20 Best Master’s Degrees in Nuclear Engineering 2020

Since the discovery of radiation in the late 19th Century, it is not an overstatement to say the nuclear sciences have grown exponentially. And this growth has picked up, especially during the mid-20th Century with the discovery, development, and eventual deployment of atomic weapons. The field of Nuclear Engineering has grown in such a way that it is no longer simply about understanding the physics of nuclear structures and processes, but now includes the application of that knowledge and especially a growing understanding of the impact of nuclear science on the environment and human society.

What does all this mean? If you are interested in how a theoretical science can have a lasting impact on society, then considering an advanced degree in nuclear engineering may be for you. Almost all degree-granting programs in this area require a bachelor's degree in either engineering or a related field like physics. And you will study more than just science. Most programs are aimed at helping their students understand the science, the application of that science, and the potential impacts of that application.

Pursuing a graduate degree in the field is a rigorous endeavor, and there are not a lot of jobs to be had, but if you complete your degree, it can come with some significant rewards. According to the Department of Labor, the average median salary is over $100,000, which is more than three times the median salary of all occupations combined. And if you pursue an advanced degree in the field, then your salary will only go up.

There are three broad areas where nuclear engineers often find employment: utility companies, the Federal Government, or research organizations. The vast majority of nuclear engineers work in the energy industry overseeing power plants. So, if you are considering an advanced degree in nuclear engineering, then check out our list of the 20 Best Master's Degrees in Nuclear Engineering!

Methodology

Best College Reviews provides degree rankings, such as the 20 Best Master's in Nuclear Engineering, from carefully researched data sets published from government and non-profit organizations across the United States. Five primary factors affect how we rank degrees:

  • 25% Student Satisfaction
  • 30% Earning Potential
  • 15% Retention Data
  • 20% Affordability
  • 10% Acceptance Rates

For an in-depth breakdown of how we calculate each ranking, check out our Methodology page.  

#20 UNIVERSITY OF NEVADA, LAS VEGAS

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN MATERIALS AND NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 75.33

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is located in the suburb of Paradise, NV and is a public research university with a student body that regularly exceeds 30,000 students, of which over 4,400 are graduate students. The school is classified as an R1 institution which refers to the high rate of research conducted by faculty and students. UNLV offers a Master of Science in Materials and Nuclear Engineering. Admission requirements include a bachelor's degree in engineering or a closely related field, a statement of purpose, as well as letters of recommendation and a GRE score in the 70th percentile for quantitative reasoning. Graduation requires that students maintain a 3.0 GPA, and no classes with less than C can count toward the degree.

The MSMNE consists of two tracks, one focusing on Materials Engineering and the other focused on Nuclear Engineering. The NE track consists of 33 credit hours in graduate-level coursework, which includes core and elective courses as well as a design project requirement. Core courses include Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineering, Monte Carlo Methods in Nuclear Engineering, and Accelerator Applications in Nuclear Engineering. Individuals also complete 18 credits of electives which include topics like Design of Thermal Systems, or Convective Boiling and Condensation. Students can also choose between a non-thesis or thesis track, depending on their needs and interests. Students who opt for a thesis have a thesis defense, while those who opt for the non-thesis track are required to take a comprehensive exam.
Net Price: In-state $5,252 / Out-of-state $19,724

#19 RENSSELAER POLYTECHNIC INSTITUTE

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 76.52

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is located in Troy, NY and is a private research university with a graduate student population of over 1,300. The institution is organized into six different colleges or schools with a particular focus on science and technology. RPI is well regarded for its programs in engineering, computing, the sciences, and other areas and was ranked the No. 42 best school in the nation in 2017 by U.S. News & World Report. RPI boasts several different programs in Nuclear Engineering, including a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. Students can take classes like Nuclear Instrumentation and Measurement, Engineering Materials for Nuclear Application, and Radioactive Waste Management.  

