Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering College of Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering College of Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, IL
student ratio
total students
Not Reported
average amount to complete degree
January 15
fall application deadline
Not Reported
acceptance rate
3 Degrees Offered
degrees offered


University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering Department Leads the Way

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, acknowledged around the world as a center of educational excellence, is in its second century of service. The College of Engineering has progressed along with the university since its founding in 1868, and today is a renowned center of engineering innovation, research, and training.

The Department of Nuclear Engineering began as an interdisciplinary program in 1958, earned departmental status in 1986 and got its current name -- the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering -- in 1999. The name was designed to reflect the three typical paths students take in the field, and the wide variety of available courses.

At UI, the nuclear engineering discipline is not just about commercial nuclear power. Instead, it reflects the depth and breadth of the graduate programs, as well as the diversity of the faculty members. The incorporation of various new areas of study better prepares graduate students for employment in radiation-related sectors of the U.S. employment market, more accurately reflects expanding opportunity in the nuclear engineering industry, and expands the range of faculty research interests.

M.S., Ph.D. Programs Offer a Wide Range of Research Areas from Nuclear Reactor Safety to Fusion and Fission Engineering

The department offers programs that lead to the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in nuclear, plasma, and radiological engineering. The M.S. program requires 32 semester hours of approved graduate credit, including a thesis, and students must spend at least two semesters in residence.

The Ph.D. degree program can be broken up into three stages, and the last two must be finished in residence. The first stage is the attainment of the master's degree (or the equivalent 32 semester hours), and phase two entails another 32 semester hours of coursework beyond the M.S. Finally, 32 additional semester hours must be devoted to thesis research, the dissertation, and a final examination.

Areas of research include plasma engineering and processing; nuclear materials, corrosion, and irradiation damage; neutron scattering; neutron activation analysis; shielding and radiation effects; waste management and site remediation; biomedical imaging and health physics; fission and fusion engineering and technology; thermal hydraulics and reactor safety; and nuclear nonproliferation and public policy issues.

Graduate Students Receive Various Stipends, Assistantship Pay, Fellowships and Other Types of Financial Aid Support

Most graduate students receive some kind of financial assistance. Of the graduate students in nuclear engineering, about one in seven are supported by fellowships while most others are supported through stipends paid for graduate research, teaching, or general assistantships.

Financial aid packages generally include federally sponsored traineeships and fellowships in addition to university and industrial fellowships, and UI is approved for several private and public fellowships -- including ones supported by the Department of Energy, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, the National Academy for Nuclear Training Institute for Nuclear Power Operations, the National Science Foundation, and Hertz.

Part- and full-time research and teaching assistantships, which include full exemption from tuition and partial payment of fees, are also available. Stipends start at $17,604, topping out at $19,827 for a nine-month academic year at a half-time work schedule of approximately 20 hours per week.

Graduates of the Department Programs Are Sought By Private and Public Organizations for Their First-Rate Expertise

Graduates of the Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering are high on the hiring lists of power utility companies and their contractors and suppliers, semiconductor manufacturers, regulatory agencies, research laboratories, and medical centers. Many other universities seek them for faculty positions, as well.

A sampling of recent employers includes Exelon, Westinghouse, General Electric, Sargent & Lundy, Fauske and Associates, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, General Atomics, the Department of Energy Laboratories (including Argonne, Idaho, Fermilab, and Los Alamos), Novellus, and Provena medical centers. Starting salaries for these graduates are among the highest in the engineering field.

Urbana-Champaign Provides Resources Nearby, Chicago Provides World-Class Cultural Riches with Just a Morning's Drive

The university is located some 150 miles south of Chicago, the "Windy City," in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign, which have an aggregate population of approximately 113,000. The area is primarily a "college town" community, with excellent schools, parks, and modern retail, entertainment, and recreational facilities. Willard Airport, major rail service, and three interstate highways provide rapid and accessible transportation from all directions. Many cultural and recreational facilities that are normally found only in larger cities are available in the area, and a morning or afternoon drive is all that is required to reach the cultural and artistic treasures of Chicago.

With Urbana-Champaign's resources right at hand, and Chicago within a reasonable distance, students at UIUC are not lacking in any department -- academic, recreational, cultural, musical, and otherwise. These aspects of life are important in a grueling graduate program, providing balance to the scholastic challenge and welcome relief that recharges the batteries. The school is consistently rated as very popular with graduate students.

Location & Contact

Department of Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering

College of Engineering
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

104 South Wright Street
Urbana, IL 61801
United States

James Stubbins

Professor/Department Head

Phone: 217-333-2295
Fax: 217-333-2906

Becky Meline

Admissions and Records Officer

Phone: 217-333-3598
Fax: 217-333-2906

Request More Info

Degrees & Award

  • Degrees Offered
    • Major Degree Levels Offered
    • Nuclear, Plasma, And Radiological Engineering Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
      Master of Science (MS)
    • Energy Systems Master of Engineering (M Eng)
  • Degrees Awarded
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported
    • * Shows the number of degrees awarded for the last academic year that data was reported.
  • Earning Your Degree
    • Part-time study available? No
    • Evening/weekend programs available? No
    • Distance learning programs available? No
    • Terminal master's degree available? Yes
  • Degree Requirements
    • Master's Degrees Not reported
    • Doctoral Degrees Not reported
    • First Professional Degrees Not reported
    • Other Advanced Degrees Not reported


  • Acceptance Rate
    • Applied Not Reported
    • Accepted Not Reported
    • Acceptance Rate Not Reported
    • Enrolled Not Reported
  • Applying
    • Application Fee - Domestic $70
    • Application Fee - International $90
    • Electronic applications accepted? No
    • Applications processed on a rolling basis? Not Reported
  • Application Deadlines
    • Type Domestic International Priority Date
    • Fall deadline January 15th January 15th Not Reported
    • Winter deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
    • Spring deadline Not Reported Not Reported Not Reported
  • Entrance Requirements
    • Master's DegreesNot Reported
    • Doctoral's DegreesNot Reported
    • First-Professional's DegreesNot Reported
    • Other Advanced DegreesNot Reported
    • International DegreesNot Reported

Student Body

  • Gender
    • Total Graduate Students72
    • Female Percentage7%
    • Male Percentage93%
  • Participation
    • Total Graduate Students72
    • Part-time PercentageNot Reported
    • Full-time PercentageNot Reported
  • Ethnicity
    • Hispanic / LatinoNot Reported
    • Black / African AmericanNot Reported
    • White / CaucasianNot Reported
    • American Indian / Alaskan NativeNot Reported
    • AsianNot Reported
    • Native Hawaiian / Other Pacific IslanderNot Reported
    • Two or more racesNot Reported
    • UnknownNot Reported



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