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GRADUATE STUDY AT UT

The University of Tennessee is the land-grant institution of the State of Tennessee and is classified by the Carnegie Commission as a research university with very high research activity (RU/VH).

A wide range of graduate programs leading to master's and doctoral degrees is available. The university offers 60 doctoral degrees, 81 master's degrees, 3 educational specialists degrees, three professional programs, and 31 graduate certificate programs. More than 6,000 graduate and professional students are enrolled on and off campus under the tutelage of 1,500 faculty members.

The UT Graduate School brings together faculty and students as a community of scholars with a common interest in creative work and advanced study. Programs are available to graduate students interested in full- or part-time study, to professionals interested in continuing education either on campus or via live and interactive distance education, and to scholars pursuing postdoctoral research. (top)

THE DEPARTMENT OF NUCLEAR ENGINEERING

Established in 1957, the UT Department of Nuclear Engineering is one of the oldest and most prestigious programs in the United States. The department's strengths include a well-developed research program, close ties with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) and several nuclear utilities, international research associations, and attractive graduate assistantships. The faculty is internationally recognized for excellence in research and teaching. The department's graduate program is ranked number six in the nation by U.S. News and World Report.

The Department of Nuclear Engineering offers programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy. Research specializations include applied artificial intelligence, reactor analysis, fuel and waste management, nuclear criticality safety, nuclear reactor dynamics and control, reliability and maintainability engineering, nuclear system reliability and risk assessment, radiological engineering (including health physics), radiation transport, and thermalhydraulics.

The department is housed in the Pasqua Engineering Building, which is devoted exclusively to the Nuclear Engineering Department. This 16,300 square foot building provides offices, classrooms, laboratories, shops, a computer terminal room, and a lounge/library for the Nuclear Engineering students and faculty. This facility helps create the cohesive atmosphere, which characterizes the department. (top)

RESEARCH OPPORTUNITIES

The Nuclear Engineering Department’s research program provides excellent opportunities for graduate students to participate in state-of-the-art research projects while satisfying their research requirements. The level of research funding and the number of graduate students involved have both grown significantly in recent years. Research productivity in FY11 as measured by Total Sponsored Research Expenditures increased 61% to $7.25 million in FY 11 from $4.5 million in FY10, with new research awards still outpacing expenditures. Graduate enrollment in the fall semester of 20 was 113 students, which is an increase of 15 graduate students relative to the fall of 2010.

The University's association with ORNL, which is operated by UT/Batelle, provides facilities and research opportunities to students and faculty that are not available at any other U.S. university. Research into many nuclear engineering problems may be conducted at ORNL by teams composed of faculty, graduate students, and ORNL personnel. The concentration of nuclear engineering activity in the Knoxville/Oak Ridge area also provides graduate students with a unique opportunity to interact with outstanding researchers and provides access to numerous conferences and seminars held locally.

The department’s ties with industry have provided opportunities for students to implement and evaluate new technologies in a real-world environment. These projects have been conducted at TVA, Duke Energy Company, Electricité de France, Florida Power & Light, Northeast Utilities, Emerson Electric, Westinghouse, and many more.

Students in the Nuclear Engineering Department also have the opportunity to work on projects through College of Engineering Research Centers such as the Scintillation Materials Research Center and Reliability and Maintainability Center. These centers are interdisciplinary research organizations that sponsor major research programs throughout the College of Engineering. There are also several other interdisciplinary research organizations through the university such as the Joint Institute for Computational Sciences (JICS), the Joint Institute for Advanced Materials (JIAM), and the Joint Institute for Neutron Sciences (JINS). (top)

CURRENT RESEARCH

For a description of our current research activities, see our Annual Report and our Research Focus Areas.

These projects illustrate just a few of the research activities in which UT Nuclear Engineering graduate students are involved. Students are assigned to research projects in their areas of interest that will provide them with thesis or dissertation opportunities. Most students serve as graduate research assistants while working on these projects. Thus, the projects provide both income and research experience for the students. (top)

FINANCIAL ASSISTANCE

The University is committed to providing quality education at a reasonable cost, and a number of programs have been developed to help graduate students finance their studies.

