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Degrees and Programs

A Ph.D student has a deeper knowledge of the nuclear engineering subject matter than a Master’s student and, upon graduation, would be expected to be able to carry out a comprehensive research project. Earning a Ph.D. requires the completion of a 90-credit-hour program (including the courses taken for a Master’s degree) subject to the following requirements. Except as indicated, courses must be taken for a grade—not Pass/ Fail. A complete list of the NSEG (Nuclear Science and Engineering) courses can be found in Appendix A.

Degree Program Core Courses: A minimum of 27 graded credit hours of courses taken from the following:

  1. 18 graded credit hours of 5000-level or higher nuclear engineering courses which must include: 
    • NSEG 5124 Nuclear Reactor Analysis
    • NSEG 5204 Nuclear Fuel Cycle
    • NSEG 5424 Reactor Thermal Hydraulics
    • NSEG 5604 Radiation Detection and Shielding
  2. 6 graded credit hours of 6000-level nuclear engineering courses
  3. A minimum of 3 graded credit hours of mathematics and statistics courses from an approved list of courses.

Research and Dissertation: A minimum of 30 credit hours of NSEG 7994 Research & Dissertation must be completed successfully. 

Additional Requirements: All students must satisfactorily complete a qualifying and preliminary examination, pass an oral final examination, write and successfully defend a dissertation, and complete a residency experience through full-time enrollment on the Virginia Tech Blacksburg campus for two consecutive semesters.

Earning an MS degree requires completing a 30-credit-hour program subject to the following requirements.  Except as indicated, courses must be taken for grade--not Pass/Fail. 

Master of Science Core Courses: A minimum of 21 graded credit hours of courses must be taken including the following:

  1. 18 graded credit hours of 5000-level or higher courses which include at least the following four required courses:
    • NSEG 5124 Nuclear Reactor Analysis,
    • NSEG 5204 Nuclear Fuel Cycle,
    • NSEG 5424 Reactor Thermal Hydraulics,
    • NSEG 5604 Radiation Detection and Shielding  
  2. A minimum of 3 graded credit hours of mathematics and statistics courses from an approved list of courses. The graded course work may include 5984/6984 Special Study. However, a student cannot exceed a maximum of 6 credit hours of 5974, 5984, and 6984. 

Research and Thesis Courses:  A minimum of 6 credit hours of NSEG 5994 Research & Thesis must be completed.  

Additional Requirements:  All students must satisfactorily pass an oral final examination and write and successfully defend a thesis.

Course work From Another Institution (MS and ME):  Not more than 50% of required graded course work from another institution may be transferred. All transferred course credits must have the grade of "B" or higher and must have been earned while enrolled as a graduate student.  All transfer credits must be accompanied by transcripts which verify grades. Course descriptions might also be required. Transfer courses on the Plan of Study must be approved by the student’s Advisory Committee.

It is anticipated that students would be able to complete the MS/ME program in two years following undergraduate studies in a nuclear-related field or with a minor in a nuclear-related field. If a student already has a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering, they would be expected to complete the MS/ME program in less time, perhaps in as few as three semesters.

Earning an ME degree requires completing a 30-credit-hour program subject to the following requirements.  Except as indicated, courses must be taken for grade--not Pass/Fail.  A complete list of NSEG courses can be found in Appendix A.

Master of Engineering Core Courses A minimum of 24 graded credit hours of courses must be taken including the following:

  1. 21 graded credit hours of 5000-level or higher courses which include at least the following four required courses:
    • NSEG 5124 Nuclear Reactor Analysis,
    • NSEG 5204 Nuclear Fuel Cycle,
    • NSEG 5424 Reactor Thermal Hydraulics
    • NSEG 5604 Radiation Detection and Shielding
  2. A minimum of 3 graded credit hours of mathematics and statistics courses from an approved list of courses.

    The graded course work may include 5984/6984 Special Study.  However, a student cannot exceed a maximum of 6 credit hours of 5974, 5984, and 6984.

Project and Report:  a minimum of 3 credit hours of NSEG 5904, not to exceed a maximum of 6 credit hours.

Additional Requirements:  All students must complete and defend a report based on their project.

Coursework From Another Institution (MS and ME):  Not more than 50% of required graded course work from another institution may be transferred.  All transferred course credits must have the grade of "B" or higher and must have been earned while enrolled as a graduate student.  All transfer credits must be accompanied by transcripts which verify grades.  Course descriptions might also be required.  Transfer courses on the Plan of Study must be approved by the student’s Advisory Committee.

It is anticipated that students would be able to complete the MS/ME program in two years following undergraduate studies in a nuclear-related field or with a minor in a nuclear-related field.  If a student already has a B.S. in Nuclear Engineering, they would be expected to complete the MS/ME program in less time, perhaps in as few as three semesters.

Earning a Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Engineering requires completing a 9 credit hour program subject to the following requirements. All courses must be taken for a letter grade with a grade of B- or better. Pass/Fail grades will only be permitted for the NSEG 5974 course. A final average GPA of 3.00 or better must be achieved in the 9 hours of course work accepted for the certificate.

Certificate Program Core Courses: A minimum of 9 graded credit hours of courses must be taken, including the following:

1. NSEG 5114 Nuclear Engineering Fundamentals 

2. NESG Elective Courses (Select Two):

Course NumberCourse TitleCredits
NSEG 5124Nuclear Reactor Analysis3
NSEG 5134Monte Carlo Methods for Particle Transport3
NSEG 5204Nuclear Fuel Cycle3
NSEG 5214Nuclear Power Plant Operations and Systems3
MSE 5384GNuclear Materials3
NSEG 5424Reactor Thermal Hydraulics3
NSEG 5604Radiation Detection and Shielding3
NSEG 5974Independent Study (Nuclear Engineering)3
NSEG 5984Special Study (Nuclear Engineering)3
NSEG 6124Advanced Nuclear Reactor Analysis3
NSEG 6134Nuclear Reactor Safety Analysis3

 

Additional Information: Completion of NSEG 3145 & 3146 at the undergraduate level will satisfy completion of this NSEG 5114 required course.  However, another course from the Elective list above must replace it such that the student completes 9 course credits total. A total of 3 hours maxium of either NSEG 5974 or NSEG 5984 may be taken towards progress of the certificate with approval of the program coordinator.