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Doctoral (Ph.D) Program

In order to receive the Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering, all students must successfully complete the following three milestones: 

  • Required coursework: major and minor requirements
  • Departmental Exams: first year screening exams and the oral qualifying exam
  • Dissertation



All courses taken to fulfill the Ph.D. course requirements must be letter-graded.

Major Field Requirements

  • 6 Nuclear Engineering Courses, of which:
  • 4 courses must be graduate level (200) NE courses taken at UC Berkeley
  • All major courses must be taken for a letter grade
  • A minimum 3.5 GPA is required for all major courses

Outside Minor Requirements

  • Should be in a distinct technical area and named (e.g., "Numerical Analysis", "Heat Transfer", "Plasma Physics")
  • 3 upper division courses; or 1upper division course and one graduate level course
  • Consist primarily of courses from outside of the department
  • All outside minor courses must be taken for a letter grade
  • 6 unit minimum
  • A minimum 3.0 GPA is required

Second Minor Requirement

  • Can be in Nuclear Engineering
  • 2 courses, one of which must be a graduate level course.
  • Courses must be taken for a letter grade
  • 6 units minimum
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA is required


















For more information, see Guidelines and Procedures for Graduate Students


Departmental Exams:

Screening Exam

Students must pass a written screening exam during the first year in graduate study. This exam which is based on undergraduate radiation detection, nuclear materials, heat transfer and fluid mechanics, nuclear physics, neutronics, radioactive waste management and fusion theory. Four of the seven areas must be passed in order the pass the exam. There are two chances to pass.

Oral Exam

After completion of the coursework for the Ph.D. the student takes the Oral Exam. The content of the exam is usually a presentation of the student's research and questions relating the coursework in the outside minor. The exam committee is composed of 4 faculty members (normally three from the department, and a non-departmental faculty member who represents an outside minor.)


Ph.D. Dissertation

A dissertation on a subject chosen by the candidate, bearing on the principal subject of the student's major study and demonstrating the candidate's ability to carry out independent investigation, must be completed and receive the approval of the dissertation committee and the dean of the Graduate Division. The committee consists of three members, including the instructor in charge of the dissertation and one member outside the candidate's department.