22 Best Master’s in Nuclear Engineering

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When it comes to being a nuclear engineer, knowledge is power in more ways than one. Those who take on the challenge of getting a Master's Degree in Nuclear Engineering want to study more about the evolution of nuclear energy and make decisions that can affect the lives of millions of people. Some of the courses students will take on include Nuclear Radiation Detection, Reactor Engineering, Introduction to Plasma Physics and Fusion Engineering, Nuclear Chemical Engineering, and Nuclear Fuel Cycles. Many colleges will require prerequisite classes to be taken before a student can take any graduate courses. Most of these classes will be in mathematics, physics, chemistry, and related science courses.

Studying to become a nuclear engineer takes an enormous amount of work and motivation, but the rewards are well worth it in the end. Nuclear engineers are one of the higher paid professions in the U.S. The average pay is $107,600/year, according to the U.S. Department of Labor and Statistics. The average pay for those who work in Engineering Services is closer to $130,000/year. There are over 17,000 nuclear engineer jobs across the country, with a majority of them working as electric power technicians or with nuclear power plants, according to BLS. Nuclear engineers are also growing as developments of nuclear medicine, diagnostic imaging, and cancer treatment call for new treatment methods. Those with a Master's in Nuclear Engineering can also obtain jobs in nuclear power plants, examine nuclear accidents, and gather data to prevent future problems, work with nuclear waste, operate maintenance activities at nuclear facilities, work in scientific research, or even work in the medical field coming up with new innovations.

Students who take Nuclear Engineering online will have the opportunity to work at their own pace towards a specific deadline. Most Nuclear Engineering Graduate schools call for a thesis or non-thesis option, seminar work, and a final examination before a degree is awarded. Also, be mindful that some universities and colleges ask for students to do research at nuclear facilities as part of their coursework. Most degrees call for 30-36 hours of coursework and can be completed in one to two years, depending on whether the student is part-time or full-time.

Here are the top schools for Best Master's in Nuclear Engineering:

#22 – University of South Carolina–Columbia

Master's of Science and Engineering in Nuclear Engineering

Columbia, SC
Website

The University of South Carolina–Columbia offers an MS and ME in Nuclear Engineering which provides opportunities for students to become further experts in the engineering field and set up a future for success. Students must take four core courses in order to complete the program: Introduction to Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Fuel Cycles, Radiation Shielding, and Reactor Systems. In addition, at least three to five elective courses are required which focus on courses in space, propulsion, materials science and engineering, medicine and radiological sciences, power, and nuclear safeguards and security. The office of admissions requires applicants to hold a bachelor's degree and submit official transcripts along with results from their GRE exam. USC ranks No. 95 in "Best Engineering Schools", according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,650 / $29,196

 

#21 – University of Missouri

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Columbia, MO
Website

The University of Missouri offers an MS in Nuclear Engineering which prepares students for a future in the fields of science, mathematics, and energy. The MS program requires 31 hours of coursework which includes a research project or thesis. Students will be required to have taken undergraduate classes already in thermodynamics, advanced engineering mathematics, and calculus-based physics. Most students who already have an undergraduate degree in, or related to, engineering will have already taken these courses. The office of admissions requires students to submit their official transcripts, GRE score reports, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and have a GPA of at least 3.0. UM was ranked No. 95 for "Best Engineering Program", according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,822 / $24,156

 

#20 – University of Massachusetts–Lowell

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Lowell, MA
Website

The University of Massachusetts-Lowell offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering which teaches students the necessary skills to excel as a future engineer. Students who take the program have the option of going the thesis or non-thesis track. For those who decide to take a thesis, 24 credit hours of coursework are required. Students must also take at least six credits preparing for an acceptable thesis. For those who go the non-thesis track, 30 credit hours are required and students must take a comprehensive exam before receiving their degree. Students must take four core courses in Advanced Thermodynamics, Advanced Kinetics and Reactor Design, Advanced Transport Phenomena, and Mathematical Methods for Engineers. The office of admissions requires non-engineering undergraduate students to take certain classes before registering for their Master's. UML's College of Engineering was ranked No. 3 by U.S. News & World Report for "Best Graduate Engineering Program."