The department offers Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA). GRA positions include monthly stipends of $2,000 for beginning M.S. candidates, $2,100 for beginning Ph.D. candidates who have completed the M.S. degree, and $2,200 for Ph.D. candidates who have passed the Comprehensive Examination. These rates result in annual stipends of $24,000 (for beginning M.S. candidates) to $26,400 (for Ph.D. candidates who have passed the first part of the comprehensive examination). Several Fellowships, Graduate Assistantships and Graduate Teaching Assistantships with competitive stipends are available for appropriately qualified students. All types of assistantship appointments include waiver of tuition and maintenance fees, but students must pay various fees.

Also, there are excellent fellowship opportunities for nuclear engineering graduate students offered by national organizations such as the Department of Energy, the American Nuclear Society, and the National Academy for Nuclear Training. The Nuclear Engineering Department provides information and assistance in applying for these fellowships. (top)

ADMISSION

Admission to the program requires a bachelor's degree from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional accrediting agency. A foreign degree must be equivalent to a U.S. Bachelor's degree and must be accredited by its regional or national accreditation agency.

The decision for admission is based upon the applicant's GPA, GRE scores, TOEFL scores (for applicants whose native language is not English), letters of recommendation, and research statement. We recommend that the applicant go to the UTNE research focus webpage (http://www.engr.utk.edu/nuclear/research.html) and the UTNE faculty webpage (http://www.engr.utk.edu/nuclear/faculty.html) to investigate research topics that may be of interest and fit with the applicant's career goals.

U.S. Degree holders must have earned a 3.0 out of a possible 4.0 GPA or a minimum of 3.0 during the senior year of undergraduate study. Foreign degree holders must have earned a minimum of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale or other equivalent to a 'B' average. If you have completed previous graduate course work, you must have a grade-point average of 3.0 on a 4-point scale or equivalent. The average GPA of admitted students in recent years has been between 3.6 and 3.7 on a 4.0 scale.

Applicants must also take the GRE examination and submit test scores. GRE Quantitative, Verbal and Analytical scores are one measure used to evaluate student capacity to successfully complete the MS and PhD programs. We do not publish minimum scores, but admission to the program is competitive. Recent average GRE Quantitative scores have been 162-163 (170 max), and average GRE Verbal scores have been 158 (170 max). For students requesting graduate assistantships (GRA, GTA, or GA), GRE averages are typically higher than the averages for general admission into the program. A GRE Analytical score of 4 or higher is recommended.

Applicants whose native language is not English must submit TOEFL or IELTS test scores. To be fully admitted, applicants must submit a minimum score of 550 on the paper-based TOEFL; 80 on the TOEFL iBT or 6.5 on the IELTS. Applicants may be eligible for English Proficiency Conditional Admission. More information is available on the English Proficiency Conditional Admission page.

It should be noted, however, that meeting minimum standards does not guarantee admission to the program. The entire package of submitted materials – GPA, GRE scores, letters of recommendation, and research statement – is considered as a whole when making a final decision on admission. Students must submit an application for admission through the Graduate School (http://graduateadmissions.utk.edu/). (top)

PROGRAM OF STUDY

The Department of Nuclear Engineering offers programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. Students may elect a traditional nuclear engineering program focusing on fission energy, or a radiological engineering concentration, which prepares students for careers in the radiation safety field (health physics). Both programs are designed for graduates of accredited undergraduate programs in engineering, physics, chemistry, or mathematics.

All entering students must have, as a minimum, competency in mathematics through ordinary differential equations, competency in atomic and nuclear physics, and competency consistent with an introductory course in nuclear engineering. If such competencies do not exist, the student must take appropriate courses for undergraduate credit. In addition, students without a B.S. degree in nuclear engineering, or the equivalent, must take 433 (Radiation Protection) and 470 (Nuclear Reactor Theory I), both of which may be taken for graduate credit. The department head is the contact for all interested students, both those with nuclear engineering degrees and those from other disciplines. More detailed information about the Department of Nuclear Engineering is available on the web at http://www.engr.utk.edu/nuclear.

For details of the M.S. Program and the Ph.D. Program, see the online Graduate Catalog at http://diglib.lib.utk.edu/dlc/catalog/. (top)

CERTIFICATE IN RELIABILITY AND MAINTAINABILITY ENGINEERING

The College of Engineering offers a graduate certificate in reliability and maintainability engineering. The program is designed primarily for part-time students in that all of the courses are available through distance education.

