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Master of science in aerospace or ocean engineering

Two students in an AOE lab
AOE students tackle challenges in all areas of aerospace, including spacecraft dynamics and control research.
A student working in a lab

Graduate students in aerospace engineering can focus on one or more specializations, including

  • Aero-hydrodynamics
  • Dynamics and control
  • Structures and structural dynamics
A student in the Hull Lab

AOE’s ocean engineering graduate program focuses on 

  • Hydronautics — the science of designing, constructing, and operating marine craft and instruments designed to explore the ocean environment
  • Naval engineering — engineering and sciences as applied to the research and development of surface and subsurface ships, craft, aircraft, and vehicles (manned and autonomous) used by the Navy for the nation’s defense
  • Autonomous systems —fundamental research in the broad field of autonomous systems, specializing in marine robotics and autonomous vehicle systems for surface and subsurface applications

Both degrees have two options—a master of science with or without a thesis.

Master of science—thesis option

Although both degrees call for the same number of credit hours for graduation, the thesis option requires that some of these credits be devoted to research and the writing of the thesis.

Students work with internationally renowned faculty whose contributions are changing the shape of the field, asking new questions, and diving deep to find answers.

Master of science—non-thesis option

The non-thesis option requires course work and can include credits for a project and report. 

Two students in the Goodwin lab

Research and design projects

Our masters students are heavily involved in hands-on research and often work in teams with other graduate students on a wide-range of topics, some focused in newly developing areas, and some multidisciplinary in nature.

These activities include state-of-the art research in

  • aero-hydrodynamics
  • dynamics and control
  • structures and structural dynamics
  • ocean engineering
  • applied physics
  • space engineering
  • applied mathematics

Students are encouraged to present their research results at conferences and in journals tied to industry and/or government or sponsored projects.

Final oral examinations

All students must undergo a final comprehensive oral exam upon completion of the degree requirements. Guidelines for the oral exam are described in the AOE Graduate Study Policies and Procedures Manual.

Non-thesis option masters of science and masters of engineering students should also reference the AOE non-thesis final examinations guide for more information.

Theses and reports

For more detailed information on thesis and report requirements and procedures, see the Graduate Study Policies and Procedures Manual.


For more details on degree requirements, see the Graduate Study Policies and Procedures Manual.