Interested Students

Refer to the following sections:

Program Requirements

Applications for the NEP are processed through the Department of Mechanical Engineering. In general, the Nuclear Engineering Program requires that applicants:

  • have a minimum TARGET grade point average of 3.2/4.0, or better for either the B.S. degree program or in the last 60 hours of course work
  • GRE TARGET scores are:
    • 150, verbal
    • 155, quantitative
    • 4.5, analytical
  • students whose native language is not English, must also take the internet-based TOEFL, IELTS, or have COMPLETED a degree from an English speaking institution.
  • Minimum TARGET scores:
    • 105, total
    • 26, Reading and Speaking areas

Final admissions decisions are made based on a holistic evaluation of a candidate's application materials; research experience and the three letters of recommendation are a significant part of the evaluation of the application.

The Nuclear Engineering Program and the Department of Mechanical Engineering process applications on a rolling basis. However, to be given full consideration for admission and assistantships/fellowships, complete application materials must be received by:

  • January 15th, for the Fall Term
  • October 1st, for the Spring Term

All application materials should be received by the deadlines for admission. Please be aware that the Graduate School has different application deadlines. Refer to their website for those deadlines and submit your application to meet the earlier of the deadlines. The online application and additional information about requirements and how to apply may be found on the Graduate School website and on the Mechanical Engineering website.

Applicants are encouraged to contact faculty members whose research areas most interests them by sending a resume and a cover letter via e-mail.

Depending on desired degree path, there may be different requirements. See below for additional information:

Direct Ph.D

For those students possessing a Bachelor's degree (but not an advanced degree), graduation from an accredited college or university or its equivalent, with an undergraduate overall grade point average (GPA) exceeding 3.5 ("A" = 4.0) is required. It is expected that exceptional undergraduate students would have a higher success rate in completing the Ph.D. program. If an undergraduate student has a GPA lower than 3.5, that student should apply instead to the Master's degree program. This 3.5 GPA requirement exceeds the Mechanical Engineering department requirement of a 3.2 GPA and the University requirement of a 3.0 GPA. In addition, the most competitive applicants will have an undergraduate degree in nuclear engineering, or have an emphasis or minor in nuclear engineering. However, other relevant science and engineering disciplines will also be considered.

Master' to Ph.D

For those students already possessing a Master's degree, a graduate-level grade point average of at least 3.2 is required. This is consistent with the Mechanical Engineering department policy, but exceeds the University requirement of a 3.0 GPA. In addition, the most competitive applicants will have a Master's degree in nuclear engineering, or have a graduate certificate or significant course work in nuclear engineering. However, other relevant science and engineering disciplines will be considered for top applicants with the understanding that it may take an extra year to complete the Ph.D. degree requirements to make up for the missing core background.

Application Package Requirements

If all materials submitted with the online application are clearly legible, the Nuclear Engineering Protram does not require hard copy materials. It is highly recommended that you keep hard copies of all materials that you have submitted, since applications and supplemental information cannot be retrieved or altered once they are submitted.

Complete departmental applications consist of:

  1. Undergraduate Transcripts - Front and back scans of official transcripts are required. Once the application is complete, a final official transcript should be mailed directly to the Graduate School in a sealed envelope.
  2. Graduate Transcripts - If applicable, front and back scans of official transcripts are required. Once the application is complete, a final official graduate transcript should be mailed directly to the Mechanical Engineering Department in a sealed envelope.
  3. Letters of Reference - Three letters of reference are required. On-line references are preferred; however, if the online reference form is not used, references should be mailed in sealed envelopes directly to the Mechanical Engineering Department.
  4. GRE/TOEFL Scores - Self reported scores can be used for the evaluation process until official scores arrive to the Graduate School from the Educational Testing Service. GRE scores should be less than two years old. Please see the Graduate School website for information on how to report scores to Virginia Tech.

After filling out the online application, hard copy references should be sent in one large envelope to:

Nuclear Engineering Program
Department of Mechanical Engineering, MC 0238
Graduate Coordinator
100A Randolph Hall
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Online Supplemental Materials

  1. Resume - 1 page preferred.
  2. Statement of Purpose - 2 pages, maximum.
  3. Publications - if applicable.

Additional Application Notes

Please do not send e-mails requesting advice on your chances of acceptance, as we do not have the staff to review these requests. Out of professional courtesy to other universities, we do not accept mid-program transfers without a letter of release from the current advisor and or department head. You will be able to view the status of your application on the Banner website. For your protection, information on application status cannot be release by telephone or to third parties. The ME Department and the NEP can only recommend admission. Official notification from the Graduate School will be sent by postal mail. Estimated date for decisions to be posted for applicants in the US is March 15th for complete applications received by January 15th. Estimated date for decisions to be posted for applicants outside the US is May 15th for complete applications received by January 15th. Please be aware that the online status only indicates if the application is complete at the VT Graduate School, not necessarily with the Department or Program.

This list of frequently asked questions may prove useful.