At the graduate level, there are a number of different aerospace engineering programs that may be of interest to prospective students. This article will focus on providing individuals with information like admissions standards and curriculum requirements for these programs.
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Information About Aerospace Engineering Graduate Programs
Students interested in aerospace engineering can study this field at the graduate level in a variety of different programs. Master of Aerospace Engineering (MAE), Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering, and Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering are all degree options that students can pursue, depending on their career goals and academic interests. Generally, MAE programs are less research-oriented than M.S. programs, as they do not usually include a thesis requirement and are designed to immediately prepare students for the workforce. M.S. and Ph.D. programs require more independent research and could either lead to job placement or further study in academia. All three of these degree programs include common course topics, such as those described below.
A course in heat transfer may be offered as an introductory class, which would provide students with a foundation, or as a more advanced course which would cover more complicated concepts at greater depth. Such classes may have strong theoretical elements, in which students will learn about the theory of different types of heat transfer, like convection, radiation, and conduction. In addition, the course will likely instruct students in how to use different equations and models to analyze heat transfer.
Compressible flow courses likely cover both viscous and inviscid flows. Students could gain a broad view of the theory behind compressible flow, as well as what types of conservation laws govern this process. They might also learn how to apply their theoretical understanding of this topic to actual problems and encounter topics like linearized supersonic flow, axisymmetric flow, subsonic flow, and shock dynamics.
A course in control systems may cover different types of control systems, including modern and robust control systems. In this class, students might learn about theories of control systems and how these theories can be applied and implemented when working with real-world applications. Some topics that may be covered include model predictive control, state feedback controllers, Kalman filters, and multivariable loop-shaping. Additionally, this course may focus on how to properly evaluate the performance of a control system and different methods of design.
Linear Dynamic Systems
Study of linear dynamics is necessary for learning to correctly model complex engineering systems. This course will likely have a heavy math component and cover topics like eigenvalues, singular values, solution of state equations, and minimality. The class may also have a strong modeling component, in which students will gain a foundation in how to correctly model linear dynamic systems using computer systems and programs.
Aircraft Design, Dynamics, and Systems
One or multiple courses may focus on aircraft design, dynamics, and/or systems, which will provide exposure to a variety of topics that are crucial to safely creating and maintaining aircraft systems. In such a class, students may learn about topics like the jet engine cycle, the analysis of different types of aircraft structures and the thermodynamics of different gases. Additionally, a course that focuses on the design element of aircraft could instruct students in approaches to design, how to properly size elements of aircraft, and the appropriate methods to use.
Admission Standards for Aerospace Engineering Graduate Programs
Generally, applicants to graduate programs in aerospace engineering are expected to have an undergraduate degree in this field, or a closely related one like mechanical engineering, as preparation for work and research at the graduate level. When applying to these programs, students will need to provide admissions committees with a completed application form, a CV or personal statement, undergraduate transcripts, a personal statement of purpose, and letters of recommendation. Some programs may also require that students submit results from the GRE examination.
To summarize, there are a number of different options for students who are interested in studying aerospace engineering at the graduate level. Students may choose which program appeals to them most based on their career aspirations and research interests.