Nuclear Propulsion Officer (NUPOC)

Nuclear Propulsion Officer (NUPOC)


Program Authorization: U.S. Navy, Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate (NUPOC) program, designator 1170 (training-submarines) or 1160 (training-surface), officer candidate indoctrination and training for appointment as an ensign, leading to duty on a nuclear-powered submarine or surface ship.
A cumulative GPA of at least 3.0 is often required to be competitive for NUPOC as a line officer. There is no set minimum, and I was admitted with a GPA below 3.0. They also consider your ACT scores, college, and major. However, a lot truly depends on the number of applications.
Naval officers and enlisted personnel with specialized training in nuclear reactor operation and maintenance power the US Navy’s aircraft carriers and submarines make up the Nuclear Propulsion community. Currently the largest naval force in the world, the United States Navy operates over eighty nuclear-powered ships.

Nuclear Propulsion Officer (NUPOC)


In order to build a nuclear power plant, the United States Navy initiated research into nuclear power applications in 1946 at the Manhattan Project’s nuclear power-focused laboratory. The project was given to eight men. Among these guys was the “Father of the Nuclear Navy,” Admiral Hyman G. Rickover.

The Program for Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidates

The fundamental prerequisites for qualified college students and recent graduates to be selected for the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate program. The program results in an appointment as an Ensign on active duty in the United States Navy’s unrestricted line. On a surface ship or submarine propelled by nuclear energy, nuclear propulsion officers perform their duties.
When qualified, those chosen will enroll in the 12-week Officer Candidate School (OCS) in Newport, Rhode Island.
Those who choose surface ships (aircraft carriers) after OCS will proceed to Nuke School after completing their Surface Warfare qualification during a division officer deployment on a non-nuclear ship. Submarine volunteers go straight to Nuclear Power School, sometimes known as Nuke School.
The original Nuke School is located in Charleston, South Carolina, and offers classroom-based courses for 24 weeks. Following the academic component of Nuke School, students spend 26 weeks receiving practical training at one of the two Navy prototype reactors, which are situated in Ballston Spa, New York, or Charleston, South Carolina.

NUPOC Requirements

A US citizen is a requirement for applicants. At the time of commissioning, applicants must be at least 19 years old and not older than 29. If a person is able to commission before turning thirty-two, age waivers may be taken into consideration on an individual basis.

Nuclear Propulsion Officer (NUPOC)


All applicants must fit into one of the following groups, having fulfilled the prerequisites for, or be pursuing a bachelor’s degree at, a regionally accredited institution or university in the United States or its territories:


obtaining a bachelor’s degree in full. In order to participate in the interview process, graduates who are screened under this paragraph must consent to enlist under the Enlistment section below, if accepted by the Director, Naval Reactors, unless officially permitted by OPNAV N133 beforehand.

Students pursuing undergraduate degrees.

Obtain a bachelor’s degree, be enrolled full-time (if applying during a regular academic year), and be within 2.5 years of graduating. To be able to enlist for active duty prior to graduation, candidates who will need more than four years in a four-year curriculum or more than five years in a five-year curriculum will be screened individually. Candidates who are seeking two bachelor’s degrees are not permitted to finish one program before the other. If they meet the relevant educational requirements, applicants who were not chosen for an interview under this paragraph may reapply after completing at least one more academic year (two semesters or three quarters).

Following graduation.

Have finished their undergraduate studies and are now enrolled in a master’s program at a college or university in the United States or its territories that has received regional accreditation; they aim to complete their master’s degree within the next academic year. If a candidate cannot finish their master’s degree within the allotted period, they must drop out of college and enroll in the first OCS class that becomes available. Candidates seeking a master’s degree must enroll in Officer Candidate School (OCS) within a year after starting the program. If approved by the Director of Naval Reactors, postgraduate students who are screened under this paragraph must consent to enlist under the Enlistment section below.
“Curriculum” is defined as the whole period spent as an undergraduate for the purpose of determining eligibility; the month and year of the first bachelor’s degree(s) is regarded the completion date of that curriculum.
A degree completion plan from each candidate is required in order to validate the stated graduation date. Without the express consent of N133, candidates will not be permitted to extend their anticipated time in college, stop attending classes, move institutions, enroll in exchange programs, or alter their major.
A regionally accredited college or university must have offered the following extension courses or residency programs, which all candidates must have successfully completed:


One year of college calculus through differential and integral calculus of one real variable with a grade of “C” or better. This can be divided into two semesters, two trimesters, or three quarters. On an individual basis, exceptions to this criterion might be taken into consideration. There must be one semester, quarter, or term spent “in the classroom.”


one year (two semesters, two trimesters, or three quarters) of physics coursework at a college that uses calculus to teach the fundamental concepts of electricity, magnetism, and mechanics, with a grade of “C” or higher. On an individual basis, exceptions to this criterion might be taken into consideration. There must to be one semester, quarter, or term spent “in the classroom”.
Candidates will be deemed eligible if they completed the above advanced placement courses in high school, were granted permission by their college to validate these courses, and added a course beyond these requirements while in college. (Observe the “and” requirements.)
After enrolling in the NUPOC program, participation in a co-op or work study program will not be permitted if it will postpone the graduation date that was approved at the time of acceptance. In order to avoid a delay in graduation, candidates who opt to participate in a non-mandatory co-op or work studies program during the fall, winter, or spring terms must attend summer sessions. They must also make sure that the credits earned and the course loading during the summer will be equivalent to those from a regular fall, winter, or spring term.


