The University of New Mexico’s nuclear engineering program was recently ranked No. 20 in College Choice’s “25 Best Nuclear Engineering Degrees for 2016-2017.”

The poll cited UNM’s long history of being active in the nuclear engineering field and the fact that it is the only program of its kind in New Mexico and one of the few in the southwest and western United States. Also mentioned were the strong partnerships with nearby research facilities, such as Sandia National Laboratories, Los Alamos National Laboratory and the Air Force Research Laboratory, which gives students many opportunities to collaborate and work among professionals in the industry.

“This poll reflects what we’ve been seeing with our students and alumni, and what I’ve been witnessing when I talk to others in the nuclear engineering field around the country,” said Anil K. Prinja, professor and chair of the Department of  Nuclear Engineering. “There is a tremendous amount of excitement in our program and a greater level of awareness of what we are accomplishing at UNM.”

The Department of Nuclear Engineering has an enrollment of 90 undergraduates and 50 graduate students and 10 total faculty or lecturers, so students benefit from a low student-to-faculty ratio and many opportunities to get real-life work experience in the nuclear engineering discipline, such as through internships at the national labs and nuclear industry, Prinja said.

The College Choice survey is based on a variety of sources. One is the annual freshman survey published by the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA, where students rated academic reputation, financial aid offerings, and overall cost of school. The survey also took into account graduate success rates of the post-college job market, in addition to data from publicly-available sources, including U.S. News & World Report, the National Center for Education Statistics, and

College Choice is an independent online publication that publishes rankings and reviews of various programs, as well as resources to help students get into, pay for, and succeed at the college of their choice.