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Nuclear Science and Engineering Minor Program

The undergraduate minor program of study in Nuclear Science and Engineering at FVSU is sponsored by U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and is open to all undergraduate students majoring in STEM fields including Biology, Chemistry, Computer Science and Information Systems, Electronic Engineering Technology, and Mathematics.

The primary objectives of this program are to:

  • Educate undergraduate students in fundamentals of nuclear science and engineering field through offering a program of study in this field and engaging students in laboratory based hands-on activities
  • Establish a basic Nuclear Science and Engineering lab to support the curriculum of the program
  • Offer online courses related to this program by designing a Web site that will serve as a virtual center for the nuclear energy resources at FVSU
  • Establish a basic undergraduate research program by engaging students in small-scale applied engineering and nuclear science projects on FVSU campus
  • Increase student awareness about the educational and career opportunities in nuclear science and engineering fields
  • Recruit students, particularly minorities, to pursue higher education in the fields related to nuclear science and engineering

The curriculum of the minor program includes the following courses:

  1. MATH 1154: Calculus 1 (4 credit hours)
  2. NSEN 2143/BIOL 2143: Introduction to Health Physics (3 credit hours)
  3. NSEN 3333/BIOL 3333: Principles of Health Physics and Radiation Protection (3 credit hours)
  4. NSEN 3400/CHEM 3400: Nuclear Science and Engineering I (4 credit hours)
  5. NSEN 3500/CHEM 3500: Nuclear Science and Engineering II (4 credit hours)

Students may take the above courses as their major/free electives. NSEN 3400, NSEN 3500, NSEN 2143, and NSEN 3333 are cross-listed with CHEM 3400, CHEM 3500, BIOL 2143, and BIOL 3333, respectively. The cross-listed courses could be served as major electives for Chemistry and Biology majors.

Outcomes of the Minor Program

After completing the requirements of this minor program, students will be able to:

  • Employ mathematical, scientific, and engineering principles to nuclear and radiological systems.
  • Conduct basic experiments and simulations on nuclear and radiological processes
  • Recognize the biological effects of radiation and typical radiation safety practices
  • Demonstrate proficiency in current issues concerning nuclear energy
  • Work productively in an area of nuclear science.
  • The program of study in nuclear science and engineering program includes the following 4 course:

    NSEN 2143/PHYS 2143/BIOL 2143: Introduction to Health Physics (3 credit hours)
    Prerequisite: NONE
    Students will learn the basic concepts of health physics through a descriptive overview of everyday exposure of people to ionizing and non-ionizing radiation. You would to gain an understanding of principles associated with radiation science and safety. The fundamentals of radiation science and safety including interactions of radiation with matter, radiation quantities and protection standards, dosimetry, radioactive decay, and biological effects of radiation will be discussed.

    See Course Syllabus

    NSEN 3333/PHYS 3333/BIOL 3333: Principles of Health Physics and Radiation Protection (3 credit hours)
    Prerequisite: PHYS 2211/2212
    Students will learn the fundamentals of atomic and nuclear structure, basic quantum mechanics, radioactivity and decay kinetics. You will gain an in-depth understanding of charged particle interactions, neutron interactions and shielding. This course will serve as a foundation for future training in health physics.

    See Course Syllabus

    NSEN 3400/CHEM 3400: Nuclear Science and Engineering I (4 credit hours)
    Prerequisite: MATH 1113
    Students are introduced to fundamental concepts of various types and sources of energy, atoms and nuclei, radioactivity, nuclear processes, radiation and materials, fission and fusion, nuclear reactors, and nuclear power. Additionally, through laboratory activities, students gain hands-on experiences with detection and measurement of nuclear radiations and their properties.

    See Course Syllabus

    NSEN 3500/CHEM 3500: Nuclear Science and Engineering II (4 credit hours)
    Prerequisite: NSEN 3400 or CHEM 3400
    Students explore the fundamentals of nuclear reactor theory, time-dependent reactor, heat removal methods from nuclear reactors, radiation protection, and radiation shielding. Through laboratory hands- on activities using nuclear power plant simulation software systems, students examine the steady state and transient behaviors of major components of a typical nuclear power plant. Additionally, students conduct the simulation of reactor core meltdown and sudden shutdown cases.

    See Course Syllabus

  • The courses of the minor program could be taken as free and/or major elective courses:

    • NSEN 3400 and 3500 are cross-listed with CHEM 3400 and CHEM 3500 and would serve as major electives for chemistry majors
    • NSEN 2143 and NSEN 3333 are cross-listed with BIOL 2143 and BIOL 3333 and would serve as major electives for biology majors

    Please note that Calculus I is a required course for all STEM majors at FVSU and would therefore automatically satisfy one of the course requirements of the minor program.

    Lastly, students may take any course of interest to them in the minor program without having to formally complete the program, though we strongly encourage you to get this minor.


    Nuclear engineers research and develop the processes, instruments, and systems used to derive benefits from nuclear energy and radiation. As a nuclear engineer, you would design, develop, monitor, and operate nuclear plants to generate power. You could also work on the nuclear fuel cycle—the production, handling, and use of nuclear fuel and the safe disposal of waste produced by the generation of nuclear energy—or on the development of fusion energy. You may even specialize in the development of nuclear power sources for naval vessels or spacecrafts.


    With a basic understanding of nuclear science, you will have many career opportunities:

    • Energy and Power Industries - You can join power producing plants and contribute to the production of clean energy
    • National Laboratories - You could work with scientists in national laboratories to develop and design the next generation of nuclear reactors and fuels.
    • Pharmaceutical and Medical Industries - You could be employed in medical and pharmaceutical companies and design radiation techniques to combat cancer and other diseases
    • Defense and Government - You might even want to pursue careers in defense and governmental organization and contribute to safeguard of nuclear systems.


    Nuclear engineers earn median annual wages of $96,910. The highest 10 percent earn more than $140,140, the lowest 10 percent earn below $66,590, and the middle 50 percent earn between $81,460 and $114,990. For nuclear engineers just starting out, the average salary is $61,610, which is one of the highest starting salaries among college graduates with bachelor’s degrees. Good employment opportunities are expected for nuclear engineers because only a small number of graduates with the proper skills will be available for job openings in the field in future.

  • The Nuclear Engineering and Science Laboratory has been established to support the lab component of the two course sequence (NSEN 3400 and 3500)

    This lab includes 12 computers equipped with simulation software systems (PCTRAN) and radiation detection hardware (GEIGER-MULLER PROBE and RADIATION COUNTER)

  • Dr. Masoud Naghedolfeizi
    (Principal Investigator)

    Dr. Masoud Naghedolfeizi (Feizi) is a senior Professor of Computer Science who has served Fort Valley State University for over fifteen (15) years. His academic background includes a B.S. in mechanical engineering with minor in instrumentation and control, an M.S. in Metallurgical engineering, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering. Dr. Naghedolfeizi has extensive knowledge of Instrumentation and Measurement Systems, Experimental Analysis, Control Systems, Artificial Intelligence, and Information Processing. Professor Feizi can be reached at (478) 825-6612 or

    Dr. Sanjeev Arora
    (Co-Principal Investigator)

    Dr. Sanjeev Arora has served Fort Valley State University for twenty (20) years. He is a professor of physics and holds a B.Sc. (Honors) and M.Sc. degree in physics from University of Delhi, India, and a M.S. and Ph.D. degree in physics from University of Delaware. Dr. Arora’s research interest is experimental atomic physics and he is well-versed in the use of the van de Graaff accelerator, scalars, MCAs, and other physics instrumentation. He has been instrumental in acquiring, through various grants, computers, and software for the physics laboratory at FVSU. Professor Arora can be reached at 478 825-6981 or

    Mr. Nabil Yousif
    (Key Perssonel)

    Professor Nabil Yousif is a tenured Associate Professor of Computer Science at FVSU. He holds the BS and MS degrees in Computer Science and has taught several computer science courses at our institution for the past fifteen (15) years. His has previously worked as an RF Design and Network Optimization Support Engineer and as a Senior Programmer/Analyst. Professor Yousif can be reached at 478 825-6921 or

1005 State University Drive • Fort Valley, GA 31030 • 478-827-FVSU

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