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Ocean Engineering and Naval Engineering Education at Virginia Tech Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is a premier public land-grant research university, offering undergraduate, master's and doctoral degrees through eight academic colleges including interdisciplinary degrees and certificates in a variety of disciplines.

Virginia Tech offers about 65 bachelor's degree programs through its seven undergraduate academic colleges, 145 master's and doctoral degree programs through the graduate school, and a professional degree from the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine.

Virginia Tech is the home of the Commonwealth’s leading College of Engineering. The college, its faculty and its administration are known in Virginia and throughout the nation for outstanding programs in engineering education, research, and public service. America's Best Colleges 2008 survey released by US News & World Report in August 2007 ranked the Virginia Tech College of Engineering's undergraduate program 14th in the nation. The magazine's America's Best Graduate Schools 2009 survey, released in March 2008, ranked the College's graduate program 28th among all the nation's engineering schools and 17th among engineering schools at public universities.

Academic Programs

Undergraduate Program

  • BS in Ocean Engineering: Ocean engineering is a diverse field. At Virginia Tech, the major focus areas are ocean vehicles and structures including ships, advanced marine vehicles, offshore platforms and submarines. The programs also focuses on computer-aided analysis and design of ships, using methods based on first principles.

Graduate Programs

  • MS in Ocean Engineering (OnCampus & Online): This degree has two options, a Master of Science with or without thesis. Although both degrees require the same number of credit hours for graduation, the thesis option requires some of these credits be devoted to a research project. The non-thesis option can be obtained by taking only course work, or it can include credits for a project and report. Such a project and report is generally not research oriented, but deals with other aspects of an engineering problem and may involve a team of students.
  • Graduate Certificate in Naval Engineering: This certificate program will attract and enable graduate students throughout the college to better prepare for this critical profession. Naval engineering is defined as a field of study and expertise that includes all engineering and sciences as applied in the research, development, design, construction, operation, maintenance, and logistic support of surface and subsurface ships, craft, aircraft, and vehicles (manned and autonomous) used by the U.S. Navy for the nation’s defense. It is inherently multidisciplinary involving all departments from the College of Engineering and from other colleges as well. This certificate program will attract and enable graduate students throughout the College of Engineering to better prepare for this critical profession. It is open to all graduate students in the College of Engineering.


In the most recent survey (2007) of the Engineering Workforce Commission of the American Association of Engineering Societies, Inc., the Virginia Tech College of Engineering ranked ninth nationally for the total number of degrees awarded, sixth for the number of undergraduate degrees awarded, 22nd for the number of master's degrees and 14th for the number of PhDs. The College of Engineering offers Bachelor of Science degrees in the following areas: Aerospace Engineering, Biological Systems Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Construction Engineering and Management, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Science and Mechanics, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Mining Engineering, and Ocean Engineering.

  • Campus: The Virginia Tech campus is located in Blacksburg, Virginia, about 38 miles southwest of Roanoke, Virginia.
  • Accreditation: Virginia Tech is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools to award doctorate, masters, baccalaureate, and associate degrees. The College of Engineering undergraduate programs in engineering are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
  • Cooperative Education/Internship Program: The Co-op/Internship Program is an academic program that provides students the opportunity to combine real world work experience with classroom theory. The Co-op/Internship Program is open to any student in any major. The Graduate School administers the graduate Co-op/Internship Program. Although the majority of participants in the Co-op/Internship Program are Engineering and Business majors.
  • Study Abroad Programs: Engineering faculty have developed programs working directly with international colleges and universities. These are well-structured, rigorous engineering exchange programs with top-quality overseas universities. It is likely that some or all credits earned in these programs will transfer back to Virginia Tech, helping you go abroad without delaying your graduation.
  • Engineering Expo: Engineering Exposition (Expo) is one of the largest showcases of its kind in the country; it provides companies and students with the opportunity to meet on an informal basis and this meeting is often responsible for the establishment of a long and profitable relationship. Many students seeking internships or co-op positions come to Expo to discover what opportunities companies might have for the upcoming year. Expo is run two consecutive days every September.
  • Rising Sophomore Abroad Program: The Rising Sophomore Abroad Program (RSAP) combines a semester-long course with a two week in-country experience. The class is designed to introduce students to global teaming and leadership in engineering. The course emphasizes the importance of achieving cultural competency as engineers, as well as the cultural, social and economic aspects of practicing engineering abroad.
  • McNair Scholars Program: The Ronald E. McNair Post-Baccalaureate Achievement Program (McNair Scholars Program) is designed to encourage and prepare financially disadvantaged, first-generation college students and those from groups currently underrepresented in graduate education to pursue doctoral study. Students selected as McNair Scholars will have opportunities to explore graduate education in an environment of encouragement and close support. In addition, Scholars will learn to set high academic, personal and professional goals and will get individual assistance in achieving their goals.
  • The Cadet System: The Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets is one of only two programs in the United States offering a corps of cadets within a large public university. The Corps of Cadets, a militarily structured organization, offers many leadership development opportunities to both male and female students. The Rice Center for Leader Development offers a minor in leadership studies.
  • Housing and Residence Life: Housing and Residence Life provides facilities and services for more than 9,000 students who live in the residence halls on campus. Residence halls vary in size and shape, and students may live in traditional rooms, hotel-style rooms, or suites, in single-sex or coeducational halls. Staff members promote the academic success and personal growth of residents through community development, peer advising, involvement, student advocacy, programming, and policy enforcement.

LAST UPDATED ON Mar 31, 2017