Graduate Programs

Program Overview

Graduate degrees available in Nuclear Science and Engineering include:

  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Students in all three Nuclear Engineering graduate degree programs are exposed to a broad systems overview of the complete nuclear fuel cycle as well as having detailed expertise in a particular component of the cycle. All three degree options share a common core curriculum in the fundamentals that underlay the research areas of the faculty.

The Master of Engineering is a non-thesis graduate degree intended to supplement the student’s undergraduate degree by providing the core knowledge needed to prepare the student to pursue a career in the nuclear engineering field. The Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees are thesis-based degrees that emphasize research.

In addition, students majoring in allied fields may complete a minor degree program, consisting of 12 credit hours of coursework, through the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program. Minor programs are designed to allow students in allied fields to acquire and then indicate, in a formal way, specialization in a nuclear-related area of expertise.

Additional Program Information

ADMISSIONS

Minimum admissions and prerequisite requirements for graduate Nuclear Science and Engineering programs are as follows:

Entering graduate students may come from a variety of educational backgrounds, but must have certain fundamental knowledge and skills to successfully complete a degree in Nuclear Science and Engineering. A baccalaureate degree in engineering, physics, chemistry, or closely related field required. The necessary prerequisites include:

  • mathematics coursework up to and including differential equations
  • physics up to and including courses in modern physics
  • thermodynamics

Applicants may be accepted conditionally and will be required to complete necessary background courses prior to full admission into the program.

Applications into the program must contain official transcripts of all previous college work, three letters of recommendation, Graduate Record Examination (GRE) results, financial affidavit (international students), a statement of intent, and any supporting materials the applicant wishes to provide. International students whose native language is not English must submit scores meeting institutionally required minimum values from an English proficiency examination (TOEFL or IELTS).

Minor Degrees

Students choosing to participate in a minor degree program must meet the admissions requirements of their home degree program and the prerequisite requirements for any course completed as part of the minor.

Admissions Considerations

Students are invited to apply to any of the Nuclear Science and Engineering degree programs. However, students are encouraged to consider the following guidelines when applying:

  • Admission to the Nuclear Science and Engineering M.S. and Ph.D. programs is usually contingent upon the identification of a source of student financial support and finding an interested faculty research advisor during the review process.
  • If a source of support and/or a faculty research advisor cannot be identified during the review of an application, qualified students may instead be offered admission into the Nuclear Science and Engineering M.E. degree program.
    • After a student has enrolled in the Nuclear Science and Engineering M.E. program, he or she may switch to the M.S. program with the support of a faculty research advisor.  This provides students the opportunity to begin graduate work in the Nuclear Science and Engineering program while looking for a faculty research advisor and financial support.
    • Graduate students in the Nuclear Science and Engineering M.E. program are not typically offered financial support.
  • Admission to the Ph.D. program also usually depends upon the student having completed a thesis-based Master’s degree.
    • Applicants who apply to the Nuclear Science and Engineering Ph.D. program without having completed a relevant thesis-based Master’s degree will be considerd for admission to the Nuclear Science and Engineering M.S. or M.E. degree program as described above.
    • These students may then re-apply to the Ph.D. program as they complete their Master’s degree.

For more information about scheduling a campus visit and applying, please contact Dr. Mark Jensen (mjensen@mines.edu).

DEGREE REQUIREMENTS

For both the master’s and doctoral degrees, graduates in Nuclear Engineering are exposed to a broad systems overview of the complete nuclear fuel cycle as well as having detailed expertise in a particular component of the cycle. Breadth is assured by requiring all students to complete a rigorous set of core courses. The core consists of a 13 credit-hour course sequence. The remainder of the course and research work is obtained from the multiple participating departments, as approved for each student by the student’s advisor and thesis committee. Requirements for each degree type are as shown below.

  • Master of Engineering: 36 total credit hours consisting of 13 hours of required core coursework, 12 credit hours of elective core coursework, 2 credit hours of seminar, and 9 credit hours of elective courses.
  • Master of Science: 36 total credit hours consisting of 13 hours of core coursework, 6 credit hours of elective core courses, 2 credit hours of seminar, and at least 12 credit hours of research.
  • Doctor of Philosophy: 72 total credit hours consisting of 13 hours of required core coursework, 9 credit hours of elective core coursework, 4 credit hours of seminar, at least 24 credit hours of research, and 12 credit hours of elective courses.

