Nuclear power plant engineers on the job

Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology

Transfer up to
121 Credits
A median of 81 credits accepted
Credit awarded for military training

Advance Your Job Skills with a Bachelor’s in Nuclear Engineering Technology

Responsive to industry needs and trends, the fully online Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology prepares students for technical positions in the nuclear industry. Keep up-to-date on your skills with 100% online nuclear engineering courses and instructional faculty who have years of industry experience.

Accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, www.abet.org, the online program maps easily to U.S. Navy experience and the experiences of those already working in the nuclear industry. The program provides knowledge in areas such as reactor operations, health physics, quality assurance, chemistry, and instrumentation and control related to nuclear engineering technology field. Students choose between two technical concentrations that prepare them for positions in high-demand job areas, or pursue the general option that gives them the opportunity to design a study plan that aligns with their career goals.

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Concentrations

General Concentration, Nuclear Cybersecurity, and Nuclear Leadership

Fast Facts:

Nuclear worker salaries are 36% higher than the average local salary (Source: Nuclear Energy Institute)


The average median salary for a nuclear engineer is $105,810 (Source: BLS)


The benefits of a four-year college degree are equivalent to an investment that returns 15.2% per year (Source: Brookings Institute)


124

credit hours

Online BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology Program Details

  • Humanities: 15 credits minimum
    • Ethics (3 credits minimum)
    • Communications (9 credits minimum)
      • Written English Requirement (6 credits)
      • Credits to reach 9 credits minimum
    • Humanities Electives (3 credits minimum)
  • Social Sciences/History: 9 credits minimum
  • Natural Sciences and Mathematics: 26 credits minimum
    • Natural science
      • Chemistry (with lab)
      • Physics I and II (with at least one lab)
      • Atomic Physics
      • Nuclear Physics
      • Thermodynamics
    • Math (12 credits minimum)
      • Calculus I
      • Calculus II
      • Additional college-level credits to reach 12 credits
  • Arts and Sciences Electives: 10 credits

Core Nuclear Engineering Technology Courses: 30 credits

Circuit Theory I & II or Electrical Theory

Introduction to the fundamentals of charge, AC and DC current, voltage, capacitance, inductance, energy, power, Kirchoff’s laws, loop and nodal analysis, and linear voltage-current characteristics.

Introduction to Computers

Students gain fundamental knowledge of the computer system and its components, including computer hardware and architecture, application software, operating systems, networks, and the Internet. Advanced topics such as information privacy and security, database and data warehouse, data mining, and legal, ethical, and privacy issues in the information technology field are also introduced.

Fundamentals of Reactor Safety

This course provides an overview of nuclear reactor plant safety design topics, including basic concepts relating to regulatory requirements, reactor plant safety analysis, reactor protection systems, plant procedural structure, and emergency planning. Additionally, the course explores significant industry events, including those at Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima, as well as the impact of the 9/11 terrorism event.

Material Science

Students learn how materials are used in nuclear engineering applications. Topics include basic nuclear plant operation overview, atomic bonding, crystalline and noncrystalline structures, diffusion, mechanical and thermal behavior, failure analysis and prevention, structural materials, ceramics, corrosion, radiation effects on materials, material commonly used in reactor core and nuclear plant design, and material problems associated with reactor core operation.

Health Physics and Radiation Protection

This course provides a fundamental grounding in the theory and principles of radiation protection relevant to nuclear power plant operations.

Radiation Measurement Lab

This course provides a fundamental rounding in practical aspects of detection and measurement of radiation and radioactive contamination relevant to nuclear power plant operations.

Plant Systems Overview

Students learn the basic aspects of design, layout and function of all major systems associated with nuclear power plant designs typically used for U.S. power production. The approach to the course is to build a power plant system by system. Content covers major system components, controls, and their design features, and emphasizes the systems’ interconnection and functions. Systems are grouped/classified regarding their use and characteristics, e.g. production vs. safety, primary (nuclear interface) vs. balance of plant, active vs. passive.

Reactor Core Fundamentals

The basics of neutron chain reaction systems are explored in this course. Topics include neutron cross sections, flux, reaction rates, fission processes, neutron production, neutron multiplication, six-factor formula, reactivity, subcritical multiplication, prompt and delayed neutron fractions, reactor period, reactivity coefficients, control rod worth, and fission product poisons.

Introduction to Heat Transfer and Fluid Mechanics

This course provides a grounding in the fundamental principles of heat, heat transfer, and fluid mechanics, as they apply to power plant operation. While designed to meet the requirements of the Nuclear Uniform Curriculum Program, specifically Section 1.1.5 Heat Transfer and Fluid Flow of ACAD 08-006 for Non-Licensed Nuclear Operators, this course has broad applicability for anyone interested in power plant technology, regardless the heat source used.