Graduate Tuition/Fees: N/A

 

#19 – Colorado School of Mines

Master's Degree in Nuclear Engineering

Golden, CO
Website

Colorado School of Mines offers a Master's in Nuclear Engineering which exposes students to the nuclear fuel cycle and enhances their expertise in the field of engineering. Students are required to complete 36 semester hours, taking 13 core credits, 12 core elective credits, 9 elective credits, and two credits in the Nuclear Science and Engineering Seminar. The program is interdisciplinary and allows students to take a thesis track in replacement of the seminar. Students have the option of minoring in Nuclear Engineering by taking 12 credit hours of coursework. In order to apply, students must provide official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, results from the GRE, and an official statement of intent. Colorado School of Mines ranked No. 80 in "Top National Universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $16,650 / $36,270

 

#18 – Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

MS in Nuclear Engineering

City, ST
Website

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute offers a Master's Degree in Nuclear Engineering which offers a wide variety of courses to fit almost any curriculum. The major concentrates on reactor physics and design, thermal-hydraulics, health physics, and reactor materials. Students are required to complete 30 semester hours and can choose either a thesis or a project to culminate the program. Students can choose a concentration on Mechanics and Structure, Design and Manufacturing, Energy Systems, or Dynamics and Control. Students can also enroll in the Senior Design Program which allows students to practice at two world-class research facilities. To apply, students must submit two letters of recommendation, a personal statement, a portfolio, a resume, GRE scores, and official transcripts. RPI's Engineering Program was ranked No. 6, according to College Factual.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $52,550

 

#17 – University of New Mexico

MS in Nuclear Engineering

Albuquerque, NM
Website

The University of New Mexico offers a Master's in Nuclear Engineering which prepares students for a future in science and mathematics. In order to complete the program, students must take one of the two degree plans. Plan I requires a total of 30 semester hours, which includes 24 hours of core coursework and a six-hour thesis. Plan II, which is the non-thesis option, calls for 33 hours of semester coursework and the completion of a Master's project and final examination. The final examination is an oral presentation of the project and the student's discipline principles. In order to be accepted into the graduate program, students must have already completed their bachelor's degree and taken 32 semester hours of mathematics and science, one hour of computer programming, a semester of differential equations, one year of general college physics, one year of general college chemistry, and a year of differential and integral calculus. Students must also submit three letters of recommendation as well as their GRE test scores. UNM's physics program ranked in the top 100 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $5,001 / $16,883

 

#16 – Missouri University of Science and Technology

MS in Nuclear Engineering

City, ST
Website

Missouri University of Science and Technology offers an MS in Nuclear Engineering which gives students the tools for designing nuclear energy systems and learning the operation based on their background. Students are required to complete the program by successfully taking 30 semester hours. They can specialize in a number of different areas, including reactor design or safety, probabilistic risk assessment, radiation effects, radiation protection, space nuclear power, fuel cycle, radioactive waste management, applications of radioisotopes, and thermal hydraulics. In order to be accepted into the program, students must submit three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, official transcripts, pre-requisite classes from their undergraduate degree, and test results from their GRE examination. MUST is ranked No. 82 in the nation in "Best Engineering Schools", according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,061 / $29,558

 

#15 – Virginia Tech

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Blacksburg, VA
Website

Virginia Tech offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering which allows students to develop their skills to become successful scientists in the future. Students are required to complete 30 credit hours and finish with a GPA of at least 3.0 in order to successfully pass the program. Students must take 15 core course credits, nine elective credits, and take six credits in Research and Thesis. Students must also participate in the nuclear engineering program seminar series which includes presentations on-campus and off-campus and address technical and policy issues within the field. Students must also give one seminar on their research and thesis project before they graduate. To be accepted into the MS program, students must hold a 3.2 GPA, submit official transcripts, compile three letters of recommendation, and have taken the GRE examination. VT ranked No. 76 in Best National Universities, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,310 / $26,825

 

#14 – United States Naval Academy

MEng in Nuclear Engineering

Annapolis, MD
Website

The United States Naval Academy offers a Master's Degree in Nuclear Engineering which provides opportunities for students to explore a career in the U.S. Navy or as a civilian in the technical field. Students will learn about fluid mechanics, material science, thermodynamics, and heat transfer as part of their studies at the USNA. Students are required to complete core courses in Engineering and Weapons, Mathematics and Science, Leadership Education and Development, as well as Seamanship and Navigation. They also can take electives in Humanities and Social Sciences. In order to apply, students must supply the office of admissions with college entrance exams, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, medical records and examinations, and a statement of purpose. Students must also complete a fitness assessment, an interview with an Administrative officer, and pass an academic assessment. The USNA is ranked No. 2 in "Top Public Schools", according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: N/A

 

#13 – Oregon State University

Nuclear Engineering Graduate Program

Corvallis, OR
Website

Oregon State University's Nuclear Engineering Graduate Program offers two different master's degrees in the field: Master of Science and Master of Engineering. Students have the opportunity to work on real-world research projects in engineering and have the option of moving on to their doctorate after completion. Both graduate programs require the completion of 45 semester hours mixing core courses with electives and a seminar. Those who take a Master of Science must also complete a thesis. Students must have prerequisite courses in Neutronic Analysis I & II, Nuclear Reactor Laboratory, Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics, Nuclear Reactor System Analysis, Nuclear Rules and Regulation, and Radiophysics. In order to be accepted into the program, students are to submit official transcripts, three letters of reference, a statement of purpose, and GRE test scores. OSU ranked No. 73 for "Best Engineering Programs", according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $12,555 / $23,787