The 12-hour certificate is earned by completing the four courses consisting of two core courses: And two elective courses selected from the following list:

*Currently offered through distance education

The selection of elective courses is determined through an advising conference with each individual student, and is based on the student's personal interests, academic background, and work experience. Applicants must meet the minimum criteria established by the Graduate Council.

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CERTIFICATE IN NUCLEAR CRITICALITY SAFETY

The Department of Nuclear Engineering offers a graduate certificate in nuclear criticality safety. The program is designed primarily for part-time students. All of the courses are available through distance education.

The program consists of four graduate nuclear engineering courses (three required courses and one elective course) related to nuclear criticality safety and is intended to complement practical on-the-job training that is required of most nuclear criticality safety specialists.

The 12-hour certificate is earned by completing: Plus one of the following two courses:

The selection of one of the latter two courses is determined through an advising conference with each individual student and is based on the student's personal interests, academic background, and work experience. Applicants must meet the minimum criteria established by the Graduate Council. (top)

CERTIFICATE IN NUCLEAR SECURITY SCIENCE AND ANALYSIS

The Department of Nuclear Engineering offers a graduate certificate in nuclear security science and analysis (NSSA). The program is designed primarily for students seeking specialization in nuclear security science with emphasis on current or aspiring members of the nuclear security community, including those areas with an emphasis on arms control, treaty verification, non-proliferation, international nuclear security issues in both civilian and military contexts, nuclear threat detection, and principles of nuclear intelligence assessment. Additionally, this program will prepare graduate students to engage in the research and development of new tools and processes related to nuclear security science and analysis.

The 12-credit certificate is earned by completing four courses from the following lists, including one required course, one qualifying Nuclear Engineering elective course, and two NSSA electives.

The required course is NE 530 Nuclear Security Science and Analysis. Qualifying Nuclear Engineering elective courses include (please note that the 400-level courses must be taken for graduate credit to qualify for the certificate): NSSA electives include:

The selection of courses, which must be approved by the department, is determined through a student advising conference that considers the student's personal interests, academic background, and work experience. Criteria for acceptance to the certificate are the same as for acceptance into the M.S. program in nuclear engineering. (top)

TYPICAL STUDENT PROGRAM

A typical M.S. program in traditional nuclear engineering is as follows:

Fall Semester

(3) NE 571 Reactor Theory and Design
(3) Math, Statistics or Computer Science course
(3) Elective (NE or related field)
Begin work as a GRA, GA or GTA. Student will begin investigations of a thesis topic or will begin work on the first engineering practice project.
________
9 semester hours

Spring Semester

(3) NE 572 Nuclear System Design
(3) Math, Statistics, or Computer Science Course
(3) Elective (NE or related field)
(3) NE 500 or NE 598 - Research (GRA students generally satisfy research requirements through work on a research contract or grant).
______
12 semester hours

Summer Semester

(3) Elective (NE or related field)
(9) NE 500 or NE 598 - Research
_____
12 semester hours

Fall Semester

(3) Elective (NE or related field)
(3) NE 500 or NE 598 - Research
______
6 semester hours

It should be noted that every research topic is different, and the time required for completion varies.

A typical M.S. program for Radiological Engineering is as follows:

Fall Semester

(3) NE 551 Radiation Protection
(3) Mathematics, Statistics or Computer Science
(3) BMS 551 Radiation Biology
Begin work as a GRA, GA or GTA. Students will begin investigations of a thesis topic or will begin work on the first engineering practice problem.
______
9 semester hours (9 for graduate credit)

Spring Semester

(3) NE 550 Nuclear Instrumentation
(3) Math, Statistics, or Computer Science Course
(3) NE 552 Radiation Monitoring and Dose Assessment
(3) NE 500 or NE 598 - Research (GRA students generally satisfy thesis research requirements through work on a research contract or grant).
______
12 semester hours

Summer Semester

(3) Elective (NE or related field)
(9) NE 500 or NE 598 - Research
______
12 semester hours

Fall Semester

(3) NE 542 Management of Radioactive Materials
(3) NE 500 or 598 - Research
______
6 semester hours

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The following is a list of graduate courses offered in the Department of Nuclear Engineering:

COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

For a description of our graduate courses, see the Graduate Catalog.

