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    Dec 03, 2021  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
    
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog

Nuclear Engineering Major, PhD


The Department of Nuclear Engineering offers a Doctor of Philosophy degree in which students may elect a program focusing on traditional fission energy, nuclear security, nuclear materials, or a student can choose a radiological engineering concentration.

Concentrations (Optional)

Energy Science and Engineering

Nuclear Safety

Radiological Engineering

Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Students in the field of nuclear engineering desiring to study for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must have a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science from an accredited university with a major in engineering, physics, chemistry, or mathematics.
  • All entering students must have, as a minimum, competency in mathematics through ordinary differential equations.
  • Students are encouraged to take the GRE, but not required.
  • Admitted applicants will be advised of any prerequisite undergraduate courses that may be required for their graduate studies.
  • All candidates will be required to demonstrate general competence in a comprehensive examination in the areas of engineering science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and nuclear engineering.

Credit Hours Required

  • Students holding only a BS degree, as well as students who receive a concurrent MS degree in Nuclear Engineering while enrolled as a PhD student, must take a minimum of 72 total graduate credit hours, including a minimum of 39 graduate course credit hours.
  • Students holding a non-concurrent MS degree in Nuclear Engineering from UT will be required to take a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours, including at least 15 credit hours of graduate coursework beyond those applied to their MS degree.
  • Students with MS degrees from other fields or universities will be required to take a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours, including at least 24 credit hours of graduate coursework.
  • Coursework requirements may not be fulfilled by research or dissertation credit or seminar courses.
  • The student’s major professor, with the concurrence of the dissertation committee, will prepare a curriculum plan outlining precisely what courses will be taken.

Required Courses

  • NE 600  (minimum of 24 credit hours)
  • A minimum of 39 credit hours of graduate coursework
    • A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate courses in nuclear engineering at or above the 500-level
      • To include 3 credit hours (1+1+1) of NE 501  
      • Excludes thesis, practice project, or dissertation credit
    • A minimum of 12 additional coursework credit hours is required, subject to approval by the student’s faculty committee
    • At least 6 credit hours of the above coursework must be at the 600-level, with at least 3 of these credit hours in nuclear engineering
    • At the discretion of the student’s dissertation committee and depending on the student’s background, more than 39 credit hours of courses may be required
    • A maximum of 24 credit hours from a master’s degree may be used to satisfy the coursework requirements for the PhD
    • A minimum of 39 credit hours of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree and 24-33 credit hours of dissertation (NE 600 )

Additional Course Requirements

  • Students without a BS in nuclear engineering, or the equivalent, must take NE 433  and NE 470  both of which may be taken for graduate credit.

Non-Course Requirements

  • The first part of the comprehensive examination is prepared by the nuclear engineering faculty and consists of 6 hours of written examination that is administered over a two-day period. All past written examinations are filed in the library and students are encouraged to review them. Students are invited to take the written examination after completing approximately 30 credit hours of graduate coursework. A student who fails the written examination must take and pass the examination the next time it is offered to remain in the PhD program. Registration for NE 600  is not permitted until the written examination is passed. The second part of the comprehensive examination is completed with the successful oral defense of a written dissertation proposal.
  • A candidate must successfully defend, in an oral examination, all work presented for the degree (all coursework and the dissertation).

Energy Science and Engineering Concentration

The Energy Science and Engineering concentration is offered in collaboration with the Bredesen Center for Interdisciplinary Research and Graduate Education. The Bredesen Center is a joint effort between the Tickle College of Engineering, other UT colleges, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

Credit Hours Required

  • Students holding only a BS degree, as well as students who receive a concurrent MS degree in Nuclear Engineering while enrolled as a PhD student, must take a minimum of 72 total graduate credit hours, including a minimum of 39 graduate course credit hours.
  • Students holding a non-concurrent MS degree in Nuclear Engineering from UT will be required to take a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours, including at least 15 credit hours of graduate coursework beyond those applied to their MS degree.
  • Students with MS degrees from other fields or universities will be required to take a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours, including at least 24 credit hours of graduate coursework.
  • Coursework requirements may not be fulfilled by research or dissertation credit or seminar courses.
  • The student’s major professor, with the concurrence of the dissertation committee, will prepare a curriculum plan outlining precisely what courses will be taken.

