A little background information. I am currently working a summer internship out at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and will be going into my senior year for my B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at San Jose State (in very good academic standing). Recently I have become interested in going into Nuclear Engineering, and I have set up a few face-to-face meetings with some N.E.s here at LLNL, but before I talk with them I'd like to get as much information as possible. My first question is, with a BSME, am I limited in what areas I can study for my MSNE? I have been looking at different graduate schools, and as some you might know, LLNL has some very close ties with UC Berkeley, so naturally I was looking at their NE program. One area of the study that they listed which I think would be particularly interesting to go into is Lasers, Particle Beams, and Plasma. This shouldn't come as a surprise that, in the course of finishing my BSME, I haven't taken any courses on lasers, particle beams, or plasma outside of the standard physics series. Will the lack of relevant course on this subject limit me from this field? If so, then what areas of study in a MSNE program can/do BSMEs go into? My second question is a little related to the first and is about my area of focus. SJSU offers three areas of focus in their ME program: Machine Design, Mechatronics, and Thermal/Fluids. I've been told by my adviser that I don't have to focus in any area and can take any technically elective(s) that I want as long as I have a reason for it. I looked into taking some physics course (more specifically, lasers and optics), but they are not going to be offered within the year/I won't be able to finish the prerequisites within this year. How does my focus effect, if at all, what is available to me in graduate school (and what I can do in my career)? Would I be better focusing in Thermal/Fluids, or does it not matter (meaning I'd stay in Mechatronics)? I appreciate the input.