A broad program of instruction and research is offered in the principles of the interaction of radiation with matter and their applications, and in several areas of engineering physics. The program has strong engineering and applied science components. It emphasizes several areas of activity, including the research, design, development, and deployment of fission reactors; fusion engineering; plasma physics; radiation damage to materials; applied superconductivity and cryogenics; and large-scale computing in engineering science.

The master's degree may be pursued as a terminal degree in the fission area and in various engineering physics areas, but it is not generally recommended as a final degree in fusion research; students interested in fusion should plan to pursue the Ph.D. degree. About 40 percent of the current graduate students hold undergraduate degrees in nuclear engineering, about 40 percent in physics, and about 20 percent in other disciplines such as mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, mathematics, and materials science.

The department is considered to have one of the top five nuclear engineering programs in the nation over the last 40 years. It incorporates several research organizations including the Wisconsin Institute of Nuclear Systems, the Pegasus Toroidal Experiment Program, the Fusion Technology Institute, and the Center for Plasma Theory and Computation.

Research may be performed in areas including next generation fission reactor engineering; fluid and heat transfer modeling for transient analysis; reactor monitoring and diagnostics; fuel cycle analysis; magnetic and inertial confinement fusion reactor engineering, including the physics of burning plasmas, plasma-wall interactions, neutron transport, tritium breeding, radiation damage, and liquid-metal heat transfer; experimental and theoretical studies of plasmas including radio frequency heating, magnetic confinement, plasma instabilities, and plasma diagnostics; superconducting magnets and cryogenics; and theoretical and experimental studies of the damage to materials in fission and fusion reactors.

The department places considerable emphasis on establishing research teams or group research, as well as traditional research activity by individual faculty members and their students. The groups frequently involve faculty, scientific staff, and graduate students from several departments, adding a strong interdisciplinary flavor to the research.

Students sometimes perform thesis work at national laboratories such as Argonne National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory, Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, and Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Please consult the table below for key information about this degree program’s admissions requirements. The program may have more detailed admissions requirements, which can be found below the table or on the program’s website.

Graduate admissions is a two-step process between academic programs and the Graduate School. Applicants must meet the minimum requirements of the Graduate School as well as the program(s). Once you have researched the graduate program(s) you are interested in, apply online.

Fall Deadline December 15
Spring Deadline October 1
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Required.*
English Proficiency Test Every applicant whose native language is not English or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English must provide an English proficiency test score and meet the Graduate School minimum requirements (https://grad.wisc.edu/apply/requirements/#english-proficiency).
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3
*

a) Current UW-Madison NE/EP/EMA undergraduate students are not required to submit GRE scores.

b) Due to COVID-19, GRE scores are not required for all applications to Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics graduate programs for the Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023 terms.



APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS and PROCESS

Degree: For admission to graduate study in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics, an applicant must have a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics, or physical science, and an undergraduate record that indicates an ability to successfully pursue graduate study. International applicants must have a degree comparable to a regionally accredited U.S. bachelor’s degree. All applicants must satisfy requirements that are set forth by the Graduate School

It is highly recommended that students take courses that cover the same material as these UW-Madison courses before entering the program:

Course and Semester Credits                                                       Typical Courses

Differential equations, 3 cr                                                         MATH 319 or MATH 320

Advanced mathematics, 3 cr                                                      MATH 321

Nuclear physics, 3 cr                                                                   N E 305

Materials science, metallurgy, or solid-state physics, 3 cr        M S & E 350 or M S & E 351

Heat transfer or fluid mechanics, 3 cr                                        CBE 320

Mechanics, 3 cr                                                                            PHYSICS 311 or E M A 202

Descriptions of course content can be accessed through The Guide. Students may enter without having taken these courses. However, in such cases the students must inform their advisors, who will help them plan courses of study that will provide adequate background for our department's graduate curriculum. Provisions for admission on probation, or as an applicant for more than one master's degree (e.g., simultaneous MS degrees in two departments) are given in the Graduate School website

GPA: The Graduate School requires a minimum undergraduate grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 basis on the equivalent of the last 60 semester hours from the most recent bachelor's degree. In special cases, students with grade point averages lower than 3.0 who meet all the general requirements of the Graduate School may be considered for admission on probation.

GRE: As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE requirement is waived for applications to the Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023 terms, and submission of GRE scores is optional.

