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Nuclear Engineering

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Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear engineers specialize in design and function at the molecular level. They study the application of subatomic physics, fission, and fusion and relate those principles to the mechanics of nuclear energy systems, like nuclear power plants and nuclear weapons. They are often enlisted as experts in areas of thermodynamics, nuclear fuel, nuclear safety, radiation, radioactive waste, and nuclear proliferation. In any instance, where nuclear energy is used to do something or needs to be maintained, a nuclear engineer will likely be involved. To become a nuclear engineer, you need a bachelor’s degree in engineering from a program accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). preferably with a nuclear engineering concentration. However, it is possible to become licensed as a nuclear engineer with a bachelor’s degree in a different discipline, as long as your education and work experience has provided relevant knowledge to pass licensure exams.

When engineers sign their name to a plan, they are putting their name and reputation on the line. Licensure is the extra insurance that this is someone not working for themselves, but working for public health and safety.

Stacey Ober Senior Manager of Public Relations and Outreach for the National Society of Professional Engineers

Getting a Nuclear Engineering License and Professional Membership

Nuclear engineers work with potentially deadly amounts of energy and must be relied upon to design nuclear systems that will function appropriately and protect the public welfare. There is no legal way to work in a position of responsibility in nuclear engineering without becoming licensed. Holding an engineering license ensures that you have the professional experience and relevant education to be trusted with nuclear engineering and serves as a guarantee to employers and the public. "Licensed engineers are the only people who can sign and seal engineering plans," said Stacey Ober, senior manager of public relations and outreach for the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE). "When engineers sign their name to a plan, they are putting their name and reputation on the line. Licensure is the extra insurance that this is someone not working for themselves, but working for public health and safety," she said.

To get an engineering license, you must have at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering or a related field with coursework in areas like quantum mechanics, fission reactions, reactor physics, radiation, and thermal energy. Students who want to become nuclear engineers often pursue advanced degrees in nuclear engineering or nuclear physics, and they also must get a license before they can work professionally.

As soon as you have an engineering degree, or even before you graduate, the first step is to take the national Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam. Candidates take the FE exam to begin working as an intern or engineer-in-training under the supervision of a licensed engineer. Once you have passed the FE exam, try to find work with a nuclear facility or research team. Any position under the supervision of experienced nuclear engineers is a good way to learn about the field. Most candidates complete around four years of supervised work to prepare for the final step in licensure, the Principle and Practice of Engineering (PE) exam. The PE test is state-specific and will cover basic nuclear engineering knowledge and specific regulations applicable to your state. The National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES) administers the FE and PE exams.

Nuclear engineers may also choose to become members of a professional engineering association to stay connected with colleagues and up to date on developments in the field. The American Society of Mechanical Engineers. the National Society of Professional Engineers. and the American Society for Engineering Education all offer professional memberships. According to Ober, members of the ASPE are all licensed professional engineers or are on track to becoming licensed and are able to use the organization as a means to further their professional development and become more valuable experts in their specializations.

Maintaining a Nuclear Engineering License and Professional Membership

Nuclear engineers must not only earn a license to work professionally, they must maintain the license throughout their career. Maintenance of a nuclear engineering license is important because the field is constantly changing. Nuclear engineers must adapt to changes in technology, shifts in politics, and new scientific discoveries in order to remain relevant as nuclear experts. Some states require licensure tests specific to nuclear engineering. The NCEES offers and up-to-date list of exam information for nuclear engineering candidates here .

Each state determines its own rules for the continuing education requirements of engineers. The National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) keeps a record of the requirements by state here. although it is best to contact your state’s board of engineering to check for new requirements. Most states require between 15 to 45 hours of continuing education in the form of course work, independent study, or seminar time in an area relevant to nuclear engineering. Most states also require engineers to renew their licenses every one to three years. p>

Continuing education for engineers can be done online. For example, the NSPE offers web seminars and online courses that states may count toward continuing education requirements. Courses and seminars cover many areas of engineering, such as ethics, public health, employment issues, and safety and welfare. It is common for engineers to complete a combination of coursework, independent study and seminars in order to reach their required amount of continued education.

