Aerospace Engineering at Illinois Offers Online Master’s Degree

2014-02-17

Students enrolled in AE's new online graduate courses will see on their computers the instructor and slides, notes or other visuals the instructor offers.
Students enrolled in AE's new online graduate courses will see on their computers the instructor and slides, notes or other visuals the instructor offers.
The first priority in developing the Fall 2014 offering of an online Masters of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering degree at Illinois was that it provide the same experience as the on-campus MS degree study.

“Maintaining the quality is an absolute must and something on which all the faculty agreed,” said Professor John Lambros, Associate Head of Graduate Programs for Aerospace Engineering at Illinois.

“This is not a new degree program. It’s exactly the same as the existing master’s degree with the same requirements and the same courses. Starting in Fall 2014, almost all AE graduate level courses will be provided in an online format – except those that have a laboratory component, but there are only a handful of those.”

Applications for enrollment in the non-thesis online master’s degree are open now, with a deadline of June 1 for Fall 2014 consideration. The AE Department invested in the new program as a viable option for qualified graduate students who cannot be on campus.

“We will be able to reach people who are otherwise really good students but who can’t be here physically,” Lambros said. “We see this online degree format as appealing both to recent graduates just starting their careers, and to those in established careers who desire an advanced degree.”

Qualified online students must meet the same prerequisites and required backgrounds as on-campus students for admission to the online MS. A total of 32 credit hours are needed to complete the degree.

“We wanted to maintain the same application process so that the quality of the online students would be equal to on-campus students,” Lambros said.

He added that “for students not wishing to pursue a complete online MS degree the option of taking a limited number of courses is also available through Illinois’s continuing education program.”

All AE faculty who teach graduate courses will participate in teaching students enrolled in the online program. Lectures will be taped, and will be made available on an interface panel that can include video of the instructor, audio of the instructor’s interactions with on-campus students during the class, and slides and handwritten notes. The faculty member for each course will decide independently the best way to interact with online students, including through means like email, teleconferencing, discussion boards, direct contact, etc.

For more information, contact Staci Tankersley, tankatillinois [dot] edu.