(top)

ACADEMIC COMMON MARKET

An agreement among southern states for sharing graduate programs allows legal residents of some states to enroll in certain programs at UT on an in-state tuition basis. The M.S. program in Nuclear Engineering is available to residents of the states of Arkansas and Mississippi. Other states that do not have a graduate nuclear engineering program are also eligible to participate. Additional information may be obtained from the Administrative Services Assistant in the Office of Graduate Admissions. (top)

GRADUATE CREDIT FOR UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

400-level courses in nuclear engineering may be used for graduate credit. However, at least two-thirds of the minimum required hours in the M.S. program must be taken in courses numbered 500 or above. (top)

DISTANCE EDUCATION

The Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee offers three graduate programs that are available to distance students: the MS degree in nuclear engineering and two new Certificate Programs, one in Nuclear Criticality Safety and the other in reliability and maintainability engineering. Since the M.S. Program requirements also satisfy of the PhD program requirements, a significant portion of the PhD program in also available online.

Most of the courses in the three graduate programs are delivered synchronously (i.e., live and interactive) to the student's desktop computer via the World Wide Web using BlackBoard Collaborate (see http://online.utk.edu). The Collaborate program permits oral communication between instructor and students as well as oral communication between students. This interactive oral communication is usually accompanied by video streaming of visual aids such as PowerPoint slides and HTML documents. The synchronous classes are also available asynchronously (i.e., saved on a server) for a few days after synchronous delivery to accommodate students who must occasionally miss class.

Even Academic Years
Fall Semester (2012, 2014)
NE 571 Reactor Theory and Design
NE 421 Introduction to Nuclear Criticality Safety

Spring Semester (2012, 2014)
NE 552 Radiological Assessment and Dosimetry
NE 582 Monte Carlo Analysis

Odd Academic Years
Fall Semester (2011, 2013)
NE 551 Radiation Protection
NE 583 Radiation Transport Methods

Spring Semester (2013, 2015)
NE 585 Process System Reliability and Safety
NE 543 Selected Topics in Nuclear Criticality Safety

Each Fall by CD
NE 433 Principles of Health Physics
NE 470 Nuclear Reactor Theory I

The MS program for distance students is the same as our traditional MS program for local students, but with fewer courses offered. The MS program requires eight 3-hour graduate courses: four Nuclear Engineering (NE) courses, two courses in a related technical discipline (or two more NE courses), and two courses in mathematics, statistics or computer science. In addition, at least six hours of research or engineering practice are required for a total MS requirement of at least 30 hours. Up to one-third of the credit hours for the MS degree can be transfer credit from another accredited institution.

MS distance students must also register for at least three hours of research or engineering practice during any semester in which research or engineering practice is conducted to satisfy degree requirements. Proposed projects, either thesis research or engineering practice projects, may (or may not) be related to the student's current job, but must be approved a priori by the student's major professor and graduate committee. To obtain approval, a brief proposal written by the student must be submitted to and approved by the student's major professor and graduate committee at the beginning of the proposed project. The student must also write brief monthly progress reports, which are submitted to and approved by the student's major professor. The student may also have an on-site advisor or mentor to help direct the student's work along with the overall supervision provided by the major professor. However, acceptance of the student's work in satisfying degree requirements is solely the responsibility of the student's major professor and graduate committee. Good research and engineering practice projects frequently lead to external publications that are co-authored by the student, the on-site advisor, and the major professor. At the conclusion of the MS program, students come to the UT main campus to defend their work, both coursework and thesis or engineering practice project report(s), in a comprehensive oral exam in front of their major professor and graduate committee.

Each Certificate Program consists of four 3-hour graduate courses and does not include a requirement for research or engineering practice. The four courses required for the Nuclear Criticality Safety Certificate are Introduction to Nuclear Criticality Safety, Selected Topics in Nuclear Criticality Safety, Monte Carlo Analysis, and one of the following three elective courses: Reactor Theory I, Reactor Theory and Design, or Reactor Shielding. The four courses required for the Certificate in reliability and maintainability engineering are Introduction to Maintenance Engineering, Introduction to Reliability Engineering, and two elective courses selected from the following list: Advanced Monitoring and Diagnostics, Process System Reliability and Safety, Mechanical Vibrations, Reliability Centered Maintenance, and Statistical Methods in Industrial Engineering. The Maintenance and Reliability Certificate program is actually a college-wide program, which currently includes elective courses in mechanical engineering and industrial engineering as well as nuclear engineering. Any of the courses in the two Certificate programs may also be used to satisfy MS degree requirements.