"Continuing education usually falls under the umbrellas of technical education or professional development," Ober said. "Courses or research that may be specific to nuclear engineering or another particular realm of engineering qualify for continuing education, and professional development in areas such as ethics and management are also applicable," she said. To maintain membership with an engineering association, most members must pay annual dues and any additional dues for specific committees in which they are involved, and the NSPE, specifically, offers many opportunities for professional development.

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25 Best Nuclear Engineering Degrees for 2016-2017

Last Update: September 29, 2016

Look around you. What do you see? What don’t you see?

One thing you might not see, particularly if things remain the way they are right now, is oil. That’s right—oil. And that means a whole lot of other things too, specifically inexpensive gasoline to fuel, well, pretty much anything that moves!

According to recent estimates, at current production and consumption rates, the world has approximately 50 years of oil left. What happens when it’s all gone?

One response to this question comes from the field of nuclear engineering, a field that entered the scene relatively recently (1950s) and has grown exponentially in the last fifty years. One of the most important problems nuclear engineers are currently working on solving is how to produce sustainable, renewable energy from non-fossil-fuel sources. That might not work its way down to fueling your Prius, but it’s hard to overestimate the importance of this work!

But that’s not all nuclear engineers do. They are also experts in radiation technology, which has a wide variety of uses and application in the medical field, for instance, in nuclear medicine, advanced diagnostic imaging, and cancer treatment.

It’s hard to determine exactly what the future of nuclear engineering will look like in the years ahead, primarily because it is a relatively new field and our energy future is highly uncertain. One thing we do know, however, is that nuclear engineers are paid handsomely for their expertise ; the median income in 2015 was $102,950. according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics.

If you want to be at the forefront of this fascinating and complex industry. you’re going to need a lot of training in some highly specialized areas of engineering science, and not just any old school will do.

That’s where we come in. We’ve compiled a list of the top 25 nuclear engineering schools with your needs in mind. The first thing we want to know, like you, is the bottom line: how much is this going to set me back? So we’ve included the annual tuition for each school right up front for you. We’ve also included our College Choice Score, which is computed based on each school’s reputation in the field and its return on investment. The end result is a list of schools that balance cost, reputation, and, ultimately, what they can do for you and your unique goals. You can’t go wrong with any of them, of course, but these schools are leading the way.

The rankings you’re about to read are based on a few important sources. The first source is actual college freshman polled during a nationwide survey published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA. These students rated academic reputation, financial aid offerings, overall cost of school, and the survey also took into account graduate success rates ono the post-college job market. These factors were weighed equally alongside data from other publicly available sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and .

2125 is right around the corner. Are you ready to get your Nuclear Engineering Degree ?

Nuclear Engineering Colleges, Nuclear Engineering Eligibility Criteria - Courses

Nuclear Engineering - Courses, Colleges and Career in India

Nuclear Power Plant; Image Courtesy:

Nuclear Engineering is based on the principle of nuclear physics which is taught in various colleges, universities, and research institutes.

Nuclear Engineering & Technology provides knowledge about uses of nuclear fission, construction, design, processing and management of nuclear reactors as well as invention of nuclear materials.

Academic programs offered through universities and research institutes focus on all areas of nuclear energy, i.e. research, development and application.

Coursework in nuclear engineering includes fissile material and fission systems, interaction and maintenance of nuclear fission system, nuclear reactors, nuclear power plants, nuclear war weapons, nuclear fusion, medical applications etc, nuclear safety, radiation, heat & thermodynamics transport, nuclear fuel, nuclear waste disposal, nuclear proliferation and the effects of radioactivity in the environment.

In India, course in Nuclear Engineering & Technology is offered by different university departments and research institutes at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels and research programs are also offered at doctoral and postdoctoral levels.

Various research organizations of Government of India offers postgraduate and research program in Nuclear Engineering & Technology for graduate engineers and science postgraduates.

Eligibility Criteria

Nuclear Engineering & Technology is offered to undergraduate students at college level and the duration of the program is 4 years.

