Naval Architecture PhD Program Overviews

If you want to conduct high level research in the field of naval architecture, you may consider enrolling in a Ph.D. program. Find out more about the flexible curriculum of this program and job opportunities for graduates.

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Essential Information

A Ph.D. is the most advanced degree level available in the field of naval architecture and marine engineering. Ph.D. degree programs in naval architecture and marine engineering provide students with advanced training in the design and construction of boat systems and structures. Programs involve years of intensive, individualized research in the student's field of interest. In fact, the curriculum is usually designed almost entirely by the candidate, as long as the research advances theories of marine science and/or naval architecture. Specialization options include naval hydrodynamics, marine systems design, coastal processes, marine design, marine structures, offshore engineering or marine systems management.

In order to apply, the student must hold a bachelor's and master's degree in mechanical engineering, physics, mathematics, civil engineering or aerospace. Prior to graduation, the student must pass qualifying examinations and submit a dissertation.

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Ph.D. in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering

There is no set series of courses in a Ph.D. program in naval architecture and marine engineering. Students are allowed to select their own course of study and research based upon their interests and aspirations in the field. Possible course options include:

  • Hull geometry
  • Hydrostatic stability
  • Vessel arrangements
  • Boating structures and design
  • Marine power systems
  • Structural mechanics
  • Marine dynamics
  • Ship production

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

A naval architect or marine engineer is responsible for researching, conceiving and designing new and advanced boating systems and production platforms. Graduates of a Ph.D. program in the field focus heavily on the research aspects of the industry, and they often receive research positions in academic or naval associations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, marine engineers and naval architects could expect job growth of 9%, faster than the average for all occupations, from 2014 to 2024. The median annual wage for these professionals was $93,110 as of May 2015 (

In summary, aspiring naval architects can benefit greatly from a doctoral degree. These programs, tailored specifically to their research interests so that they are ready to pursue an academic career in a specialized area of the field.

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