RPI began researching in the 1950s when a linear electron accelerator was constructed with funding from the Atomic Energy Commission. The Gaerttner LINAC Center continues to be an integral component of the NE program and recently received a $9.44 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to help upgrade the facility. RPI has a second research facility, the Walthousen Reactor Critical Facility. The WRCF is one of only 25 research reactors affiliated with a university in the US and is an excellent resource for research in NE. The program at RPI is one of a select few that qualifies for Department of Energy scholarships and fellowships. Students can receive scholarships of $7,500, while fellowships are $50,000 per year.
Net Price: $52,550

#18 UNIVERSITY OF IDAHO

MASTER OF SCIENCE/ENGINEERING IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING 
Website
Score: 78.47

The University of Idaho's College of Engineering offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering and a Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering. Admission to either program requires a bachelor's degree in engineering and applicants must take the GRE. Both programs require a GPA of 3.0 or higher for admission. Students who don't have a high enough GPA can still be considered according to a variety of other factors, including work history in the industry. International students must show proficiency in English for entrance to the program generally through TOEFL, IELTS, MELAB, or by scoring a level 6 in the American Language & Culture Program at UI. The MSNE degree offers a thesis and non-thesis track, while the MENE is a non-thesis degree. Possible study topics include Radiation Effects on Materials, Fundamentals of Nuclear Materials, and Nuclear Criticality Safety.

UI has an outstanding faculty with ten faculty teaching in the area of Nuclear Engineering. For example, Dr. Idrajit Charit is an expert in Materials Science and Engineering and researches Nuclear Materials. Dr. R.A. Borrelli works on topics that range from nuclear hybrid energy systems analysis to neutronics and safeguards. The CE holds regular events related to the engineering field, including bringing speakers from outside through a variety of lectureships, like the Michael Kyte Distinguished Lecture, the NBSE-U of I Dynamic Engineers Lecture Series, and the Women in Engineering Day.
Net Price: In-state $7,266 / Out-of-state $24,902

#17 UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 80.83

Located in Gainesville, FL, the University of Florida is a public research university. The school has over 55,000 students annually, of which 15,000 or more are postgraduate students. In 2019 UF was ranked the No.8 best public university in the US by U.S. News & World Report. The Wertheim College of Engineering houses the Department of Materials Science and Engineering which oversee the Nuclear Engineering Program. The program provides doctoral and master's level degrees, including a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. Students are required to take around ten graduate level courses. Twelve credits must be earned at the 5000-level or higher. Students are allowed to take one 3000-level course outside the department as needed. Class offerings include Advanced Nuclear Thermal Hydraulics, Nuclear Medicine Instrumentation and Procedure, and Fundamentals of Reactor Kinetics. Students can also choose between a thesis or non-thesis option. The thesis option offers students the opportunity to work through a problem, and students are required to defend their work before a committee.

The MSNE at UF was ranked No. 14 in the country by U.S. News & World Report in 2020. The program includes eight tenure track faculty who are dedicated to the program. The MSNE is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology is currently working in partnership with the ABET on a $6 million grant project. The DMSE features several student organizations, including the American Nuclear Society and the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management. The ANS exists primarily to foster professional development experiences for NE students, while the INMM functions as a co-curricular organization that helps to improve the qualifications of students looking to get into the industry.
Net Price: In-state $10,770 / Out-of-state $27,335

#16 VIRGINIA TECH

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 81.94

Virginia Tech is located in Blacksburg, VA. It is a public research university which has drawn significant recognition for the quality of its engineering programs. U.S. News & World Report ranked the College of Engineering at No.21 in 2016 for its graduate programs. The Nuclear Engineering Program is housed in the Mechanical Engineering Department and offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. The MSNE requires 30 credits in graduate coursework, and students must maintain a 3.0 cumulative GPA. The program includes core courses like Nuclear Reactor Analysis, Nuclear Fuel Cycle, and Reactor Thermal Hydraulics. Students also take elective courses at the 5000-level or higher. Electives include classes like Radiation Effects on Metals and Alloys and Monte Carlo Methods for Particle Transport. All students are required to fulfill around nine credits in research and thesis writing. Students must also participate in the co-curricular nuclear engineering program seminar series.