  • A minimum 10 + 2 level educational qualification or equivalent with Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and English.
  • Admission is offered on the basis of Entrance Examination.
  • At the postgraduate level, candidates need to clear Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE).
  • Nuclear Power Corporation of India is one of the few places in India for career growth in Nuclear Engineering; Image Courtesy:

    Career and Job Prospects
    • Nuclear Engineering & Technology makes a hot career option at undergraduate and postgraduate level among all engineering disciplines. Nuclear engineers find work opportunities as both engineers and researchers in Research & Development organizations, Nuclear Power plants, and Nuclear Reactors.
    • In academics nuclear engineers find employment as lecturers/professors and actively contribute towards nuclear research. Nuclear Engineers also get employment in government and private agencies dealing with environmental safety. Opportunities are unlimited for nuclear engineers . Salary Package

      Nuclear Engineers are considered top-notch professionals.

      A graduate in nuclear engineering normally earns Rs 20000 – Rs 45000 in the beginning of his career. Various other perks and facilities like residence, T.A. D.A. are also offered. However, this is not the limit and earning raises manifold based on performance and experience.

      Top Colleges/Institutes in Nuclear Engineering

    2014-15 Nuclear Engineering

    Educating Leaders, Creating Knowledge, Serving Society

    2014-15 Nuclear Engineering

    4153 Etcheverry Hall, #1730
    (510) 642-5010
    Chair: Karl A. van Bibber, Ph.D.

    Department Overview

    Nuclear Engineering is concerned with the understanding of nuclear processes and their application in the energy, environmental, manufacturing, materials processing, and medical industries. The teaching and research programs encompass five broad areas: Applied Nuclear Physics, Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Materials and Chemistry, Nuclear Non-Proliferation, Fusion & Plasma Physics. Much of the curriculum is devoted to the analysis, design, and development of fission and fusion power reactors; the nuclear fuel cycle, including radioactive waste management and disposal; applications of nuclear science in instrumentation, radiation detection and protection, medical diagnosis and treatment, and materials behavior; and the numerical methods underpinning calculations associated with many of these areas. Safety and environmental impacts are considered from a risk and systems viewpoint. Graduate and undergraduate coursework and research opportunities are available in all of the above areas. In addition to extensive on-campus laboratory facilities. students collaborate with scientists at nearby Lawrence Berkeley and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories. Further information is available for graduate admissions. graduate courses and graduate curriculum .

    Undergraduate Program

    The undergraduate curriculum in nuclear engineering prepares our students to begin a lifetime of technical achievement and professional leadership in academia, government, national laboratories and industry. The program leading to the B.S. in nuclear engineering emphasizes educational experience in several fields of engineering, leading to a concentration on nuclear engineering courses in the upper division. Undergraduate students may also elect a joint major degree program, which combines Nuclear Engineering with Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences, or with Materials Science and Engineering, or with Mechanical or Chemical Engineering. Compared with the single major program, the joint major programs are more strictly structured and offer fewer opportunities for nontechnical electives. On the other hand, they do afford ambitious students an opportunity to qualify in two fields of engineering with little or no loss in time during their undergraduate careers. The department also offers a minor in nuclear engineering that is open to all students who are not majoring in nuclear engineering and who have completed the necessary prerequisites for the minor requirements.

    The nuclear engineering undergraduate program is designed to produce graduates who:

    • Possess solid knowledge of the fundamental mathematics and natural sciences (both physical and biological) that provide the foundation for engineering applications.
    • Understand nuclear processes and the application of general natural science and engineering principles to the analysis and design of nuclear and related systems of current and/or future importance to society.
    • Have strong independent learning, analytical, and problem-solving skills, with special emphasis on design, communication, and an ability to work in teams.
    • Understand the broad social, ethical, safety, and environmental context within which nuclear engineering is practiced.
    • Are aware of the importance of, and opportunities for, lifelong learning.

    This program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, .

    Learn More About Our:

    Undergraduate Program in Nuclear Engineering*

    1 Chemistry 4A is for students intending a major in Chemistry or Chemical Engineering.

    2 The Humanities/Social Science (H/SS) requirement includes two approved reading and composition courses and four additional approved courses, with which a number of specific conditions must be satisfied. Reading and Composition "A" and "B" must be completed by no later than the end of the sophomore year. The remaining courses may be taken at any time during the program. See for complete details and a list of approved courses.

