Engineering Hall

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 September 1
Summer Deadline December 15
GRE (Graduate Record Examinations) Not required but may be considered if available.*
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 (
Other Test(s) (e.g., GMAT, MCAT) n/a
Letters of Recommendation Required 3

GRE scores are optional. Applicants may submit GRE scores, but are not required to do so. Applications without scores are not placed at a disadvantage.  However, received scores will be considered as part of our holistic evaluation of applications.


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: GRE scores are optional. Applicants may submit GRE scores, but are not required to do so. Applications without scores are not placed at a disadvantage.  However, received scores will be considered as part of our holistic evaluation of applications.

PhD advisor selection process: PhD applicants 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

Each application must include the following:

  • Graduate School Application
  • Academic transcripts
  • Statement of purpose
  • Resume/CV
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • GRE Scores (optional - see below for additional information)
  • English Proficiency Score (if required)
  • Application Fee


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—September 1 
  • Summer Session—December 15 


Within the online application, upload the undergraduate transcript(s) and, if applicable, the previous graduate transcript. 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 Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics department unless requested. Please review the requirements set by the Graduate School for additional information about degrees/transcripts.


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).


Upload your resume in your application.


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. Letters of recommendation are due by the deadline listed above. 


GRE scores are optional. Applicants may submit GRE scores, but are not required to do so. Applications without scores are not placed at a disadvantage.  However, received scores will be considered as part of our holistic evaluation of applications.


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 submission must be accompanied by the one-time application fee. It is non-refundable and can be paid by credit card (MasterCard 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.


If you have questions, please contact


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.


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).


If you have questions, please contact

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

Offers of financial support from the Department, College, and University are in the form of research assistantships (RAs), teaching assistantships (TAs), project assistantships (PAs), and partial or full fellowships. Prospective PhD students that receive such offers will have a minimum five-year guarantee of support. The funding for RAs comes from faculty research grants. Each professor decides on his or her own RA offers. International applicants must secure an RA, TA, PA, fellowship, or independent funding before admission is final. Funded students are expected to maintain full-time enrollment.  See the program website for additional information.

Additional Resources


For information on International Student Funding and Scholarships visit the ISS website.

Minimum Graduate School Requirements

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

Major Requirements


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 typically take enough credits aimed at completing the program in a year or two.

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.


Minimum Credit Requirement 51 credits approved by the student's faculty advisor
Minimum Residence Credit Requirement 32 credits
Minimum Graduate Coursework Requirement 26 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 (
Overall Graduate GPA Requirement 3.00 GPA required.
This program follows the Graduate School's policy:
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 Ph.D. qualifying examination is required of all students.

After acceptance of the student’s doctoral plan of study, the student must take an oral preliminary examination.

Final oral examination is required at the end of the thesis work.
Language Requirements No language requirements.
Graduate School Breadth Requirements 1. All doctoral students are required to complete a doctoral minor or graduate/professional certificate. In consultation with, and approval by, the graduate faculty advisor/department, students should select one of the following options if they choose the minor:
• Option A (External Minor): Fulfillment of this minor requires approval of the doctoral minor program. This minor must be outside of the student’s doctoral major program.
• Option B (Distributed Minor): Fulfillment of this minor requires a minimum of 9 credits, total, from two or more departments outside the major in courses selected for their relevance to a particular area of concentration. No course below the 400 level may be used to satisfy this requirement.

2. All doctoral students are also required to complete a graduate faculty advisor/department approved non-technical minor. Please see the NEEP Graduate Handbook for information regarding the four options to complete the non-technical minor.

Required COURSES

Students must fulfill the coursework requirements for the nuclear engineering and engineering physics M.S. degree whether receiving the M.S. degree or going directly to the PhD. They must complete an additional 9 credits of technical coursework at the graduate level, beyond the coursework requirement for the MS. Candidates must take three courses numbered 700 or above; must satisfy the Ph.D. technical minor requirement; and must satisfy the PhD non-technical minor requirement.

