By BCR Staff
Nuclear engineers are some of the highest paid in the field of engineering. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), nuclear engineers earned a median annual wage of over $105,000 as of 2017. That’s significantly more than the average for all engineers. Those nuclear engineers with a master’s degree stand to make the most as they qualify for advanced roles in nuclear engineering. In this ranking, we explore the top online master’s in nuclear engineering programs. For more general information regarding online learning, visit our ranking of the top online colleges.
Rating and Ranking Methodology
- Under $30,000—1 point
- Under $25,000—2 points
- Under $20,000—3 points
- Under $15,000—4 points
- Under $10,000—5 points
US News and World Report Recognition as a Top Online School for Master’s Engineering Programs
- Top 5—5 points
- Top 10— 4 points
- Top 25 —3 points
- Top 50 —2 points
- Top 75 —1 point
• Format Customizations (e.g. Hybrid/Online, Full-time/Part-Time, Accelerated, Degree Completion, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option
• Content Customizations (e.g. Minors, Concentrations, Specializations, etc.)—1 Point Per Customization Option (5-point cap)
• 1 point awarded for each unique feature or program that “wowed” us
Ranking the Best Online Master’s in Nuclear Engineering Degree Programs
In developing this ranking of the top online master’s in nuclear engineering programs, our editors examined the 16 such programs currently available. We consulted College Navigator to gather information regarding graduate tuition, and we visited each school’s website to analyze program features. We used this information to apply the rating and ranking methodology above. In cases of a tie, we awarded the higher rankings to the more affordable master’s in nuclear engineering programs online.
Featured Online Schools
#10 –University of Pittsburgh
Online MS in Nuclear Engineering
The University of Pittsburgh offers its top online master’s in nuclear engineering program through the Swanson School of Engineering and the Stephen R. Tritch Nuclear Engineering Program. This non-thesis option is flexible in terms of content, requiring just one course: Linear Systems Theory. The remaining nine courses are made up of student-selected classes like Nuclear Plant Dynamics and Control, Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow in Nuclear Power Plants, Computational Radiation Transport, and Integration of Nuclear Plans with the Reactor Core. Those students with a non-nuclear engineering background are also encouraged to take Fundamentals of Nuclear Engineering. before embarking on the more complex courses required for their MS in nuclear engineering online program.
In-State Tuition: $22,290
#9 –Thomas Edison State University
Online MS in Nuclear Engineering (Nuclear Energy Technology Management)
Thomas Edison State University offers a comprehensive 36-credit hour nuclear engineering masters online program from its School of Applied Science and Technology. The program’s core covers topics in technology management and includes specific classes such as Project Management for Technology, Managing People in Technology-Based Organizations, and Cost Estimation and Financial Management for Engineering Technologists. Students who opt for the nuclear energy area of study will take additional courses such as Atmospheric Dispersion of Radiotypes and Criticality Safety, for instance. A master’s project in applied science and technology is also required for this online nuclear engineering master’s degree. The program can be completed in less than two years of part-time study, making it one of the more accelerated online master’s in nuclear engineering options.
In-State Tuition: $12,024
#8 –Virginia Commonwealth University
MS in Nuclear Engineering Online: Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
The online MS in nuclear engineering program offered through Virginia Commonwealth University’s Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering is a 30-credit hour program designed to be completed on a part-time basis. Core courses required for the degree include Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Analysis, Topics in Nuclear Engineering, and Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering Continuum Mechanics. Both thesis and non-thesis tracks are available, and thesis students will take an additional research course entitled Directed Research in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering. Students do not have to visit campus at any time in order to complete their online master’s in nuclear engineering programs.
In-State Tuition: $11,466
#7 –University of Texas- Austin
MS in Nuclear Engineering Online
A pioneer in nuclear engineering distance education, the University of Texas- Austin offers its MS in mechanical and nuclear engineering online option from the distinguished Cockrell School of Engineering. Featured courses required for the degree include Computational Methods in Radiation Transport, Mathematical Methods for Nuclear and Radiation Engineering, and Modern Trends in Nuclear and Radiation Engineering. Coursework is delivered synchronously to promote interactivity for distance students, and an optional on-campus intensive is also available as part of this top online master’s in nuclear engineering program.
