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VCU Adds Master's Degree Program
February 25, 2009

As interest soars in the potential of nuclear power to produce electricity without greenhouse gases, Virginia Commonwealth University’s (VCU) School of Engineering is rapidly expanding its curriculum to provide the next generation of nuclear engineers. Beginning in the fall of 2009, the VCU School of Engineering will launch a new program leading to a master’s degree in mechanical and nuclear engineering. Simultaneously, an undergraduate track in nuclear engineering will be added to the mechanical engineering program. Interest in the programs is strong both among prospective students, as well as currently enrolled students.

Nuclear power currently produces about 20 percent of the electricity in the United States. But across the country, more nuclear power plants are being proposed as the nation struggles to reduce the use of fossil fuels. The American Nuclear Society has estimated that 700 nuclear engineers need to graduate every year to support the potential demand. Currently, only about a third of that number is available.

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