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Information on Master of Aeronautical Science Degree Program

Majors Overview February 3, 2016

This article talks about master of aeronautical science degree programs and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, job and wage outlook, and continuing education choices.

Master of Aeronautical Science Programs

Enrollees in master’s degree programs in aeronautical science learn about airplanes and the science that enables them to fly. Coursework in many programs also covers the business aspect of airports and aircraft. Schools sometimes term aeronautical science master’s degree programs as programs in aviation science or aviation.

Students enrolled in most graduate aeronautical science programs have to complete 33-36 credits and can accomplish it within two years of full-time study. Coursework is expected to include a thesis or practicum.

Education Requirements

While admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree (regardless of the major), there are no educational prerequisites to be fulfilled by applicants to a master’s degree program in aeronautical science. Additionally, students seeking enrollment in some aeronautical science programs are required to be already licensed pilots.


All prominent areas of aircraft transportation are in aeronautical science master’s degree programs; these include the business of aviation and safety and control of airplanes. Additionally, an aeronautical practicum or a thesis paper must be completed by students before they graduate. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Aviation research
•Airline operations
•Aviation safety
•Aviation management
•Aviation Economics

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek jobs as pilots or engineers; they may also seek behind-the-scenes careers at aircraft design companies or airports. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Aircraft crew technician
•Aeronautical engineer
•Aviation instructor
•Airport Manager
•Aircraft safety officer

Job and Wage Outlook

Aerospace engineers are expected to see a negative job growth rate of two percent over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). The slow growth is attributable to the slow growth of manufacturing companies. In May 2012, aerospace engineers brought in an average annual wage of $105,380 (BLS).

Continuing Education Choices

Students in aeronautical science master’s degree programs are not directly trained to become pilots; those seeking pilot’s licenses are free to obtain one during or after the program. Students who seek continuing education in the field may earn a doctorate in aviation or engineering.

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