Air Force and Navy Joint AFIT/Test Pilot School (TPS) Program
A special program is offered in the department in which the participating students are awarded dual diplomas: (1) an MS in Aeronautical Engineering from AFIT, and (2) a diploma from the United States Air Force Test Pilot School (AFTPS) or the United States Navy Test Pilot School (NTPS). The special joint AFIT/TPS program is only available to students who have been selected for admission to TPS. Degree requirements: same as listed in section 1.1.3 with the exception of the thesis requirement for Navy TPS students (See below).
Air Force TPS: Each year the Air Force TPS Selection Board selects two or more Air Force officers for this combined program. The selected students enter AFIT residency in September or January, and in five quarters (15 months) complete their AFIT course work. The Air Force students also complete a large portion of the thesis requirement while in residence. The students leave in December/June without their AFIT degree and enter TPS at Edwards AFB starting in January/July. While at TPS the students design and fly a flight test program that is subsequently incorporated into their MS thesis. Upon successful completion of the 1-year program at TPS and a successful defense of their AFIT thesis, the students are awarded the MS Degree in Aeronautical Engineering.
Navy TPS: The Navy TPS Selection Board selects approximately 12 Navy officers per year for this combined program. The selected students enter AFIT residency in January or June, and in five quarters (15 months) complete their AFIT course work. Naval Flight Officers (NFOs) remain at AFIT for an additional quarter. The pilot-students leave in March/September without their AFIT degree and enter Navy TPS at the Patuxent River Naval Air Station starting in June/January. While at TPS the students design and fly a flight test program culminating in a flight test report that is submitted in lieu of the thesis. Upon successful completion of the 1-year program at TPS, the students are awarded the MS Degree in Aeronautical Engineering. Special Requirement: Navy TPS students must take ASYS 590 – Aircraft Survivability and CSCE 581 – Fundamentals of Avionics. Non-aero undergraduates must take AERO 685 – Aerospace Design Systems to fulfill design requirements (MENG 733 – Engine Design can be taken, but will not fulfill the requirement).