Nuclear Packaging Graduate Certificate Programs
The University of Nevada, Reno Mechanical Engineering (ME) Department’s Nuclear Packaging Graduate Certificate Programs consist of the following two 9-unit graduate certificates:
- Nuclear Packaging Graduate Certificate (NPGC), and
- Transportation Security and Safeguards Graduate Certificate (TSSGC).
The requirements for these certificates are found by clicking on the links at the bottom of this page.
Compared to research-based graduate credentials, such as MS or Ph.D. degrees, graduate certificates are more applied-knowledge-based and require less time to complete. Both certificates require 4 units of essential/required coursework, which involve four weeks to complete. Each also requires students to select 5 units of electives from a limited set of choices, based on their interests and needs. For enrollment and fees information, please see the Enrollment Manual for the Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging, and the Graduate Certificate in Transportation Security and Safeguards.
Course locations, schedule and registration
All the required courses and most of the electives for these programs were developed with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Packaging Certification Program (PCP). They are offered at these DOE national laboratories, over one- or two-week periods.
- Argonne National Laboratory, in Illinois
- Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, in California
- Los Alamos National Laboratory, in New Mexico
- Sandia National Laboratories, in New Mexico
- Savannah River National Laboratory, in South Carolina
The DOE PCP publishes the schedule and course fees for these national laboratory classes at its Packaging University website. Students who enroll, pay the lab fee and successfully complete a course may earn a certificate of completion from the lab offering the class. If students wish to earn University of Nevada, Reno graduate credit for a course, they must additionally enroll at University of Nevada, Reno (and pay a fee), pay a University of Nevada, Reno course fee, and successfully pass the course. Currently, there are 21 national laboratory courses plus an internship (described below) available for graduate credit. Students must complete the course enrollment process before the first day of class. This process involves several steps with waiting periods. Students should start the enrollment process one week before the class begins.
Students who wish to earn one of the graduate certificates must also enroll in that certificate program, complete each required and elective course with a C grade or better, and complete the full 9-unit curriculum in six years or less with an average grade of B or better. Students who do not enroll in a course during a semester must apply for a leave of absence for that semester.
The Enrollment Manual for the Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Packaging, and the Graduate Certificate in Transportation Security and Safeguards describes the full enrollment process.
Early career professionals and university students who are working in the nuclear packaging, transportation security and safeguards or related fields as an employee or paid intern are eligible to earn 3 units of elective credits toward the graduate certificates by completing NP 640 - Nuclear Packaging Internships. This unique opportunity is a supervised independent use of engineering skills for professional project planning, performance and communications, conducted under the guidance of a site supervisor and University of Nevada, Reno faculty member.
Program background and goals
The DOE Packaging Certification Program (PCP) has supported national laboratories to offer courses on various engineering and management topics related to Nuclear Packaging and to Transportation Security and Safeguards since 1986. Those courses have been taught by experienced subject-matter experts and taken by professionals from industry, government and national laboratories, from within and outside the United States. In anticipation of increased demand for these skills due to upcoming retirements and industry growth, the DOE PCP supported the University of Nevada, Reno Mechanical Engineering Department to develop graduate curricula. These curricula are designed to provide a depth and breadth of knowledge and skills to train the next generation of well-prepared professionals.
In 2016, the Nuclear Packaging Graduate Program began offering the two unique graduate certificates described earlier, for professionals and university students. They incorporated proven content of the existing courses as well as new material.
The goal of the program is to motivate new and experienced engineers and managers to obtain a depth and breadth of skills in the areas of Nuclear Packaging and Transportation Security and Safeguards. To do this, the program intends to:
- Help professionals and university students qualify for employment and/or advancement in the industry by giving:
- Practical nuclear packaging skills that support the engineering and management needs of the U.S. Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, National Nuclear Security Administration, and nuclear industry.
- Professional contact with the experts who teach program courses, and the cohort of students taking them.
- University credentials from the University of Nevada, Reno, whose research and graduates in this area are well-known to the nuclear industry.
- Help nuclear industry and agencies:
- Identify, recruit, train, retain and advance motivated employees.
- Gain credibility with clients by hiring well-trained and well-connected employees.