Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

How important is chemistry for this major?

  1. Mar 11, 2008 #1
    If I take general chemistry 1 and 2 is that enough?
    I want to take more higher chemistry but in order to do that my school requires I need to take 3 semesters of organic chemistry -_-

    So how important is chemistry for this major?
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 11, 2008 #2


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor

    Undergraduate nuclear engineering majors would have perhaps two semesters of introductory chemistry. Mathematics and phyiscs would be more relevant.

    Chemistry would be more important if one would wish to specialize in nuclear chemistry (radiochemistry), effects of radiation on materials, or corrosion in nuclear systems.
  4. Mar 12, 2008 #3
    Well... I would have to say it's not that important. I'm a first year grad student in Nuclear Engineering, and I haven't taken a chemistry class since 10th grade. You have to know basics (like how to convert things from moles, etc)... but you already know that from chem I. I did physics and math as an undergrad.
  5. Mar 13, 2008 #4


    User Avatar
    Staff Emeritus
    Science Advisor
    Gold Member

    I would also say that it depends on what one will do afterwards, but chemistry is anyhow an important part of the nuclear activity overall ; I'd say, mainly physical and inorganic chemistry (because organic on the other hand, doesn't play a big role).
    As astronuc said, there's a lot of material science close to chemistry in everything nuclear.
  6. Mar 13, 2008 #5
    I'm the same. Then again, my specialty is radiation protection.
  7. Mar 13, 2008 #6
    How did you get into Engineering without taking the higher up highschool chemistry courses?
    In Canada, you have to take all the way up to grade 12 Chem. just to apply to an Engineering school....
  8. Apr 13, 2008 #7
    Chemistry is very important, currently the U.S. NRC is hiring chemical engineers and training them to be nuclear engineers, for inspecting the power plants. For inspecting or working at the enrichment plants and nuclear fuel manufacturers, knowledge of chemistry is very valuable, probably more so than nuclear engineering.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook