About This Masters Degree
The Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering offers programs leading to Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering. The graduate degree programs are centered around three theme areas: nuclear power engineering, fusion and plasma science and engineering, and radiological engineering and medical physics. Advanced course work and active research programs are offered in all of these areas. The Faculty of the Department are internationally recognized experts in these areas of nuclear science and engineering, radiation processes and transport, materials science, thermal sciences, systems engineering, energy conversion processes and systems, plasma sciences and processing, radiation-based medical imaging and therapy, dosimetry and radiation protection, systems control and risk analysis, and international security. Graduate students in the Department are active participants and contributors to these areas of education and research and typically pursue careers in one of these areas. Graduate students in the Department are also encouraged to take part in course work and research activities in other engineering and science departments to complement their professional development in the nuclear engineering field. Opportunity also exists for specializing in (i) computational science and engineering and (ii) energy and sustainability engineering within the department's graduate programs via the Computational Science and Engineering (CSE) http://cse.illinois.edu/academics/index.html Option and the Energy and Sustainability Engineering (EaSE) Option http://ease.illinois.edu/graduate-option-program. The Medical Scholars Program https://www.med.illinois.edu/mdphd permits highly qualified students to integrate the study of medicine with study for a graduate degree in a second discipline, including Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering.
The M.S. degree takes at least two semesters and a summer session to complete and normally takes three semesters and a summer session. The curriculum requires courses covering the fundamentals of nuclear engineering and radiation interaction with matter, plus two or more courses in an area of concentration chosen by the student in consultation with an advisor. Typical areas are: fission engineering including reactor physics, radiation transport, thermal hydraulics and reactor safety, fuel cycles, shielding and radiation effects and radioactive waste management and site remediation; fusion engineering and technology; plasma engineering and processing; nuclear materials, corrosion, and irradiation damage; neutron scattering; neutron activation analysis; nuclear nonproliferation and public policy issues; MRI applications, radiation protection, radiation-based therapy, biomedical imaging and health physics; and computational methods including Lie Group, integral-differential equation, Monte Carlo, and fuzzy logic applications.
Facilities and Resources
A wide range of major research resources are available for nuclear engineering research. A dense plasma focus fusion-related device for high-temperature plasma studies and an ultrahigh-vacuum laboratory for plasma-material interaction studies are available. Graduate students often perform interdisciplinary research work in the Materials Research Laboratory, Micro and Nanotechnology Laboratory, Coordinated Science Laboratory, National Center for Supercomputing Applications, and Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology. The mechanical behavior program provides a variety of facilities for studies of nuclear materials, including the Advanced Materials Testing and Evaluation Laboratory. Other radiological laboratories are also available for environmental studies and nuclear spectroscopy, health physics and radiation studies, nuclear-waste management, thermal hydraulics and reactor safety, reactor physics and reactor kinetics, controlled nuclear fusion, direct energy conversion and lasers and plasma physics. The Department is a participant in the Computational Science and Engineering Program on campus. In addition, a wide array of microcomputers and workstations are available.
Most graduate students receive some form of financial aid. Fellowships are available to support the best applicants. Other students are supported as graduate research, teaching, or general assistants. Financial aid includes federally sponsored traineeships and fellowships and University and industry fellowships. The University is approved for several fellowships including those from the Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the National Science Foundation, Hertz, and the Institute for Nuclear Power Operations. Part- and full-time assistantships include exemption from tuition and partial fees. All applicants, regardless of U.S. citizenship, whose native language is not English and who wish to be considered for teaching assistantships must demonstrate spoken English language proficiency http://grad.illinois.edu/admissions/taengprof.htm by achieving a minimum score of 50 on the Test of Spoken English (TSE) http://www.ets.org/, 24 on the speaking subsection of the TOEFL iBT, or 8 on the speaking subsection of the IELTS. For students who are unable to take the TSE, iBT, or IELTS, a minimum score of 4CP is required on the EPI test http://cte.illinois.edu/testing/oral_eng/epi_overview.html, offered on campus. All new teaching assistants are required to participate in the Graduate Academy for College Teaching http://cte.illinois.edu/programs/ta_train.html conducted prior to the start of the semester.
Application for admissions to the master's and doctoral degree programs is open to all graduates in engineering, mathematics, and the physical sciences with a grade point average of at least 3.00 (A = 4.00) for the last two years of undergraduate work and any graduate work completed.