would prefer to pay by invoice/check, or would like to pay for a group of registrants, please email Columbia.Workshops@gmail.com with the following details: 1) full attendee name(s), and 2) payment method (credit card, invoice, wire).

Cancellations: Cancellation notices must be received via email at least 30 days prior to the training start date in order to receive a full refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Cancellation notices received via email 14-29 days prior to the training will receive a 75% refund, minus a $75 administrative fee. Please email your cancellation notice to Columbia.Workshops@gmail.com. Due to workshop capacity and preparation, we regret that we are unable to refund registration fees for cancellations after these dates.

If you are unable to attend the training, we encourage you to send a substitute. Please inform us of the substitute via email at least one week prior to the training to include them on attendee communications, updated registration forms, and materials. Please email substitute inquiries to Columbia.Workshops@gmail.com. In the event Columbia must cancel the event, your registration fee will be fully refunded.

Location and Travel

The RSO Training is a live, in-person training taking place July 21-23 and July 28-30 at the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health located at 722 W. 168th Street in NYC. All training start and end times are in EDT. PDF versions of each instructor’s online presentation will be made available to all attendees.

More information on travel, lodging, and getting around NYC.

Additional Information

The Radiation Safety Officer Training is hosted by Columbia University's Department of Environmental Health Sciences in the Mailman School of Public Health.

Jump to: Overview | Topics | Learning Objectives | Why Columbia | Requirements | Instructors | Testimonials | Registration Fees | Location & Travel | Additional Information


Additional Testimonials

"This course was extremely informational to say the least! From the highly achieved and more than qualified instructors, to their patience in answering our questions, I would highly recommend this course to anyone needing RSO training!" - Aaron S. from CZ-USA, 2021

"A good training course for future RSOs for medical, research and development, and manufacturing. You will know what to do as a RSO. It packed lots of need-to-know information." - Frank T. from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission, 2021

"I would highly recommend this course for anyone wanting to become an RSO. The lecturers were knowledgeable and definitely loved what they did and it showed in their presentations. I got a wealth of information that I can implement at the facility where I work." - Vladimir H. from the Medical University of South Carolina, 2021.

"The annual Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) training program through the Columbia Mailman School of Public Health is a thought provoking, career enhancing, experience. I gained strategic insight on the role of the RSO operating within a world-class academic research / clinical arena." - Allen C. from Harvard University, 2020 virtual training RSO Trainee

"A comprehensive overview of the science, functional and administrative duties of the RSO, and how to communicate about risk.  Enjoyed it!" - Jim F., 2020 virtual training RSO Trainee

"This course was ideally suited for my role as a Radiation Oncology Manager and Radiologic Technology consultant.  It was a refresher for some of the course material but also taught me many new topics in areas I was less familiar with. The instructors were clearly knowledgeable with the material and were very engaging.  I would highly recommend this course for anyone working in a managerial or safety position in their institutions." - Lee O. from Long Island Veterinary Specialists, 2020 virtual training RSO Trainee

"A great course to cover essential topics relevant to becoming a Radiation Safety Officer." - Samantha V. from West Chester University, 2020 virtual training RSO Trainee

"This course is a delightful, rewarding overview of radiation's multiple great benefits. Developed and taught by the faculty of Columbia's Mailman School of Public Health's renowned EHS, this course is the ultimate tool to meet the required curriculum requirements for the radiation safety officer (RSO) certification." - Jean-Bernard D., 2020 virtual training RSO Trainee 

"Even as a radiation safety personnel with a graduate degree in Radiation Protection, I found this course highly informative and valuable for any RSO. The presentation methods and instrumentation made it very easy to remember taught concepts and to apply them practically at work." - Ozuzu E., 2020 virtual training RSO Trainee

"This course is not only good for people new to the field but also for the skilled professionals to refresh and update their knowledge from basic principle to most advanced applications." - 2019 RSO Trainee

"This course broadened my knowledge and acted as refresher training on varied topics related to RSO duties and responsibilities. I would highly recommend this course to radiation safety professionals in both medical and research settings." - 2019 RSO Trainee

"The instructors were the best part of the experience. They are true subject matter experts that could break down complex material to a group of diverse professionals in a manner that was relevant and easy to consume.  Their collective passion for the field of radiological science was both palpable and inspiring.  You will leave caring about radioactive waste and cataracts like you never thought you could.  I strongly recommend the course, it was well worth the 40 hour commitment." - 2019 RSO Trainee

The RSO training is valuable for those who need to acquire knowledge and skills in the field of ionizing radiation. The Course covers a broad set topics that any RSO needs to apply on a daily basis. The theoretical lessons are complemented by practical lab sessions and on-site visits, which are very helpful for learning. Moreover, the lecturers are highly specialized and experienced on the topics they deliver, creating an atmosphere of active learning by promoting the participation and discussion among the audience. - 2018 RSO Trainee

A well designed, comprehensive training program adaptable to academia, industry, or the medical field.  I now have the tools to confidently be the RSO at my facility. - 2018 RSO Trainee

This class was excellent; the instructors were super knowledgeable and had a wealth of information.  I recommend this class to anyone looking to advance their career in safety. - 2017 RSO Trainee

This course-training woke up my passion for health physics studies, very informative presented in a clear and understandable way, with very knowledgeable and prestigious speakers who share the most valuable and updated information. - 2017 RSO Trainee

The RSO course provided by Columbia was just right for the professional worker looking to increase their knowledge and skill set in the radiation safety field. - 2017 RSO Trainee