The Catholic University of America

Final Project (6 credit hours)

Upon completion of all required courses, or with advisor approval, concurrent to the completion of the last two courses, students must complete a final project. Full-time students would typically complete the final project during the summer. Through the choices offered below, students are given the opportunity to highlight competencies developed in any technical, managerial, or regulatory field of nuclear environmental protection. In all cases, students will produce a written report on their final project. They will then present and defend their work and their general knowledge of the subject matter before a faculty committee in order to fulfill the requirements of the comprehensive exam. The written work and associated presentation will enhance the student’s familiarity with the subject as well as their communication skills.

The final project gives students the opportunity to participate in research related to the program or to work with a private company or a government entity, providing additional exposure to the nuclear industry and thereby facilitating integration into the work force.
Students may choose from the following options:
  • NEP 795 is a minimum 6-week full-time research project at VSL with a final report to be submitted and presented. Such research will likely be a small part of one of the various larger projects that are ongoing at VSL. The project will be performed under the guidance of the task project manager and the dissertation guidance adviser. While the student will receive all of the necessary supervision, it is also expected that the candidate will show a significant level of independent judgment.
  • NEP 796 is a 6-week minimum internship in the US nuclear industry or internationally with a final report to be submitted and presented. The internship program will be modeled after similar programs of collaboration between VSL and students in various disciplines at CUA as well as arrangements for visiting students from abroad. These programs have been very successful in leading students toward a successful career in the nuclear industry. Assistance will be offered in finding an internship position nationally or internationally.
  • NEP 797 is a topical research project (six weeks in guidance on a research a topic, write topical report, submit, and present. Alternatively, two semesters in guidance as a part-time student). Significant personal research (on a technical or regulatory aspect related to nuclear environmental protection) is expected for this project. A proposal must be submitted and approved by the advisor. The proposal must contain: a brief statement of the problem to be studied; the background or antecedents that have led the student to propose a study of this particular topic; a statement of the purpose of the proposed study; a description of the methodology to be used in the research; an explanation of the specific or unique contribution which this study would make to the field of knowledge under consideration; and a brief selected bibliography of the most important primary and secondary sources relevant to the study.
Where appropriate, students will be provided the opportunity to report their results in a peer reviewed journal or a conference presentation.