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DEGREE Nuclear Engineering, BS

Major in nuclear engineering

As a nuclear engineering major, you can use nuclear science and technology to tackle some of society’s biggest challenges: expand clean energy, diagnose and cure diseases, travel to distant planets, and reduce the risk of nuclear weapons. Our curriculum gives students depth and breadth to keep up with rapidly changing technology, and our close-knit learning community supports our students’ success during their degree and as they launch their careers. The radiation sciences option provides a pathway for careers in medical applications of radiation.

To expand your knowledge, you can also add our radiation science option—a formal “sub-major” that’s also reflected on your educational transcript.

At a glance

Nuclear engineering and engineering physics department

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

Program and degree information

View the Undergraduate Guide for information on requirements, four-year plans and more.

Determine what kind of student you will be and learn more about what information you need to apply.

Freshman A freshman includes anyone who is currently a student in high school or who has not taken college coursework since graduating from high school.
Transfer Student A transfer student is anyone who has attended another college or university after graduating from high school and wishes to enroll in an undergraduate degree program at UW–Madison.
Cross-campus Student Cross-campus transfer students are students who are currently enrolled in another school or college at UW-Madison who wish to transfer into the College of Engineering.
Reentry Student Students who previously attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison as an undergraduate and would like to complete their first undergraduate degree will need to apply for reentry admission. Reentry students are those who have not been enrolled in courses for a semester or more.

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


The College of Engineering is committed to recognizing the potential and accomplishments of incoming and enrolled students by supporting their education through a variety of scholarships at the college and departmental level.


Program Educational Objectives for the Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering 

We recognize that our graduates will choose to use the knowledge and skills that they have acquired during their undergraduate years to pursue a wide variety of career and life goals and we encourage this diversity of paths. We anticipate graduates will begin their careers in fields that utilize their knowledge, education and training in the interaction of radiation with matter as it applies to power generation, health and medical physics, security and safeguards and other engineering fields.  

Whatever path our graduates choose to pursue, our educational objectives for the nuclear engineering program are to allow them to: 

  1. Exhibit strong performance and continuous development in problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, and communication, initially applied to nuclear engineering, and demonstrating an unwavering commitment to excellence.
  2. Demonstrate continuing commitment to, and interest in, their training and education, as well as those of others.
  3. Transition seamlessly into a professional environment and make continuing, well-informed career choices. 
  4.  Contribute to their communities. 


Learning Outcomes

  1. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  2. 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
  3. an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  4. 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
  5. 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
  6. an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  7. an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.


  • Conferred, 2023-2024
    Bachelor of Science, Nuclear Engineering: 10
  • Enrolled, Fall 2023
    Bachelor of Science, Nuclear Engineering: 77

The B.S. in Nuclear Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,, under the commission’s General Criteria and Program Criteria for Nuclear, Radiological, and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.

View the UW-Madison Guide for information on all nuclear engineering courses.


Research opportunities

You’re an undergrad at a university known for its world-changing research. As an undergrad, you can be part of that—whether in a lab in our department, elsewhere in engineering, or even in other schools or colleges across UW-Madison! And if you discover a passion for research, want to further specialize in your field, or simply enjoy the process of learning in an academic setting, you can get any of those through our advanced master’s and PhD degree programs, too!

Research experience

As an undergrad, you can help pioneer new knowledge or technologies on your own or as a researcher in a professor’s lab.  It’s a great opportunity to apply what you’re learning in class, explore a field or topic that interests you, and gain insight into what it’s like to be a graduate student.

Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, MS

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.
Virginia Lilly

Undergraduate Q&A: Virginia Lilly

Virginia Lilly, a junior majoring in nuclear engineering, shares insights about her experience in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Why did you…

Read the article

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