Graduate Catalog
Policies, Procedures, Academic Programs
Nuclear Engineering
Mechanical Engineering Department 445 Signature Engineering Building (MC 0238) 635 Prices Fork Road
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Contact this Certificate
Email Contact(s):
Web Resource(s):
Phone Number(s):
Mark Pierson:
Cathy Hill:
Allison Jones:

Certificate Overview

The primary purposes of the Nuclear Engineering Certificate are to (1) provide a purposeful, cohesive set of technical electives in nuclear engineering; and (2) facilitate networking among faculty, students, and employers in nuclear engineering applications.  The certificate is useful in transitioning from a non-nuclear engineering-related job to a nuclear engineering-related job.  The Nuclear Engineering Certificate will also make those who do not have a nuclear engineering degree more competitive in applying for engineering positions in the nuclear industry.  The certificate provides a solid foundation in nuclear reactor physics, with additional specialization in reactor physics, nuclear fuel cycle, radiation measurements, reactor thermal hydraulics, nuclear materials, or nuclear power plant operations.  The certificate requires completion of 9 credit hours of graduate course work.  

How to Apply:
Fill out the online application for participation in the certificate program.
Upon processing of the application, you will be contacted
with information about the submission of additional
required materials. Thank you for your interest.

Admission Requirements

Enrolled in the Graduate School through either a degree program or non-degree program. Applicants who have earned or will earn a B.S. degree in an engineering or science-related discipline are encouraged to have a 3.2 (4.0 scale) or higher GPA on their most recent 60 course credit hours during their undergraduate education.  However, a minimum gpa of 2.8 (4.0 scale) will be considered for admission for Commonwealth Campus or Graduate Certificate applicants.  No GRE test scores or recommendation letters are required.

Course Requirements

1.      Complete a minimum of 9 credit-hours of nuclear engineering-related coursework through Virginia Tech – 3 credit-hours of required courses and 6 credit-hours of elective courses from the approved list below.  The approved elective list will be updated each year.  Only a maximum of 3 credit-hours total may be taken for NSEG 5974. Up to 6 credit-hours of NSEG 5984 may be taken if two different course titles are involved.

2.      All courses must be taken for a letter grade with a grade of B- or better.  Pass/Fail grades will only be permitted for the NSEG 5974 course.  A final average GPA of 3.00 or better must be achieved in the 9 hours of coursework accepted for the certificate.


Course No.    Title (Credit-hours)

NSEG 5114     Nuclear Engineering Fundamentals (3)*

*  Completion of NSEG 3145 & 3146 at the undergraduate level will satisfy completion of this NSEG 5114 required course.  However, another course from the Elective list below must replace it such that the student completes 9 graduate course credits total.

2.  ELECTIVE COURSES (select two):

Course No.    Title (Credit-hours)

NSEG 5104     Applied Mathematics for Nuclear Engineers (3)

NSEG 5124     Nuclear Reactor Analysis (3)

NSEG 5134     Monte Carlo Methods for Particle Transport (3)

NSEG 5204     Nuclear Fuel Cycle (3)

NSEG 5214     Nuclear Power Plant Operations & Systems (3)

NSEG 5284     Nuclear Nonproliferation, Safeguards and Security (3)

MSE 5384G     Advanced Nuclear Materials (3)

NSEG 5424     Reactor Thermal Hydraulics (3)

NSEG 5504     Radiation Effects on Metals and Alloys (3)

NSEG 5514     Structural Materials Degradation in Nuclear Power Systems (3)

NSEG 5604     Radiation Detection & Shielding (3)

NSEG 5974     Independent Study (Nuclear Engineering) (3)**

NSEG 5984     Special Study (Nuclear Engineering) (3)**

NSEG 6124      Advanced Nuclear Reactor Analysis (3)

NSEG 6334      Nuclear Reactor Safety Analysis (3)

NSEG 6984      Advanced Special Study (Nuclear Engineering) (3)

** A total of 3 hours maximum for NSEG 5974 or 6 hours maximum for NSEG 5984 (two different course titles) w/ approval of program coordinator


The Nuclear Engineering Program is located at:
Mechanical Engineering Department (MC 0238), 455 Goodwin Hall, 635 Prices Fork Road, Blacksburg, VA 24061

and at

National Capital Region
Virginia Tech Northern Virginia Center
7054 Haycock Road
Falls Church VA 22043