I'm a sophomore applied physics major at Columbia Engineering, and have recently thought about going into nuclear engineering as a career. I'm extremely interested in physics and am pretty sure that it's a pretty hot industry since many people working in nuclear engineering are entering retirement age soon. Unfortunately, there is no nuclear engineering program at Columbia, but I would take classes perhaps relevant to the field such as plasma physics and nuclear science. I'd also be taking solid state, physics of fluids, electrodynamics, quantum, and the like as well (and maybe some optics and lasers courses). I'm also minoring in computer science for fun. My plan to enter nuclear engineering would be to get a graduate degree (either a master's or an engineer's degree) in nuclear engineering, though I am unsure if my major in applied physics would prepare me for such a program, as I've heard that the field uses mechanical engineering principles. Also what concerns me is how having a graduate degree affects the chances of getting entry level positions, as many of my older friends have expressed concerns that getting too high of a degree without work experience can often close some doors (PhDs). If it helps, I'll likely have an above average GPA if I keep my current work up, and hope to get research experience over the next few years (right now I'm working under a materials science professor on nanoparticles). As for what an applied physics degree actually is, it's essentially the same as a pure physics degree at Columbia, with less humanities courses (a physics major is in the college, not the engineering school). Also, a pure physics major would take classes in particle physics, cosmology, general relativity, and the like while an applied physics would take plasma physics, nuclear science, optics, lasers, etc. (Although this seems self explanatory, a lot of people I talk to are confused as to what an applied physics degree actually entails). Thanks for any help or advice!