Information about Nuclear Engineering Schools
Over 100 nuclear power plants are in operation in the U.S. and they produce approximately 22% of the nation’s power. Working on getting a degree to become a nuclear engineer means a student will study safer and more efficient ways to harness fusion based power sources. Choosing a nuclear engineering school is an important first step.
What Nuclear Engineering Schools can Offer
College students studying to be nuclear engineers will begin their studies by taking advanced courses in chemistry, physics, calculus and analytical geometry and will continue on to more nuclear specific courses like:
• Fluid mechanics: teaches students the effect of force on fluids and its function in a nuclear reactor
• Heat transfer: helps students understand the movement of heat from one object to another in a nuclear reaction.
• Thermodynamics: aids students in understanding energy and how it is a byproduct of nuclear fusion
Students who want to become nuclear engineers must have at least a bachelor of science degree. They may go on to obtain master’s degrees if they want to do more research or doctorate degrees if they want to teach. Schools with the best programs for nuclear engineers include:
• University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan
• Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachusetts
• University of Wisconsin located in Madison, Wisconsin
• Texas A & M in College Station, Texas
• Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia
• North Carolina State University located in Raleigh, North Carolina
• University of California in Berkeley, California
• Pennsylvania State University in University Park, Pennsylvania
• University of Tennessee located in Knoxville, Tennessee
• University of Illinois in Urbana, Illinois
It is possible for students who want to become nuclear engineers to get degrees through online colleges. This is an excellent option for older students who are working to finish college.
• Excelsior College in New York has a large number of students who are employed by the U.S. military. The average student who is in the military finishes the bachelor’s degree program in approximately 2 years.
• Thomas Edison State College in Trenton, New Jersey has a number of students in the U.S. Navy. The college offers a Bachelor of Science in Applied Science and Technology with emphasis on nuclear engineering.
High School Preparation and Admissions Procedures
It goes without saying that colleges and universities are looking for the best and brightest when they consider students for their nuclear engineer programs; therefore making top grades in high school is essential. It is vital for high school students to take honors and advanced placement courses in subjects such as:
• Upper level math classes like geometry, trigonometry, algebra and calculus
• Higher level science courses like chemistry and physics
• 4 years of English and 2 years of a foreign language
Engineering schools look for students who have grade point averages of 3.5 and above and high SAT scores, usually over 2000. Students studying to be nuclear engineers may expect to spend long hours working in labs, reading assignments and working complex mathematical problems in order to break into the highly competitive field.