EligibilityUndergraduate coursework should begin with a good 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 for further study.
Upper level 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. Multi-energy neutron transport is taught at most universities offering degrees in nuclear engineering, but typically only at the graduate level.
Specialization in fission includes the study of nuclear reactors, fission systems, and nuclear power plants. Primary instruction deals 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 gain 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. Remaining in academia in a research capacity is also a common choice for graduates. Click here for more information