The MSNE offers periodic presentations by on-campus and off-campus speakers who address policy, science, and practical issues related to the discipline. A central aim is to engage students to become more aware of nuclear policy, and topics have included public education on radiation, national energy policy, and nuclear weapons proliferation. There are several current research groups lodged in the department, which will be of interest to potential graduate students. They include the Virginia Tech Transport Theory Group, the Multi-phase Flow and Thermal-hydraulics Lab, the Nuclear Materials and Fuel Cycle Center, and the Heat Transfer and Safety Lab. Admission requirements include a BS degree in engineering or a related field with a minimum GPA of 3.2.
Net Price: In-state $13,310 / Out-of-state $26,825

#15 UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 82.44

Located in Albuquerque, NM, the University of New Mexico is a public university with a student population that annually tops 25,000. UNM is categorized as an R1, which places it at the highest level for research output. The Department of Nuclear Engineering offers several advanced degrees in Nuclear Engineering, including a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. The program dates from the 1950s and got a boost when their nuclear reactor when critical in April of 1969 in the Nuclear Engineering Laboratory where it is housed. The MSNE can be pursued in a variety of forms. There is a straight MSNE program that can be pursued with or without a thesis option, and there are two additional MSNE degrees which feature concentrations. Both the Radiation Protection Engineering and Medical Physics concentrations are earned toward a non-thesis degree.

Students complete courses such as Methods of Analysis in Chemical and Nuclear Engineering, and Nuclear Reactor Theory. There are important research centers located at UNM, including the Institute for Space and Nuclear Power Studies and the Center and the Center for Nuclear Nonproliferation Science & Technology. Major areas of research in the department includes fusion technology, space power, thermal hydraulics, radiation diagnostics, nuclear criticality safety, radiation transport, and radioactive waste management. Students can work with faculty on some projects, and the department oversees an on-site low-power, teaching reactor.
Net Price: In-state $5,001 / Out-of-state $16,883

#14 UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS — LOWELL

LOWELL, MA
MASTER OF SCIENCE IN ENERGY ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 82.51

Located in Lowell, the University of Massachusetts Lowell is a public research university offering a comprehensive program in Nuclear Science and Engineering that is co-managed by the Francis College of Engineering and the College of Sciences. The CS program focuses on radiological science, while the Department of Mechanical Engineering in the FCE offers a Master of Science in Energy Engineering. Students can also explore a Master of Science in Security Studies: Chemical, Biological, Nuclear & Explosive through the College of Fine Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences. The MSEE degree offers two tracks: one in solar energy and one in nuclear engineering and five core courses such as Nuclear Reactor Physics; System Dynamics; and Advanced Transport Phenomena. In addition, students finish several electives in graduate classes like Colloidal, Interfacial, and Nanomaterials Science and Engineering; and Material Science and Engineering.

The DCE has several research laboratories, including a Research Nuclear Reactor where advanced research is continually taking place. There are currently two research groups at UML working in the area of nuclear engineering. The Nuclear Physics group works on experimental questions related to atomic structure and astrophysics and includes an applied focus on detection technology. The Integrated Nuclear Security & Safeguards Laboratory focuses on education, training, and research that looks at global nuclear security and safeguards.
Net Price: In-state $14,590 / Out-of-state 26,370

#13 PENNSYLVANIA STATE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 83.14

Pennsylvania State University's Ken and Mary Alice Lindquist Department of Nuclear Engineering offers a 30-credit Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. The MSNE degree requires students to complete courses like Introduction to Reactor Design, Advanced Reactor Design, and Radiation Detection and Measurement. The MSNE at Penn State allows for a good deal of flexibility, and students work with their advisor to help craft an individualized course of study and potential thesis or paper topic. There are three broad areas that students tend to focus on, each having specific sub-themes.

