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ORISE report shows nuclear engineering graduation rates on the rise in 2013
[March 03, 2014]

ORISE report shows nuclear engineering graduation rates on the rise in 2013

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. --(Business Wire)--

The number of college students graduating with majors in nuclear engineering continues to increase, according to a report by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. The report, titled Nuclear Engineering Enrollments and Degrees Survey, 2013 Data, includes degrees granted between September 1, 2012 and August 31, 2013.

According to the report, students graduating in 2013 with majors in nuclear engineering accounted for 655 bachelor's degrees, 362 master's degrees and 147 doctorate degrees. This is the highest number of degrees reported since 1984, 1980 and 1972, respectively.

"The nuclear renaissance is alive and well, but the challenge is making sure we have an adequate supply of nuclear engineering jobs for these graduates," said Dr. Eric Abelquist, ORAU executive vice president. "Slow economic recovery following the Great Recession in 2009 has dampened electricity demand and low natural gas prices make it a safer bet for utilities to build gas-powered units. Nuclear engineering graduates must be patient and persistent. The jobs will come, albeit more slowly than the nuclear industry had hoped."

ORISEsurvey data also showed:

  • Nuclear engineering enrollments in 2013 for undergraduate and graduate students were down 9 percent and 5 percent, respectively, when compared to 2012.
  • The number of students graduating with bachelor's degrees in nuclear engineering will likely decrease in 2015.
  • The number of graduate degrees is likely to remain within the same range in both 2014 and 2015.
  • The ORISE report also looked at post-graduation plans reported for 2013 graduates and concluded that most students tend to continue their studies as their next step upon completing their current degree program.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, health, education and national security. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages ORISE for DOE. Learn more about ORAU at

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