Transportation Safety Degree Programs
Through a master's or doctoral degree program focused on transportation safety, you could learn about crash investigation and vehicle design. Keep reading to learn more about these degree programs, their requirements, and the courses they include.
What Transportation Safety Programs Are There?
Transportation safety degree programs aren't common, but there are some graduate-level options. Alternatively, you can earn a degree in civil engineering, transportation engineering or a related field and take courses in transportation safety. Transportation safety degree programs aren't typically offered online.
Some engineering programs offer a concentration in transportation safety. You also might be able to supplement your program's courses with internships, fellowships or other experiences in the transportation safety field. Additionally, some transportation engineering schools operate research centers that could provide you with research opportunities at the graduate level.
|Degree Options||Master's and PhD degrees, related degrees with transportation safety courses|
|Common Courses||Urban transportation, traffic control, vehicle design, crash investigation|
|Master's Requirements||Bachelor's in related field, research, thesis|
|PhD Requirements||Master's in related field, oral and written exams, research, thesis|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)||7% growth (for transportation, storage, and distribution managers)*|
|Median Salary (2018)||$94,730 (for transportation, storage, and distribution managers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Courses Will I Take?
Transportation safety degree programs typically require you to take courses in civil and environmental engineering, urban transportation, facilities design, traffic control and transportation safety engineering. You'll likely learn how highway design impacts traffic safety and how to solve problems using traffic signals, intersections and other aspects of roadway systems. In general, transportation engineering programs focus on traffic systems and traffic flow, but courses in safety are usually offered.
You also might find a program in traffic safety that focuses on vehicle design. These programs usually require courses in crash investigation, crash testing, vehicle dynamics and vehicle structures. Other courses might include anatomy and biomechanics. Concepts and theories in physics and mathematics, such as the theory of elasticity and linear algebra, also may be covered.
How Do I Earn a Master's Degree?
Master's degree programs in transportation safety or a related field typically accept applicants with a bachelor's degree in engineering or another science-based subject. These programs generally require you to take a few core courses, electives in your area of concentration and research courses that provide you with the tools you'll need to complete your thesis. You might be able to find a program that doesn't require a thesis, but these aren't common. Typically, you'll conduct new research and present it in your thesis, which is the culmination of your master's work.
What is Needed to Complete My Ph.D.?
Many Ph.D. programs in this field require a master's degree for admission and 2-4 years of study to complete. You'll likely be required to take various transportation courses, in addition to establishing an area of interest, such as traffic safety engineering. Some programs also recommend that you complete classes in statistics and technical writing.
Most programs will require you to pass both written and oral preliminary exams before moving on to your doctoral thesis work. Once approved, you'll likely spend a year or more conducting research and meeting with members of your thesis committee. Generally, you'll present your finished work to your committee, although some schools instead ask that you introduce your thesis as part of a seminar series. You also might need to pass additional oral and/or written exams prior to receiving your degree.