The candidate is also required to complete, as a graduate student, one course numbered 400 or above in each of the following Areas: fission reactors; plasma physics and fusion; materials; engineering mathematics and computation (see Area Coursework Examples below).

M.S. Coursework Requirements

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 numbered 400 or above; remaining credits (also numbered 400 or above) must be in appropriate technical areas2; at least 9 credits must be numbered 500 and above; up to 3 credits can be seminar credits.

Non-Thesis pathway1: at least 15 credits of N E courses numbered 400 or above; remaining 15 credits (also numbered 400 or above) must be in appropriate technical areas2; at least 12 credits must be at numbered 500 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.


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.


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.

Area Coursework Examples

These courses are examples that would meet the requirement and are not meant to be a restricted list of possible courses. The candidate is required to complete one course in each of the following areas:

Fission Reactors
N E 405 Nuclear Reactor Theory3
N E 408 Ionizing Radiation3
N E 411 Nuclear Reactor Engineering3
N E/​MED PHYS  506 Monte Carlo Radiation Transport3
N E/​M E  520 Two-Phase Flow and Heat Transfer3
N E 550 Advanced Nuclear Power Engineering3
N E 555 Nuclear Reactor Dynamics3
N E/​M E  565 Power Plant Technology3
N E/​I SY E  574 Methods for Probabilistic Risk Analysis of Nuclear Power Plants3
Plasma Physics & Fusion
N E/​E C E/​PHYSICS  525 Introduction to Plasmas3
N E/​E C E/​PHYSICS  527 Plasma Confinement and Heating3
N E/​E C E  528 Plasma Processing and Technology3
N E 536 Feasibility St of Power from Controlled Thermonuclear Fusion3
N E/​M S & E  423 Nuclear Engineering Materials3
N E 541 Radiation Damage in Metals3
PHYSICS 551 Solid State Physics3
Engineering Mathematics & Computation
E P/​E M A  547 Engineering Analysis I3
E P/​E M A  548 Engineering Analysis II3
COMP SCI/​MATH  513 Numerical Linear Algebra3
COMP SCI/​MATH  514 Numerical Analysis3
MATH 703 Methods of Applied Mathematics 13

Non-Technical Minor Requirements

Ph.D. candidates must complete one of the following four study options prior to receiving dissertator status. As this is a formal Department requirement, the student should select a Non-Technical Minor early in the program, and must complete it to achieve dissertator status (see below). The Non-Technical Minor must be planned with the help of the candidate's advisor and must be approved by the Department NonTechnical Minor Advisor except for Study Option IV which must be approved by the Department faculty. A Non-Technical Minor Approval Form is available from the Graduate Student Coordinator, and must be filed prior to submission of the doctoral plan form. Courses numbered below 400 may be used as a part of the Non-Technical Minor.

Study Option I: Technology-Society Interaction Coursework. This option is intended to increase the student's awareness of the possible effects of technology on society and of the professional responsibilities of engineers and scientists in understanding such side effects. These effects could, for example, involve the influence of engineering on advancement of human welfare, on the distribution of wealth in society, or on environmental and ecological systems.

Suggested courses for fulfilling Option I include:

CIV ENGR 320 Environmental Engineering3
CIV ENGR 423 Air Pollution Effects, Measurement and Control3
ECON/​A A E  474 Economic Problems of Developing Areas3
GEOG/​URB R PL  305 Introduction to the City3-4
GEOG/​URB R PL  505 Urban Spatial Patterns and Theories3
HIST SCI/​MED HIST/​RELIG ST  331 Science, Medicine and Religion3

Study Option IIHumanistic Society Studies Coursework. The basic objectives of this option are to help prepare the student to bridge the gap between C.P. Snow's "Two Cultures." Snow’s 1959 lecture thesis was that the breakdown of communication between the "two cultures" of modern society - the sciences and the humanities - was a major hindrance to solving the world's problems. Study might be designed to give a greater appreciation of the arts such as the classics, music, or painting, or it might be designed, for example, as preparation for translating technical information to the non-technical public.

