15 Best Nuclear Engineering Colleges 2024

nuclear engineering colleges

So, you’re fascinated by the power of the atom? Maybe you’ve dreamt of working on incredible inventions like super-safe nuclear power plants or even spacecraft that travel to distant galaxies. Nuclear engineering might be the perfect path for you!

Nuclear engineers are kind of like superheroes of the science world. They use their knowledge of physics, chemistry, and math to design, develop, and maintain systems that use nuclear energy. It’s a challenging but incredibly rewarding field, and if you’re up for the challenge, then choosing the right college is key.

This article is your guide to finding the best nuclear engineering college in 2024! We know picking a college can feel like a huge decision, but don’t worry! We’ll explore the top 15 best nuclear engineering colleges, from universities with cutting-edge research facilities to programs with a strong focus on practical applications.

Is a Nuclear Engineering Degree For You?

Nuclear engineers apply their technical, math, and physics prowess and understanding of social and environmental concerns. 

They address the safe, efficient design of several procedures and systems, such as nuclear power plants for the production of energy, nuclear power plants for military or spacecraft, systems for the disposal of radioactive waste, and nuclear medicine equipment.

Additionally, nuclear engineers may work on developing new goods, monitoring nuclear power systems, running power plants, removing radioactive waste, measuring radiation, and designing reactors. 

Another fascinating area of nuclear engineering is the application of nuclear medicine procedures like X-ray technology and radiation sterilizing of equipment.

Read this: 15 Best Colleges with Physical Education Majors in 2024

What are the 15 Best Nuclear Engineering Colleges?

Here are the best Nuclear Engineering Colleges you can enroll in 2024:

  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Georgia Institute of Technology
  • University of California Berkeley
  • United States Military Academy
  • Purdue University
  • United States Naval Academy
  • Missouri University of Science and Technology
  • Texas A&M University
  • University of Illinois Urbana Champaign
  • University of Florida
  • Ohio State University
  • Pennsylvania State University
  • University of Wisconsin
  • Virginia Tech
  • University of Michigan

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

At MIT, nuclear engineering began in the 1940s due to a deliberate cooperative effort by experts from various professions to establish a brand-new, cutting-edge field that combined the best theoretical scientific study and valuable solutions to practical issues. 

The nuclear engineering department at MIT is dedicated to the production, management, and use of nuclear processes and radiation in order to address some of the most urgent social and environmental issues of the present. This is one of the best nuclear engineering schools you should attend.

However, MIT nuclear engineering students are urged to consider the present and potential future generations’ requirements.

MIT does this through graduate and undergraduate programs that instruct students in the principles of nuclear energy as well as some of its most important uses in the production of energy, security, and healthcare. 

Furthermore, a new communication lab, a floating nuclear power plant, an ARC fusion reactor, new faculty hires in fission and fusion, increased enrollment, and the countless resources of one of the most prestigious engineering institutions in the world are just a few of the department’s special resources that students can take advantage of.

Visit School 

2. Georgia Institute of Technology

The George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering, which amalgamated with the School of Nuclear Engineering in 1984, will be the location where Georgia Institute of Technology, or Georgia Tech, nuclear engineering students will complete their curriculum. 

The School of Engineering was founded in 1962 and has a reputation for excellence. Making it one of the best nuclear engineering schools you should attend.

Furthermore, the Woodruff School grants one undergraduate degree (BSNRE), two master’s degrees (MSNE and MSMP), and one doctorate (Ph.D. NRE) in Nuclear and Radiological Engineering (NRE) and Medical Physics (MP). It frequently receives national recognition for quality.

Students majoring in nuclear engineering at Georgia Tech should anticipate being tested on a wide range of skills, including the application of mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles; designing systems, components, processes, and experiments to address a variety of economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, and medical needs; analyzing and interpreting data; working in teams and under pressure; and communicating effectively.

Visit School 

3. University of California Berkeley

The nuclear engineering department at the University of California, Berkeley, was founded in 1958 and offers both an undergraduate and a graduate program. 

Even in this highly specialized field of study, the department promotes an integrative approach, thus you will find students working on anything from cutting-edge energy systems and medical applications to waste management and energy generation. 

Actually, a significant portion of Berkeley nuclear engineering students double major in disciplines like electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, and chemical engineering. 

Also, numerous other resources are available to undergraduate students, including national laboratories, college research facilities, internship programs, and research opportunities.

Recent graduates from the nuclear engineering department have found employment at academic institutions, government agencies at all levels, and laboratories. This is one of the best nuclear engineering schools you should attend.

Some of Berkley’s specialties include nuclear waste management, materials engineering, fission and fusion, nuclear transfer, and sophisticated medical applications.

The department’s solid connections with renowned research institutions including the Ernest Orlando Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory, also benefit students.

Visit School 

Also, read this: 15 Best Colleges for Sports Studies

4. United States Military Academy

The United States Military Academy, also known as West Point, has a nuclear engineering program that aims to carry out the following mission: “To educate and inspire cadets through physics and nuclear engineering course work, research, and support to the West Point Leader Development System so that each graduate is a commissioned leader of character committed to the values of Duty, Honor, Country; and prepared for a career of professional excellence.”