Required Courses

  • NE 600  (24 credit hours)
  • A minimum of 30 credit hours in nuclear engineering (NE) courses numbered 500 and above (or the equivalent) chosen in consultation with the major professor and guidance committee.
    • These are exclusive of thesis, practice project, or dissertation credit.
  • Core Curriculum: Energy Science and Engineering ESE 511  and ESE 512  (6 credit hours)
    • Knowledge Breadth Curriculum (3 credit hours): Select one course from one of the following areas
      • Political, social, legal, ethical, and security issues related to energy (e.g., POLS, PHYS, ESE)
      • Entrepreneurship, leadership, and management (e.g., IE, ME, MGT, ESE)
      • Additional courses may be selected in consultation with the Bredesen Center’s Director
    • Knowledge Specialization Curriculum for Domain Science (6 credit hours): Choose two courses from participating department as defined in the Bredesen Center Graduate Student Handbook.
      • Bioenergy and biofuels (e.g., EEB, MICR, BCMB, CBE, LFSC, PLSC)
      • Cross-cutting energy sciences (e.g., MICR, ECE, CHEM, PHYS, MATH, STAT)
      • Distributed energy and grid management (e.g., ECE)
      • Energy conversion and storage (e.g., CBE, CHEM, ME, MSE, PHYS)
      • Energy materials (e.g., MSE, PHYS)
      • Environmental and climate sciences related to energy (e.g., GEOL, MICR, BCMB, EEB, ESS, FORS, GEOL, LFSC, MICR, PLSC, ENVE, FWF)
      • Nuclear energy (e.g., NE, CHEM, ME, PHYS)
      • Renewable energy (MATH, CBE, ENVE, ME, STAT)
      • Transportation sciences (e.g., CBE, CE, ECE, ME)
      • Additional courses may be selected in consultation with the major professor or research advisor
    • ESE 599  (1 credit hour) taken three times for 3 credit hours

Additional Course Requirements

  • Students without a BS in nuclear engineering, or the equivalent, must take NE 433  and NE 470  both of which may be taken for graduate credit.

Non-Course Requirements

  • The first part of the comprehensive examination is prepared by the nuclear engineering faculty and consists of 6 hours of written examination that is administered over a two-day period. All past written examinations are filed in the library and students are encouraged to review them. Students are invited to take the written examination after completing approximately 30 credit hours of graduate coursework. A student who fails the written examination must take and pass the examination the next time it is offered to remain in the PhD program. Registration for NE 600  is not permitted until the written examination is passed. The second part of the comprehensive examination is completed with the successful oral defense of a written dissertation proposal.
  • A candidate must successfully defend, in an oral examination, all work presented for the degree (all coursework and the dissertation).

 

Nuclear Safety Concentration

 Campus Code:

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Students in the field of nuclear engineering desiring to study for the Doctor of Philosophy degree must have a Bachelor of Science or Master of Science from an accredited university with a major in engineering, physics, chemistry, or mathematics.
  • All entering students must have, as a minimum, competency in mathematics through ordinary differential equations.
  • Students are encouraged to take the GRE, but not required.
  • Admitted applicants will be advised of any prerequisite undergraduate courses that may be required for their graduate studies.
  • All candidates will be required to demonstrate general competence in a comprehensive examination in the areas of engineering science, mathematics, chemistry, physics, and nuclear engineering.

Credit Hours Required

  • Students holding only a BS degree, as well as students who receive a concurrent MS degree in Nuclear Engineering while enrolled as a PhD student, must take a minimum of 72 total graduate credit hours, including a minimum of 39 graduate course credit hours.
  • Students holding a non-concurrent MS degree in Nuclear Engineering from UT will be required to take a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours, including at least 15 credit hours of graduate coursework beyond those applied to their MS degree.
  • Students with MS degrees from other fields or universities will be required to take a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours, including at least 24 credit hours of graduate coursework.
  • Coursework requirements may not be fulfilled by research or dissertation credit or seminar courses.
  • The student’s major professor, with the concurrence of the dissertation committee, will prepare a curriculum plan outlining precisely what courses will be taken.

