Many schools offer master's degrees in aerospace engineering that can be earned completely through online study. Other hybrid programs combine distance learning with on-campus classes. Applicants to these programs must hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics or another relevant field, and GRE scores may be required..
A master's degree in aerospace engineering generally allows the student a great deal of freedom in constructing a program of study that meets their career goals. Students may be able to specialize in areas such as astrodynamics and computational engineering.
Students should look for a program that is accredited by ABET, a professional organization that oversees engineering education programs. Aerospace engineers do not have to be licensed, but many do pursue a professional engineer (PE) license after a few years of work.
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Master's Degree in Aerospace Engineering
A distance learning aerospace engineering master's degree program prepares graduates for careers in the advanced design and testing of missiles, space exploration systems, aircraft, helicopters and military jets. Master's degree programs prepare students with the needed expertise to specialize in a specific are within the advanced development of aerospace systems.
Most programs allow students to specialize in control systems, production methods, acoustics, celestial mechanics, structural design and aerodynamics. A master's degree program in aerospace engineering may cover such topics as aerospace propulsion, aerospace structure design, structural dynamics and systems modeling.
Program Information and Requirements
Online master's degree programs in aerospace engineering typically require approximately 30-45 credits. Prospective students must hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, mathematics or a related discipline and may also need to submit GRE scores. Some aerospace engineering programs combine traditional classroom instruction with online courses, while others offer students the opportunity to obtain their degree entirely online.
Courses are commonly delivered by way of Blackboard or a comparable online course management system. Distance learning students are able view videos of recorded classroom lectures, as well as access grades, homework assignments and lecture notes. In order to properly view online video of lectures, distance learning students should have access to a computer with a Web browser, and a cable or DSL Internet connection.
Sample Master's-Level Aerospace Engineering Coursework
Many master's degree programs offer students the opportunity to work closely with advisors to develop individualized study plans. Students commonly complete a combination of math, statistics and engineering coursework.
A distance learning fluid mechanics course covers the properties of liquids and gases and other fundamental issues encountered in fluid mechanics. Additional topics covered include computational fluid mechanics, fluid flow kinematics, nonlinear flow, surface waves and dissipative flows.
Composite Material Mechanics
A course focusing on the mechanics of composite materials may cover anisotropic elasticity, composite plates and strain measurements. Additional areas explored may include micromechanical theory, laminated plate theory and fundamental energy methods.
This course explores advanced concepts of aerodynamics and how they apply to aircraft, hypersonic vehicles and other aerospace structural components. Topics covered include dynamic stability, compressible flows, environmental aerodynamics, theories of supersonic speed and vibration measurements.
Career Information for
While most entry-level engineering jobs require only a bachelor's degree, a master's degree program in aerospace engineering may open up advanced opportunities in research and development. It is possible to pursue a doctorate degree in aerospace engineering as well which can prepare graduates for careers in academia. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) employment opportunities for aerospace engineers was expected to decline by 2% between 2014 and 2024. The BLS also reports aerospace engineers had median annual earnings of $107,830 in 2015 (www.bls.gov).
Online aerospace master's degree programs usually have coursework that includes a combination of math, statistics and engineering, as well as topics such as fluid mechanics and advanced aerodynamics. Graduates of these programs may have advanced opportunities in research and development, and those who obtain a doctorate degree may work in the field of academia.