Jun 18, 2024  
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog 
2022-2023 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Nuclear Engineering Major, MS

The Department of Nuclear Engineering offers a Master of Science 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.

The program requires the completion of 12 graduate credit hours of nuclear engineering courses and 12 credit hours of additional graduate courses. The program requires a research option selected by the student in coordination with the student’s graduate committee and is based on the student’s personal interests, academic background, and work experience, as well as the nature of projects currently available in the department. A thesis requires the student to conduct independent, in-depth research. An engineering practice project is similar to a thesis project but smaller in scope and can be research, design, product development, special operations, or a critical review of published literature in a specific technical area. The final report for an engineering practice project is normally prepared in thesis format; however, another formal report format may be used if approved by the student’s graduate committee.

Concentrations Available

Nuclear Safety

Radiological Engineering

Options Available



Campus Code

Knoxville Campus

Admissions Standards/Procedures

  • Students in the field of nuclear engineering desiring to study for the Master of Science must have a Bachelor of Science degree 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

30 graduate credit hours

Required Courses

  • Thesis and Project Options
    • 15 credit hours of graduate courses in nuclear engineering (NE) which must include at least two of the following courses – NE 521  or NE 522 , NE 540 , NE 542 , NE 551 , NE 563 , NE 571 , NE 573 , NE 585 , NE 586 .
    • Two credit hours (1+1) of NE 501  are required, and a maximum of 3 credit hours of NE 501  can be used towards the 15 credit hours of NE graduate courses.
  • An additional 9 credit hours of graduate courses related to the student’s research, as approved by the student’s committee, typically selected from Nuclear Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Computer Science, Mechanical Engineering, or Material Science
  • Only 9 credit hours of 400-level graduate course work can be applied towards the 24 credit hour course requirement.

Option Requirements

  • Thesis Option: NE 500  Thesis, 6 credit hours
  • Project Option: NE 598 , Nuclear Engineering Practice, 3 or 6 credit hours
    • two engineering practice projects (6 credit hours of NE 598 ).
    • one engineering practice project (3 credit hours of NE 598 ) plus 3 credit hours of additional nuclear engineering course work.

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 student must pass an oral examination on all work presented for the degree (all course work and thesis)

Nuclear Safety concentration

Options Available:

  • Thesis Option: NE 500  Thesis, minimum 6 credit hours
  • Project Option
    • Two engineering practice projects: NE 598  (for 6 credit hours)
    • One engineering practice project, NE 598  for 3 credit hours, plus 3 credit hours of additional nuclear engineering (NE) course as approved by the graduate committee.

Required Courses (3)

Two electives from the list below:

Additional Course Requirements: None

Non-Course Requirements: None.

Radiological Engineering Concentration

Options available:

  • Thesis Option: NE 500  Thesis, minimum 6 credit hours
  • Project Options:
    • Two engineering practice projects, NE 598  for 6 credit hours
    • One engineering practice project, NE 598  for 3 credit hours, plus 3 credit hours of additional nuclear engineering (NE) coursework as approved by the graduate committee.

Required Courses (3):

Two elective courses from the list below:

Additional Course Requirements: None.

Non-Course Requirements: None.


Five-Year BS/MS Program, Nuclear Engineering Major, MS

The department offers a 5-year BS-MS program with a BS (major in nuclear engineering) and an MS (major in nuclear engineering) for qualified students. The primary component of the program is a qualified student may take up to 6 credit hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both the bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Tennessee. This program is designed for students attending the University of Tennessee for their Master of Science degree because other universities may not accept these courses for graduate credit since they were used to satisfy requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree. Significant components of the program are:

  • Students must have an overall GPA of 3.40 in required coursework. Conditional admission to the 5-year program may be granted after completion of 63 credit hours of required coursework, while full admission may be granted after the completion of 93 credit hours of required course work with a minimum GPA of 3.40.
  • Admission must be approved by the department and the Graduate School.
  • Students must at least be conditionally admitted to the program prior to taking courses that receive credit for both the BS and MS degrees.
  • All courses taken for graduate credit must be approved by the director of graduate studies. Students admitted to the program must request permission from the Graduate School to take approved courses for graduate credit. Students admitted to the program must also follow the normal procedure for admission to the Graduate School.
  • Students will not be eligible for graduate assistantships until they are enrolled as graduate-level students in the Graduate School.