Nuclear power plant
Master of Engineering in
Nuclear Engineering

How to Apply

Deadlines and Important Dates

Your degree application, including receipt of all transcripts, should be received by the following deadlines to be considered complete.

  • Summer DeadlineApply by April 15 to start May 15
  • Fall DeadlineApply by July 15 to start August 21
  • Spring DeadlineApply by October 15, 2023, to start January 8, 2024

Applications may be accepted beyond the dates listed as determined by the program.

Admissions Help

If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.

Admission Requirements

For admission to the Graduate School, an applicant must hold either (1) a baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution or (2) a tertiary (postsecondary) degree that is deemed comparable to a four-year bachelor's degree from a regionally accredited U.S. institution. This degree must be from an officially recognized degree-granting institution in the country in which it operates.

It is expected that students will have a bachelor of science degree in a suitable engineering field. Admission decisions will also be based on relevant work experience and recommendation letters.

The program contains a number of courses requiring a solid background in mathematics typically found in an undergraduate program in engineering, physics, chemistry, mathematics, or computer science, with at least two semesters of calculus. Students with other undergraduate majors who have a strong background in mathematics may apply. The admissions committee will consider the academic background, as evidenced by the transcript, as part of the overall application.

If you do not have a baccalaureate degree in nuclear engineering and have not fulfilled an equivalent course requirement, you will need to complete NUCE 497: Radiation and Measurement Detection Lab as part of the program requirements. NUCE 497 (1 cr) includes a 3 day residential laboratory experience at University Park campus.

What You Need

Applications are submitted electronically and include a nonrefundable application fee. You will need to upload the following items as part of your application:

A copy of an official transcript from each institution attended, regardless of the number of credits or semesters completed. Transcripts not in English must be accompanied by a certified translation. Penn State alumni do not need to request transcripts for credits earned at Penn State, but must list Penn State as part of your academic history. Upon admission and your acceptance of admission, you will be asked to send an additional official transcript. You will receive instructions at that time.

GPA and Test Scores — Official GRE test scores will be considered if submitted, but are NOT required. All applicants are expected to have earned a junior/senior grade point average of 3.0 or higher. 

English Proficiency — The language of instruction at Penn State is English. With some exceptions, international applicants must take and submit scores for the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Minimum test scores and exceptions are found in the English Proficiency section on the Graduate School's "Requirements for Graduate Admission" page. Visit the TOEFL website for testing information. Penn State's institutional code is 2660.

References (3) — you will need to initiate the process through the online application by entering names, email addresses, and mailing addresses of three references. Upon submission of your application, an email will be sent to each reference requesting they complete a brief online recommendation regarding your commitment for success in an online program. Please inform all recommenders they must submit the form in order for your application to be complete. 

Program-Specific Questions/Materials

Résumé — Upload your résumé to the online application.

Statement of Purpose — a one- to two-page statement of purpose outlining personal career goals and reasons for wanting to enroll in the program. This statement should be specific and include information about your short- and long-term goals and how enrolling in the program may help to achieve them. The statement of purpose also offers you the opportunity to demonstrate your writing and communication skills, specify examples of leadership, and provide pertinent information that will assist the committee in selecting candidates who can benefit from and contribute to the nuclear engineering program.

You may be able to apply a maximum of 15 credits earned as a graduate nondegree student to the degree program. If you have taken courses as a nondegree student you should work with your degree program to transfer these credits.

Start Your Application

You can begin your online application at any time. Your progress within the online application system will be saved as you go, allowing you to return at any point as you gather additional information and required materials.

Begin the graduate school application

  • Choose Enrollment Type: "Degree Admission"
  • Choose "WORLD CAMPUS" as the campus

Checking Your Status

You can check the status of your application by using the same login information established for the online application form.

Technical Requirements 

Review the general technical requirements for this program. You must also have installed:

  • Adobe Acrobat PDF Writer
  • Windows Media Player version 11

To complete assignments, you will also need the ability to scan and upload assignments and projects, and upload and download files up to 500MB.

Note on Operating Systems:

  • If you use Vista, please note that the Vista 64 bit OS does not support the Cisco VPN Client, which is required for completing online lab assignments.
  • Mac OS computers are not supported in all courses.
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