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Nuclear Nonproliferation Science and Policy

Graduate Certificate

Study nuclear nonproliferation from the perspectives of the social sciences as well as engineering.


Government, private and academic sectors need people skilled in understanding both the science that enables nuclear nonproliferation regimes and the policies that create and support those regimes. NC State’s Graduate Certificate in Nuclear Nonproliferation Science and Policy prepares professionals to meet this need. The 12-credit-hour program is offered jointly by NC State’s Departments of Political Science and Nuclear Engineering.

You will develop an in-depth understanding of the technical and policy challenges involved in developing and implementing robust international nuclear nonproliferation regimes. Coursework includes assignments designed to reinforce subject matter understanding; class projects covering such key areas as proliferation case studies and physical security simulations; and interactions with subject matter experts in nuclear nonproliferation technology and policy.


Students identify and take four courses (12 credit hours) to earn the certificate — generally, two courses in political science and two in nuclear engineering. Many courses are offered online. All courses must be NC State courses; transfer credits are not accepted. The certificate program director reviews and approves student study plans.

  • Note: The certificate must be completed in four years or less. Credit for eligible courses taken before Fall 2017 will be accepted provided the courses were taken within four years of program completion.
  • NE 501: Reactor Analysis and Design (Spring)
  • NE 504: Radiation Safety and Shielding (Fall)
  • NE 505: Reactor Systems (Spring)
  • NE 512: Nuclear Fuel Cycles (Fall)
  • NE 520: Radiation and Reactor Fundamentals (Fall)
  • NE 521: Principles of Radiation Measurement (Fall)
  • NE 541: Nuclear Nonproliferation Technology and Policy (Spring)
  • NE 723: Reactor Analysis (Fall)
  • NE 751: Nuclear Reactor Design Calculations (Fall – odd years)
  • NE 770: Nuclear Radiation Attenuation (Fall – even years)
  • NE 795: Characterization of Special Nuclear Material (Spring – even years)
  • PA 507: The Public Policy Process (Spring)
  • PS 531: International Law (Spring)
  • PS 533: GLobal Problems and Policies (Spring)
  • PS 539: International Political Economy (Fall)
  • PS 560: Nuclear Nonproliferation Policy and Process (Spring)
  • PS 561: Nuclear Weapons Strategy and Proliferation (Fall)
  • PS 598: Science, Technology, and International Security (Fall)

Admission Info

This certificate program is open to degree-seeking students at NC State, students at other higher education institutions and post-graduate professionals seeking to expand their education credentials. 

Applicants must hold a bachelor’s degree. Certificate students must meet prerequisites for all certificate courses they enroll in. Both Non-Degree Studies (NDS) and NC State degree-seeking students are accepted to this certificate program. Current NC State degree students should contact the program director for application information.


This certificate program is an excellent opportunity for you to expand your education in the science and policy of nuclear nonproliferation and contribute to implementing international nonproliferation regimes. 

  •  U.S. Army’s Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction Agency
  •  American intelligence agencies
  •  The State Department
  •  The Defense Department
  •  The Center for Global Security Research at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 
  •  International governmental and nongovernmental organizations


William Boettcher
Associate Professor