Introducing a new MS option in Aerospace Engineering

We are adding an accelerated named option in Aerospace Engineering for the Engineering Mechanics Master of Science degree. The distinguishing features from the Research named option are that 1) the new program is a coursework-only degree that can be completed in 12 to 16 months and 2) there is an emphasis on aerospace-related topics.

The Engineering Physics Department offers an MS degree in the fields of Engineering Mechanics (EM) and in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics (NEEP). The parent plan for the EM MS has been oriented toward research; it has a thesis track and an independent-study track, and a number of these students continue to the PhD program. To accommodate administrative requirements, the parent plan is being moved into the new ’Research’ named option. The ’Aerospace Engineering’ named option that is proposed here will focus on getting students through a rigorous masters-level engineering program with minimal interruption to their professional engineering careers. While students in the ’Research’ option can use the same coursework to satisfy degree requirements, their independent-study, and possible thesis research, requires additional time to complete the MS degree.

The Engineering Physics Department also offers the Fundamentals of Applied Mechanics named option of the EM MS degree. This program is designed to educate students with a non-engineering scientific background in fundamental methods of engineering so that they are equipped to pursue a career in engineering. In contrast, the proposed Aerospace Engineering option is designed for students who have completed undergraduate degrees in engineering and would like to learn advanced topics that will further their careers.

The program is coursework-only graduate education in the engineering mechanics field with particular emphasis on aerospace topics. All students will learn theoretical and computational methods for engineering analysis and take a relevant laboratory class for hands-on experience. The aerospace topics includes fluid mechanics, rigid-body dynamics, structural dynamics, mechanics of aerospace structures. It is not intended to provide the depth of a strict aerospace engineering degree but instead provides a more general mechanics foundation with an aerospace emphasis. Graduates will have a unique combination of skills that will be attractive to industry.

While students in our research-oriented MS will also learn the topics and skills discussed above, the accelerated program will allow the students planning to pursue a career in industry a shorter path to completion. Our intent is to also attract employer interest to fund their engineering employees with a limited time commitment.