Nuclear Packaging Graduate Program

The Nuclear Packaging Graduate Program (NPGP) is an educational program that is part of the University of Nevada, Reno Mechanical Engineering Department. It was developed with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Packaging Certification Programs (PCP). It consists of

  • graduate courses that are taught by subject matter experts at DOE national laboratories;
  • internships-for-credit that early-career professionals and students perform at lab, agency or industry sites; and
  • graduate certificates in Nuclear Packaging and in Transportation Security and Safeguards.

The NPGP is closely related to the University's Nuclear Packaging Laboratory, which has conducted externally funded nuclear packaging research at the University since 1993. This website provides information needed by students who wish to enhance their skill by participating in the NPGP as well as by nuclear industry, labs and organizations that wish to use this program to train and advance their employees. 

Program Goals and Benefits

The goals of the NPGP are to help:

  • Professionals and university students gain skills and qualify for employment and advancement in the Nuclear Packaging, Transportation Security and Safeguards, and related industries by offering:
    • Courses that provide practical skills that support the engineering and management needs of the DOE, Packaging and Transportation Regulators — such as the U.S. Department of Transportation and Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) and the commercial nuclear industry
    • Graduate certificates based on completing a breadth and depth of coursework
    • Professional connections based on face-to-face interaction with experts who teach the courses and the cohort of students taking them
  • Commercial nuclear industry and government agencies, by:
    • Providing highly relevant continuing engineering and management training that allows them to recruit, train, retain and advance motivated employees
    • Helping to support their credibility with clients by having credentialed, well-trained and professionally connected employees conduct work

Courses, Internship Credit and Graduate Certificates

Radioactive Material Packaging (RAMPAC) University: Since 1986, the DOE Packaging Certification Program (PCP) has supported the following national laboratories to annually offer courses on nuclear packaging, transportation security and safeguards as well as related topics. 

The RAMPAC Packaging University website describes the course contents, schedules and locations. It also describes the national laboratory enrollment and fee payment processes. The Nuclear Packaging Graduate Program courses are divided into seven categories:

  • Safety Analysis Reports for Packaging (SARP) — for SARP regulatory reviewers, preparers and project managers
  • Package Design and Evaluation — for structural, thermal, containment, shielding and nuclear criticality safety
  • Package Operation, Use and Maintenance
  • Nuclear Quality Assurance (QA)
  • Nuclear Security
  • Safeguards
  • Other

University credit: Professionals and university students who enroll in RAMPAC Packaging University courses may earn University of Nevada, Reno graduate units by completing additional University of Nevada, Reno enrollment and fee payment processes (which are separate from the national lab processes), and successfully completing the courses. Students who earn a C grade or better may use these credits toward the 9-unit graduate certificates described below. (Students who are considering transferring these credits to another program or institution should check with that program first, as acceptance of credit is at the discretion of the accepting program or institution.)

The Enrollment and Progression Manual provides step-by-step instructions. Enrollment for a class must be completed before that course begins and requires several steps with waiting periods in between. Students need to begin the enrollment process at least a week before a class begins. Individualized registration and enrollment support is available at or (775) 784-6869. Fee assistance and academic advisement are available by contacting

Students who successfully completed Packaging University courses but were not able to enroll in the University class may contact

Credit for Internship Projects

Early career professionals and university students who are working in the nuclear packaging, transportation security and safeguards or related fields as employees or paid interns are eligible to earn 3 units of elective credits toward the graduate certificates described below by completing NP 640 - Nuclear Packaging Internships. This unique opportunity is a supervised independent use of engineering skills for professional project planning, performance, troubleshooting and communication, conducted under the guidance of a site supervisor and University faculty member. 

