Secondary Major to Nuclear Engineering

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  • #1
Hello! This is my first post and I am a senior at my high school who is attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall to major in Nuclear Engineering. I was thinking about double majoring in Mathematics or just minor in it. I was wondering if this major/minor would be of use for my major.

I love math and I always have. I am even taking Calculus 2 at Harrisburg Area Community College just to take a higher math than what my school could offer (my school is so small we have no AP classes and the Calc class doesnt cover much the indefinite integral). I know nuclear engineering takes a lot of math and I've read the coursework for my major, but I am also interested into the number theory and a lot more abstract thinking.

Any responses would be a great help!

Oh and is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute a good school for nuclear engineering? I've read that it is really strong in engineering.

Thanks again!
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
Astronuc
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Hello! This is my first post and I am a senior at my high school who is attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in the fall to major in Nuclear Engineering. I was thinking about double majoring in Mathematics or just minor in it. I was wondering if this major/minor would be of use for my major.

I love math and I always have. I am even taking Calculus 2 at Harrisburg Area Community College just to take a higher math than what my school could offer (my school is so small we have no AP classes and the Calc class doesnt cover much the indefinite integral). I know nuclear engineering takes a lot of math and I've read the coursework for my major, but I am also interested into the number theory and a lot more abstract thinking.

Any responses would be a great help!

Oh and is Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute a good school for nuclear engineering? I've read that it is really strong in engineering.

Thanks again!
As far as I know, RPI has a decent nuclear engineering program. Definite take as much math, and if possible, physics courses.

One of the big areas in nuclear engineering and engineering in general is computational physics. There is a lot of prospects for developing computational systems, methods, and models for systems of coupled nonlinear PDEs - involving neutronics and particle transport, fluid dynamics, thermo-mechanics, and structural mechanics - in order order to better model nuclear power systems. That applies to power systems or other complex dynamic systems as well.
 
  • #3
Okay thank you so much. I've just been thinking more about college lately and I was just unsure. I also was accepted into the Penn State University's Nuke E but I've been told that it is not as good as RPI. Even though PSU does have a student reactor on campus. But thank you though, I knew that math is important in this major and also Physics courses are already in for the freshman year at RPI and then later on it delves deeper in with basic reactor physics and so forth.
 
  • #4
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Okay thank you so much. I've just been thinking more about college lately and I was just unsure. I also was accepted into the Penn State University's Nuke E but I've been told that it is not as good as RPI. Even though PSU does have a student reactor on campus. But thank you though, I knew that math is important in this major and also Physics courses are already in for the freshman year at RPI and then later on it delves deeper in with basic reactor physics and so forth.
In terms of graduate rankings RPI isn't in the top 10 while Penn. State is. Of course undergraduate rankings are different (and non-existent), but I believe both programs have a good undergraduate program. Most of the schools with Nuclear Engineering have a good undergraduate program. I would only suggest Penn. State over RPI if you're interested in it for graduate school.
 
  • #5
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Consider boosting the versitility of your engineering education also. Mechanical engineering with courses in 3D solid model design, instrumentation, and control design would be a good compliment.
 
  • #6
Astronuc
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Okay thank you so much. I've just been thinking more about college lately and I was just unsure. I also was accepted into the Penn State University's Nuke E but I've been told that it is not as good as RPI. Even though PSU does have a student reactor on campus. But thank you though, I knew that math is important in this major and also Physics courses are already in for the freshman year at RPI and then later on it delves deeper in with basic reactor physics and so forth.
I have to say PSU has a good NE program, because I know the Chair. :biggrin: He's a really good guy!
 
  • #7
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Okay thank you so much. I've just been thinking more about college lately and I was just unsure. I also was accepted into the Penn State University's Nuke E but I've been told that it is not as good as RPI. Even though PSU does have a student reactor on campus. But thank you though, I knew that math is important in this major and also Physics courses are already in for the freshman year at RPI and then later on it delves deeper in with basic reactor physics and so forth.
I think if you intend on going further with your studies in nuclear engineering, math may not be the best choice of a second double major. Sure having more math is better, but I doubt proof based math courses would be of much help for your nuclear engineering studies. A minor in math could be of some use because you could choose extra math classes to take that may be directly applicable to NE such as PDE's, linear algebra, numerical analysis, etc...

I have had similar questions about this as well, but I would think a double major in physics or possibly mechanical/chemical engineering would be a strong combination for graduate school, or for just getting a job. Astronuc is the best person to ask probably about this though.
 
  • #8
I haven't checked on this in awhile! I am actually getting a minor in Mathematics at RPI and I'm gearing it towards more applicable class for NE. I'm a sophomore now and I really enjoyed my first year! I decided to go with RPI for undergrad because I feel as if it has a stronger and more difficult undergrad experience than PSU. That's not to say PSU isn't a great school for NE, in fact, I want to look at that heavily for grad school since I live an hour away from PSU :D Thanks so much for all the info from before! It really helped me out.
 
  • #9
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I haven't checked on this in awhile! I am actually getting a minor in Mathematics at RPI and I'm gearing it towards more applicable class for NE. I'm a sophomore now and I really enjoyed my first year! I decided to go with RPI for undergrad because I feel as if it has a stronger and more difficult undergrad experience than PSU. That's not to say PSU isn't a great school for NE, in fact, I want to look at that heavily for grad school since I live an hour away from PSU :D Thanks so much for all the info from before! It really helped me out.
Get involved with American Nuclear Society and go to the conferences (They are a lot of fun)! Also, start looking for undergraduate research if you want to go to graduate school!
 

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