Aerospace Engineering

Master’s Degree #608

Est.imated Completion Time: 3 years

Starts: Quarterly

Program Area: Naval Engineering

POC: Program POC

Modality: Distance Learning


The objective of this program is to provide graduate education, primarily in the field of Aerospace Engineering, in order to produce graduates with the technical competence to operate and maintain modern military aerospace systems.

The Aerospace Engineering program is designed to meet the specific needs of the U.S. Military, U.S. Coast Guard, and international partners with a broad-based graduate education in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on missile design, autonomous systems, and space systems. The program is intended to be completed within 36 months, assuming one course or thesis slot per quarter.

This program gives the student a broad aerospace engineering education in the areas of aerodynamics, flight mechanics, propulsion, flight structures, astronautical systems and systems integration. Additionally, officers receive graduate level instruction in aerospace systems design.

An original research project resulting in a finished thesis, or additional course work and a project is an integral part of the curriculum.

Typical Course of Study

Upon entry into the program students will typically enroll in one course per quarter to be taken via distance learning. Typically, students may stack certificates to complete the coursework requirement of either 8 or 10 courses. In addition to the Aero tracks of Aerospace Engineering and Applied Trajectory Optimization, three specialty tracks within the course of study are also offered: Structures, Fluid Thermodynamics and Robotics Engineering. The program of study for each student will be submitted for approval by the Chairman of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Courses Required

Courses Available
118: Aerospace Engineering (choose 4)
  • ME3205
  • ME3611
  • ME4703
  • ME4704
  • ME4751
  • AE4452
299: Applied Trajectory Optimization
  • AE3820
  • AE3830
  • AE4850
  • AE4881
223: Robotics Engineering
  • ME3420
  • Only one of this set:
    • ME4800
    • AE4800
  • ME4828
  • EC4310
122: Structures
  • ME4731
  • ME3521
  • ME4613
  • ME3611
123: Thermodynamics/Fluids (choose 4)
  • ME4420
  • ME3450
  • ME4220
  • ME3201
  • ME4101
  • AE4502


The following are eligible for this offering:

  • Naval Officers
  • Naval Enlisted
  • Non-Naval Officers
  • Non-Naval Enlisted
  • DON Civilians
  • DOD Civilians
  • Defense Contractors
  • Non-DOD Federal Employees
  • State and Local Government Employees
  • International military personnel
  • International non-military personnel

Requirements for Entry

  • Baccalaureate degree from a regionally accredited institution or its equivalent is required, preferably in an engineering discipline
  • While an undergraduate degree in engineering is preferred, special preparatory programs can accommodate officers with other backgrounds.

Learning Outcomes

The Educational Skill Requirements (ESRs) consist of a core of prescribed aerospace engineering skills, which all graduates must acquire; plus specialization options of advanced topics in missile design, autonomous systems, or rotorcraft, which the student may pursue as electives.

  1. AEROSPACE STRUCTURES AND MATERIALS: Be able to apply U.S. military standards and practices to analyze structural components of missiles systems & autonomous vehicles, using engineering analytic methods on idealized models and automated finite element methods on realistic models to determine stresses, strains, deformations and appropriate limiting conditions of yielding, fracture, buckling and fatigue.
  2. FLIGHT MECHANICS: Be able to calculate all performance parameters for rotorcraft, military autonomous aircraft, and missile systems to determine their longitudinal and lateral-directional, static and dynamic stability characteristics. Be able to analyze and design aircraft and missile guidance and control systems, including feedback stabilization schemes and stochastic processes, using classical and modern control techniques.
  3. AIRCRAFT AND MISSILE PROPULSION: Understand the principles and operating characteristics of fixed wing, rotorcraft and missile propulsion engines and be able to analyze the performance of rocket motor and turbines through knowledge of the behavior and design characteristics of the individual components. Be able to calculate performance parameters used in engine selection and know the state-of-the-art reasons for limitations on gas turbine engine performance, as well as the potential for future gains in the field. Be able to analyze the performance of rockets and ramjets through knowledge of the behavior of individual components, and be able to make steady-state, internal ballistic calculations for solid rocket motors.
  4. AERODYNAMICS: Be able to use classical analytic, experimental and modern computational techniques of subsonic and supersonic aerodynamics, including laminar and turbulent boundary-layer viscous effects, without heat addition, to calculate internal flow properties through inlets, nozzles and engines and external air flow pressure distributions over wings, canards, tails, and other lifting surfaces to determine the resulting lift, drag and pitching moment.
  5. INFORMATION PROCESSING: Be able to use current computer methods to solve aerospace engineering problems and possess knowledge of the application of dedicated avionic and systems computers on board military aircraft.
  6. ENGINEERING MATHEMATICS: Demonstrate analytic ability to apply differential and integral calculus, ordinary and partial differential equations, vector calculus, matrix algebra, probability and statistics and numerical analysis in the development of engineering theory and its application to engineering problems.
  7. ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING: Understand basic electrical circuits, systems and electronic devices as a foundation for interfacing mechanical and electronic systems in aerospace systems.
  8. SYSTEMS DESIGN: Be able to integrate all of the disciplines of aerospace engineering into a design of a missile or autonomous system or rotorcraft in response to a realistic set of military requirements, specifications, constraints and cost limitations. The design must include considerations for safety, reliability, maintainability and survivability.
  9. RESEARCH, DEVELOPMENT, TEST, AND EVALUATION: Apply principles of project scoping, planning, design and execution to investigate a current research, development, test or evaluation problem of interest to the Department of Defense that culminates in the publication of a thesis.

Application Information

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

Tuition & Service Obligation

For information regarding tuition, please contact the NPS Tuition office at, or contact this offering’s POC at

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

Other Information

Requirements for the Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering - MSAE or a Master of Science in Engineering Science with a major in Aerospace Engineering – MSES(AE) are met as a milestone enroute to satisfying the educational skill requirements of the curricular program. There must be a minimum of 32 quarter hours of credits in 3000 and 4000 level courses, including a minimum of 12 quarter hours at the 4000 level. Of the 32 quarter hours at least 24 quarter-hours must be in courses offered by the MAE Department.

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Application Deadlines

  •  08 Jul 2024

    Fall Quarter applications due

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