|Major Code: 8134
||Degree Awarded: Master of Science
|Delivery Mode(s): Classroom
||Admission Status: Graduate
|Admission Materials: letters of recommendation, résumé, objectives, transcripts
||Location(s): Main Campus - Melbourne; Southern Maryland, MD
The master of science degree can be earned in one of four major areas: aerodynamics and fluid dynamics, aerospace structures and materials, combustion and propulsion, and flight mechanics and controls. Because the purpose of each program is to prepare the student for either a challenging professional career in industry or for further graduate study, the programs do not permit narrow specialization. Emphasis is on required coursework in several disciplines in which an advanced-degree engineer in a typical industrial position is expected to have the knowledge and problem-solving expertise beyond that normally obtained during an undergraduate engineering education.
The master of science degree can be earned on either a full-time or a part-time basis. Full-time students can complete the program in a minimum of three semesters (four in the case of graduate student teaching assistants). Students beginning their coursework during the spring semester will be able to register for full course loads, although the commencement of thesis work will normally be delayed.
Graduate student teaching assistants are required to successfully complete a three-day teaching assistant seminar offered in August and January of each year.
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 majors in the physical sciences or mathematics. In these cases, at least one year of undergraduate coursework in aerospace engineering is normally required before starting the master of science program. In evaluating an international application, due consideration is given to academic standards in the country where the undergraduate studies have been performed. 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 under Graduate Academic Information .
The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering is offered with both thesis and nonthesis options. Each option requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of coursework. Prior to the completion of nine credit hours, the student must submit for approval a master’s degree program plan to indicate the path chosen and the specific courses to be taken. For the thesis option, up to six credit hours of thesis work may be included in the 30-credit-hour requirement. The thesis can 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. For the nonthesis option, a student may replace the thesis with additional elective courses and a final program examination, following approval of a written petition submitted to the department head. Generally, students wishing to pursue an academic career are encouraged to choose the thesis option.