Admission requirements are the same for all three graduate programs; namely, a BS in any engineering discipline, physics, chemistry, or mathematics from an accredited institution with at least a 3.0/4.0 GPA. In addition, all entering nuclear engineering students must have, as a minimum, competency in mathematics through ordinary differential equations and competency consistent with an introductory course in nuclear engineering. If these competencies do not exist, the student must take appropriate courses to develop the competencies prior to beginning the graduate program. The recommended course of study for each individual student is determined by an advising conference with the student and depends on the student's professional interests, academic background, and work experience. The cost for either of the three programs is the standard fee schedule for the Graduate School at the University of Tennessee and is described in detail in the current Graduate Catalog, which is available online at http://gradschool.utk.edu.

Finally, students who successfully complete any of the three programs will gain state-of-the-art knowledge in their chosen field, be better qualified to work as professionals, and increase their value to their current employer and to perspective new employers. More importantly, students will have the personal satisfaction and enjoyment of learning new concepts and developing new skills in an exciting field of national and international importance. (top)

KNOXVILLE AND THE UNIVERSITY

UT is located in a metropolitan area of more than 500,000 people. The University and the City of Knoxville offer nationally recognized cultural and entertainment events, large shopping malls, and many fine restaurants, yet the scenic beauty and recreational activities offered by the Great Smoky Mountains and several TVA lakes are within an hour’s drive of the campus.

The University’s more than 300 academic, social, and recreational organizations give students the opportunity to participate in small groups within the larger environment. The diverse activities offer many opportunities to learn more about other life-styles and cultures and to meet and develop friendships with students and faculty who share similar interests.

Recent expansion of the library has given the campus one of America’s most technologically advanced facilities for scholarly research. Located in the center of campus, the library holds more than two million volumes and offers state-of-the-art audiovisual service and on-line database reference searching.

The University offers a variety of housing for both single and married students. University-owned housing is located in several residential areas of the city. The cost of an apartment ranges from $315 to $405 per month (unfurnished) and $340 to $430 per month (furnished). An off-campus housing office is available to assist students who wish to live in non-University housing, which is usually more expensive than university housing. (top)

A COMMITMENT TO EXCELLENCE

The University challenges its students and faculty to excel in scholarship, research, and scientific investigation, and in contribution to economic, social, and cultural development. UT is committed to providing a quality educational experience and preparation for a productive future. (top)

FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION, CONTACT

    Dr. J. Wesley Hines
    Department of Nuclear Engineering
    The University of Tennessee
    Knoxville, TN 37996-2300
    (865) 974-2525
    utne@utk.edu

    Office of Graduate Admissions and Records
    The University of Tennessee
    Knoxville, TN 37996-0220
    (865) 974-3251
    gsinfo@utk.edu

AFFIRMATIVE ACTION STATEMENT

The University of Tennessee does not discriminate on the basis of race, sex, color, religion, national origin, age, handicap, or veteran status in provision of educational opportunities or employment opportunities and benefits.

UT does not discriminate on the basis of sex or handicap in the education programs and activities which it operates, pursuant to requirements of Title IX of the Educational Amendments of 1972, Public Law 92-318; and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Public Law 92-112; respectively. This policy extends to both employment and admission to the University.

Inquiries concerning Title IX and Section 504 should be directed to the Office of the Director of Affirmative Action, 403-C Andy Holt Tower, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-0144, (865) 974-2498. Charges of violation of the above policy also should be directed to the Office of the Director of Affirmative Action. (top)

 APPLICATION FORMS

Please note:

1. An application fee of $60.00 must be enclosed along with the Graduate Application for Admission which is sent directly to the University of Tennessee Graduate School.

2. Applicants for assistantships must submit the Application for Graduate Research & Teaching Assistantships form to the Nuclear Engineering Department. Click here for a printable version of the application form and the Confidential Rating Form. Please fill out the application form and mail to the address on the bottom of the form. Please have three (3) Confidential Rating Forms filled out by persons who are well acquainted with you scholastically or professionally and whom you are asking to submit confidential information forms for you. (top)


 

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