Doctorate in Nuclear Engineering Program

The Nuclear Engineering Program (UNEP) offers Ph.D. degrees to students who come from diverse backgrounds within the fields of engineering and science.  Students can be admitted into the Ph.D. degree (MS to Ph.D. degree) or Direct Admit Ph.D. degree (BS to Ph.D. degree).    

Students are required and expected to meet graduation requirements for both department and Graduate School policies.
UNEP Handbook
Graduate School’s website  

Requirements for Ph.D. degree:

  • Submit forms prior to the deadline, meeting degree requirements as outlined in the Handbook.
  • Coursework:  Outlined in the Nuclear Handbook.
  • Grades:  Maintain a minimum 3.0 or higher GPA in graduate coursework (Coursework cannot be taken as CR/NC).  Only one ‘C’ or ‘C+’ can be counted for the degree.  Students with gpa below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. 
  • Transfer Credits:  No more than six transfer credits (with B or better grade) can be used if approved by the student’s supervisory committee and not applied toward another degree.  See department advisor for additional information. 
  • Ph.D. Residency Enrollment:  At least one year must be spent in full-time academic work at the University of Utah.
  • Continuous Registration:  Students take a minimum of one course each semester from formal admission through degree completion unless a Leave of Absence is approved. International students are ineligible for a Leave of Absence and must maintain full-time registration.
  • Supervisory Committee:  consists of five voting members, with a minimum of two UNEP core faculty.
  • Exams:  Qualifying Written Exam, Qualifying Oral Proposal Presentation, and Final Defense.
  • Six years maximum time limit allowed to complete the Ph.D. degree. 

Ph.D. beyond a MS degree:

  • Coursework and publications as outlined in the Handbook.

Ph.D Direct Admit (beyond a BS degree):

  • Coursework and publications as outlined in the Handbook.
  • M.S. degree granted after completion of at least 30 hours of coursework, successful completion of the qualifying exam, and submission of one peer-reviewed first-author paper from a journal approved by the committee.
  • A minimum of 2 peer-reviewed papers submitted prior to scheduling your Ph.D. defense.
  • Review after 1st year for continuation on Direct Admit track.
Registration ApprovalDue prior to each semester: Submit for permission codes needed to register.
Student Performance Review Due with each fall and Spring Registration Approval Form for all students on funding.
Curriculum Development PlanDue prior to end of first semester. This form creates the supervisory committee and creates a tentative plan to graduate.
Change of CommitteeSubmit only if a committee member needs replacing.
Qualifying Written Exam

Oral Research Proposal
Due 4th semester of graduate study (and no later than end of third year).

Due beginning of 5th semester, presented to faculty committee and students.
Ph.D. Program of Study *Due semester before graduation, although suggested to complete once classes are complete.
Direct Admit Ph.D. students complete the Milestone MS requirements on this form.

*If any courses changed from Ph.D. Curriculum Development Plan to those listed on the Ph.D. Program of Study, attach a typed description of those changes for committee to review/sign.
Final DefenseStudents must be registered for a minimum of 3 credits the semester defending. See Defense Form for scheduling.
Graduation ApplicationDue to Office of Registrar the semester before graduation.
College of Engineering Guidelines
Letter of Recommendation Release Form