Nuclear science is utilized in many fields, including the military, health care, power plants, and industrial inspection. Students searching for a nuclear science school or program should first determine their field and career path so they understand what areas should be covered in his or her chosen profession.
Schools for Nuclear Science
These nine schools offer various levels of education in a nuclear science field, with accompanying tuition information from the 2015-2016 school year.
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Tuition and Fees (In-State 2015-2016)*|
|Georgia Institute of Technology-Main Campus||Atlanta, GA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$12,204 (undergraduate)
|Massachusetts Institute of Technology||Cambridge, MA||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$46,704 (undergraduate)
|Ohio State University-Main Campus||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Doctoral||$12,425|
|Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus||University Park, PA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$17,514 (undergraduate)
|Saint Louis University||Saint Louis, MO||4-year, Private, not-for-profit||Bachelor's||$39,226|
|Texas A&M University-College Station||College Station, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,176 (undergraduate)
|University of California-Berkeley||Berkeley, CA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,431 (undergraduate)
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$6,381 (undergraduate)
|University of Michigan-Ann Arbor||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,856 (undergraduate)
Sources: *National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Students wishing to attend a four-year nuclear science college may want to consider the following:
- Nuclear science encompasses many sub-fields and not all are available at every school; students may want to ensure that their desired concentration is available.
- Students may want to consider what laboratory space, equipment, and facilities are available to students, as well as any opportunities to gain practical experience.
Formal education in nuclear science usually starts at the bachelor's degree level with transfer to a master's degree. A report from the Department of Energy (www.energy.gov) states that there are few nuclear science courses available for undergraduates. Some schools offer a dual-degree option that allows a student to work on a bachelor's degree and master's degree at the same time.
At the master's degree level students learn in specialized areas, such as applied plasma physics, nuclear fission, and nuclear technology. The master's degree program normally takes two years to complete. Most students planning a career in nuclear science transfer into a doctoral degree program.
A doctoral degree opens the door for research and teaching. Typical fields of study include applied plasma physics and fission reactor technology. A typical doctoral degree program focuses on advanced research and requires a student to complete a research project pertaining to nuclear science. The student then defends their project before a review board.
Many colleges in the United States offer nuclear science degrees at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. Many concentrations and sub-fields exist for this discipline, so it is important to consider what options are available reflecting your career choices at a particular school.