Candidates must meet the physical requirements outlined in Department of Defense Directive 6130.3 and the Manual of the Medical Department, Chapter 15, as well as be aeronautically certified. Candidates must, both at the time of application and commissioning, meet the requirements for physical fitness, weight, and/or body fat percentage. Before being commissioned as a nuclear officer, program participants must fulfill the medical requirements for Ionizing Radiation and Nuclear Field Duty.


Upon acceptance by the Director of Naval Reactors, candidates will spend roughly a day in the Washington, D.C. area for an orientation program. Following orientation, applicants will choose from the following options:
Join the Navy Reserve as an Officer Candidate (OC) (E-6) and be placed on active duty.
If declared inactive prior to acceptance, enlist and be put in an OC (E-6) inactive Navy Reserve status.
After completing OCS, college graduates are expected to enlist in the Naval Reserve and be assigned to an active duty position as an OC (E-6) until they are commissioned.
Candidates may choose to postpone their option(s) for up to 30 days with OPNAV N133’s prior approval.
Unless they are below pay grade E-6, in which case they will immediately be advanced to E-6, active duty personnel of any Service and inactive Navy Reserve enlisted selectees for the NUPOC program will be brought on active duty in their current pay grade. It is necessary to discharge inactive individuals from another service, enlist as an OC (E-6), and assign them to active duty. Enlisted selectees will be directed, for administrative purposes, to the Navy Talent Acquisition Group (NTAG) closest to their college while they finish their coursework (or to the NTAG that handled the application for Graduate students awaiting OCS).
Upon referring a lead that results in an admission to the Nuclear Propulsion Officer Candidate, Nuclear Power School Instructor, or Naval Reactors Engineer programs, any candidate enlisted under this provision will advance one pay grade to E-7.

Nuclear Propulsion Officer (NUPOC)


After completing OCS, candidates will be commissioned as ensigns with the designations 1170 (training submarines) or 1160 (training surface) in the unrestricted line of the U.S. Navy. After commissioning and enrollment in the program, if a person no longer meets the physical requirements for submarine duty, he will be issued designator 1160 and made available for duty in the nuclear surface warfare program. If someone is determined to be physically unfit for work in the nuclear industry, they will be given a designator based on their preferences and the requirements of the Navy.

Active Duty Requirement

Five years after being put into service. Eight years of service are required in total. One may serve the remaining eight years of service in the Ready Reserve capacity.
Three years from the date of disenrollment plus a time period equivalent to the amount of time spent in nuclear propulsion training, if the person is removed as a commissioned officer from the program. The obligation time outlined in the first paragraph of this section applies if this period is shorter than the obligation stated in that paragraph.
Candidates who enlisted for active duty under the Enlistment section above who are disenrolled from the NUPOC program prior to commissioning for any reason other than physical will, as determined by Commander, Navy Recruiting Command and OPNAV N133:
After completing OCS, receive a commission as an Ensign in the United States Navy, with a designation based on the candidate’s preferences and/or the needs of the Navy. Upon appointment, serve for four years from the date of commissioning or the minimum service required for the new community’s training, whichever is longer. Paragraphs 2, 3, and 4 of this section shall apply in the event that a candidate is disqualified physically and is unable to complete OCS for any other reason.
Complete two years of enlisted active duty:
Inactive personnel from another Service who were promoted to pay grade E-6 and applicants who joined the program under the aforementioned Enlistment section will be administratively reduced to pay grade E-3 as undesignated seaman and will be required to attend Navy recruit training. The date of orders marks the beginning of the two-year active duty requirement. After completing basic training, no specialized Navy education will be permitted unless the student consents to prolong their active duty commitment in order to fulfill the training program’s service obligation criteria.
Inactive Naval Reserve candidates who were placed on active duty at pay grade E-6 or E-7 in accordance with the Enlistment section above, shall be administratively reduced to the pay gradethey held prior to entering the NUPOC program and an availability report will be initiated. The two-year active duty obligation commences on the date of the availability report.
Continue service under current enlistment contract. Candidates who entered the program under the Enlistment section above shall be administratively reduced to the pay grade they held prior toentering the NUPOC program and returned to their original detailer for further assignment.
Be discharged. The type of discharge and reenlistment code will be as determined by N133.

Individuals who are enrolled in the NUPOC program and are in active duty but are removed due to physical disqualification:
After completing OCS and receiving a designation that depends on their preferences and the needs of the Navy, the candidate may be discharged or, if preferred, kept on inactive duty for commissioning as an Ensign, United States Navy, if they are not physically fit for duty as a submarine officer or a surface officer with nuclear training.
The candidate may be made available for recruit training, returned to the original detailer for additional assignment (if joining the program under the enlisting section above), or released as ordered by N133 if they are physically qualified for enlisting but not commissioning.
If not physically qualified for commissioning or enlistment, the candidate will be discharged. The type of discharge and reenlistment code will be determined by OPNAV N133.

Salary and Perquisites

Under this program, personnel who are chosen, enlisted, and placed in an active duty position are entitled to full pay and benefits (excluding clothes maintenance allowance) at the time of placement. When members of the NUPOC program who are in this active duty position are disenrolled, they will be put in an inactive duty status, which will end their claim to full pay and benefits until they enroll in OCS or begin the active service commitment outlined in the Enlistment section above. Employees of NUPOC who are chosen and enrolled in this program and who were not authorized to be placed on active duty during the interview process may be enlisted, placed on active duty, and upon graduation receive full pay and benefits (except clothes maintenance allowance)


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