2023 Best Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Nuclear Engineering

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Deciding which college to attend can be a daunting task. For many, it will be the most important decision that they make in their lives. To make an informed decision, you have to consider a lot of variables, such as cost of attendance, financial aid, student-teacher ratio, academics, student life, and more. These factors will either positively or negatively impact the quality of education that you receive.

Do you want to acquire a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering but don’t know what institution you should attend? Well, if you are as ambitious as I was in my late teens, then you want to attend a top school, instead of an average or mediocre one. Fortunately, we have already done the legwork for you. To help you find the right school for your interests and goals, we’ve compiled a list of 2022’s best bachelor’s in nuclear engineering programs.

What institution did we omit from this list? Leave your suggestions in the comment section below.

  1. MIT, Cambridge, MA

At MIT, the nuclear engineering degree program focuses on the generation, control, and application of nuclear reactions and radiation to solve some of the most pressing social and environmental problems of our day. Nuclear engineering learners at MIT are urged to think not only about the present but also the future. MIT does this via both undergraduate and graduate programs that train learners both in the foundations of nuclear energy and its use in the fields of energy generation, security, and health care. Learners benefit from the innumerable resources of one of the world’s most reputable engineering institutions.

  1. Georgia Tech, Atlanta, GA

Nuclear engineering learners at the Georgia Institute of Technology will pursue their degree program in the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering. Learner receive training in nuclear and radiological engineering (NRE) and medical physics (MP) through one bachelor’s degree program (BSNRE), two master’s degree programs (MSNE and MSMP), and one doctoral degree program (PhD NRE).

Nuclear engineering learners at Georgia Tech can expect to be challenged to demonstrate proficiency in a vast range of areas, including mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles; design of systems, components, processes; and experiments to meet an array of economic, environmental,  and medical needs.

  1. University of California-Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

The University of California Berkeley’s nuclear engineering degree program, established in 1958, boasts both an undergraduate and a graduate degree program in nuclear engineering. Many Berkeley nuclear engineering learners pursue double majors in related fields, such as electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering.

Berkeley’s particular strengths consist of nuclear waste disposal, materials engineering, fission and fusion, nuclear transfer, and advanced medical applications. Learners also benefit from the department’s strong relationships with well-known research centers.

  1. United States Military Academy, West Point, NY

The nuclear engineering degree program at the United States Military Academy expects its learners to develop skills in STEM, experimental design, and data analysis and interpretation. They must also demonstrate a capacity to utilize their knowledge creatively and constructively. Learners are also required to use their training in the service of the US Army.

  1. United States Naval Academy, Annapolis, MD

The United States Naval Academy has an intentionally broad curriculum that prepares learners for the many challenges in the implementation of nuclear engineering. It trains learners in the general engineering principles of solids and fluids, materials science, thermodynamics, and heat transfer, as well as in an array of medical applications, radiology, nuclear proliferation, physics, mathematical applications, energy generation, and nuclear physics.

Like the degree program at West Point, graduates are expected to be able to utilize their training in the service of the Navy or the Marine Corps, and the systems they require to operate according to their respective mandates, including but not limited to sea vessels and aircraft. Learners capable of meeting this standard of preparation can expect to excel in the civilian context as well.

Learners can expect a curriculum that revolves around problem-solving and the application of practical skills in both the classroom and laboratory. The degree program instills a wide variety of skills necessary to the success of a nuclear engineer, such as communication principles, data analysis and reporting, computer programming and simulation, mathematics, and physics.

  1. Missouri University of Science and Technology, Rolla, MO

Missouri University of Science and Technology is the only sanctioned BS degree in nuclear engineering in the state of Missouri. Furthermore, it is one of the first sanctioned nuclear engineering programs in the entire country, and it has built a strong reputation in the field as one of the discipline’s leading institutions. It offers training at both the undergraduate and graduate levels, and graduates can be found in positions of leadership in the engineering sector.