Integrated Technology Assessment (Capstone): 3 credits

This capstone course requires students to reflect on past academic and professional experiences and use the information gained from this reflective exercise to develop learning statements related to the nuclear engineering technology degree outcomes. The learning statements must be supported by documented evidence that demonstrates that the outcomes have been met. Additionally, students are tested on their knowledge of information technology fundamentals and practices to ensure that they are able to meet the needs of industry.

Nuclear Engineering Technology Electives: 15 credits

Apply electives from nuclear and related subject areas to complete the technology component requirement.

Laboratory Requirement

Students must complete at least five laboratories:

  • Three labs in physics, chemistry, and radiation measurement
  • Two may be in the natural sciences or in nuclear engineering technology subjects

General Concentration

Students selecting the general concentration can customize their experience by choosing free electives in any field of college study, including in professional or technical subjects and arts and sciences. A minimum of 16 credits must be completed, to include information literacy.

Nuclear Cybersecurity

This concentration emphasizes the concepts associated with governance, legal, and compliance of cybersecurity in the nuclear industry. Students gain foundational knowledge of cybersecurity and the impacts of cyber attacks on nuclear facilities, and are prepared to accept cybersecurity positions within the nuclear industry. A minimum of 16 credits must be completed in this area, to include these requirements:

  • Overview of Computer Security
  • Governance, Legal, and Compliance
  • Cybersecurity Defense in Depth for the Nuclear Industry
  • Business Continuity
  • Cybersecurity Investigation and Case Studies for the Nuclear Industry
  • Information Literacy

Nuclear Leadership

This concentration emphasizes topics such as business leadership, organizational behavior, change management, leadership communications, and leadership courage/risk management, this concentration prepares graduates to take on leadership roles within the nuclear industry. A minimum of 16 credits must be completed in this area, to include these requirements:

  • Organizational Behavior
  • Business Leadership
  • Leading Change in the Nuclear Industry
  • Leadership Communications in the Nuclear Industry
  • Leadership Courage/Risk Management
  • Information Literacy
  • Apply general and discipline-specific concepts and methodologies to identify, analyze, and solve technical problems in the nuclear discipline, including understanding and addressing the societal and institutional issues related to nuclear technology.
  • Demonstrate an individual desire and commitment to remain technically current with, and adaptive to, changing technologies through continuous learning and self-improvement.
  • Demonstrate independent thinking, function effectively in team-oriented settings, and maintain a high level of performance in a professional/industrial environment.
  • Communicate effectively in a professional/industrial environment, including communicating effectively to stakeholders external to the nuclear industry.
  • Perform ethically and professionally in business, industry, and society.
  • Demonstrate and utilize leadership principles in the field of nuclear engineering technology.

Select and apply appropriate knowledge, techniques, skills, and modern tools of the natural sciences, including physics, chemistry, thermodynamics, atomic physics, and nuclear physics, to solving problems in nuclear engineering technology areas.


Demonstrate the ability to understand, measure, and provide quantitative expressions for natural phenomena, including observation, standard tests, experimentation, and accurate measurement.


Select and apply appropriate knowledge, techniques, skills, and modern tools of algebra, trigonometry, and calculus to problem solving in nuclear engineering technology areas.


Make oral technical presentations in Standard English using graphics and language appropriate to the audience.


Demonstrate proficiency in the written and graphical communication of technical information supported by appropriate technical references using Standard English.


Demonstrate a working knowledge of computer applications or documentation of the use of one or more computer software packages for technical problem solving appropriate to the nuclear engineering technology discipline.


Demonstrate technical competency in the electrical theory, nuclear and engineering materials, reactor core fundamentals, power plant systems, heat transfer, fluids, health physics/radiation protection, and radiation measurement.


Demonstrate comprehension of currently applicable rules and regulations in the areas of radiation protection, operations, maintenance, quality control, quality assurance, and safety.


Integrate and apply knowledge of the functional areas of nuclear engineering technology in the safe operation and maintenance of nuclear systems.


Design systems, components, or processes while demonstrating a commitment to quality, timeliness, and continuous improvement of the design and operation of nuclear systems.


Participate effectively as a member or a leader of technical teams.


Demonstrate an understanding of and commitment to professional, ethical, and social responsibilities, including the effects of culture, diversity, and interpersonal relations.


Demonstrate a commitment and ability to engage in self-directed continuing professional development.


View additional details about programs and courses:

Download the Undergraduate Studies Catalog

Common Careers with an
Online BS in Nuclear Engineering Technology

“Excelsior gave me skills in critical analysis, writing, problem solving, and communicating, which all helped me perform my job well.”
Lauren Harlow
AS in Liberal Arts, 2017

Accreditations

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ABET Accreditation

The Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology and the Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology are accredited by the Engineering Technology Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org/. ABET is a specialized accrediting agency recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

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Institutional Accreditation

Excelsior College is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education, 3624 Market Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104. (267-284-5000).

All of Excelsior College's academic programs are registered (i.e., approved) by the New York State Education Department.

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