MS-thesis track advisor selection process: MS applicants who intend to complete a thesis are encouraged to identify potential faculty advisors and seek a confirmation. Please review the department Research and People websites and contact those whose research interests align with yours. Only faculty members listed with the titles of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, or Professor, can serve as graduate advisors. Do not contact Emeritus faculty, Lecturers, Research Scientists, or Faculty Associates. You are also encouraged to inquire about possible funding opportunities. If a faculty member agrees to be your advisor, ask the person to email an acknowledgment to neepgradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.

Each application must include the following:

  • Graduate School Application
  • Academic transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE Scores (waived in response to the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • English Proficiency Score (if required)
  • Application Fee

DEADLINES

To apply to the NEEP program, complete applications, including supportive materials, must be submitted as described below and received by the following deadline dates:

  • Fall Semester—December 15 
  • Spring Semester—October 1 
  • Summer Session—December 15 

ACADEMIC TRANSCRIPT

Electronically submit one copy of your transcript of all undergraduate and previous graduate work along with your online application to the Graduate School. Unofficial copies of transcripts will be accepted for review, but official copies are required for admitted students. Please do not send transcripts or any other application materials to the Graduate School or the Engineering Physics department unless requested. Please review the requirements set by the Graduate School for additional information about degrees/transcripts.

STATEMENT OF PURPOSE

In this document, applicants should explain why they want to pursue further education in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics and discuss which UW faculty members they would be interested in doing research with during their graduate study (see the Graduate School for more advice on how to structure a personal statement).

RESUME 

Upload your resume in your application.

THREE LETTERS OF RECOMMENDATIONS

These letters are required from people who can accurately judge the applicant's academic and/or research performance. It is highly recommended these letters be from faculty familiar with the applicant. Letters of recommendation are submitted electronically to graduate programs through the online application. See the Graduate School for FAQs regarding letters of recommendation.

GRE SCORES

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GRE requirement is waived for applications to the Spring 2023, Summer 2023, and Fall 2023 terms. Any scores submitted will be accessible by the Admissions Faculty.

ENGLISH PROFICIENCY SCORE 

Every applicant whose native language is not English, or whose undergraduate instruction was not in English, must provide an English proficiency test score. The UW-Madison Graduate School accepts TOEFL or IETLS scores. Your score will not be accepted if it is more than two years old from the start of your admission term. Country of citizenship does not exempt applicants from this requirement. Language of instruction at the college or university level and how recent the language instruction was taken are the determining factors in meeting this requirement.

For more information regarding minimum score requirements and exemption policy, please see the Graduate School Requirements for Admission.

APPLICATION FEE

Application submission must be accompanied by the one-time application fee. It is non-refundable and can be paid by credit card (Master Card or Visa) or debit/ATM. Additional information about the application fee may be found here (scroll to the ‘Frequently asked questions).

Fee grants are available through the conditions outlined here by the Graduate School.

QUESTIONS:

If you have questions, please contact neepgradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.



RE-ENTRY ADMISSIONS

If you were previously enrolled as a graduate student in the Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics program, have not earned your degree, but have had a break in enrollment for a minimum of a fall or spring term, you will need to re-apply to resume your studies. Please review the Graduate School requirements for previously enrolled students. Your previous faculty advisor (or another NEEP faculty advisor) must be willing to supply advising support and should e-mail the NEEP Graduate Student Services Coordinator regarding next steps in the process.

If you were previously enrolled in a UW-Madison graduate degree, completed that degree, have had a break in enrollment since earning the degree and would now like to apply for another UW-Madison program; you are required to submit a new student application through the UW-Madison Graduate School online application. For NEEP graduate programs, you must follow the entire application process as described above.

CURRENTLY ENROLLED GRADUATE STUDENT ADMISSIONS

Students currently enrolled as a graduate student at UW-Madison, whether in NEEP or a non-NEEP graduate program, wishing to apply to this degree program should contact the NEEP Graduate Admissions Team to inquire about the process and deadlines several months in advance of the anticipated enrollment term. Current students may apply to change or add programs for any term (fall, spring, or summer).

QUESTIONS:

If you have questions, please contact neepgradadmission@engr.wisc.edu.

Graduate School Resources

Resources to help you afford graduate study might include assistantships, fellowships, traineeships, and financial aid. Further funding information is available from the Graduate School. Be sure to check with your program for individual policies and restrictions related to funding.

