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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs


(Archive) Nuclear Engineering (NUC E)

Begin Date: Summer Session 1996
End Date: Spring Semester 1999

Nuclear Engineering (NUC E) - (ARCHIVE)

PROFESSOR RICHARD C. BENSON, Head, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

PROFESSOR ANTHONY BARATTA, 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.

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 131 credits is required.

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

(21 of these 46 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in front of Bulletin. Note: The Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) does not permit the use of skills courses to satisfy the Arts Category of General Education.)

(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), 014 GN(1), ED&G 100(3), MATH 140 GQ(4), 141 GQ(4), PHYS 201 GN(4), 202 GN(4) (Sem: 1-2)
E MCH 011(3), 012(3), 013(3), M E 030(3), MATH 230(4), 251(4)[1], PHYS 204 GN(4) (Sem: 3-4)
E E 305(3), E MCH 215(2), 216(1), ENGL 202C GWS(3), M E 033(3), 412(3), NUC E 301(4)[1], 302(4)[1], 309(3), 450(3)[1] (Sem: 5-6)
NUC E 310W(2), 403(3), 430(3)[1], 431W(4), 451(3) (Sem: 7-8)

ECON 002 GS(3), 004 GS(3), or 014 GS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
CMPSC 201C GQ(3) or 201F GQ(3) (Sem: 3-4)
Select 6 credits, of which 3 credits must be designated as design, from E SC 400H(3), NUC E 296(1-18), 297(1-9), 408(3), 420(3), 428(3), 444(1), 445(3), 460(3), 490(3), 496(1-18), 497(1-9), 500-level courses with special permission (Students may apply 3 credits of ROTC.) (Sem: 7-8)

(These courses may have to be chosen so that the engineering design or engineering science requirements for the major are met.)
Select 3 credits in technical courses from department list (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.

The Pennsylvania State University ©1998

The University reserves the right to change the requirements and regulations listed here and to determine whether a student has satisfactorily met its requirements for admission or graduation, and to reject any applicant for any reason the University determines to be material to the applicant's qualifications to pursue higher education. Nothing in this material should be considered a guarantee that completion of a program and graduation from the University will result in employment.

Last Revised by the Department: Summer Session 1996

Blue Sheet Item #: 24-06-044

Review Date: 6/3/99 (General Education Update)


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