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Implementing A Service Introductory Course In Nuclear Science And Engineering

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.297.1 - 4.297.5

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Paper Authors

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Brian Hajak

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2477

Implementing A Service Introductory Course in Nuclear Science and Engineering

Brian K. Hajek The Ohio State University, Nuclear Engineering Program


As a graduate only program at The Ohio State University, the Nuclear Engineering Program has only a single undergraduate course on its books that can be taught at the junior and senior level. Other courses in the graduate curriculum are available to seniors who have had the undergraduate course, Introduction to Nuclear Science and Engineering . In the past several years, enrollment in this course has dwindled to the point where it was canceled for one quarter just two years ago, and had only 12 students enrolled during two offerings in the 97-98 academic year. This paper describes the reincarnation of this course to make it compelling for students not planning to major in nuclear engineering, and then the advertising that has proven effective to significantly increase enrollments. Success is currently being measured by having 21 students enroll for Fall 1998 and 28 students enroll for Spring 1999. The goal for the 98-99 academic year was to serve 50 students. The goal for future years is to serve a minimum of 100 students, teaching the course twice per year.


Nuclear Engineering at The Ohio State University is a graduate only program. However, we strongly encourage honors students to enter the program as college seniors, participating in a BS/MS combined degree program. Also, we have made an "option program" available to undergraduates who have room to take as many as 15 quarter hours in a concentrated technical elective area. For years, the first course in these programs has been a mildly rigorous Introduction to Nuclear Science and Engineering course that stressed reactor design through one-group diffusion theory and basic thermal hydraulics, an introduction to radiation interactions, and an introduction to health physics principles.

Enrollment in this introductory course has steadily declined over the past several years to the point where it was too low for faculty to receive full credit for teaching the course. (A minimum enrollment of 12 students is required for full credit in a junior/senior level course. Extra credit is given for courses with over 30 students.) The course is scheduled for fall and spring quarters. Enrollment was so low for Spring 1997 that the course was canceled. In fall of 1997, enrollment was only eight students. Something needed to be done, especially when enrollment for Spring 1998 was only four students.

Rather than cancel the course for the second spring offering in a row, our faculty proposed to teach the course while redesigning it in real time. In later quarters, the course would then be offered more as a service course throughout the University to teach the principles of nuclear

Hajak, B. (1999, June), Implementing A Service Introductory Course In Nuclear Science And Engineering Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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