 

#12 – University of Florida

MS in Nuclear Engineering

Gainesville, FL
Website

The University of Florida offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering which gives students the knowledge and materials necessary to excel in the field. Students have the option of taking a thesis or non-thesis track for completion of the program. Thirty semester hours are required to be taken which includes specialized courses in biomaterials, ceramics, composites, electronic materials, and polymers. Five core courses and five elective courses are to be taken by students. Those who don't take the thesis track must complete an assigned research paper provided by the College of Engineering. The office of admissions requires students to submit official transcripts, three letters of reference, a statement of purpose, and GRE test scores. Students must also have a GPA of at least 3.0 coming in and must be competent in computers. UF was ranked No. 3 by U.S. News and World Report for Best National Universities.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,770 / $27,335

 

#11 – Pennsylvania State University

Master's in Nuclear Engineering

State College, PA
Website

Penn State University-Main Campus offers a Master's Degree in Nuclear Engineering and gives students access to the Breazeale Nuclear Reactor, the longest licensed university research reactor in the U.S. Students who study Nuclear Engineering will receive research practice in Nuclear Fuel Cycle, Nuclear Security, Radiation Detection and Imaging, Materials for Nuclear Power, Reactor Thermal Hydraulics, Radioisotopes and Radiochemistry, and Reactor Physics and Radiation Transport. To earn a Master's Degree, students must complete 30 semester hours, 18 of them coming from core coursework. The office of admissions requires students to submit an official resume, a statement of purpose, three letters of recommendation, GRE test scores, official transcripts, and journal papers, which is optional. PSU Nuclear Engineering program is ranked No. 10 in the nation, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $21,540 / $36,794

 

#10 – University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Knoxville, TN
Website

The University of Tennessee-Knoxville offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering which gives students the opportunity to excel in a future career with science. The program consists of three options: completing a thesis, taking two engineering practice projects, or taking one engineering practice project along with another nuclear engineering class. All three options total six credit hours. In addition, students must take 12 credits from assigned nuclear engineering graduate courses and 12 credits from graduate courses related to the student's research. The program takes an average of three to five semesters to complete. Students who apply must submit three letters of recommendation, official transcripts which shows at least a 3.0 GPA, GRE test scores, and a research statement. UTK's Engineering Program was ranked No. 33 in "Best Graduate Programs", according to U.S. News & World Report.\

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,244 / $29,432

 

#9 – Ohio State University

Nuclear Engineering Master of Science

Columbus, OH
Website

The Ohio State University offers an MS in Nuclear Engineering which is designed to prepare students for a future in a wide array of specialty areas associated with radiation, radioactive materials, and nuclear fission. OSU's Nuclear Reactor Lab is used for research in the student's studies. Students must complete 36 hours of coursework with either the thesis or non-thesis option in order to receive their MS. Coursework includes a seminar and the completion of at least eight core courses. Students who apply must hold a bachelor's degree, have a GPA of 3.0 and have completed a list of prerequisite classes. They must also submit official transcripts and their GRE test scores to the office of admissions. OSU ranked No. 1 in Best Ohio Engineering Graduate Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,560 / $34,064

 

#8 – Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MS in Nuclear Science and Engineering

Cambridge, MA
Website

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology offers an MS in Nuclear Science and Engineering which benefits those students who desire to discover new nuclear technologies. MIT's MS program advises students to have undergraduate experience in mathematics, physics, engineering fundamentals, and laboratory experience. The program is more applied and not as much research-focused as other programs. The requirements of the degree include 162 units of subject credit followed by a successfully completed thesis. Students are asked to select a program of study that is approved by a faculty advisor and then present a project tied into that study. The office of admissions requires students to take the GRE examination and also include three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, official transcripts, and a research project with the application. MIT's engineering program ranks in the top ten among all graduate engineering programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $51,520

 

#7 – University of Illinois at Urbana–Champaign

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Urbana and Champaign, IL
Website

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering which aims to deepens student knowledge in all subjects related to the specific field of study. Thirty-two credit hours are required for successful completion of the program which includes a four-to-eight hour research thesis and a seminar. Students must maintain a minimum 2.75 GPA to earn their degree. Courses will cover fundamentals in nuclear engineering as well as radiation interaction with matter. The student has the option of choosing a concentration from a large list provided on the website. Students who apply must submit three letters of recommendation and official transcripts to the office of admissions. Students must hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of at least 3.0 in their undergraduate studies. UIUC's engineering program ranked No. 6 in Best Graduate Schools, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $15,068 / $28,221