Program Resources

Admission and funding are separate decisions. Not all admitted students are offered support. International applicants must secure a research assistantship, teaching assistantship, fellowship, or independent funding before admission is final. The funding for RAs comes from faculty research grants. Each professor decides on his or her own RA offers. Funded students are expected to maintain full time enrollment.  See the program website for additional information.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

Review the Graduate School minimum academic progress and degree requirements, in addition to the program requirements listed below.

Major Requirements

MODE OF INSTRUCTION

Face to Face Evening/Weekend Online Hybrid Accelerated
Yes No No No No

Mode of Instruction Definitions

Accelerated: Accelerated programs are offered at a fast pace that condenses the time to completion. Students are able to complete a program with minimal disruptions to careers and other commitments.

Evening/Weekend: ​Courses meet on the UW–Madison campus only in evenings and/or on weekends to accommodate typical business schedules.  Students have the advantages of face-to-face courses with the flexibility to keep work and other life commitments.

Face-to-Face: Courses typically meet during weekdays on the UW-Madison Campus.

Hybrid: These programs combine face-to-face and online learning formats.  Contact the program for more specific information.

Online: These programs are offered 100% online.  Some programs may require an on-campus orientation or residency experience, but the courses will be facilitated in an online format.

CURRICULAR REQUIREMENTS

Minimum Credit Requirement 30 credits of technical coursework approved by the student's faculty advisor
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 16 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 15 credits must be in graduate-level coursework from nuclear engineering, math, physics, chemistry, computer science, or any other engineering department except E P D. Details can be found in the Graduate School’s Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) policy (https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1244).
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's GPA Requirement policy
(https://policy.wisc.edu/library/UW-1203).
Other Grade Requirements Courses in which grades of BC, C, or below are received cannot be counted toward the degree except as follows: 1) Credits of C will be allowed provided they are balanced by twice as many credits of A or by four times as many credits of AB, 2) Credits of BC will be allowed provided they are balanced by twice as many credits of AB or by an equal number of credits of A.
Assessments and Examinations Students who do not complete a thesis must pass an oral exam that is administered by a three-member committee. Passing the PhD qualifying exam satisfies the MS oral exam requirement unless the student is submitting an MS thesis. Students who complete a thesis must defend it orally in front of a three-member committee, and at least two must be members of the UW-Madison Graduate Faculty.
Language Requirements No language requirements.

Required COURSES

The following courses, or courses with similar material content, must be taken prior to or during the course of study: N E 427 Nuclear Instrumentation Laboratory; N E 428 Nuclear Reactor Laboratory or N E 526 Laboratory Course in Plasmas; N E 408 Ionizing Radiation or N E/​MED PHYS  569 Health Physics and Biological Effects.

Thesis pathway1: maximum of 12 credits for thesis; at least 8 credits of N E courses 400 level or above; remaining credits (also 400 level or above) must be in appropriate technical areas2; at least 9 credits must be 500 level and above; up to 3 credits can be seminar credits.

Non-Thesis pathway1: at least 15 credits of N E courses at the 400 level or above; remaining 15 credits (also 400 level or above) must be in appropriate technical areas2; at least 12 credits must be at the 500 level or above; up to 3 credits can be seminar credits.

For both the thesis and non-thesis options, only one course (maximum of 3 credits) of independent study (N E 699 Advanced Independent Study, N E 999 Advanced Independent Study) is allowed.

1

These pathways are internal to the program and represent different curricular paths a student can follow to earn this degree. Pathway names do not appear in the Graduate School admissions application, and they will not appear on the transcript.

2

 Appropriate technical areas are: Engineering departments (except Engineering and Professional Development), Physics, Math, Statistics, Computer Science, Medical Physics, and Chemistry. Other courses may be deemed appropriate by a student's faculty advisor.

Graduate School Policies

The Graduate School’s Academic Policies and Procedures provide essential information regarding general university policies. Program authority to set degree policies beyond the minimum required by the Graduate School lies with the degree program faculty. Policies set by the academic degree program can be found below.

Major-Specific Policies

Prior Coursework

Graduate Work from Other Institutions

With advisor and EP Graduate Studies Committee approval, students may use up to 6 credits of relevant coursework from a prior graduate program.  Please review the Graduate Program Handbook (see contact box) for information about use and restrictions to this policy.

