Naval Architecture PhD

Master's degree and Ph.D. programs in naval architecture are available for those who wish to work with the construction or design aspects of marine vessels or who wish to teach in the field. Read on to learn the prerequisites for these programs. Explore common courses, online availability and possible careers. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Are the Prerequisites for a Ph.D. in Naval Architecture?

In the United States, Ph.D. programs in naval architecture are rare. To be eligible for such a program, you must have a bachelor's degree. Other prerequisites might include as many as 50 graduate-level classroom hours, including several graduate-level math credits. Even if you've completed a master's degree in a field similar to naval architecture, such as engineering, you might need to spend at least a year in the classroom prior to beginning a doctorate program in this field.

Master's-level programs in naval architecture, or the closely related fields of ocean or marine engineering, are much more common. Admission to these graduate-level programs generally requires that you have a bachelor's degree in engineering from an accredited college or university.

Prerequisites Bachelor's degree, up to 50 graduate-level credit hours could also be required
Common Courses Hydrodynamics, ship propulsion, optimizing engines
Online Availability Not available online
Possible Career Fields Naval design, naval construction, research, postsecondary education

What Courses Will I Take?

In master's and Ph.D. programs in naval architecture, you'll take courses that deal with engineering, math, architecture and design. You'll also study current ship designs and ways to improve them. A number of your courses might be research-based. Some specific topics of study you might explore include:

  • Marine structures and designs
  • Manufacturing techniques
  • Ship hull design and strength
  • Ship propulsion
  • Issues in ship production
  • Hydrodynamics
  • Designing small ships
  • Analyzing ship structures
  • Designing submarines
  • Optimizing engines

Can I Earn This Degree Online?

Master's and Ph.D. programs in naval architecture are not available online. Most graduate programs in this field require you to master a variety of hands-on skills, such as testing the maneuverability and speed of different ship designs and analyzing production techniques, which can't be learned via distance education.

What Can I Do With This Degree?

With a master's or doctoral degree in naval architecture, you might choose to design ships, including submarines, cruise ships, naval ships or small boats, or you could enter naval construction, which involves repairing or updating ships and their engines. You also might enter the research sector of naval architecture, developing new designs and analyzing old ones. Additionally, with a doctorate in the field, you could become a college professor. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (, the median annual salary for naval architects and marine engineers was $92,930 as of May 2014.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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