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Master's Degrees | Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear Engineering

Entrance Exam: Not Required
College of Engineering

The Master of Nuclear Engineering (MNE) is designed for students with an undergraduate degree in an engineering discipline or the applied sciences who wish to pursue a graduate degree in nuclear engineering. The strengths of the NC State program include its first-in-the-nation university nuclear reactor program and research opportunities in fission, fusion, materials in extreme environments, industrial plasma processes, radiation physics and applications.

The Master of Nuclear Engineering (MNE) is a 30-credit-hour degree program that does not require a thesis, final oral exam or on-campus residency. GRE scores are not required for admission.


A bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university in an engineering discipline. The discipline does not have to be nuclear engineering, but it must have a strong engineering/mathematical curriculum.

  • An overall grade point average of 3.0.
  • Three letters of recommendation from persons able to comment on the applicant’s qualification for graduate study.
  • The Graduate School requires that all international applicants take the TOEFL or IELTS examination unless they have completed one year of study at a university in the United States. The TOEFL or IELTS must have been taken within two years of receipt of application.

Plan of Study

  • Completion of 30 credit hours with an overall GPA of 3.0.
  • Coursework must include 15-18 graduate credit hours in nuclear engineering.
  • A minimum of nine credit hours are required outside of nuclear engineering to develop interdisciplinary breadth. Common fields include computer engineering, physics, statistics and mechanical engineering.
  • Completion of a 3 credit hour nuclear engineering project usually taken during the final semester with the report to be approved and graded by the faculty adviser along with one other NE faculty member.
  • At least one nuclear engineering course must be at the 7XX level.
  • Students without an undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering are required to enroll in NE 520, Radiation and Reactor Fundamentals.
  • After a student has been admitted and enrolls for the first time, he/she is required to maintain continuous enrollment in each fall and spring semester until completion of the degree program. A student in good academic standing may request a leave of absence for good reasons from the Director of Graduate Programs in Nuclear Engineering. The leave absolutely may not exceed two semesters.

Career Prospects

Nuclear engineers work with powerful elements that are an excellent source of energy but are extremely dangerous if not properly controlled and discarded. While some engineers with a bachelor’s degree are able to get an entry-level position as a nuclear engineer, many of the positions in this industry require a master’s degree. The Master of Nuclear Engineering covers the following topics: reactor engineering, radiation safety, nuclear materials basics, plasma science, and radiation and reactor fundamentals. Graduates are well equipped for nuclear engineering jobs. Some of our graduates use the degree as a springboard for a doctoral degree.

Additional Resources

For detailed information regarding engineering online programs and how to apply and enroll, please visit the Engineering Online website.