Underwater Acoustics Certificate

Certificate #125

Est.imated Completion Time: 12 months

Starts: Fall

Program Area: Maritime Battlespace Environments

POC: NPS Online Support

Modality: Distance Learning


The Underwater Acoustics curriculum is available to resident and Distance Learning students. It can be combined with Fundamentals of Engineering Acoustics and SONAR System Applications academic certificate programs for partial fulfillment of requirements for Master of Science in Engineering Acoustics or Master of Engineering Acoustics degrees by Distance Learning students. Students typically take one course per quarter within a four-quarter period (12 months). The Distance Learning classes are usually timed to coincide with resident offerings. The course of studies is designed to improve the student's performance in operational, acquisition, research, engineering, and maintenance positions by providing the students with a firm background in the fundamentals of the science of underwater acoustics and its naval applications.

Stackable Path

Courses Required

Course Details
Course 1 Choose one of the following:
  • PH3451
  • PH3991
Course 2 PH3452
Course 3 PH4455


The following are eligible for this offering:

  • Naval Officers
  • Naval Enlisted
  • Non-Naval Officers
  • Non-Naval Enlisted
  • DON Civilians
  • DOD Civilians
  • Defense Contractors
  • International military personnel

Requirements for Entry

  • Baccalaureate degree with mathematics through differential and integral calculus
  • Calculus-based basic physics sequence
  • Courses in the physical sciences and engineering are highly desirable

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the program, you will be able to

  • Plot ray paths in layers of isogradient water
  • Estimate transmission loss for simple models such as mixed layer, convergence zone, bottom bounce, reliable acoustic path, and SOFAR channel
  • Use sonobuoy data to calculate the speed, depth, and distance of closest approach of an uncooperative target
  • Determine source levels and beam patterns for sources and arrays
  • Evaluate detected noise levels and reverberation levels for various environmental conditions
  • Calculate the target strength of basic scatterers, including gas bubbles
  • For given sonar and target characteristics, estimate the range of detection
  • Evaluate and interpret various underwater propagation phenomena
  • Identify the limitations of different numerical prediction algorithms
  • Compute basic solutions to the acoustic wave equation using normal mode and parabolic equation approaches.

Application Information

Applications are handled by the NPS Admissions Office. Please visit the admissions website or contact them at admissions@nps.edu.

Tuition & Service Obligation

For information regarding tuition, please contact the NPS Tuition office at tuition@nps.edu, or contact NPS Online Support at online@nps.edu.

For information regarding service obligation, please visit the Admissions Office’s Eligibility/Service Obligation page.

Offerings database access
Asset Publisher

Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

Asset Publisher

Academic Calendar

No upcoming events.