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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs


Nuclear Engineering - ARCHIVE

Begin Date: Spring Semester 2003
End Date: Spring Semester 2005

Nuclear Engineering - ARCHIVE

University Park, College of Engineering (NUC E)

PROFESSOR H. J. SOMMER III, Interim Head, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
PROFESSOR JACK S. BRENIZER, Jr., Program Chair, Nuclear Engineering Program

Nuclear engineering, the practical application of the principles of nuclear science for the benefit of humankind, provides the engineer or scientist with an opportunity to work on challenging problems that are vitally important to the modern world. The goal of the program is to provide students with a strong academic background that enables them to pursue professional careers in nuclear and radiation-based industries, or to pursue graduate study in nuclear engineering or related fields such as medical physics, health physics, or another field of engineering.

Upon graduation, our students will:

  • Demonstrate a knowledge of the fundamentals in mathematics, physics, chemistry and the engineering sciences necessary to the nuclear engineering profession.
  • Demonstrate an ability to apply the fundamentals to understand, analyze, and design nuclear systems; demonstrate knowledge of the contemporary issues affecting the nuclear engineering profession.
  • Demonstrate the ability to use appropriate methods and technology for measurement and collection of data, especially in radiation detection and nuclear science.
  • Be proficient in the oral and written communication of their work and ideas; show the ability to learn independently using appropriate technology; show ability to work well in teams.
  • Demonstrate the ability to operate in a modern, diverse work environment; understand their professional and ethical responsibilities; and be aware of the safety, environmental, and societal consequences of their work in a global context.

The first two years of the program stress fundamentals in mathematics, chemistry, physics, computer programming, and engineering sciences such as mechanics, materials, and thermodynamics. The last two years provide the breadth and depth in nuclear science, behavior of heat and fluids, reactor theory and engineering, and radiation measurement. The laboratory work includes experiments using the University's 1,000-kilowatt research reactor. Engineering design is incorporated in many courses from the freshman year to the senior year, but is particularly emphasized in the senior capstone design course, which integrates the critical elements of reactor theory, reactor engineering, safety considerations and economic optimization into a reactor design.

Many graduates are employed by electric power companies that use nuclear power plants, or by companies that help service and maintain those plants. They use their knowledge of engineering principles, radioactive decay, interactions of radiation with matter, and nuclear reactor behavior to help assure that the power plants meet the demand for reliable, economic electricity while ensuring a safe environment. To do this, graduates must be problem solvers who could develop and use complex computer models and sophisticated monitoring systems, design systems to handle radioactive waste, determine if the materials in the plant are becoming brittle or corroded, or manage the fuel in the reactor to get the maximum energy from it. Other graduates work in industries that use radioactivity or radiation to detect problems or monitor processes. Jobs are also found in branches of the government as designers of the next generation of reactors for submarines, aircraft carriers, or space probes, or to manage and clean up contaminated wastes. They could also be involved with regulation of nuclear power or radiation uses, or in research to develop advanced technologies that will be used in next-generation power plants. Graduates who want to further their education in the fields of health physics, radiation biology, or nuclear medical applications find this degree to be a useful preparation.

For the B.S. degree in Nuclear Engineering, a minimum of 129 credits is required. This baccalaureate program in Nuclear Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012; telephone 410-347-7700; or

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem:1-2)

(21 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in front of Bulletin.)


(Included in GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)


(This includes 21 credits of General Education courses: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GS courses; 3 credits of GWS courses.)

CHEM 012 GN(3), CHEM 014 GN(1), ED&G 100(3), MATH 140 GQ(4), MATH 141 GQ(4), PHYS 211 GN(4), PHYS 212 GN(4) (Sem: 1-2)
E MCH 011(3), E MCH 012(3), E MCH 013(3), M E 030(3), MATH 230(4), MATH 251(4)[1], PHYS 214 GN(2) (Sem: 3-4)
E E 305(3), E MCH 215(2), E MCH 216(1), ENGL 202C GWS(3), M E 033(3), M E 412(3), NUC E 301(4)[1], NUC E 302(4)[1], NUC E 309(3), NUC E 310W(2), NUC E 450(3)[1] (Sem: 5-6)
NUC E 403(3), NUC E 430(3)[1], NUC E 431W(4), NUC E 451(3) (Sem: 7-8)

Select 1 credit of First-Year Seminar (Sem: 1-2)
ECON 002 GS(3), ECON 004 GS(3), ECON 014 GS(3) or ENNEC 100 GS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
CMPSC 201C GQ(3) or CMPSC 201F GQ(3) (Sem: 3-4)
Select 6 credits in nuclear engineering courses from NUC E 405, NUC E 408, NUC E 409, NUC E 420, NUC E 428, NUC E 444, NUC E 445, NUC E 460, NUC E 470, NUC E 490, or 500-level NUC E courses with approval of adviser (Students may apply 3 credits of ROTC.) (Sem: 7-8)

Select 3 credits in technical courses from program list of supporting courses and related areas (Students may apply 3 credits of ROTC.) (Sem: 7-8)

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2003

Blue Sheet Item #: 31-01-040

Review Date: 8/27/02


Date last reviewed by Publications: 7/13/05


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