Combat Systems Science and Engineering Certificate - Curriculum 233 (Resident) / 235 (DL)

Program Officer

CDR Pamela Tellado 

Spanagel Hall, Room 304

(831) 656-2045, DSN 756-2045

Academic Associate

Christopher Smithtro, Ph.D.

Code PH/Sc, Spanagel Hall, Room 206A

(831) 656-3939, DSN 756-3939


Brief Overview

The Combat Systems Science and Engineering Certificate addresses the technologies and theoretical foundations of current and future combat systems.  The courses available in the certificate cover fundamental physical principles governing combat systems and their integration, ranging from sensor technologies, weapons and their effects, modern missile technologies, and advanced weapon systems.


Fall, Spring

Program Length

4 Quarters

Requirements for Entry

A Bachelor's degree from an accredited institution including an undergraduate physics sequence.


  • Understand energy release in explosives, material response to shocks, and ballistics
  • Understand the basic principles of solid-state lasers and propagation issues related to atmospheric effects
  • Understand the basic physics of nuclear bombs, design of nuclear weapons, and related damage mechanisms
  • Understand the design of chemical warheads and the lethality of each type
  • Identify the types of electromagnetic (EM) radiation, corresponding sensors, and how different regions of the spectrum can be exploited
  • Understand the mechanisms of detection for optical, infrared, and thermal sensors, including noise mechanisms
  • Describe the tradeoffs in radar system design and performance and understand the concept of radar cross section
  • Appreciate the capabilities of advanced weapons and how they are integrated in modern combat systems  

Graduate Certificate Requirements

The academic certificate program must be completed within three years of admission to the program. A student must maintain at least a 3.0 GQPR in the courses to be awarded a certificate.

Required Courses

Course NumberTitleCreditsLecture HoursLab Hours
PC3200Survey of Electromagnetic Sensors and Detection



PC3800Survey of Weapons and their Effects





In addition to the two required courses (PC3200 and PC3800), students will choose one elective course from the following options: ME4700, ME4751, PC3400, PC4022, PC4860, TS4000.