To this aim, West Point anticipates that its students will gain proficiency in fundamental principles of mathematics, physics, and engineering; experiment design and execution; and data analysis and interpretation.

Additionally, they must be able to creatively and constructively apply their knowledge through practical problem-solving and real-world examples. Furthermore, West Point promotes the value of leadership, communication, professionalism, and teamwork. 

In addition to meeting the constantly changing needs of the civilian setting, students are also expected to be able to apply their training in the Army. This is one of the best nuclear engineering schools you should attend.

Visit School 

5. United States Naval Academy

The curriculum at the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland, is deliberately wide to prepare students for various difficulties in nuclear engineering practice. This is one of the best nuclear engineering schools you should attend.

Furthermore, it teaches students about various medical applications, radiology, nuclear proliferation, physics, mathematical applications, energy production, and atomic physics as well as the general engineering principles of solids and fluids, materials science, thermodynamics, and heat transfer.

Similar to the West Point school, graduates need to anticipate to be able to employ their training in the Navy or Marine Corps and the systems such organizations need to run by their separate mandates, including but not limited to naval vessels and aircraft. 

Visit School

6. Purdue University

The tradition of excellence in nuclear engineering at Purdue University dates back to the 1950s, when chemical engineering professor Alexander Sesonske created an interdisciplinary graduate seminar for students in other engineering disciplines, including a nuclear engineering introduction for chemical engineers. 

A publication that evolved from Sesonske’s work and was co-written with Samuel Glasstone, Nuclear Reaction Engineering, is still used as a standard introductory textbook in the area. So, this is one of the best nuclear engineering colleges you should attend.

Since then, Purdue has continued to be a leader in nuclear engineering, especially regarding the solutions the field can provide for some of the most urgent issues facing the planet.

Furthermore, Purdue education is known for its emphasis on research, and undergraduate students have access to opportunities that, at other institutions, they might only have at the graduate level. 

Visit School

You can check this: 15 Best Colleges For Athletic Training

7. Missouri University of Science and Technology

The Missouri University of Science and Technology’s nuclear engineering program is in a unique position because it offers the sole accredited B.S. in nuclear engineering in Missouri. 

Additionally, it was one of the first nuclear engineering programs in the nation to receive accreditation, and it has established itself as a top institution in the sector. This is one of the best nuclear engineering schools you should attend.

It offers undergraduate and graduate training, and its alumni hold executive positions in the engineering sector, and in national laboratories, healthcare facilities, governmental organizations, and numerous academic institutions.

The program’s foundational degree, the Bachelor of Science, offers both a fundamental understanding of the field of nuclear engineering and general professional competencies like problem-solving, communication, ethics, leadership, and research techniques. 

Students will also study advanced engineering topics such as reactor fluid dynamics, heat transfer, reactor physics, nuclear radiation, nuclear waste management, laboratory operation, nuclear materials, and nuclear systems design. These topics are in addition to those mentioned above. 

On-campus amenities that students can use include a variety of labs, a nuclear reactor, and cutting-edge computer equipment such as mainframes and a supercomputer.

Visit School 

8. Texas A&M University

Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas, developed a curriculum in 1958 to meet the security requirements of the state, the nation, and the global community. This is one of the best nuclear engineering schools you should attend.

This was when nuclear engineering at A&M began. With approximately 230 undergraduate and more than 150 graduate students enrolled in its programs, A&M’s program is the largest nationwide and is always one of the top nuclear engineering colleges.

Despite the program’s size, A&M can still offer small classrooms and mentor groups, and in addition to nuclear engineering, it also offers concentrations in radiological health engineering and health physics.

Two research reactors, seven accelerators, and a plasma lab are among A&M’s cutting-edge equipment.

Visit School 

9. University of Illinois Urbana Champaign

The College of Engineering at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign, established in 1868 and still an important center for research, instruction, and problem-solving in many engineering subfields, provides training in nuclear engineering. 

The Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering, housed by the College, has its present name in 1999.

It had been an interdisciplinary program from 1958 and operated as the Department of Nuclear Engineering (1986) until 1999.

The Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering specializes in nuclear process applications, radiation production, transport, and interactions.

Fission-based electricity generation and the investigation of more complex nuclear reactions for energy systems are two examples of uses. 

Students in Illinois also study fusion, particularly its novel applications in the energy sector. 

In addition, the department offers instruction in medical physics, plasma science, radiological science, and international energy and security.

Visit School

Also check this: 10 Best Youth Ministry Colleges 2024 | Cost

10. University of Florida

Students majoring in nuclear engineering at the University of Florida will pursue their program of study in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. 

There, they can anticipate receiving instruction in various applications, issues, theories, and techniques in the field, including advanced nuclear materials, power generation, homeland security, and radiation transport techniques. 

Additionally, students will have the chance to learn about topics including nuclear nonproliferation and other safeguards, nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics, and nondestructive imaging and detection. This is one of the best nuclear engineering colleges you should attend in 2024.

Nuclear engineering graduates from the University of Florida work in a wide range of fields that are directly and indirectly related to the field, such as the production of electricity, medical diagnostic imaging, non-destructive testing, and radiation detection and measurement.