The required core coursework consists of the following courses (all courses are required for all degrees):

  • Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Physics (NUGN510) – 3 credits
  • Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Thermal-Hydraulics (NUGN520) – 3 credits
  • Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NUGN580 – Taught at the TRIGA reactor facility) – 3 credits
  • Nuclear Reactor Design (NUGN585 and NUGN586) – 4 credits total

The elective core courses consist of the following (pick four for the Master of Engineering Degree, pick two for the Master of Science Degree, and pick three for the Doctor of Philosophy Degree):

  • Radiation Detection and Measurement (PHGN504) – 3 credits
  • Nuclear Materials Science and Engineering (MTGN593) – 3 credits
  • Risk and Reliability Engineering Analysis and Design (MEGN 592) – 3 credits
  • Nuclear Power and Public Policy (LAIS589) – 3 credits
  • Applied Radiochemistry (CHGC511) – 3 credits
  • Environmental Stewardship of Nuclear Resources (CEEN 558) – 3 credits
  • Nuclear Fuel Cycle (NUGN 598) – 3 credits

The remaining elective courses required for each degree are selected in consultation with the student’s advisor and committee.  Possible courses include, but are not limited to:

  • Reprocessing Technologies (CHGN 598) – 3 credits
  • Introduction to Health Physics (NUGN 535) – 3 credits
  • Radiation Shielding (NUGN 598) – 3 credits
  • Any elective core course not used to satisfy the elective core requirements
  • Any 400 or 500-level course in the participating departments with a relevancy to nuclear science and engineering
MINOR DEGREE OPTIONS

Minor degree programs have been established in a variety of nuclear-related areas. Students in Nuclear Science and Engineering, as well as students in allied degree programs, may elect to complete a minor degree in addition to their regular degree requirements. Available minor degrees, and the coursework associated with these, include:

Minor in Nuclear Engineering

  • Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Physics (NUGN510)
  • Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NUGN580)
  • Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Thermal-Hydraulics (NUGN520)
  • Nuclear Power and Public Policy (LAIS589) or Environmental Stewardship of Nuclear Resources (CEEN558)

Minor in Nuclear Materials Processing

  • Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Physics (NUGN510)
  • Nuclear Materials Science and Engineering (NUGN593)
  • Physical Phenomena of Coating Processes (MTGN591)
  • Environmental Stewardship of Nuclear Resources (CEEN558)

Minor in Nuclear Detection

  • Introduction to Nuclear Physics (PHGN422)
  • Introduction to Nuclear Reactor Physics (NUGN510)
  • Radiation Detection and Measurement (PHGN504)
  • Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NUGN580)

Minor in Nuclear Geoscience and Geoengineering

  • Introduction to Nuclear Physics (PHGN422)
  • Nuclear and Isotopic Geochemistry
  • In-situ Mining
  • Uranium Mining
COMBINED DEGREE PROGRAM

Undergraduate students at Colorado School of Mines have the opportunity to begin work on a Masters degree in Nuclear Science and Engineering while completing their Bachelor’s degree. This Combined Degree program provides a vehicle for students to use up to 6 credit hours of their undergraduate coursework toward the graduate curriculum requirements.

Please contact your respective department for more information on this program.

STUDENT INFORMATION

Procedures

These procedures detail the processes students in NSE Program should follow:

Advising Checklists

The degree checklists provide NSE students and advisors a quick overview of the coursework and other requirements for each of the Nuclear Engineering degrees offered by the NSE Program.  New checklists will be available soon.

  • Master of Engineering
  • Master of Science
  • Doctor of Philosophy

Additional Resources

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

There are several financial assistance opportunities available for students interested in Nuclear Science and Engineering.

Combined BS/MS Nuclear Engineering Scholarship Program

The Combined BS/MS Nuclear Engineering Scholarship Program is aimed at identifying, recruiting, and supporting high-quality undergraduate students of science and engineering who are interested in pursuing an MS degree in Nuclear Engineering and then entering the workforce in the nuclear industry.

Students who qualify may be eligible for a:

  • $2,500 scholarship awarded during their junior year
  • $7,500 scholarship awarded during their senior year upon entry into a combined BS/MS program leading to an MS degree in Nuclear Engineering

Students participating in the Nuclear Engineering Scholarship Program must sign a Scholarship Service Agreement.

The Nuclear Engineering Scholarship Program is not currently soliciting new applicants.

Nuclear Science and Engineering Fellowship Program

The Nuclear Science and Engineering Fellowship Program is aimed at identifying, recruiting, and supporting high-quality graduate students who will pursue a research-based graduate degree in Nuclear Engineering or a closely related field and then enter the workforce in support of the nuclear industry.

Students who are selected to participate in the Fellowship Program will be eligible for:

  • full payment of tuition, fees, and health insurance
  • $2000/month stipend
  • $1500/year travel allowance to attend appropriate scientific and technical meetings and conferences

The Fellowship may be renewed for a total of four years, based on the student’s academic and research progress. Fellows will be expected to present the results of their research at a yearly research seminar hosted by the Nuclear Science and Engineering Program.

Students participating in the Nuclear Engineering Scholarship Program must sign a Fellowship Service Agreement.

The Nuclear Engineering Fellowship Program is not currently soliciting new applicants.