Press Release  


Naval Academy Announces New Nuclear Engineering Major

Posted on: January 16, 2014 08:00 EST

Press Release #: #003-14

ANNAPOLIS, Md. – U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen can now pursue a Bachelor of Science in nuclear engineering. The new major in the Engineering and Weapons Division will be available beginning with the Class of 2017.

“Additionally, nine members of the Class of 2016 will take a sequence of courses to complete the new major, which will touch on fundamentals of nuclear power, radiation, and health physics,” said Martin Nelson, a mechanical engineering professor at the Naval Academy.

Midshipmen pursuing a degree in nuclear engineering will study nuclear propulsion, applications of radiological technology, and systems of nuclear powered ships and weapons. Upon the Class of 2017’s graduation, the American Board of Engineering Training will accredit the major.

Graduates of the Naval Academy nuclear engineering program have the opportunity to continue their careers in the Navy’s nuclear power program.

“Midshipmen will be prepared for nuclear power school and have the option to pursue a master’s degree through graduate study in most any engineering field,” said Martin. “Midshipmen will get a good fundamental engineering education from civilian staff and PMPs (permanent military professors). The major will not only offer theory but also real-world experience and provide a very strong analytical background and understanding of engineering principles.”

Nuclear engineering has been an integral part of the U.S. Navy since the launch and commissioning of USS Nautilus (SSN 571), the first nuclear powered submarine, in 1954. Each year approximately 15 percent of Naval Academy graduates enter nuclear fields, either in the submarine or surface warfare communities.

The Engineering and Weapons Division faculty encourage middle and high school students to attend one of the many summer seminars hosted at the U.S. Naval Academy to learn more about the new nuclear engineering major. More information about these summer programs can be found at

Founded in 1845, the U.S. Naval Academy today is a prestigious four-year service academy that prepares midshipmen morally, mentally and physically to be professional officers in the naval service.  More than 4,400 men and women representing every state in the U.S. and several foreign countries make up the student body, known as the Brigade of Midshipmen. U.S. News and World Reports has recognized the Naval Academy as a top five undergraduate engineering school and a top 20 best liberal arts college.  Midshipmen learn from military and civilian instructors and participate in intercollegiate varsity sports and extracurricular activities. They also study subjects like small arms, drill, seamanship and navigation, tactics, naval engineering and weapons, leadership, ethics and military law.  Upon graduation, midshipmen earn a federally funded Bachelor of Science degree in a choice of 23 different subject majors and go on to serve at least five years of exciting and rewarding service as commissioned officers in the U.S. Navy or U.S. Marine Corps.

For more information about the Naval Academy, please see or our Facebook page at



Back to top