Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering

Grainger College of Engineering


What is Nuclear, Plasma, and Radiological Engineering?

This major focuses on how sources of nuclear energy and radiation are developed and used. Many of the exciting applications of this major are in energy production, materials processing, and science. This degree is also relevant for biomedical and industrial fields. In your classes you will think about the big picture of energy production and consumption. You’ll study radiological technology, risk assessment, and analysis. In this major, you can learn how to ensure homeland security through detection technology. Our program is also a good fit for students interested in current and developing fission and fusion technology. With this degree, you can learn how to make computers, cell phones, and game consoles better, cheaper, and faster.

Career Options

  • Controls & control systems
  • Energy policy & security
  • Fusion energy
  • Government & state regulations
  • Health physics
  • Materials performance & processing
  • Medical diagnostics & therapy
  • Microelectronics
  • Nuclear & medical instrumentation
  • Power plant design, supervision operations, & safety
  • Waste management

Post-Graduation Success1

89% employed or continuing education

53% employed after graduation

36% attending graduate school

$63,686 average starting annual income

Sample employer destinations: Exelon, Entergy, Exelon Generation View All

Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Wisconsin-Madison, University of California, Berkeley View All

Review Criteria

First-Year Major-Specific Criteria

  • Strong math and science coursework and performance
  • Calculus preferred and physics expected (if available at high school)
  • Strong teamwork and interpersonal communication skills
  • Interest in improving society through engineering
  • Demonstrated understanding of and interest in the engineering major selected

View All Review Criteria

Transfer Criteria

Transfer Guide

Graduation & Retention2

4.1 years to degree

96% first-year retention rate

56% four-year graduation rate

80% six-year graduation rate

Annual Program Costs3

Illinois Resident

  • Tuition: $17,976
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,222
  • Total: $41,126


  • Tuition: $39,736
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses:$18,562
  • Total: $63,226


  • Tuition: $42,868
  • Fees: $4,928
  • Expenses: $18,562
  • Total: $66,358