NMSU branding

New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

News Center

NMSU Regents approve creating master's and doctoral aerospace engineering degrees

The New Mexico State University Board of Regents formally approved the creation of a master's degree in aerospace engineering as well as a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering during their meeting Oct. 30 in Las Cruces. The degrees will be offered by the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in the NMSU College of Engineering.

"This will help us attract additional graduate students into our college. This also will help economic development because this sort of program will be attractive to aerospace companies looking to locate in New Mexico," said Thomas Burton, head of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department in the College of Engineering.

NMSU first approved a bachelor's degree in aerospace engineering in 2003, and began offering classes in fall 2006. Today there are more than 80 undergraduates majoring in aerospace engineering at NMSU, with the first graduates expected in December 2008.

"This is an outstanding example of the work we are doing," said Bob Gallagher, chair of the NMSU Board of Regents. "It shows how far we've come in an area that is about to take off in our state."

Burton told the Regents that the mechanical and aerospace engineering department had been researching and developing a proposal for a graduate aerospace engineering program for the past two years. The ability to offer advanced degrees in aerospace engineering is seen as essential in recruiting nationally competitive faculty members, who in turn attract research funding and high-level graduate students.

NMSU is working with New Mexico Tech and the University of New Mexico to expand distance-learning opportunities where students in the aerospace engineering program could develop specialty areas.