U.S. Naval Test Pilot School/Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Program – Curriculum 613

Primary Consultant

Mr. John O’Connor

Chief of Academics

U.S. Naval Test Pilot School

22783 Cedar Point Rd., Unit 21

Naval Air Warfare Center Aircraft Division

Patuxent River, MD 20670-1160

(301) 757-5044

Academic Associate for Aerospace Engineering

Joshua H. Gordis, Ph.D.

Code ME/Go, Watkins Hall, Room 313

(831) 656-2866, DSN 756-2866


Program Officer

CDR Caleb MacDonald

Code 74, Watkins Hall, Room 107

(831) 656-2033, DSN 756-2033


Program Coordinator

Chris Adams

Watkins Hall, Room 333

(831) 656-3400



Brief Overview

The objective of this special program is to provide an opportunity for graduates of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS), who are trained in aircraft, rotorcraft, and airborne systems flight test, to obtain a Master of Science in Engineering Science with a major in Aerospace Engineering – MSES(AE). This is a distance learning program building upon the USNTPS academic and flight test instruction, with the student's USNTPS final flight test project and report serving in lieu of a thesis, and will provide advanced aerospace engineering knowledge to the test pilot and flight test engineer. NPS instruction will include advanced aerodynamics, aircraft structures, stability and control, and propulsion, and may also include systems engineering, autonomous vehicles, and air vehicle survivability. Instruction in flight system testing from the USNTPS as well as advanced graduate education in aerospace engineering topics from the NPS will qualify graduates of this program to participate in all technical aspects of naval air weapon systems acquisition.

Requirements for Entry

Entrance into this program is restricted to graduates of the U.S. Naval Test Pilot School (USNTPS) Main Curriculum, currently a 48-week program. Further requirements include an Academic Profile Code of 323. All entrants must be nominated for the program by the designated program coordinator and the primary consultant for USNTPS. The nomination to the Director of Admissions must include official transcripts from all undergraduate and graduate institutions attended plus USNTPS records. The Director of Admissions will provide copies of all records to the Academic Associate in Aerospace Engineering.


Students will enter this program during the Spring or Fall NPS academic quarters, typically 3 months following their graduation from USNTPS. Application for entry is to be made through the program coordinator and primary consultant for USNTPS. For further information, contact the Academic Associate, Program Coordinator, or the Primary Consultant for this program.

Degree Requirements

The student must complete 24 credit hours of advanced graduate level NPS (AE/ME/MS/SE 3000- and 4000-level) courses, with a minimum of 12 of the 24 hours at the 4000-level. This requirement may be met by completing a sequence of six courses via Distance Learning in a program approved by the Chairman of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. This Master of Science in Engineering Science (Major in Aerospace Engineering) program may be completed in six academic quarters following USNTPS graduation.

Credit for Completion of U.S. Naval Test Pilot School

This program is designed to build upon the USNTPS academic instruction and final flight test project and report. The following USNTPS courses are considered as integral to this program and equivalent to 6 credit hours of ME/AE 3000- level and 8 credit hours of ME/AE 4000- level NPS courses:

USNTPS MM503 Dynamic Systems Analysis Techniques
USNTPS PP501 Thermodynamics
USNTPS PP801 Propulsion Systems
USNTPS SC507 Airplane Stability and Control
USNTPS SC604 Airplane Dynamics
USNTPS SC502 Helicopter Rotor Systems
USNTPS AP501 Helicopter Performance and Aerodynamics
USNTPS SC506 Helicopter Stability and Control
USNTPS SY503 Airborne Navigation Systems
USNTPS SY601 Airborne Electro-optical Systems

In addition, the USNTPS DT-II flight test project and report is considered in lieu of a thesis. The NPS transcript will include 14 credits for the USNTPS program. The Quality Point Rating (QPR) for the NPS transcript will be computed based only on the NPS courses completed by the student.


Graduates of USNTPS earn a Navy Subspecialty Code of 5403 which applies to their flight test training. Completion of this curriculum qualifies an officer as an Aerospace Engineering Specialist with a subspecialty code of 5402P. The curriculum sponsor is Naval Air Systems Command.

Typical Course of Study

Upon entry into the program students will typically enroll in one course per quarter to be taken via distance learning. All requirements must be completed within three calendar years from entry. The program of study for each student will be submitted for approval by the Chairman of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. A typical course sequence would include:

Core Courses:

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
AE4452Advanced Missile Propulsion



ME3205Missile Aerodynamics



ME3611Mechanics of Solids II



ME4703Missile Flight and Control



ME4704Missile Design



Other Courses:

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
SE3100Fundamentals of Systems Engineering



ME4751Combat Survivability, Reliability and Systems Safety Engineering



Educational Skill Requirements (ESRs)

USNTPS – Aerospace Engineering Program – Curriculum 613

Subspecialty Code: None

The ESRs required by the Naval Air Systems Command are met upon graduation from USNTPS. This is a degree program only, leading to the Master of Science in Engineering Science with Major in Aerospace Engineering.