Graduating one of the largest annual Nuclear Engineering classes in the country, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute consistently demonstrates its prowess in the field.


Rensselaer launched its plan for NE research in the late 1950s when the Atomic Energy Commission funded a project to construct a linear electron accelerator in 1958.  The NE Department was officially formed in 1960 and is one of the oldest such programs in the U.S.  The construction of the accelerator facility was completed in 1961 and the facility would soon be named after Professor Gaerttner who was instrumental in establishing NE at Rensselaer and who served as NE’s first departmental head.   Within a few years, the NE Department at Rensselaer awarded its first PhD degrees and then B.S. degrees.

At Rensselaer, concentrations are available in fission reactor physics, reactor engineering, health physics, thermal-hydraulics, reliability and safety, and fusion engineering. Boasting unique and state-of-the-art research facilities, Rensselaer students have access to a critical reactor, a large electron accelerator, and modern computer interfacing technology. With today's need for inexpensive sources of energy, Rensselaer nuclear engineering graduates are in great demand for positions in industry or graduate study. Additionally, there are exciting possibilities in space power propulsion, fusion reactor engineering, medicine, and national defense.

Exciting news for Prospective Students:

Graduate Teaching and Research Assistantships in Nuclear Engineering are available:  A total of 15 positions are anticipated for Fall 2013. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute invites applications for teaching and research assistantships leading to PhD degrees in nuclear engineering and science.  Due to rapidly expanding research portfolio by the program faculty, a total of 15 RA and TA positions are anticipated for the Fall 2013.  As the oldest engineering school in the U.S., RPI has a long history in nuclear engineering education and its top ranked nuclear engineering program covers nuclear fission and fusion engineering, electron accelerator physics and neutron physics, multiphase flow and reactor safety analysis, nuclear materials and fuel cycle, homeland security, and health/medical physics. For additional information, please visit the official announcement in our news section, or contact our program head, Dr. George Xu, at

NEUP and RPI Nuclear Engineering:

RPI's nuclear engineering program is one of the programs in the U.S. that are qualified for DOE scholarships ($5,000 one year for students entering their sophomore, junior, or senior year of undergraduate study) and fellowships ($50,000 a year over three years for graduate students). Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. More about NEUP.

Laboratory ExperienceNuclear_Engineering.html
Gaerttner Linear AcceleratorGaerttner_LINAC.html
Walthousen Critical ReactorWalthousen_RCF.html
Undergraduate ResearchStudents.html

The RPI NE Difference

TA and RA Positions in NENews_and_Media/Entries/2012/10/10_Graduate_Teaching_and_Research_Assistantships_in_Nuclear_Engineering_at_RPI%21.html
NEUP Offerings at RPI

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Check out our Senior Design teams and their projects online in advance of their End-of-Year presentations Friday May 8th