The bachelor of science degree is the cornerstone of the degree program, and it offers both basic knowledge of the nuclear engineering discipline as well as general professional skills such as problem-solving, communication, ethics, leadership, and research strategies. Beyond these skills, learners will pursue advanced engineering concepts, including reactor fluid mechanics, heat transfer, reactor physics, nuclear radiation, nuclear waste management, laboratory operation, nuclear materials, and nuclear systems design. Learners can avail themselves of numerous on-campus resources, such as various laboratories, a nuclear reactor, and state-of-the-art computer facilities, including mainframes and a supercomputer.

  1. Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

A&M’s undergraduate nuclear engineering degree program is continually rated as one of the country’s leading nuclear engineering programs, and it is also the country’s largest, with nearly 230 undergraduate learners and more than 150 graduate learners in its programs.

Even with the degree program’s size, A&M maintains small classes as well as mentor groups, and it has concentrations in radiological health engineering and health physics in addition to nuclear engineering. A&M’s advanced facilities consist of two research reactors, seven accelerators, and a plasma laboratory. The degree program offers extensive financial aid through scholarships and assistantships, a large faculty, and an excellent reputation on campus.

  1. University of Illinois Urbana Champaign, Champaign-Urbana, IL

The University of Illinois has training in nuclear engineering through its College of Engineering, which was established in 1868 and continues to be a major hub of research, education, and problem-solving in several engineering subfields. The Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering has expertise in radiation and its production, transport, interactions, and nuclear process applications. Fusion is another area of development Illinois learners can investigate, particularly its unique uses in the energy sector. The department also trains learners in the areas of plasma science, radiological science, medical physics, and international energy and security.

  1. University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Nuclear engineering learners can expect training in a variety of subjects, such as power generation, homeland security, and advanced nuclear materials. Learners can also investigate areas such as nondestructive imaging and detection.

Graduates of the UF’s nuclear engineering degree program can be found in a wide variety of careers, both directly and tangentially connected to nuclear engineering. Florida’s faculty is involved in research and can offer some of the country’s best knowledge and experience to aspiring nuclear engineers.

  1. Pennsylvania State University, State College, PA

Penn State has nuclear engineering training that consists of subjects such as nuclear materials, reactor controls, thermal hydraulics, and reactor physics. Related areas of concentration consist of core design and service degradation. Penn State’s research in nuclear security involves both pieces of training in radioactivity, non-proliferation, and also mechanical research and the development of tools that contribute to the advancement of these essential pursuits.

  1. University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

The University of Wisconsin has training in nuclear engineering through the Department of Engineering Physics where learners can pursue a BS in nuclear engineering and an MS and a PhD in nuclear engineering. Graduates have been placed in a wide variety of occupations in the nuclear sector as well as in auxiliary fields, such as electric utilities, governmental regulation positions, energy consulting, and vessel propulsion. Because the degree program is housed in a department that also trains mechanical engineers, nuclear engineering specialists also get exposure to traditional mechanical and general engineering skills.

  1. Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Virginia Tech learners interested in a career in nuclear engineering can pursue their interests in the Mechanical Engineering Department’s nuclear engineering program. The degree program is committed to the full range of nuclear engineering disciplines, including nuclear power and nuclear policy.

Virginia Tech’s degree program is expanding its resources, facilities, faculty, and funding and well on its way to becoming one of the nation’s premier programs. Graduates of Virginia Tech’s degree program can expect to obtain expertise in design and other emerging fields.

  1. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

The University of Michigan offers training in nuclear engineering and radiation science—an excellent interdisciplinary research context that offers any number of academic opportunities and advantages. Michigan’s nuclear engineering degree program is highly organized, and it is dedicated to real-world problem-solving and maintaining a national-level research profile in the field. The degree program focuses on four major areas: sustainable energy, nuclear security and defense, environment and health, and scientific discovery.

Michigan requires its learners to develop a firm grasp of mathematics, physics, chemistry, computing, and basic engineering principles before proceeding to train in nuclear engineering, which is reserved for learners’ final two years. Classes involve training in atomic and nuclear physics, and students learn how to apply this knowledge to engineering problems.

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