Suggested areas of study to fulfill Option II include Anthropology, Area Studies, Art, Art History, Classics, Comparative Literature, Contemporary Trends, English (literature), Foreign Languages (literature), Social Work, Sociology, and Speech. Under either Option I or II, the student must take 6 credits of coursework. The courses must be approved by the student's advisor and the non-technical minor advisor, and the 6 credits should be concentrated in one topical area. Grades in these courses need not meet the Departmental Grade Policy. However, note that all grades in courses numbered 300 or above courses (including grades for Non-Technical Minor courses) are calculated in the Graduate School minimum 3.0 graduation requirement.

Study Option III: Foreign Culture Coursework. This option is intended for the student who desires to live and work in a foreign nation or work with people of a foreign culture. Examples include studies of the history of a foreign nation, of the political stability of a region of the world, of the culture of a particular group within a nation, or of the spoken language of a foreign nation. For Option III the student must take six credits of courses under all of the same conditions and requirements as for Option I and II unless choosing language study. For the latter case, the student must attain a grade of C or better in all courses. If the student has previous knowledge of a language, it is required that either courses beyond the introductory level will be elected or that another language will be elected.

Study Option IV: Technology-Society Interactions Experience. There are many possible technology-society interactions that might be more educational and meaningful for the student as an actual experience than coursework. For example, the student might run for and be elected to a position of alderperson in the city government. Consequently, this option allows the student to pursue a particular aspect of the interaction using his own time and resources.

Study Option IV activity must be planned with the student's advisor and be approved by the faculty. The effort required should be equivalent to 6 credits of coursework. Upon completion of this program, the student will prepare a written or oral report.

Note: Students from countries in which English is not the native language have inherently fulfilled these non-technical study goals and are exempt from these formal requirements.

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 NEEP Graduate Studies Committee approval, students may use up to 15 credits of prior graduate coursework that led to a relevant MS degree. Alternatively, with advisor and NEEP 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 in courses numbered 700 or above. No credits can be counted toward the minimum graduate residence credit requirement. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral 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 in courses numbered 700 or above. Coursework earned ten years or more prior to admission to a doctoral degree is not allowed to satisfy requirements.


This program follows the Graduate School's Probation policy.


Each student is required to meet with his or her advisor prior to registration every semester.


15 credits

Time limits

The Ph.D. qualifying examination should be first taken no later than completion of the M.S. requirements, or the beginning of the fifth semester of graduate study, whichever comes first. Students entering the program with a master’s degree in E M A, E P or N E from another institution, and taking the qualifying exam in that same major, must take the exam by the beginning of their third semester.

Students must submit the doctoral plan of study one month before the end of the semester following the one in which the qualifying exam is passed.

Candidates are expected to pass the Ph.D. preliminary examination no later than the end of the third year of graduate study, or by the end of the second regular semester following the one in which the Ph.D. qualifying examination was passed, whichever is later. A candidate who fails to take the preliminary examination within four years of passing the qualifying examination must retake the qualifying examination.

An oral examination on the findings of the Ph.D. research is required at the end of the thesis work. The candidate must apply for a warrant from the Graduate School through the student services office at least three weeks before the exam.  The final oral examination must be taken within five years of passing the preliminary 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 Equity and Diversity 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 ( 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



Graduate School Resources

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

  1. Demonstrate an extraordinary, deep 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
  5. Demonstrate an ability to synthesize knowledge from a subset of the biological, physical, and/or social sciences to help frame problems critical to the future of their discipline
  6. Demonstrate an ability to conduct original research and communicate it to their peers



Paul Wilson (Chair)
Wendy Crone
Chris Hegna
Oliver Schmitz
Carl Sovinec
Kumar Sridharan


Adrien Couet


Stephanie Diem
Benedikt Geiger
Benjamin Lindley
Juliana Pacheco-Duarte
Yongfeng Zhang

See also Nuclear Engineering & Engineering Physics Faculty Directory.