    3 Students must take one course with ethics content. This may be fulfilled within the Humanities/Social Studies Electives requirement by taking one of the following courses: Anthropology 156B; BioE 100; Engineering 125, 157AC; Environmental Science, Policy and Management 161, 162; Geography 31; Interdisciplinary Studies 61, 100E; International and Area Studies 105; Letters and Science 160B; Legal Studies 19AC, 100A; ME 191AC; Philosophy 2, 104, 107; Political Science 108A; *Public Health 116 (if taken prior to Fall 2016); Sociology 116, 123. * Note: Courses must be at least 3 semester units in order to fulfill a Humanities/Social Science requirement.

    4 32 Technical Elective units must include at least 17 units of upper division NE courses. Remaining technical elective units must be fulfilled by taking upper division courses in engineering and science. Students must consult with and obtain approval from their faculty adviser no later than the fall semester of their junior year for their choices of technical elective courses. Technical Electives cannot include any course taken on a P/NP basis; BioE 100; CS 195, H195; Engin 125, 130AC, 140, 157AC; IEOR 185, 186, 190 series, 191, 192; ME 191AC, 190K, 191K.

    5 Junior transfer admits are exempt from completing NE 24 and 100.

    * A minimum of 120 units is required for graduation.

    Upper Division Technical Electives

    The following groups of electives should help undergraduate students focus their choices on specific professional goals. The electives selected need not be from any single group.

    Beam and Accelerator Applications:
    Physics 110A/B (or EE 117), 129, 139, 142; NE 155, 180

    Bionuclear Engineering:
    BioE C165; EE 120 (EE 20 is a prerequisite for this course), C145B; NE 107, 162

    Computational Methods
    NE 155, Math 110, 128A, 104, CS 169, Stat 134, 150

    Fission Power Engineering:
    ME 106, 109 (Chem E 150A may be substituted for ME 106 and 109); NE 120, 124, 155, 161, 167, 175

    Fusion Power Engineering:
    Physics 110A/B, 142; NE 120, 155, 180

    Homeland Security and Nonproliferation:
    Chemistry 143; Physics 110A/B, 111; NE 102, 107, 130, 155, 175

    Materials in Nuclear Technology:
    MSE 102, 104, 112, 113; NE 120, 124, 155, 161

    Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Waste Management:
    Chem E 150A/B; E 120; Energy Resources Group 151; MSE 112; NE 120, 124, 155, 161, 175

    Radiation and Health Physics:
    NE 102, 120, 155, 162, 180

    Risk, Safety and Systems Analysis:
    CE 193; Chem E 150A; E 120; IEOR 166; NE 120, 124, 155, 161, 167, 175

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    Portal: Nuclear engineering

    Portal:Nuclear engineering

    This field of engineering includes the design, analysis, development, testing, operation and maintenance of nuclear fission systems and components, specifically, nuclear reactors, nuclear power plants and/or nuclear weapons. The field can also include the study of nuclear fusion, medical applications of radiation, nuclear safety, heat transport, nuclear fuels technology, nuclear proliferation, and the effect of radioactive waste or radioactivity in the environment.

    You are encouraged to find something about this topic that interests you and added to the content, start a learning or research project, or utilize the materials herein.

    Undergraduate coursework should begin with a foundation in mechanics and dynamics of particle motion, thermodynamics, introductory computer programming, college level physics and chemistry, and a rigorous training in mathematics through differential equations.

    Midway through undergraduate training a nuclear engineer must choose a specialization within their field that they will further study. Further coursework in a nuclear engineering program includes but is not limited to fluid mechanics, reactor physics, quantum mechanics, thermal hydraulics, linear circuits, radiation effects, and neutron transport.

    Specialization in fission, includes the study of nuclear reactors, fission systems, and nuclear power plants, the primary teachings deal with neutronics and thermal-hydraulics for nuclear generated electricity. A firm foundation in thermodynamics and fluid mechanics in addition to hydrodynamics is a must.

    Specialization in nuclear fusion includes electrodynamics and plasmas. This area is very much research oriented and training often terminates with a graduate level degree.

    Specialization in nuclear medicine, includes courses dealing with doses and absorption of radiation in bodily tissues. Those who get competency in this area usually move into the medical field. Many nuclear engineers in this specialization go on to become board licensed medical physicists or go to medical school and become a radiation oncologist. Research is also a common choice for graduates.

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