Credits and costs
Earn Your Penn State Master's in Nuclear Engineering Online
Penn State's nuclear engineering program consistently ranks as one of the best in the nation, and with 15 years of successful online education, that excellence carries over to the online program offered through Penn State World Campus. By learning online, you can earn your master's while you work, to advance your education — and your career.
The need for qualified nuclear engineers is expected to increase as energy consumption continues to grow. Countries throughout the world increasingly rely on their nuclear power plants for fuel production, to reduce their dependence on oil and the environmental impacts of fossil-fired fuel. Hundreds of additional nuclear scientists and engineers will also be needed each year in the United States to fill the demand in a variety of fields such as medicine, manufacturing, agriculture, and security.
If you have an undergraduate degree in an engineering discipline or the applied sciences, you can prepare for these career positions with the Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering. Graduates can work for development laboratories, electrical utility companies, colleges and universities, nuclear power plants, engineering design firms, factories that make nuclear equipment, and private and governmental research, energy, and defense agencies.
Nuclear Engineering at Penn State — 100% Online
Penn State's nuclear engineering faculty are the same faculty who teach the resident instruction classes on campus. As a student learning online, you'll take the same courses and fulfill the same requirements as on-campus students. And, when you graduate, your diploma will look no different from the one earned by students on our physical campus.
The Online Courses in Nuclear Engineering
Our 30-credit, non-thesis professional master's degree offers a highly relevant course curriculum. The course topics include radiological safety, radioactive waste control, design principles of reactor systems, reactor engineering, nuclear fuel management, heat transfer, and other current subjects.
Information for Military and Veterans
Are you a member of the military, a veteran, or a military spouse? Please visit our military website for additional information regarding financial aid, transfer credits, or application instructions.
The degree is a non-thesis professional master's degree consisting of 27 credits of course work plus 3 credits of research/paper writing. Twelve of those credits must be in nuclear engineering courses, with at least 18 credits completed at the 500 level. No thesis is required for the M.Eng. in NE degree. Instead, you must take 3 credits of NUCE 596: Professional Topics in Nuclear Engineering, which represents formal recognition that you have completed a paper about an engineering subject. It must be approved by your adviser, a faculty reader, and the program chair.
Courses (30 credits)
If you're ready to see when your courses will be offered, visit our public LionPATH course search (opens in new window) to start planning ahead.
Costs and Financial Aid
Graduate tuition is calculated based on the number of credits for which you register. Tuition is due shortly after each semester begins and rates are assessed every semester of enrollment.
|How many credits do you plan to take per semester?||Cost|
|11 or fewer||$1,121 per credit|
|12 or more||$13,452 per semester|
Financial Aid and Military Benefits
Some students may qualify for financial aid. Take the time to research financial aid, scholarships, and payment options as you prepare to apply. Military service members, veterans, and their spouses or dependents should explore these potential military education benefits and financial aid opportunities, as well.
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.
- Fall Deadline: Apply by July 15 to start August 21
- Spring Deadline: Apply by October 15 to start January 8
- Summer Deadline: Apply by April 15, 2024, to start May 13, 2024
Applications may be accepted beyond the dates listed as determined by the program.
If you have questions about the admissions process, contact our admissions counselors.
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.
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.
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.
Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.
Ready to take the next step toward your Penn State master's degree?
Start or Advance Your Career
Start or Advance Your Career
You can use the knowledge gained from this program and the support of Penn State career resources to pursue careers in a variety of fields, depending on your goals.
To learn more about the Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering, offered in partnership with the Penn State College of Engineering, please contact:
Graduate Program Assistant
113 Hallowell Building
University Park, PA 16802
World Campus Admissions Counselors
DegreePh.D., Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
DegreeB.S., Nuclear Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Dr. Amanda Johnsen is an assistant professor of nuclear engineering. She specializes in radiochemistry and has experience working with actinides, used nuclear fuel, medical isotopes, and neutron irradiations. Her research interests include separations for fission product yield measurements, medical isotope production and purification development, neutron activation analysis, and molten salt reactors.
Arthur T. Motta
DegreeB.S., Mechanical Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
DegreeM.S., Nuclear Engineering, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro
DegreePh.D, Nuclear Engineering, University of California, Berkeley
Dr. Arthur Motta specializes in mechanisms of materials degradation when exposed to the nuclear reactor environment, including radiation damage, microstructural evolution, corrosion, and hydriding, for better prediction of materials behavior and development of new materials.
The faculty listed above regularly teach for the Penn State World Campus Master of Engineering in Nuclear Engineering program. View the complete Department of Nuclear Engineering Faculty directory.