Students can focus on Nuclear Power and deal with issues like nuclear materials, reactor thermal hydraulics, reactor controls, or reactor physics. Students who choose to focus on Nuclear Science might deal with topics like radiation detection and imaging, or radioisotopes and radiochemistry. Or students could alternatively focus on Nuclear security and deal with subjects like radiation detection and monitoring, or non-proliferation. These different foci are usually around 15 credits of coursework, which constitutes the bulk of electives in the program. Admission to the program requires a 3.0 GPA in a degree program in engineering or a related field.
Net Price: In-state $21,540/ Out-of-state $36,974

#12 THE UNIVERSITY OF TENNESSEE

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 83.68

The University of Tennessee is a public research university which was founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee became a state. The institution has an annual enrollment of around 28,000 students, of which about 5,900 are graduate students. UT's Department of Nuclear Engineering is located in the Tickle College of Engineering and is the oldest such department in the United States. The program currently ranks in the top five in terms of total student enrollment, Ph.D. and MS graduates, federal research expenditures, and in the number of tenure track faculty. UT is also in the middle of constructing a new Engineering Complex which will be 228,000 square feet, providing 23 new nuclear engineering labs, which triples its current capacity. The DNE offers a 30-credit Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering with classes such as Management of Radioactive Materials, Transport Processes in Nuclear Engineering, and Fundamentals of Irradiation Effects in Nuclear Effects. The NE program has also cultivated relationships with centers of excellence located in the area. This includes the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Y-12 Nuclear Security Complex, the East Tennessee Technology Park, and UCOR. East Tennessee has one of the highest concentrations of nuclear-related industry in the world, making the University of Texas an ideal place to study.
Net Price: In-state $11,244 / Out-of-State $29,432

#11 MISSOURI UNIVERSITY OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 85.56

A public land-grant university located in Rolla, Missouri, Missouri University of Science and Technology has an annual enrollment of almost 2000 graduate level students. MUST has been widely recognized for its engineering programs and has its own 200kw nuclear reactor, which was installed in 1961. The Department of Nuclear Engineering offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. The program is 30 credits and includes both a thesis and non-thesis track. Students have significant freedom in choosing their course of study as the department offers 12 different research areas where students can focus including probabilistic risk assessment, thermal hydraulics, radiation transport, and shielding, materials for nuclear applications, and radioactive waste management. There are numerous courses to choose from, including classes like Radioactive Waste Management and Remediation; Radiation Protection Engineering; and Applied Health Physics.

In addition to the on-campus nuclear reactor, MUST also has a Radiation Measurements Lab where students can learn how to detect and analyze different types of radiation. The Nuclear Materials Lab provides a spaced for nuclear materials research, and there is also a computer lab where computational work is performed. MUST has eight full-time faculty in the program, all of whom are active researchers. Dr. Shoaib Usman, for instance, focuses on issues related to radiation transport, radiation, protection, and radioactive waste management. Dr. Ayodeji D. Alajo researches high fidelity nuclear systems design and modeling and nuclear systems safety. And Dr. Carlos H. Castano Giraldo works on issues related to hydrogen materials, radio-electromechanical effects, and plasma materials interactions. There are numerous possibilities for students to explore with world-class faculty.
Net Price: In-state $10,061 / Out-of-state $29,558

#10 OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 85.73

Oregon State University is a public research university with a student population of over 30,000 of which some 4,400 are postgraduate. The School of Nuclear Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. The degree is 45 credits, which include a thesis component. Through the thesis component, students demonstrate mastery of relevant and professional research methodology. The MSNE encourages students to publish the findings since completing a thesis requires a significant amount of work. In addition to the thesis component students take several graduate-level courses, some of which are required, including Radiation Shielding and External Dosimetry; Nuclear Reactor Thermal Hydraulics; and Nuclear Reactor Systems Analysis.

OSU faculty and students are currently conducting significant research in a broad array of subjects to which incoming students can potentially contribute. Research areas include radiochemistry and radioecology; nuclear thermal hydraulics; radiation transport; and reactor physics. One of these efforts, around nuclear security, is a program developed in partnership with the National Nuclear Security Administration and students have had the opportunity to intern with the Department of Energy national laboratories to work on various technical challenges related to questions of security. These are the kinds of hands-on research experiences available to students who choose OSU for their degree.

Net Price: In-state $12,555 / Out-of-state $23,787

#9 MASSACHUSETTS INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 87.25

Among the most widely recognized institutions in the world when it comes to STEM-related research and education, Massachusetts Institute of Technology is located in Cambridge, MA overlooking the Charles River. MIT is comprised of five schools and 30 departments, among which is the Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering, which offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Science and Engineering, among other degrees. The MSNSE exposes students to the fundamental sciences in the field such as nuclear physics, plasma physics, and thermal science. In addition, students are educated on practical engineering systems before considering the broader interaction of atomic science with our social and ecological environments.

MIT offers unparalleled opportunities for internships and research. Students have interned in the summer at the University of Tokyo, studying nuclear medicine, nuclear decommissioning, and other technologies related to the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. Other students have participated in the Nuclear Innovation Bootcamp held at the University of California, Berkeley, which trains students in the professional skills necessary for entering the industry. Still, other students have participated in the Summer Institute overseen by the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors Education Program.
Net Price: $51,520

#8 OHIO STATE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 88.02

Consistently ranked among the largest universities in the US, The Ohio State University is located in Columbus, Ohio. OSU annually has over 14,000 postgraduate students enrolled in numerous graduate programs. OSU is ranked as one of the top public universities in the country, by U.S. News & World Report, and the school is classified as an R1 research institution which is the overall highest ranking for research that a university can receive. The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is located in the College of Engineering and offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. Students take classes in a variety of areas like Radiation Protection and Shielding, Nuclear Reactor Dynamics, and Nuclear Engineering Design. The program is housed in the Scott Lab which offers state-of-the-art facilities, and OSU also has a Nuclear Reactor Lab on campus.

Research at OSU covers four broad areas including Nuclear Materials; Fuel Cycle and Waste Management; and Applied Nuclear Physics and Radiation Science. University faculty oversee well-funded, student research projects in each area. There are also several labs and centers at OSU which deal with nuclear science, engineering, and safety. For instance, the Nuclear Analysis and Radiation Sensor Laboratory deal with applied radiological, atomic physics, and radiation science. Additionally, the Academic Center for Excellence in Instrumentation, Control, and Safety focuses on developing best practices and technologies for energy systems.
Net Price: In-state $11,560 / Out-of-state $34,064

#7 TEXAS A&M UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 92.08

Texas A&M University has the largest student body in Texas and the second largest in the nation. TAMU is located in College Station, TX, and is a public research university. The Department of Nuclear Engineering is located in the Dwight Look College of Engineering and offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. The DNE is considered one of the best departments in the country, and faculty and students research a variety of areas together. There are five broad research areas where projects are clustered, such as Nuclear Fuel Cycles and Materials, Nuclear Power Engineering, and Nuclear Security and Nonproliferation. Each of these vast areas houses a variety of research themes.

