Nuclear Engineering Major

Nuclear Engineering Major

Nuclear Engineering

Major

Nuclear engineering makes practical use of the energy that is released by the atomic nucleus. Applications extend into the fields of electric power, medicine, nuclear weapons, and nuclear weapons effects.

Offered by the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering.

The nuclear engineering major provides cadets the opportunity to solve complex, multi-disciplinary problems for the Army and the Nation, provide appropriate nuclear and radiological engineering expertise to the Army, communicate effectively, orally and in writing; provide clear instructions to subordinates and feedback to supervisors, and continue to develop and grow their intellect, professionalism, and character -- as Army officers and as engineers.

The nuclear engineering major is interdisciplinary: It draws widely upon mathematics, physics, and mechanics, with special emphasis on applied physics and the thermal-hydraulic aspects of mechanical engineering. It is designed to provide depth of knowledge in the application of nuclear energy to include power production, radiation health physics, nuclear weapons, and weapons effects. The major is taught through multiple departments and includes electives from physics, mathematics, mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, and nuclear engineering. The nuclear engineering student will gain a broad background for further study in graduate school and Army assignments requiring expertise in mechanical engineering, applied radiation physics, nuclear weapons and weapons effects, or any of a variety of related topics. 

Why Major In Nuclear Engineering?

Graduates in nuclear engineering will have highly valuable skills such as nuclear and radiological expertise and the ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors.

Nuclear Engineering Matters

Nuclear engineering stands as a pivotal discipline of immense significance to national security and defense. From clean energy generation and medical advancements to space exploration and advanced weaponry, the field of nuclear engineering drives innovation and fosters technological advancements that have far-reaching impacts. With its immense importance across multiple sectors, nuclear engineering is at the forefront of scientific progress, offering solutions to complex problems and shaping a sustainable future for our society.

Nuclear engineering majors have a lab requirement component.

To learn more about this area of study, visit the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering.

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Required Courses

  • MC300 FUND OF ENGR MECH AND DESIGN 
  • MC311 THERMAL-FLUID SYSTEMS I 
  • MC364 MECHANICS OF MATERIALS 
  • NE300 FUNDAMENTALS OF NUCLEAR ENGR 
  • NE355 NUCLEAR REACTOR ENGINEERING  
  • NE361 COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN IN NE 
  • NE400 NUCLEAR ENGINEERING SEMINAR 
  • NE450 NUCLEAR WEAPONS EFFECTS 
  • NE452 INSTRUMENTATION AND SHIELDING 
  • NE461 ADV COMPUTATIONAL DESIGN IN NE 
  • NE474 RADIOLOGICAL SAFETY 
  • PH365 MODERN PHYSICS

Sample Electives

  • CH362 MASS & ENERGY BALANCES 
  • CH485 HEAT AND MASS TRANSFER  
  • EE377 ELECTRICAL POWER ENGNRNG 
  • EM384 ANYL METH FOR ENGR MANAGEMENT 
  • EM411 PROJECT MANAGEMENT 
  • EV350 ENVIRONMNTL ENGR TECHNOLOGIES  
  • MC312 THERMAL-FLUID SYSTEMS II 
  • MC380 ENGINEERING MATERIALS3 
  • ME202 COMPUTER AIDED DESIGN 
  • ME403 MANUFACTURING/MACHINE COMP DSN
  • ME472 ENERGY CONVERSION SYSTEMS 
  • MG382 HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT 
  • PL394 ANTHROPOMETRICS & BIOMECHANICS 
  • PL479 LEADING ORGNZS THRU CHANGE
  • XE442 ALTERNATIVE ENERGY ENGINEERING

This major offers an honors track. 

To learn more, view the full Nuclear Engineering Major Curriculum.

Cadets who major in nuclear engineering have the opportunity to work with the West Point Nuclear Science and Engineering Research Center; to apply for a summer Academic Individual Advanced Development (AIAD) program, USMA-run academic enrichment experience; to join the Nuclear Engineering Club; and to apply for membership in the American Nuclear Society’s Alpha Nu Sigma National Honor Society.

Other Honor Societies:
Golden Key - International Honour Society
Phi Kappa Phi - Oldest and Largest Collegiate Honor Society

To learn more about enrichment for this area of study, visit the Department of Physics and Nuclear Engineering or the Photonics Research Center.

The Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in nuclear engineering at the United States Military Academy is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the General Criteria and the Nuclear, Radiological and Similarly Named Engineering Programs Criteria.

Enrollment information for the Nuclear Engineering Program can be found under “Enrollment for ABET Majors” at: https://courses.westpoint.edu/static/index.htm#t=Part_4_-_Majors_and_Minors.htm

Program Educational Outcomes

The Program Educational Objectives (PEO) for Nuclear Engineering are that, five to seven years after graduation, cadets who major in Nuclear Engineering will have been successful Army officers who:

  • As Army leaders of character, graduates solve complex, multi-disciplinary problems for the Army and the Nation.
  • Demonstrate the necessary leadership and teamwork skills to lead and work on multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Are prepared to provide appropriate nuclear and radiological engineering expertise to the Army and the Nation.
  • Communicate effectively, orally and in writing; providing clear instructions to subordinates and feedback to supervisors.
  • Continue to develop and grow their intellect, professionalism, and character - as Army officers and as engineers.

Student Outcomes

At the time of graduation, cadets who major in Nuclear Engineering possess:

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  • An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
  • An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies