StudyQA — Master: Aerospace Engineering — Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech)

Aerospace Engineering

Study mode:Online Study type:Full-time Languages: English
Local:$ 7.27k / Academic year(s) Foreign:$ 13.9k / Academic year(s) Deadline: Dec 30, 2021
201–250 place StudyQA ranking:1552 Duration:

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The Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering offers a Master of Science Degree in Aerospace Engineering and in Ocean Engineering. Each of these degrees has two options, a Master of Science with or without thesis. Although both degrees require the same number of credit hours for graduation, the thesis option requires some of these credits be devoted to a research project. The non-thesis option can be obtained by taking only course work, or it can include credits for a project and report. Such a project and report is generally not research oriented, but deals with other aspects of an engineering problem and may involve a team of students. 

In order to ensure that all our students can communicate with scientists and engineers outside their primary field of interest, all students take at least one course in the general areas of aerodynamics, structures, flight mechanics and control, and numerical methods. In addition, students in the non-thesis program are required to take additional courses in their area of study. Students in this program have the opportunity to work on advanced research projects in the three areas mentioned previously as well as in the interdisciplinary arena where familiarity with two or more disciplines is required. As a result many of our students are in a position to satisfy the rapidly growing demand for well rounded engineers and scientists.

In addition, the Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department participates in the Systems Engineering interdisciplinary program where students take courses across several engineering departments and outside of the College of Engineering. The requirements for this program are set by the Systems Engineering Advisory Committee and are different from those indicated previously.
Students following the thesis route work with faculty that have both national and international reputations in their respective areas of research. These areas pose exciting new challenges to the students who have the opportunity to work closely with their faculty advisor on current problems. These problems reflect the latest interests in new advancements in science and technology by NASA, Navy, Air Force, and various aerospace and non-aerospace industries. 

Our masters students do significant hands-on research and often work in teams with other masters and Ph.D. students on wide-range of topics, some focused in a newly developing area, and some multidisciplinary in nature. These activities include state-of-the art research in aerodynamics, structures, flight dynamics and control, and multidisciplinary analysis and design. Students are encouraged to present their research results at conferences and in archival journals tied to industry and/or government or sponsored projects and include interaction with personnel and facilities from those organizations.
The requirements for the degrees focused on applied physics or applied mathematics are slightly different from those of the other categories in that some required courses from the Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Department are replaced with others from either Physics or Mathematics respectively. These programs are specially tailored for students whose backgrounds are from outside the engineering environment and are interested in applying their skills to solving aerospace problems. Such programs encourage interaction with disciplines outside the usual engineering environment and result in new approaches to analyzing and solving problems.

Master of Science Requirements: Thesis and (Non-Thesis)

1.  A minimum of 30 credit hours is required.

  • For thesis students, up to 10 credit hours may be allotted for Research and Thesis (AOE 5994).
  • For non-thesis students, up to 6 credit hours may be allotted for Project and Report (AOE 5904)[1].

2.  A minimum of 12 credit hours (15 for non-thesis) of graded course work numbered 5000 and higher must be included in the Plan of Study. These credit hours do not include the AOE Seminar (AOE 5944), Research and Thesis (AOE 5994) hours, or Project and Report (AOE 5904) hours.

3.  A maximum of 6 credit hours (9 for non-thesis) of 5974 and 5984 is allowed.

4.  A maximum of 6 credit hours of approved 4000 level course work is allowed.

5.  Up to 50% of the courses on the Plan of Study may be transferred from a graduate program at another institution, subject to the approval of the Advisory Committee. Substitution of a transferred course for a specific required course is subject to the approval of the Graduate Program Director or a designee, usually the responsible instructor. Each transferred course must have a grade of B (3.0/4.0) or better.

6.  All Aerospace Engineering M.S. candidates are required to take:

  • AOE 4404, Applied Numerical Methods;
  • AOE 5024, Vehicle Structures;
  • AOE 5104, Advanced Aero and Hydrodynamics; and
  • AOE 5204, Vehicle Dynamics and Control.

The following additional required courses pertain to the three areas of specialization.

Aero-Hydrodynamics: Thesis (non-thesis) students must take 9 (18) credit hours of approved electives.

  • Electives for thesis students are determined in consultation with the Advisory Committee Chair.
  • Non-thesis aero-hydrodynamics students must take two of the following three courses:
  1. AOE 5114, High Speed Aerodynamics;
  2. AOE 5135, Vehicle Propulsion; or
  3. AOE 5144, Boundary Layer Theory and Heat Transfer.

Dynamics and Control: Thesis (non-thesis) students must take 9 (18) credit hours of approved electives.

  • Electives for thesis students are determined in consultation with the Advisory Committee Chair.
  • Non-thesis dynamics and control students must take one of the following two courses:
  1. AOE 5754, Applied Linear Systems; or
  2. AOE 5744, Linear Systems Theory;

and students must take two of the following four courses:

  1. AOE 5234, Orbital Mechanics; 
  2. AOE 5764, Applied Linear Control;
  3. AOE 5774, Nonlinear Systems Theory; or
  4. AOE 6744, Linear Control Theory.

Structures and Structural Dynamics: Thesis (non-thesis) students must take 9 (18) hours of approved electives.

  • Electives for thesis students are determined in consultation with the Advisory Committee Chair.
  • Non-thesis structures and structural dynamics students must take the following two courses:
  1. AOE 5034, Mechanical and Structural Vibrations; and
  2. MATH 4574, Vector and Complex Analysis for Engineers.

7.  All Ocean Engineering M.S. candidates are required to take:

  • AOE 4404, Applied Numerical Methods;
  • AOE 5074, Advanced Ship Structural Analysis[3];
  • AOE 5104, Advanced Aero and Hydrodynamics; and
  • AOE 5334, Advanced Ship Dynamics.

In addition, thesis (non-thesis) students must take 9 (18) hours of approved electives, and non-thesis students must take 6 units of "Project and Report" or complete a 6 unit Capstone Naval Ship Design Project (AOE 5315 and AOE 5316).

  • Electives for thesis students are determined in consultation with the Advisory Committee Chair.
  • Non-thesis ocean engineering students must take two of the following courses:
  1. AOE 4024, An Introduction to the Finite Element Method;
  2. AOE 4264, Principles of Naval Engineering;
  3. AOE 5034, Mechanical and Structural Vibrations;
  4. AOE 5084, Submarine Design;
  5. AOE 5144, Boundary Layer Theory and Heat Transfer;
  6. AOE 5304, Advanced Naval Architecture;
  7. AOE 5305, Marine Engineering;
  8. AOE 5314, Naval Ship System Design and Effectiveness[4]; 
  9. AOE 5374, Rationally-Based Design of Ocean Structures;
  10. AOE 5434G, Advanced Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics;
  11. AOE 5444G, Advanced Dynamics of High-Speed Craft;
  12. AOE 5454, Advanced Aerospace and Ocean Engineering Instrumentation; and
  13. AOE 6145, Computational Fluid Dynamics.

8.  If a student has previously taken any of the required courses listed above or equivalent, while a Virginia Tech undergraduate or a student elsewhere, that course must be replaced with another course approved by the Advisory Committee. A student will not be allowed to repeat a Virginia Tech course (or an equivalent course from another institution) for a grade. A required AOE course can only be replaced with another AOE course.

Master of Science or Master of Engineering Requirements (AOE, Systems Option)

The AOE Department, in conjunction with other interested departments in the College of Engineering, e.g. Industrial and Systems Engineering, offers an interdisciplinary degree in Systems Engineering.  The requirements for the degree are essentially the same as those outlined above with the exception of the interdisciplinary aspect of the curriculum, which will be prescribed by the student's Advisory committee consisting of faculty from the AOE Department and the other relevant departments.

[1] Non-thesis Ocean Engineering M.S. candidates may take both AOE 5315-5316: Naval Ship Design to meet the 6 unit Capstone Naval Ship Design Project in place of 6 units of AOE 5904: Project and Report.

[2] It is strongly recommended that students who wish to take AOE 6744, first take AOE 5744, Linear Systems Theory or an equivalent course on linear, time-varying systems.

[3] If AOE 4274: Computer-Based Design of Ocean Structures has already been taken, then one of the following two courses must be substituted: AOE 5024: Vehicle Structures or AOE 5374: Rationally-Based Design of Ocean Structures.

[4] It is strongly recommended that students who wish to take AOE 5314: Naval Ship System Design and Effectiveness, first take AOE 4264: Principles of Naval Engineering.

  • Transcripts. Include a scanned copy of your college transcripts with your online application, then arrange for an official copy to be sent to us after you receive an offer of admission.
  • Letters of Recommendation. Check to see whether your department requires letters of recommendation from references. If so, you can include their email addresses in your online application, or have them send paper copies directly to your program’s department.
  • Application Fees. Degree-seeking students must include a $75 fee with their application, though check to see if you qualify for a waiver or reduced fee.
  • TOEFL Paper 550.0, Computer 213.0, iBT 80.0
  • GRE General Test 
  • Minimum GPA: 3.0
  • Institution code: 5859

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