Required Courses:

  • NE 600  (minimum of 24 credit hours)
  • A minimum of 39 credit hours in nuclear engineering (NE) courses numbered 500 and above (or the equivalent).
    • A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate courses in nuclear engineering at or above the 500-level
    • Students must take NE 421 , NE 585 , and NE 586  
    • Two electives from the list below:
    • To include 3 credit hours (1+1+1) of NE 501  
    • Excludes thesis, practice project, or dissertation credit
    • A minimum of 12 additional graduate coursework credit hours is required, subject to approval by the student’s faculty committee
    • At least 6 credit hours of the above coursework must be at the 600-level, with at least 3 of these credit hours in nuclear engineering
    • At the discretion of the student’s dissertation committee and depending on the student’s background, more than 39 credit hours of courses may be required
    • A maximum of 24 credit hours from a master’s degree may be used to satisfy the coursework requirements for the PhD
    • A minimum of 39 credit hours of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree and 24-33 credit hours of dissertation (NE 600 )

Additional Course Requirements:  None.

Non-Course Requirements:  None.

 

Radiological Engineering Concentration

Credit Hours Required

  • Students holding only a BS degree, as well as students who receive a concurrent MS degree in Nuclear Engineering while enrolled as a PhD student, must take a minimum of 72 total graduate credit hours, including a minimum of 39 graduate course credit hours.
  • Students holding a non-concurrent MS degree in Nuclear Engineering from UT will be required to take a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours, including at least 15 credit hours of graduate coursework beyond those applied to their MS degree.
  • Students with MS degrees from other fields or universities will be required to take a minimum of 48 total graduate credit hours, including at least 24 credit hours of graduate coursework.
  • Coursework requirements may not be fulfilled by research or dissertation credit or seminar courses.
  • The student’s major professor, with the concurrence of the dissertation committee, will prepare a curriculum plan outlining precisely what courses will be taken.

Required Courses

  • NE 600  (minimum of 24 credit hours)
  • A minimum of 39 credit hours in nuclear engineering (NE) courses numbered 500 and above (or the equivalent).
    • A minimum of 27 credit hours of graduate courses in nuclear engineering at or above the 500-level
    • Students must take NE 550 , NE 551 , NE 552 , and NE 490  
    • To include 3 credit hours (1+1+1) of NE 501  
    • Excludes thesis, practice project, or dissertation credit
    • A minimum of 12 additional coursework credit hours is required, subject to approval by the student’s faculty committee
    • At least 6 credit hours of the above coursework must be at the 600-level, with at least 3 of these credit hours in nuclear engineering
    • At the discretion of the student’s dissertation committee and depending on the student’s background, more than 39 credit hours of courses may be required
    • A maximum of 24 credit hours from a master’s degree may be used to satisfy the coursework requirements for the PhD
    • A minimum of 39 credit hours of graduate coursework beyond the bachelor’s degree and 24-33 credit hours of dissertation (NE 600 )

Additional Course Requirements

  • Students without a BS in nuclear engineering, or the equivalent, must take NE 433  and NE 470  both of which may be taken for graduate credit.

Non-Course Requirements

  • The first part of the comprehensive examination is prepared by the nuclear engineering faculty and consists of 6 hours of written examination that is administered over a two-day period. All past written examinations are filed in the library and students are encouraged to review them. Students are invited to take the written examination after completing approximately 30 credit hours of graduate coursework. A student who fails the written examination must take and pass the examination the next time it is offered to remain in the PhD program. Registration for NE 600 is not permitted until the written examination is passed. The second part of the comprehensive examination is completed with the successful oral defense of a written dissertation proposal.
  • A candidate must successfully defend, in an oral examination, all work presented for the degree (all coursework and the dissertation).