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DEGREE Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, MS

Master’s degree in nuclear engineering

As a master’s student in nuclear engineering and engineering physics, you’ll learn the principles of how radiation intersects with matter, as well as its applications in several areas of engineering physics. Our program has strong engineering and applied science components, with an emphasis on areas that include researching, designing, developing and deploying fission reactors; fusion engineering; plasma physics; radiation damage to materials; applied superconductivity and cryogenics; and large-scale computing in engineering science.

At a glance

Engineering physics department

1
of the nation’s few remaining research and teaching nuclear reactors
2
undergraduate ranking among public universities in nuclear engineering
7
graduate ranking among public universities in nuclear engineering

Learn more about what information you need to apply.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline October 1
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.*
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3
*

a) Current UW-Madison NE/EP/EMA undergraduate students are not required to submit GRE scores.

b) Due to COVID-19, GRE scores are not required for all applications to Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics graduate programs for the Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023 terms.



APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS and PROCESS

Degree: For admission to graduate study in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, an applicant must have a bachelor’s degree in engineering, mathematics, or physical science, and an undergraduate record that indicates an ability to successfully pursue graduate study. International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree. All applicants must satisfy requirements that are set forth by the Graduate School

It is highly recommended that students take courses that cover the same material as these UW-Madison courses before entering the program:

Course and Semester Credits                                                       Typical Courses

Differential equations, 3 cr                                                         MATH 319 or MATH 320

Advanced mathematics, 3 cr                                                      MATH 321

Nuclear physics, 3 cr                                                                   N E 305

Materials science, metallurgy, or solid-state physics, 3 cr        M S & E 350 or M S & E 351

Heat transfer or fluid mechanics, 3 cr                                        CBE 320

Mechanics, 3 cr                                                                            PHYSICS 311 or E M A 202

Descriptions of course content can be accessed through The Guide. Students may enter without having taken these courses. However, in such cases the students must inform their advisors, who will help them plan courses of study that will provide adequate background for our department’s graduate curriculum. Provisions for admission on probation, or as an applicant for more than one master’s degree (e.g., simultaneous MS degrees in two departments) are given in the Graduate School website

GPA: The Graduate School requires a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 basis on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours from the most recent bachelor’s degree. In special cases, students with grade point averages lower than 3.0 who meet all the general requirements of the Graduate School may be considered for admission on probation.

GRE: As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE requirement is waived for applications to the Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023 terms, and submission of GRE scores is optional.

MS-thesis track advisor selection process: MS applicants who intend to complete a thesis are encouraged to identify potential faculty advisors and seek a confirmation. Please review the department Research and People websites and contact those whose research interests align with yours. Only faculty members listed with the titles of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor, can serve as graduate advisors. Do not contact Emeritus faculty, Lecturers, Research Scientists, or Faculty Associates. You are also encouraged to inquire about possible funding opportunities. If a faculty member agrees to be your advisor, ask the person to email an acknowledgment to neepgradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.

Each application must include the following:

  • Graduate School Application
  • Academic transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE Scores (waived in response to the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • English Proficiency Score (if required)
  • Application Fee

DEADLINES

To apply to the NEEP program, complete applications, including supportive materials, must be submitted as described below and received by the following deadline dates:

  • Fall Semester—December 15 
  • Spring Semester—October 1 
  • Summer Session—December 15 

ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPT

Electronically submit one copy of your transcript of all undergraduate and previous graduate work along with your online application to the Graduate School. Unofficial copies of transcripts will be accepted for review, but official copies are required for admitted students. Please do not send transcripts or any other application materials to the Graduate School or the Engineering Physics department unless requested. Please review the requirements set by the Graduate School for additional information about degrees/transcripts.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

In this document, applicants should explain why they want to pursue further education in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics and discuss which UW faculty members they would be interested in doing research with during their graduate study (see the Graduate School for more advice on how to structure a personal statement).

RESUME 

Upload your resume in your application.

THREE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATIONS

These letters are required from people who can accurately judge the applicant’s academic and/or research performance. It is highly recommended these letters be from faculty familiar with the applicant. Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically to graduate programs through the online application. See the Graduate School for FAQs regarding letters of recommendation.

GRE SCORES

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE requirement is waived for applications to the Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023 terms. Any scores submitted will be accessible by the Admissions Faculty.

ENGLISH PROFICIENCY SCORE 

Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. The UW-Madison Graduate School accepts TOEFL or IETLS scores. Your score will not be accepted if it is more than two years old from the start of your admission term. Country of citizenship does not exempt applicants from this requirement. Language of instruction at the college or university level and how recent the language instruction was taken are the determining factors in meeting this requirement.

For more information regarding minimum score requirements and exemption policy, please see the Graduate School Requirements for Admission.

