|Major Code: 8233
||Degree Awarded: Master of Science
|Delivery Mode(s): Classroom
||Age Restriction: No
|Admission Status: Graduate
||Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne, Patuxent, Lakehurst
|Admission Materials: GRE
The Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering seeks to expand student knowledge, skills, ability and competency in the field of aircraft flight testing. Flight test engineering views the aircraft design problem from the perspective of evaluating the performance of an existing aircraft, rather than from the perspective of designing an airplane to meet performance specifications.
The core courses teach the engineer how to test an aircraft safely, measure aircraft performance and determine its flying qualities. The program teaches students the necessary measurement techniques, instrumentation, and the data analysis methods required to collect and reduce flight test data to standard atmospheric conditions, expand the results for publication in pilot operating handbooks, and for use in improving the design of future aircraft.
Elective courses provide advanced graduate instruction in fundamental disciplines pertinent to the flight test engineer, such as structural dynamics, propulsion, aerodynamics, stability and control, signal processing, radar, communications and engineering project management.
Additionally, the program teaches students how to test and evaluate the aircraft’s various mechanical and electrical subsystems including propulsion, structure and avionics.
An applicant should have an undergraduate major in a field related to aerospace engineering. Applicants whose bachelor’s degrees are in other fields are normally required to take some undergraduate coursework in addition to the program described below, as determined by the department head. Applications are also invited from graduates with undergraduate degrees in the physical sciences or mathematics. In these cases, at least one year of undergraduate coursework in aerospace or mechanical engineering is normally required before starting the master’s program. In evaluating an international application, due consideration is given to academic standards in the country where the undergraduate studies have been performed. Master’s applicants should take the GRE (general test only). Applicants from foreign countries must meet the same requirements as applicants from the United States.
General admission requirements and the process for applying are presented in the Academic Overview section.
The Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering is offered with both thesis and nonthesis options requiring a minimum of 30 semester credit hours of coursework. Up to six credit hours of thesis may be included in the 30-credit-hour requirement. Before completing nine credit hours, the student must submit a master’s degree program plan to indicate the specific courses to be taken.
The thesis may be primarily analytical, computational or experimental; or it can be some combination of these. In each case, students must demonstrate the ability to read the appropriate engineering literature, to learn independently and to express themselves well technically, both orally and in writing.
The nonthesis options replaces the six credit ours of theses with approved electives and a final program examination, following approval of a written petition submitted to the program chair.
Candidates for the Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering must complete the minimum course requirements that consists of 12 credit hours of core courses, six credit hours of mathematics, and 12 credit hours of restricted elective (may include six credit hours of thesis).