The Minor in Nuclear Engineering is designed to provide undergraduate students from other appropriate engineering programs (mechanical, electrical, chemical etc.) with the fundamentals of nuclear physics and engineering theory and practice, necessary to equip them with a sound understanding of nuclear engineering.

The fundamental principle of nuclear power is to harness the energy released when a nuclear reaction results in the splitting of the uranium atom, a process called nuclear fission, which also results in the creation of ionizing radiation. The courses designed for this Nuclear Engineering Minor will cover the following three fundamental nuclear engineering areas of study necessary to achieve the program goals and learning outcomes given below:

1. Radiation Science and Health Physics

2. Nuclear Reactor Physics

3. Nuclear Systems and Operation


The goals of the program are:

  • To provide graduates with fundamental knowledge in nuclear engineering.
  • To enable graduates to relate nuclear engineering theory to practice.
  • To equip graduates with design and problem solving skills in nuclear engineering.
  • To prepare graduates for careers as nuclear engineering professionals.
  • To encourage graduates to pursue self-learning and personal development experiences.

Student Learning Outcomes

A student graduating with a Minor in Nuclear Engineering will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a basic level of understanding in nuclear engineering.
  • Practice a sound level of nuclear safety awareness and culture.
  • Analyze and characterize existing nuclear engineering systems.
  • Design the basics of a nuclear engineering system, component, or process to meet desired needs.
  • Use the basic techniques, skills and modern tools necessary for nuclear engineering practice.
  • Conduct supervised investigation in the field of nuclear engineering with rigor and discrimination.
  • Communicate and write appropriately in the area of nuclear engineering.
  • Understand the basics of regulatory and ethical issues and professional responsibility related to nuclear engineering.
  • Realize the impact of nuclear engineering in a global and societal context.
  • Recognize the need for, and engage in, life-long learning.
Course Description

NUCE 301 Radiation Science and Health Physics (3-0-3)

Prerequisites: PHYS 122; ((MATH 204 & MATH 206) (or NUCE 302))

This course provides students with an understanding of radiation science, including radiation shielding, as a foundation to understanding the theoretical and practical aspects of radiological protection and a working knowledge of radiation protection legislation. Topics covered include introduction to modern physics, radioactivity, nuclear reactions, and radiation interactions with matter, radiation detection, protection, dose, and legislation.

NUCE 302 Applied Mathematics for Nuclear Engineering (3-0-3)

Prerequisites: MATH 112 or equivalent

This course recaps some of the undergraduate mathematics materials relevant to the advanced graduate courses. Furthermore, basic introductory material for the numerical analysis will be also provided to the students.

NUCE 303 Evaluative Methods for Nuclear Non-proliferation and Security (3-0-3)

Prerequisite: PHYS 121 or equivalent

This course provides students with a thorough understanding in mechanics of materials and thermal hydraulics related topics and concepts. The specific subjects are selected on the basis of their relevance and applicability to nuclear engineering technology.

NUCE 304 Mechanics & Thermal-hydraulics Principles for Nuclear Engineering (3-0-3)

Prerequisite: MATH 242 or MATH 243

This course provides the key elements related to nuclear non-proliferation and security such as, legal framework, operational interactions, and physical protection system design and evaluation methods. Topics include international and national legal framework regulating nuclear non-proliferation and security, threat assessment, detection and response to criminal or unauthorized acts involving nuclear and other radioactive material, nuclear material accountancy, containment and surveillance, as well as international and state-level approaches to safeguarding nuclear materials.

NUCE 401 Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Physics (3-0-3)
Co-requisite: NUCE 301 or equivalent

This course provides the students with the basic understanding of nuclear reactor physics. It also provides students with the fundamental principles and practical applications related to the utilization of nuclear energy from fission.  It covers the concepts of neutron diffusion in one-group and multi-group contexts. It also gives a brief introduction to the subject of time-dependent nuclear reactor.

NUCE 402 Introduction to Nuclear Systems and Operation (3-0-3)

Prerequisites: (MEEN 240 and MEEN 335) OR NUCE 303; NUCE 401

Note: Students can either take NUCE 402 or NUCE 403 but not both

This course provides students with an overview of nuclear systems and power plants, including operation steps, energy transport schemes, various power reactor types, safety principles, and control functions, as a foundation to understanding the theoretical and practical aspects of nuclear plant design and operation and a working knowledge of various safety features.

NUCE 352 Materials in Nuclear Power Plants 

Prerequisites: (CHEG 350) 

The course covers materials (metals, alloys, ceramics, polymers, and concrete) used in nuclear power plants. Topics covered include understanding of material behavior; the effects of structure, properties, and processing of materials used in nuclear systems on their behavior in radiation environments. Emphasis is on the effect of radiation on the microstructure, mechanical, electrical, thermal and corrosion properties of materials