MSAE Program Educational Objectives
The overall Program Educational Objective of the NPS Astronautical Engineering Program is to support the NPS Mission by producing graduates who have knowledge and technical competence in astronautical engineering at the advanced level and who can apply that knowledge and competence to fill technical leadership roles in support of national security. In order to achieve this goal, the specific objectives are to produce graduates who achieve the following within a few years of graduation:
- Are established as a valued source of technical expertise in research, design, development, acquisition, integration and testing of national security space (NSS) systems including formulation of operational requirements, plans, policies, architectures, and operational concepts for the development of space systems.
- Have assumed positions of leadership involving program management, systems engineering, and/or operational employment of space systems within the national security space (NSS) enterprise.
- Have effectively managed the operation, tasking, and employment of national security space (NSS) systems to increase the combat effectiveness of the Naval Services, other Armed Forces of the U.S. and our partners, to enhance national security.
- Graduating students will meet the ABET a through k outcomes either by previous attainment of an ABET BSAE Degree, or by having the knowledge and skills equivalent to an ABET-accredited BSAE.
- Graduating students will have a minimum of one (1) year of advanced study beyond the bachelor’s level and have advanced level knowledge in Astronautical Engineering as demonstrated by the ability to apply master’s level knowledge in one of the available specialized disciplines of Astronautical Engineering.
- Graduating students will have the ability to apply technical knowledge in a leadership role related to national security.
The ABET (a) though (k) outcomes are:
(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
c) an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability
(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
(g) an ability to communicate effectively
(h) the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues
(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.
The Master of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering requires a minimum of 48 quarter-hours of graduate level work. The candidate must take courses in an approved study program which address the Program Educational Objectives and satisfy the following requirements: 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.
Astronautical Engineering Disciplines
A student seeking the Master of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering must demonstrate knowledge in the following disciplines:
- Orbital mechanics
- Space environment
- Attitude determination
- Guidance and control
- Space structures
- Spacecraft/rocket propulsion
- Spacecraft design
The student must also demonstrate competence at the advanced level in one of the above disciplines of Astronautical Engineering. This may be accomplished by completing at least eight quarter hours of the 4000 level credits by courses in this department in a particular area and a thesis in the same discipline area.
An acceptable thesis for a minimum of 16 credits is also required for the Master of Science degree in Astronautical Engineering. An acceptable thesis for the degree of Astronautical Engineer may also meet the thesis requirement of the Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering degree. The student's thesis advisor, the Academic Associate, the Program Officer and the Department Chairman must approve the study program and the thesis topic.
In 2013 the Masters of Science in Astronautical Engineering (MSAE) Degree Program graduated 12 students and there were 30 students on board at the end of the year.