Nuclear Engineering

Discussion in 'Naval Academy - USNA' started by Candidate2019, Mar 11, 2015.

  1. Candidate2019

    Candidate2019 New Member

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    Hello! I've received an appointment to USNA and have a few questions about the nuke program. I am basically wondering if I major in nuclear engineering and then service select navy nuke and go to nuclear power school, do I learn anything different at one vs the other? And would majoring in nuclear engineering be redundant to the point that it might just be better for me to major in another engineering I'm interested in ( i.e. Aerospace) that way I would be more well rounded and possibly more valuable to the navy, and later more valuable to the civilian job market. Thanks in advance for any and all responses!
     
  2. MIHOSER

    MIHOSER Member

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    S graduated in May 2014, completed nuclear power school and is now in prototype.

    He told me that nuclear power school involved a lot of physics, which just happened to be his major.
     
  3. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    My room mate from USNA was a physics major, then was a VGEP student and got her Masters in Nuclear Engineering, then earned a PhD in Theoretical Physics from Oxford all by the age of 24. She is crazy smart. Oh yeah all on the Navy's dime by the way. Great deal. I asked her this question. She said major in what interests you the most. She said any engineering major or physics at USNA will have you well prepared for power school. Nuclear Engineering if I am not mistaken is fairly new at USNA. II bet there is alot overlap, but probably some different stuff that is much more ship related. If you can make it through USNA as an engineer, you can make it through power school. You don't have to make a decision now. When you get to USNA talk to upperclass. I know at the beginning that will seem like a crazy idea, but trust me they will talk openly when trying to decide majors and all kinds of things. They are there to help give advice and guide. There will be open houses to talk to professors also. Ask them all these questions. Seek out sub and Nuc surface officers on the yard, they can give you great perspectives on options in the Navy and outside from friends and colleagues who have transitioned out of the Service.
     
  4. Angie9715

    Angie9715 Member

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    Hey there! I'm also planning to major in Nuclear Engineering. (Haven't gotten my appointment/rejection from USNA yet, but let's hope it's an appointment!) I'm glad I'm not alone. I also have a question about the major: if I were to major in NE, but didn't want to go to nuclear power school (i.e. if I service selected Marines or SWO), could I do that? Or do all NE majors "have to" (or are they funneled into) nuclear power school?
     
  5. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    You can service select whatever you are qualified for. And when I service select, I mean list in order what you are qualified for. Is there a chance that you could get 'drafted' for subs. Sure, but that is true for a lot of Mids in a lot of majors who do well. They drafted for NFO this year too. Every year is different... Some years some Mids (ver small number) have been forced to subs or recently NFO. Major in what you want.
     
  6. COmom

    COmom Member

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    From hubby who was a nuclear engineer major at RPI (eons ago...) and then went to nuclear power school and on to subs. The classes you'll take as a nuclear engineering major at the Naval Academy will probably give you a better baseline of information than many of the other majors at USNA. The material presented at nuclear power school wouldn't be redundant because you're taking classes at a higher level than the undergraduate classes you would have had. The electrical engineers had an advantage on the EE areas, while as a nuc, he had an easier time with some of the basic nuclear material. Agrees that there is a fair amount of physics, but at a fairly basic level. This information is dated, so always best to talk to officers at USNA who've gone to nuclear power school recently. :)

    A word of advice--4 years can be a long time of academic study. Major in what interests you. You have time to decide what community you'd like to serve in and any major will prepare you for service in any community. Pick a major that has classes you'll enjoy or the academic year could seem longer and drier than it needs to be.
     
  7. Craig

    Craig Member

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    Pick a major you enjoy and one that will be of benefit after school and after navy life. EE, ME, etc. will likely be more marketable than a NE . You can be any major and go to Nuke school. Obviously, some will provide a better base to make it less difficult. And some will make it easier to get accepted. Going to Nuke School in itself will make you marketable in the nuke industry. EE and ME (and others) will likely make you more marketable outside the Nuke industry later if you decide you want to get away.
     
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  8. northstarfx

    northstarfx New Member

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    Congrats on the appointment Candidate2019! Our son is a current Plebe and he just declared his major -- Nuclear Engineering -- last week before spring break. He, too, was interested in other engineering disciplines (mechanical and aeronautical), but ultimately chose NE because he felt like it was the best overall fit for him in terms of studying what he loves the most. I agree with some of the other posters, insofar as you should study what interests you the most. You can DEFINITELY choose NUKES for your service selection even without an engineering major as every year there are a number of students from humanities who go NUKES. However, from our understanding, having an engineering degree will help with the math & physics studies while at Nuclear Power School.
     
  9. mb1395

    mb1395 Member

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    Just a heads up, nuclear engineering has numerous opportunities outside of the military. As our desire to be energy independent and more green grows, opportunities for nuclear engineers will also grow. Any sort of engineering background would set you up for work outside of the military.
     
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  10. NavyHoops

    NavyHoops Moderator

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    There are tons of jobs for Nukes. My room mate was a physics major at USNA and now has a PhD in Physics. Seriously, she is a genius. She was also a Nuke. She works for one of the government agencies doing Nuke stuff and loves it. Between the government, research labs, private corporations, there are tons of jobs for any nuke school grad. There are more jobs than those qualified from what I have seen. Bottom line is he doesn't declare his major at USNA until March timeframe. They hold open houses at USNA for majors. Upperclass, professors and officers on the yard will also help provide input. He has options and time once he even gets there to work through what he wants to major in. He can be an athlete and major in anything. Its hard and time is limited, but its no impossible. Athletes do it daily there. My best friend at USNA was a math major and did his masters in ops research. He does that for a living as a private consultant making bank. I have lots of friends who do all kinds of engineering work in every engineering field you can think of. Most of them are what you mention, management/supervisors where they use their leadership to lead teams and manage efforts. They aren't doing entry level engineering work, they get paid the big $ for their ability to tackle problems, plan, lead teams, think outside the box. I was a history major and did systems engineering for the past 10 years. You advice is right now. Major will not really influence career field. It can affect shore tours/B billets. For instance an engineer will have more options to work in R&D, testing, acquisition, Test Pilot School (for pilots) for shore tours. It also opens up the Engineering Duty Officer path if they want to do after their initial tours.
     
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