The Master of Science in Unmanned Systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

News reports of professional sports teams, media organizations and commercial enterprises engaging unmanned aerial systems to take photographs have become commonplace. Driverless cars may have once been a far-fetched idea, but now auto makers and technology developers are in the early stages of testing these autonomous vehicles for commercial use. And while military and government organizations have utilized this technology for decades, the mainstream use of unmanned systems in the civilian/commercial sector is just beginning to develop.

The Master of Science in Unmanned Systems at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University – Worldwide examines the application, development and management of unmanned systems and addresses issues including regulation; systems design; policy and ethics; education and training; and human performance and machine interaction.

Designed for anyone from recent undergraduates to experienced professionals, this master’s degree program will complement your existing professional interests or evolve into an entirely new field of expertise. Students will gain the knowledge and skills needed to provide innovative solutions for all unmanned systems – in the air, on the ground, under water and out in space.

Degree concentrations include: unmanned aerospace system; aeronautics and design; human factors; space systems; safety/emergency response; operations; education; aviation/aerospace management; and aviation/aerospace research. Advanced knowledge in these specialized areas will give graduates an edge when competing for jobs in the unmanned industry.

Career Areas

In the unmanned aerial systems field alone, more than 100,000 jobs are projected by 2025, according to a study by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International. Current employers include the military, government agencies and defense contractors. As commercial regulations develop, new applications of unmanned systems are predicted in areas such as aerial imaging and mapping, agriculture, energy, transportation, telecommunication, journalism and environmental monitoring. Careers in unmanned systems include:

  • Engineers (aerospace, communications, electrical, mechanical, GNC, hardware, logistics, software, systems, quality assurance and test)
  • Analysts (system, data management, manufacturing, operations, procurement, research, quality)
  • Managers (account, contracts, program, project, operations)
  • Training Developers/Coordinators
  • Administrators (government, contracts, IT, property)
  • Planners (mission, facilities, schedule, strategic)
  • Technicians (avionics, electronics, manufacturing, RF)
  • Writers (technical, grant, proposal)
  • Business Developers
  • Executive Leadership
  • Small Business Owner/Entrepreneur
  • UAS Operators, Pilots, Sensor Operators

Degree Requirements

Now that you’re seriously considering a Master of Science in Unmanned Systems, take a look at our prerequisites and program requirements in the Worldwide Catalog to make sure you’re on the right track. Then review some more in-depth information about our program. If everything’s in order, submit your application today!

Program Outcomes

  1. Analyze the fundamentals of unmanned systems, including the technological, social, environmental, and political aspects of the system to examine, compare, analyze and recommend conclusions
  2. Compare and contrast current unmanned system issues, identify contributing factors, and formulate strategies to address or further investigate
  3. Evaluate and recommend the incorporation of new technologies, methods, processes, or concepts with current unmanned system applications, management practices, or operational policies
  4. Critically justify and validate unmanned system design configurations to support safe, efficient, and effective operations in applicable domains (air, space, ground, and maritime), including assessing appropriateness of major elemental components; evaluating limitations and constraints; formulating theory of operation; and supporting perceived need
  5. Effectively communicate concepts, designs, theories, and supporting material with others in the unmanned systems field
  6. Investigate a current unmanned systems research problem; complete a thorough review of the scholarly literature; formulate hypotheses; collect and appropriately analyze data; and, interpret and report research findings to improve the field of unmanned systems or to provide solutions to an unmanned systems application problem