In-State Tuition: $11,490
#6 –Penn State University-World Campus
Online MS in Nuclear Engineering
Among the best online master’s in nuclear engineering programs is this 30-credit, non-thesis option from Penn State University-World Campus that can be completed entirely online. Topics covered throughout the course of the program include radioactive waste control, reactor engineering, radiological safety, heat transfer, and more. Students will take specific classes like Introduction to Statistical Thermodynamics, Power Plant Simulation, and Design Principles of Reactor Systems. Graduates of this no thesis MS in nuclear engineering online degree go on to work in electrical utility companies, nuclear power plants, engineering design firms, and energy and defense agencies.
In-State Tuition: $20,470
#5 –University of South Carolina
Master’s in Nuclear Engineering Programs Online
The University of South Carolina offers two online master’s in nuclear engineering programs: a thesis-based MS in Nuclear Engineering and a non-thesis Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering. Core courses include Nuclear Fuel Materials and Behavior, Radiation Detection and Instrumentation, Predictive Modeling: Combining Experiments with Computations, and Thermal Hydraulic Design of Nuclear Reactors. In addition to these nuclear engineering masters programs online, a doctoral program and an accelerated BS/MS in Nuclear Engineering are also available from the university.
In-State Tuition: $12,854
#4 –Oregon State University
Online MS in Nuclear Engineering (Health Physics)
Oregon State University’s MS in nuclear engineering online degree option is a unique Professional Master of Health Physics with a concentration in Nuclear Reactor Engineering. Courses comprising the comprehensive 45-credit hour curriculum for this program include Nuclear Rules and Regulations, Radiochemistry, Applied Radiation Safety, and Radioecology. Although coursework for the program can be completed online, labs must be completed on campus during a one-week summer intensive. Students who complete their master’s in nuclear engineering programs online are prepared to sit for the Certified Health Physics (CHP) exam administered by the American Board of Health Physics.
In-State Tuition: $12,339
#3 –University of Tennessee-Knoxville
Online ME in Nuclear Engineering (Reliability and Maintainability Engineering)
Nearing the top of our ranking of best online master’s in nuclear engineering ranking is the University of Tennessee-Knoxville’s interdisciplinary MS in Reliability and Maintainability Engineering with a concentration in Nuclear Engineering. Core courses required for the degree include Introduction to Reliability Engineering, Introduction to Maintainability Engineering, Process System Reliability and Safety, and Reliability of Lean Systems. Both thesis and non-thesis options are available. It is important to note that course delivery is synchronous, so students may have to log in at specific times to work on their nuclear engineering masters programs online.
In-State Tuition: $11,244
#2 –Kansas State University
Online Master’s in Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering
The offering from Kansas State University’s Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering is among the top online master’s in nuclear engineering programs for professional engineers with an undergraduate degree in engineering as well as some training or experience in the field. Courses comprising the curriculum for the program include Intermediate Radiation Measurement Applications, Nuclear Reactor Theory, Radiation Protection and Shielding, and Special Topics in Nuclear Engineering, for example. The program also includes a special transfer program for Navy Nuclear Power School graduates. It’s important to note that one campus visit for the purpose of an oral examination is required for this online master’s in nuclear engineering program.
In-State Tuition: $9,960
#1 –North Carolina State University
Online Master of Nuclear Engineering
Our choice for the best online master’s in nuclear engineering program, North Carolina State University’s option is a 30-credit hour offering designed for students who already hold an undergraduate degree in engineering. The curriculum includes courses such as Radiation and Reactor Fundamentals, Radiation Safety and Shielding, Nuclear Fuel Cycles, and Nuclear Materials. A master’s supervised research project is also required and is conducted under faculty mentorship. NC State’s nuclear reactor program is the first of its kind in the nation, solidifying this program’s place as the best of the best nuclear engineering masters programs online.
In-State Tuition: $8,492
Thanks for checking out our choices for the Top Online Master’s in Nuclear Engineering Programs!
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