To host NP 640, an organization must identify an intern and one or more site supervisors. To qualify, the organization must submit the Learning Site Self-Assessment Form for review by the University Risk Management office and sign the University-Organization Agreement. Contact Joseph Bozsik at for the link to the assessment form and a copy of the agreement. Once the agreement is fully executed with the organization, each intern will be required to review and sign a Student Learning Agreement and a Waiver, Release, and Indemnification agreement and complete an online Sexual Harassment Prevention Training course. Interns then may enroll in NP 640, pay fees (see Enrollment and Progression Manual) and complete the course requirements. 

Graduate certificates

Compared to research-based graduate credentials, such as M.S. or Ph.D. degrees, graduate certificates are predominantly applied-knowledge-based and require less time or full-time commitment to complete. The Nuclear Packaging Graduate Program offers the following two 9-unit graduate certificates. Both certificates have 4 units of required coursework that take four weeks to complete at national laboratories. Students also choose five units of electives based on their individual needs and interests.

The graduate certificate curricula are designed to provide students with the depth and breadth of knowledge and skills needed, as subject matter experts, to solve complex and/or unanticipated problems and make them competitive for employment and advancement in related industries. Students who wish to earn one of the graduate certificates must enroll in that certificate program (see Enrollment and Progression Manual); 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 (see the Enrollment and Progression Manual). Students who wish to earn both graduate certificates may use 4 units from one to satisfy electives for the other. 

Additional Graduate Certificate Electives: The following three-unit courses, which are offered by the University’s Mechanical Engineering and Material Science & Engineering (MSE) departments, also may be used as electives for either graduate certificate. For more information on each class, see the 2023-2024 University General Course Catalog.

  • ME 672 - Introduction to Nuclear Packaging
  • ME 675 - Introduction to Combustion
  • MSE 601 - Corrosion of Metals
  • MSE 665 - Nuclear Power Fundamentals
  • MSE 666 - Nuclear Fuel Cycle
  • MSE 667 - Radiation Detection and Measurement
  • MSE 668 - Nuclear Materials

Credit Transferability

Credits earned through this program may be used toward either graduate certificate described on this page or any other program that accepts them. Students who are considering transferring credits to another university or program are advised to first check with that program or institution. Transferability is an option of the accepting institution. As an accredited institution, the University has a history of transferring credits to other universities. 

Program Quality

Academic Program Advisory Council: The NPGP currently is working with the DOE PCP to establish an advisory council that annually will use industry, student and other stakeholder input to assess the quality, effectiveness and relevance of the program course content and graduate certificate requirements. The council will make suggestions that the NPGP will use to assess and continuously improve the program.    

Student Complaints

This section outlines the process for any student complaints for the program.

  • Student complaints or concerns must first be addressed by working with the course instructor.
  • Students who are not satisfied with that step may email the program director at
  • Students who are not satisfied by that process may seek a remedy through the University’s comprehensive complaint process at the University’s student complaints page. The students who pursue this option each will receive an email from the Provost’s office as their complaints are processed.
  • If you feel your concern/complaint was not resolved to your satisfaction you may complete the Complaint Resolution Form which will be directed to the SARA portal agency in Nevada.

Nevada State SARA Portal
Terina Caserto
Senior Analyst, Academic & Student Affairs
Phone: (775) 784-3447
Nevada System of Higher Education
2601 Enterprise Rd
Reno, NV 89512

The decision of the Nevada State SARA Portal, Nevada System of Higher Education, is final.

For students residing in Tennessee:

Any person claiming damage or loss as a result of any act or practice by this institution that may be a violation of the Title 49, Chapter 7, Part 20 and Rule Chapters 1520-01-10 and 1520-01-02 may file a complaint with the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC), Division of Postsecondary State Authorization. THEC only investigates complaints that have exhausted an institution’s policy and that have not been resolved at the institution level. If you have any questions regarding the complaint process, you may contact Julie Woodruff at or (615) 253-8857. 
Request for Complaint Review

Tennessee Higher Education Commission
312 Rosa L Parks Ave. 9th Floor
Nashville, TN 37243