 

#6 – North Carolina State University at Raleigh

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Raleigh, NC
Website

North Carolina State University at Raleigh offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering which provides students the necessary skill set to excel in the nuclear engineering field of their choice. The program's completion requires 18 credit hours in nuclear engineering, nine credit hours in an interdisciplinary study, and three to six credit hours in research. The 30-hour program also calls for an acceptable thesis followed by an examination in order to receive the MS. There is also a non-thesis option for students interested. Students can specialize in Nuclear Power Design and Safety Analysis, Radiation Science and Engineering, Plasma Science and Engineering, Nuclear Security and Non-Proliferation, Nuclear Materials, or Nuclear Computational Science. The office of admissions requires students to upload with their application their GRE scores, official transcripts, three letters of recommendation, an official resume, and a statement of purpose. NCSU is ranked No. 24 in Best Engineering Graduate Programs, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $8,917 / $25,405

 

#5 – University of Wisconsin–Madison

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Madison, WI
Website

The University of Wisconsin-Madison offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering which interacts students with different applications in the engineering field. Students can follow their Master's with a Ph.D. in Engineering Physics. The program has a thesis and non-thesis option and requires the completion of 30 semester hours. Those who take the thesis option must take a minimum of eight core class hours while the non-thesis calls for a minimum of fifteen core class hours. Students must also take courses in physical sciences, radiology, or suitable biological studies. The office of admissions requires students to take the GRE Examination and submit three letters of recommendation, a personal statement, and official transcripts. UWM's Engineering Program is ranked No. 24 in Top Engineering Programs, according to Best Value Schools.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $10,728 / $24,054

 

#4 – Purdue University

MS in Nuclear Engineering

Lafayette, IN
Website

Purdue University offers an MS in Nuclear Engineering that paves the way for students to either move towards a career in the engineering field or continue on with their studies in Purdue's doctorate program. Students are required to complete 24 hours of 500-600 level classes in the program's core coursework. Also, they must take six credit hours in mathematics and computer science courses and nine hours in nuclear engineering research. Students can take the Course-Work Option Plan which doesn't require the nine credits in research but rather 33 hours in core coursework. The office of admissions asks students to hold a bachelor's degree in Engineering or a related science field, a GPA of at least 3.0, and receive admissions approval from the Graduate Committee. PU ranked No. 14 in Best Nuclear Engineer Graduate Program, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $9,208 / $28,010

 

#3 – Texas A&M University

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

College Station, TX
Website

Texas A&M University offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering that teaches students to use their research and creativity to succeed as an engineer. Students are required to complete a minimum of 30 semester hours to receive their MS Degree with the option of doing a thesis track. All students must complete a final examination before earning their degree, although students enrolled in the thesis program who hold a 3.5 GPA or higher may petition to be exempt from the exam. Those applying must hold a bachelor's degree, submit their GRE test scores, compile three letters of recommendation, and send in official transcripts to the office of admissions. Texas A&M ranked No. 12 on the list of Best Engineer Graduate Programs according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $6,552 / $17,904

 

#2 – University of California–Berkeley

MS in Nuclear Engineering

Berkeley, CA
Website

The University of California-Berkeley offers an MS in Nuclear Engineering which gives students the skills they need to be future engineers. There are two plans that the program offers: Plan I and Plan II. Plan I requires 20 semester hours of upper division and graduate courses, plus a completed thesis. Plan II requires 24 semester hours of upper division and graduate courses followed by a comprehensive exam provided by the College of Engineering. All students must take at least two letter-grade Nuclear Engineering courses during their first semester as a graduate student. Applicants are required to submit official transcripts and carry at least a 3.0 GPA and have sufficient undergraduate training in the field. UCB was ranked No. 5 for Best Nuclear Engineering Graduate Program, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $11,442 / $26,544

 

#1 – Georgia Institute of Technology

Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering

Atlanta, GA
Website

The Georgia Institute of Technology offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering which trains students in a variety of different scientific fields, particularly physics and nuclear science. The program requires the completion of 30 semester hours coupled with a thesis and non-thesis option. For the thesis track, students must complete 12 core credits, three mathematics credits, six elective credits, and a nine-hour thesis credit. For the non-thesis track, students must complete 15 core credits, three mathematics credits, and 12 elective credits. Students also have the option of adding a concentration in Nuclear Enterprise Management. Students must submit three letters of recommendation, complete an interview with a Georgia Tech admissions officer, hold a bachelor's degree with a GPA of 3.0, write a statement of purpose, and turn in official transcripts. Georgia Tech ranks in the Top 10 in most all engineering programs offered at their school, including No. 9 for Best Nuclear Engineering Graduate Program, according to U.S. News & World Report.

Graduate Tuition/Fees: $13,788 / $28,568