UW–Madison Undergraduate

With faculty approval, students who have received their undergraduate degree from UW–Madison may apply up to 7 credits numbered 400 or above toward the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. This work would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above. No credits can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

With faculty approval, students who have received an ABET-accredited undergraduate degree (not including UW–Madison) may be eligible to apply up to 7 credits of their undergraduate coursework toward the Minimum Graduate Degree Credit Requirement. No credits can be counted toward the Minimum Graduate Residence Credit Requirement, nor the Minimum Graduate Coursework (50%) Requirement. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master's degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

UW–Madison University Special

With program approval, students are allowed to count up to 15 credits of coursework numbered 400 or above taken as a UW–Madison Special student toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement and the minimum graduate degree credit requirement. UW–Madison coursework taken as a University Special student would not be allowed to count toward the 50% graduate coursework minimum unless taken at the 700 level or above. Coursework earned five or more years prior to admission to a master’s is not allowed to satisfy requirements.

Probation

This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.

ADVISOR / COMMITTEE

Each student is required to meet with his or her advisor prior to registration every semester. This program follows the Graduate School’s Advisor policy.

CREDITS PER TERM ALLOWED

15 credits

Time limits

Candidates must pass an oral examination on completed coursework or on the thesis if the thesis option is chosen. Students have two attempts to pass this examination with at least one month elapsing between attempts. Candidates who have passed the PhD qualifying examination will be excused from the oral master’s examination.

Grievances and Appeals

These resources may be helpful in addressing your concerns:

NEEP Grievance Procedures

Students who feel that they have been treated unfairly have the right to a prompt hearing of their grievance.  Such complaints may involve course grades, classroom treatment, advising, various forms of harassment, or other issues. Any student or potential student may use these procedures.

  • The student should speak first with the person toward whom the grievance is directed. In most cases, grievances can be resolved at this level.

  • Should a satisfactory resolution not be achieved, the student should contact the program’s Grievance Advisor to discuss the grievance. The Graduate Student Coordinator can provide students with the name of this faculty member, who facilitates problem resolution through informal channels. The Grievance Advisor is responsible for facilitating any complaints or issues of students. The Grievance Advisor first attempts to help students informally address the grievance prior to any formal complaint. Students are also encouraged to talk with their faculty advisors regarding concerns or difficulties if necessary. University resources for sexual harassment concerns can be found on the UW Office of Compliance website.

  • If the issue is not resolved to the student’s satisfaction, the student can submit the grievance to the Grievance Advisor in writing, within 60 calendar days of the alleged unfair treatment.

  • On receipt of a written complaint, a faculty committee will be convened by the Grievance Advisor to manage the grievance.  The program faculty committee will obtain a written response from the person toward whom the complaint is directed. The response will be shared with the person filing the grievance.

  • The faculty committee will determine a decision regarding the grievance. The Grievance Advisor will report on the action taken by the committee in writing to both the student and the party toward whom the complaint was directed within 15 working days from the date the complaint was received.

  • At this point, if either party (the student or the person toward whom the grievance is directed) is unsatisfied with the decision of the faculty committee, the party may file a written appeal. Either party has 10 working days to file a written appeal to the College of Engineering.

The Assistant Dean for Graduate Affairs (engr-dean-graduateaffairs@engr.wisc.edu) provides overall leadership for graduate education in the College of Engineering (CoE) and is a point of contact for graduate students who have concerns about education, mentoring, research, or other difficulties.

The Graduate School has procedures for students wishing to appeal a grievance decision made at the college level. These policies are described in the Academic Policies and Procedures at https://grad.wisc.edu/academic-policies/.

Other

n/a

Graduate School Resources

Take advantage of the Graduate School's professional development resources to build skills, thrive academically, and launch your career. 

  1. Demonstrate a strong understanding of mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles in the field.
  2. Demonstrate an ability to formulate, analyze, and independently solve advanced engineering problems.
  3. Apply the relevant scientific and technological advancements, techniques, and engineering tools to address these problems.
  4. Recognize and apply principles of ethical and professional conduct.

FACULTY

PROFESSORS

Paul Wilson (Chair)
Riccardo Bonazza
Curt A. Bronkhorst
Wendy Crone
Chris Hegna
Douglass Henderson
Roderic Lakes
Oliver Schmitz
Carl Sovinec
Kumar Sridharan
Fabian Waleffe

ASSOCIATE PROFESSORS

Adrien Couet

ASSISTANT PROFESSORS

Jennifer Choy
Stephanie Diem
Jennifer Franck
Benedikt Geiger
Benjamin Lindley
Jacob Notbohm
Ramathasan Thevamaran
Yongfeng Zhang

See also Engineering Physics Faculty Directory.