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College of Engineering and Computing


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Nuclear Engineering

Nuclear engineers design and operate nuclear power plants, develop tools that apply radiation in diagnostic and industrial processes, and design other energy systems including power systems to operate satellites and deep space probes. With seven operating reactors in South Carolina, more than half of all electricity generated within the state is derived from nuclear power.

What nuclear engineering programs does UofSC offer?

The Nuclear Engineering Program at the University of South Carolina began in 2003 and offers a minor as well as graduate level degrees - Master of Science, Master of Engineering and Ph.D. The program is part of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Engineering students and others from closely related disciplines with sufficient math and science courses can minor in Nuclear Engineering to gain specialized knowledge and capabilities needed to excel in this challenging field.


Where do nuclear engineers work?

Nuclear Engineering is a diverse and interdisciplinary field. You will find nuclear engineers working in a range of fields including the following:

  • power (especially electricity generation),
  • nuclear safeguards and security,
  • materials science and engineering,
  • medicine and radiological sciences, and
  • space power and propulsion.

The 2012 median pay for nuclear engineers was more than $104,000 according to the Bureau of Labor and Statistics and is second only to petroleum engineering.  The job outlook for graduate is excellent due to growth in the industry and the retirement of an aging workforce.