A place in the past and a stake in the future

Founded in 1959, the Oregon State University School of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) today boasts a global influence and is one of the top programs in the United States. We are known for our progressive research, large-scale test facilities, and industry and governmental partnerships. With students from around the globe; world-class faculty hailing from China, Iran, Slovakia, and the United States; and more than 1,100 alumni living and working in 13 countries, NSE is driving the future of nuclear science through engineering and health physics.


  • 1970 nuclear engineering doctoral graduate Paul Lorenzini was the president of Pacific Power & Light, chief executive officer of PowerCor Australia, and co-founder of NuScale Power. He was NSE's first nuclear engineering doctoral graduate. 
  • 2017 nuclear engineering doctoral graduate Tommy Holschuh was awarded the Idaho National Laboratory’s (INL) Deslonde de Boisblanc distinguished postdoctoral appointment
  • 2010 radiation health physics graduate Erienne Kriesch was in the first group of women to serve onboard a U.S. Navy submarine. She is currently a submarine warfare instructor and assistant professor of naval cience at The Ohio State University.



  • The nation's largest health physics program by number of graduates
  • #11 nuclear engineering program in the nation



  • FY 2017 marked the largest ever amount of research expenditures and grants awarded with $7.5 million in expenditures and $10.4 million in grants awarded.
  • 12 research partners in FY 2017 including the Deparment of Energy, NuScale Power, TerraPower, Idaho National Laboratory, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission   


  • NuScale Power—the first company to ever submit a small modular reactor design certification application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission—was launched out of NSE research in the early 2000s.
  • Oregon State University is one of five universities making up the National University Consortium (NUC) with Idaho National Laboratory.  The NUC furthers the nation’s nuclear energy objectives. 


Quick Facts (2016-2017)* 

By the numbers

  • 335 students
    • 208 undergraduates, 127graduate students
  • 12 tenured/tenure track faculty
  • 2 NEUP Fellowships awarded 
  • $7.5 million in research expenditures
  • $10.4 million in grants awarded
  • 12 research partners
  • 3 patents granted

*numbers are trailing year due to reporting nature. 

Degrees Offered

  • Nuclear Engineering: B.S., M.S., M.Eng., Ph.D.
  • Health Physics: B.S., M.S., M.H.P., Ph.D.

Research Areas of Emphasis

  • Nuclear thermal hydraulics and reactor safety
  • Nuclear security, nonproliferation, and nuclear safeguards
  • Radiation transport and reactor physics
  • Radiation detection and measurement
  • Radiochemistry
  • Radioecology


  • Hydro-Mechanical Fuel Test Facility
  • High Temperature Test Facility
  • Multi-Application Small Light Water Reactor Facility
  • Advanced Plant Experimental Test Facility
  • Advanced Nuclear Systems Engineering Laboratory 
  • Camera-Observed and Instrumented Loop Facility
  • 1.1 MW TRIGA Mark II Pulsing Research Reactor
  • Gamma and Alpha Spectrometry Laboratory
  • Laser-Imaged Natural Circulation Facility
  • High Performance Computing Cluster
  • Radioecology Research Laboratory
  • Laboratory of Transuranic Elements
  • Multi-User Counting Laboratory
  • Neutron Radiography Facility
  • Transient Reactor Test Loop (NEW)
  • Naval Reactor Test Loop (NEW)
  • Neutron Activation Facility
  • Endurance Flow Loop