Visit School

11. Ohio State University

The nuclear engineering department at Ohio State University is predominantly a graduate program, unlike most institutions on our list. 

However, undergraduates who are considering a career in nuclear engineering can pursue their interest through a minor in the field or by taking nuclear engineering electives as part of their mechanical engineering major, such as Introduction to Nuclear Science and Engineering, Nuclear Reactor Systems, Radiation Protection and Shielding, Reactor Safety, and Nuclear Radiations and Their Measurements.

The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering oversees the graduate program in Nuclear Engineering, which trains students for advanced positions in the industry by emphasizing topics including radiation, radioactive materials, and fission.

Visit School

12. Pennsylvania State University

Penn State’s Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering, one of the nation’s largest engineering departments with more than 1,000 undergraduate and 330 graduate students, provides training in nuclear engineering. This is one of the best nuclear engineering colleges you should attend.

The nuclear engineering program at Penn State is no exception to its history of appearing on national rankings lists.

Also, their facilities are equipped with the most recent technological innovations, including the operational research reactor Breazeale Nuclear Reactor.

Studying nuclear materials, reactor controls, thermal hydraulics, and reactor physics are some of the research specialties at Penn State. Core design, fluid flow, core heat removal, accident analysis, and service deterioration are related fields of expertise.

Visit School

Related article: 10 Best Homeland Security Colleges 2024

13. University of Wisconsin

The Department of Engineering Physics at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, Wisconsin, provides instruction in nuclear engineering. 

There, students can pursue a B.S. in nuclear engineering as well as an M.S. and Ph.D. in nuclear engineering and engineering physics. 

The Department of Engineering Physics’s purposefully broad curriculum offers training in applied radiation, such as health and medical physics, plasma physics, plasma processing, and environmental remediation, in addition to conventional training in research and application of nuclear physics and radiation, particularly as it relates to the nuclear power industry. This is one of the best nuclear engineering colleges you should attend in 2024.

Graduates of Wisconsin’s nuclear engineering programs have found employment in a wide range of nuclear-related professions and ancillary industries, including electric utilities, governmental regulation jobs, energy consultancy, and vessel propulsion.

Visit School

14. Virginia Tech

The Nuclear Engineering Program at the Mechanical Engineering Department at Virginia Tech is open to students interested in a nuclear engineering career. 

In addition to nuclear power, security, medical physics and health applications, nuclear materials, plasma science, and nuclear politics, the curriculum is dedicated to the whole spectrum of nuclear engineering subdisciplines.

The program at Virginia Tech is rapidly expanding by adding resources, buildings, professors, and financing, and is well on its way to becoming one of the nation’s top programs. This is one of the best nuclear engineering schools you should attend in 2024.

Graduates of Virginia Tech’s curriculum can anticipate gaining knowledge in cutting-edge fields like design, material handling, energy production, security and safeguards, nuclear medicine, radiation therapy, and others.

Visit School

15. University of Michigan

The College of Engineering at the University of Michigan offers training in nuclear engineering and is home to ten departments in addition to Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Science. 

This enviable interdisciplinary research environment offers a wealth of academic opportunities and benefits. 

The well-organized nuclear engineering school at Michigan is committed to solving problems in the real world and upholds a national research reputation in the area. 

The initiative focuses on four key areas: supporting scientific discovery, environment and health, nuclear security and defense, and sustainable energy.

Before moving on to instruction in nuclear engineering, which is reserved for students’ last two years, Michigan expects its students to gain a solid understanding of mathematics, physics, chemistry, computing, and fundamental engineering principles.

Visit School 

See also: 15 Online Colleges in Michigan for International Students


Who is the world’s top nuclear engineer?

Considered being among the top five nuclear engineers in the world is Lefteris Tsoukalas. He was born and raised in Greece, but he received his university degree in America, where they fully appreciated his skill.

Which nation is best for studying nuclear engineering?

`The US. The finest nation to study nuclear engineering is the United States.`

Which degree fits nuclear engineering the best?

The students must hold a degree in engineering, which could be in mechanical, chemical, electrical, or electronics. The minimum required degree in physics is a B.Sc.

How much time is required to become a nuclear engineer?

A specialist five-year study can include a master’s degree, although the fundamental four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Nuclear Science and Engineering is a four-year program. Typically, a Ph.D. requires two additional years of study beyond a master’s.

What courses do you need for nuclear engineering?

There are calculus, physics, and nuclear design courses available. In order to allow students to obtain job experience while finishing their education, colleges, and universities may offer internships or cooperative education programs with businesses.


Degrees in nuclear engineering can lead to a successful career, and not simply because businesses need them. Internships, networking opportunities, and other benefits are frequently associated with education yet are difficult to find outside of college.

Another justification for majoring in nuclear engineering is job safety. Nuclear engineers must thoroughly understand power facilities, reactors, and occasionally even nuclear weapons. 

The best approach for aspiring nuclear engineers to become familiar with these dangerous things is through nuclear engineering degrees. In addition, they teach students pursuing a degree in nuclear engineering important safety precautions and guidelines.



You May Also Like