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Physics to Nuclear Engineering

  1. May 17, 2006 #1
    As I learn more and more about health physics I lean more and more towards wanting to get a graduate degree (M.Sc.) in nuclear engineering, with a possible double in physics (OSU offers this). How difficult is it for a person with a double BS in math and physics to "catch up" as it were and pursue a nuclear engineering graduate degree?
    Now how difficult is it for a 44 year old to do this who needs to pursue this part itme (due to work constraints)?
  2. jcsd
  3. May 17, 2006 #2
    Which OSU?

    I graduated a few years ago from OSU-west (Oregon State) in Physics with a minor in math. Pretty standard fare physics curriculum with some emphasis on QM and Particle Physics. Now I'm working in a government lab effectively as a nuclear engineer.

    I'd say that it shouldn't be too hard to pursue a Nuc. Eng. degree with a physics background. You might need to brush up on first order differential rate equations, but most of it would be nomenclature with the various reactions that can take place.

    As for how easy it is to do and balance work, that probably depends on the school. I'm wrestling with that in trying to get a graduate degree in Physics out here.

    Hope this helps.
  4. May 17, 2006 #3
    One of my physics professors had an undergrad in physics, then went onto a masters in nuclear engineering. THEN, went back for a ph.d in astro/plasma physics. I think your plan is definitely possible.
  5. May 17, 2006 #4


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    I think an MS in NE would be feasible. One however might have to look at the requirements on reactor physics, which is usually a core course for most, if not all NE degrees. If one has had no exposure to reactor physics (neutron diffusion and transport theory), then one might need to take those particular undergrad courses.

    With a physics background and a good grasp of nuclear physics, it should not be difficult. :cool:
  6. May 17, 2006 #5
    I'm a bit curious about this. To be accepted into a graduate program in NucE with a degree in physics, which GRE would you have to take?
  7. May 18, 2006 #6
    This is Ohio State (Columbus). My undergrad physics was the standard sequence at UCLA (Mech/Stat Mech, EM, QM), but for the upper division physics electives I ended up concentrating on mathematical physics (took graduate GR and a graduate mathematical physics, and they counted PDE and ODE from my math curriculum as physics electives). Most of the radiation and particle physics I know comes from learning on the job.
    As for the GRE, they want the general GRE (not the physics). It's been 3 years since I've been out of school, so taking the GRE physics would take a bit of prep on my part.
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