For instance, the NFCM area includes research on advanced radiation detectors, advanced fuel fabrication methods, nuclear waste behavior, and monitoring and processing. The NSN area includes research topics like safeguards systems analysis and instrument development, nuclear forensics and attribution, and arms control and treaty verification. And these groups don't just research– they also produce tangible results. For instance, the CMD group did important work in time-dependent transport. The DNE averages over $10 million in research expenditures each year. TAMU has world-class facilities including seven accelerators, a high-energy pulsed plasma laboratory, two research reactors, and additional facilities including a computational lab, and a Nuclear Power Plant Simulator lab.
Net Price: In-state $6,552 / Out-of-state $17,904

#6 UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AT URBANA – CHAMPAIGN

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR, PLASMA, & RADIOLOGICAL ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 92.39

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers a Master of Science in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering. On average, students complete their degree in three semesters, plus one summer session, and complete courses such as Materials in Nuclear Energy, Nuclear Power Engineering, and Radiation Interaction with Matter. UI has a long-established track record for doing pioneering reactor power engineering research. Their work has engaged the use of nuclear power on land and in the sea, as well as in space. Research topics historically include reactor physics, reactor thermal-hydraulics, nonproliferation, and human factors in engineering. Individuals overseeing research in these areas include nine tenure track faculty. UI's research facilities are also impressive, with 21 different groups and labs that deal with a range of issues. For instance, the Nuclear Materials Fabrication and Studies Laboratory conducts research on neutron scattering, nuclear fuel matrices, and hydrogen in metals. In addition, the High-Temperature Nuclear Materials Laboratory researches the challenges of high material temperatures in the development and refinement of advanced nuclear power plants.
Net Price: In-state $15,068 / Out-of-state $28,221

#5 UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN – MADISON

MASTER OF SCIENCE AND PH.D. IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING & ENGINEERING PHYSICS
Website
Score: 93.71

Located in Madison, WI the University of Wisconsin is a land-grant public research university with an R1 designation. The institution regularly enrolls over 14,000 postgraduate students to its over 260 graduate degree programs. The College of Engineering houses the Department of Engineering Physics which offers a 30-credit Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics. Students at UW Madison can take classes like Nuclear Reactor Analysis, Ionizing Radiation, and Nuclear Engineering Materials during their coursework. Though the MS degree is considered a terminal degree, the DEP recommends that students who are interested in fusion research should apply to matriculate into the Ph.D. program.

There are several areas of emphasis in UW Madison's program, including fusion engineering, radiation damage to materials, applied superconductivity and cryogenics, research, design, development, and deployment of fission reactors. The department is especially keen on establishing and cultivating research teams where groups of students can conduct advanced research together with faculty. Several areas of research are pursued at UW Madison, such as experimental and theoretical studies of plasma; fuel cycles analysis; and reactor monitoring and diagnostics. Over the years the DEP has developed relationships with important organizations with whom they continue to work including the Wisconsin Institute of Nuclear Systems, Fusion Technology Institute, and The Center for Plasma Theory and Computation. The program also provides a full list of funded fellowships for students to apply for throughout the year and often over the summer.
Net Price: In-state $10,728 / Out-of-state $24,054

#4 PURDUE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 95.12

Purdue University resides in West Lafayette, IN and is a public university classified under R1 for its research output. As an indication of their commitment to research, in 2006-2007, PU expended $472.7 million to support research throughout the PU system. The West Lafayette campus has a total annual student enrollment of over 43,000 with over 10,000 graduate students. The College of Engineering has been consistently ranked in the top three public engineering schools in the nation and houses the School of Nuclear Engineering, which offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. Students are required to take a suite of classes including Nuclear Engineering Experiments; Radiation Effects and Reactor Materials; and Mass Momentum and Energy Transfer in Energy Systems.

The SNE keeps track of internship opportunities with institutions like the U.S. Department of Energy, and offers significant fellowship opportunities which are sponsored both by PU and by agencies outside the institution including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Ford Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Center for International Security and Cooperation, and the National Science Foundation. There are several areas of ongoing research activity at PU. For instance, the Center for Materials Under Extreme Environments pursues research in material science, nuclear engineering and science, and plasma physics. The group is devoted to doing applied research which has included looking at high-intensity, modulated energy beams of various types. Graduate students regularly engage in these types of research experiences at PU, gaining valuable experience, and developing life-long friendships with other students and faculty.
Net Price: In-state $9,208 / Out-of-state $28,010

#3 NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 95.15

Located in Raleigh, NC, North Carolina State University is a public research university and a member institution of the Research Triangle Park which includes Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. NCSU annually enrolls over 10,000 postgraduate students into their over 160 graduate degree programs. The Department of Nuclear Engineering is the only nuclear engineering program in the state and offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering among other degrees. Classes include Nuclear Reactor Operations Training, Reactor Analysis and Design, and Nuclear Power Plant Instrumentation.

The MSNE at NCSU hosts the first university-based nuclear reactor, which was built in 1950, and now has a PULSTAR Reactor administered by the Nuclear Reactor Program. The program allows students to become a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensed nuclear reactor operator through coursework and examination. The program at NCSU is also home to six different consortia and multiple research programs where students can get involved. The Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors is funded by the Department of Energy and focuses on creating cost-effective nuclear reactors. The Nuclear Materials Group focuses on understanding the microstructure-property relationships of atomic materials. These many research groups offer outstanding opportunities for faculty and students to collaborate and for students to receive significant mentoring from leading researchers in the industry.
Net Price: In-state $8,917 / Out-of-state $25,405

#2 GEORGIA INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 97.26

A public research university located in Atlanta, GA, Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, is an R1 institution and has an annual postgraduate student enrollment of over 13,000 students. The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering offers a Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering. Students take classes like Radiation Detection, Reactor Engineering, and Computational Transport. GT's graduate Nuclear Engineering program was ranked No. 9 in the country by U.S. News & World Report and No. 14 for the best global universities for engineering. In 2018 alone, GT secured $207.1 million in new funding dollars for research projects and grants.

The ME department has several research areas, including work in Nuclear & Radiological Engineering. At present, research is focused on two broad areas fusion and fission, and radiological engineering. Projects in the fission area investigate radiation transport methods and codes, radioactive waste management, and radiation shielding. The focus is on improving current processes. This work is carried out in conjunction with several national laboratories, including Los Alamos National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Argonne National Laboratory. Fusion research is focused on experimental data from the National Tokamak Facility Team and is attempting to develop methods and codes which could contribute to the further development of tokamak reactors. Much of this research is conducted at the Fusion Research Center, where additional projects are also underway.
Net Price: In-state $13,788/ Out-of-state $28,568

#1 UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, BERKELEY

MASTER OF SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING IN NUCLEAR ENGINEERING
Website
Score: 100

Consistently ranked among the top universities in the world, the University of California at Berkeley is the flagship institution of the University of California system. The institution enrolls more than 42,000 students, of which 11,000 matriculates into graduate degree programs. The institution has long attracted some of the brightest minds in the world, and among their faculty, researchers, and alumni are 14 Fields Medalists, 45 MacArthur Fellows, and 107 Nobel laureates. Scientists at Berkeley have been responsible for discovering 16 different chemical elements on the periodic table, and one of their professors, physicist J. R. Oppenheimer, led the Manhattan Project in the 1940s, which developed the first atomic bomb. The College of Engineering houses the Department of Nuclear Engineering which offers a Master of Science and a Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering. The Master of Science is only open to students who are enrolled in the Ph.D. program and is a research-intensive program which can be taken in a thesis or non-thesis version.

The MENE program can be taken as a terminal degree is designed to develop professional engineers. The program is interdisciplinary and brings together a variety of disciplines including leadership, marketing, finance, management, and business along with nuclear engineering to prepare graduates for working broadly in the industry. Research at UCB is extensive and well-funded, offering opportunities in areas like computational methods, fuel cycles and radioactive waste, nuclear thermal hydraulics, and ethics and the societal impacts of technology. Each area works with on-campus or other laboratories and facilities to enable cutting-edge research, enhancing the historical reputation of the department.
Net Price: In-state 11,442 / Out-of-state $26,544