APPLICATION FEE

Application submission must be accompanied by the one-time application fee. It is non-refundable and can be paid by credit card (Master Card or Visa) or debit/ATM. Additional information about the application fee may be found here (scroll to the ‘Frequently asked questions).

Fee grants are available through the conditions outlined here by the Graduate School.

QUESTIONS:

If you have questions, please contact neepgradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.



RE-ENTRY ADMISSIONS

If you were previously enrolled as a graduate student in the Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics program, have not earned your degree, but have had a break in enrollment for a minimum of a fall or spring term, you will need to re-apply to resume your studies. Please review the Graduate School requirements for previously enrolled students. Your previous faculty advisor (or another NEEP faculty advisor) must be willing to supply advising support and should e-mail the NEEP Graduate Student Services Coordinator regarding next steps in the process.

If you were previously enrolled in a UW-Madison graduate degree, completed that degree, have had a break in enrollment since earning the degree and would now like to apply for another UW-Madison program; you are required to submit a new student application through the UW-Madison Graduate School online application. For NEEP graduate programs, you must follow the entire application process as described above.

CURRENTLY ENROLLED GRADUATE STUDENT ADMISSIONS

Students currently enrolled as a graduate student at UW-Madison, whether in NEEP or a non-NEEP graduate program, wishing to apply to this degree program should contact the NEEP Graduate Admissions Team to inquire about the process and deadlines several months in advance of the anticipated enrollment term. Current students may apply to change or add programs for any term (fall, spring, or summer).

QUESTIONS:

If you have questions, please contact neepgradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.

Tuition

Tuition and segregated fee rates are always listed per semester (not for Fall and Spring combined).

View tuition rates

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Admission and funding are separate decisions. Not all admitted students are offered support. International applicants must secure a research assistantship, teaching assistantship, fellowship, or independent funding before admission is final. The funding for RAs comes from faculty research grants. Each professor decides on his or her own RA offers. Funded students are expected to maintain full time enrollment.  See the program website for additional information.

In the Department of Engineering Physics, we strive to design and deploy unique world-class experimental and computational capabilities to translate novel discoveries into transformative technologies. Having a broad range of laboratory facilities and collaborative centers at the right scale for energy and mechanics research is a hallmark of the department. The technologies we develop can solve challenges in energy, health, space, security and many other areas.

View our research

Minimum graduate school requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits of technical coursework approved by the student’s faculty advisor
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be in graduate-level coursework from nuclear engineering, math, physics, chemistry, computer science, or any other engineering department except E P D. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School’s GPA Requirement policy
(https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203).
Other Grade Requirements Courses in which grades of BC, C, or below are received cannot be counted toward the degree except as follows: 1) Credits of C will be allowed provided they are balanced by twice as many credits of A or by four times as many credits of AB, 2) Credits of BC will be allowed provided they are balanced by twice as many credits of AB or by an equal number of credits of A.
Assessments and Examinations Students who do not complete a thesis must pass an oral exam that is administered by a three-member committee. Passing the PhD qualifying exam satisfies the MS oral exam requirement unless the student is submitting an MS thesis. Students who complete a thesis must defend it orally in front of a three-member committee, and at least two must be members of the UW-Madison Graduate Faculty.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

The following courses, or courses with similar material content, must be taken prior to or during the course of study: N E 427 Nuclear Instrumentation Laboratory; N E 428 Nuclear Reactor Laboratory or N E 526 Laboratory Course in Plasmas; N E 408 Ionizing Radiation or N E/​MED PHYS  569 Health Physics and Biological Effects.

Thesis pathway1: maximum of 12 credits for thesis; at least 8 credits of N E courses 400 level or above; remaining credits (also 400 level or above) must be in appropriate technical areas2; at least 9 credits must be 500 level and above; up to 3 credits can be seminar credits.

Non-Thesis pathway1: at least 15 credits of N E courses at the 400 level or above; remaining 15 credits (also 400 level or above) must be in appropriate technical areas2; at least 12 credits must be at the 500 level or above; up to 3 credits can be seminar credits.

For both the thesis and non-thesis options, only one course (maximum of 3 credits) of independent study (N E 699 Advanced Independent Study, N E 999 Advanced Independent Study) is allowed.

1

These pathways are internal to the program and represent different curricular paths a student can follow to earn this degree. Pathway names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

2

 Appropriate technical areas are: Engineering departments (except Engineering and Professional Development), Physics, Math, Statistics, Computer Science, Medical Physics, and Chemistry. Other courses may be deemed appropriate by a student’s faculty advisor.

Graduate Student Services
neepgradadmission@engr.wisc.edu
3182 Mechanical Engineering
1513 University Ave., Madison, WI 53706

Carl Sovinec, Director of Graduate Studies
csovinec@wisc.edu

View the Graduate Guide for program-specific information on policies, rules and regulations.

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