Master of Science Degrees (MS FTE and MS FT&E)

Non U.S. Citizens who enroll in the Master of Science program are advised that they may be required to maintain continuous enrollment while at NTPS in order to satisfy United States Visa and immigration requirements.

National Flight Test Institute (NFTI)
The National Test Pilot School (NTPS), through its academic and research unit, the National Flight Institute (NFTI), offers Master of Science degrees in Flight Test Engineering (MSFTE) and Flight Test and Evaluation (MSFT&E).  Upon successful completion of the course of study at NFTI, students who have an undergraduate degree from an ABET or equivalent university program are eligible to receive the MSFTE degree. Students with other technical backgrounds will be awarded the MSFT&E degree.  In addition to graduating with a master’s degree, students who complete all the master’s degree modules’ academics and laboratory exercises in each specialization (Systems or P&FQ) will be awarded a Certificate from NTPS attesting to their qualifications for flight test crew duties as a Test Pilot or Flight Test Engineer in that specialization.


Educational Objectives
Within a few years of graduation, NTPS Master of Science in Flight Test Engineering alumni can be expected to:

  • Demonstrate increasingly highly specialized communications skills required to execute safety critical tests in flight and in the control room.
  • Successfully integrate the roles of a Flight Test Engineer throughout the aircraft/system design, development and testing process.
  • Validate the airworthiness and mission capability of an air vehicle and/or system.
  • Attain positions with increasing responsibilities in managing developmental flight test projects.
  • Advance the flight test and evaluation discipline through reports, professional papers, journal articles, and/or symposia presentations.


The prerequisites for enrollment in the Master programs are a Baccalaureate degree in engineering, physical or computer science, mathematics or technical management. Students presenting other credentials will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis.


Transfer Credit
Up to 9 Quarter (6 Semester) transfer credits may be applied toward the Master of Science degree.



In order to graduate, students must take a core curriculum and select one of two specialty tracks (Performance & Flying Qualities or Systems). Courses are offered in modules, nominally one week of academics and two weeks of laboratory exercises. Completion of a Capstone Project (T&E 4003), and depending upon their specialty, a P&FQ Flight Test Laboratory if doing the Systems specialization or Introduction to Avionics and Weapons Flight Test if doing the P&FQ specialization is compulsory.

Completion of all modules and laboratory exercises qualifies students as aircrew members in the relevant specialization, while graduation with only academic subjects does not qualify graduates as aircrew members. Graduates qualified as aircrew members will be capable of performing first flight, envelope expansion, and engineering evaluations of performance, handling qualities and/or aircraft systems. Throughout the course of instruction, emphasis is given to flight test means of showing compliance with the Federal Airworthiness Regulations (FAR), the Joint Airworthiness Regulations (JAR) and Military Standard (MIL-STD) for piloted aircraft.

The culmination of the master’s degree is a final project. This project serves as comprehensive project that covers much of the material taught during the entire course. Unlike many of the prior elements of the curriculum, this project is always an individual event. Teaming with other students is not permitted. Thus every student will have the opportunity to take an assignment, design a test plan, execute that plan, collect and analyze data, and finally produce final reports, both oral and written, as an individual effort. The aircraft chosen for the student is one with which the student is not familiar. Every effort is made to select an aircraft in keeping with the student’s expected duties after graduation.

For detailed information download the online catalog. 

Lester Ingham, Director, National Flight Test Institute

National Flight Test Institute
P.O Box 658
Mojave, CA  93502-0658
Phone: 661.824.2977
Fax: 661.824.2943
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Signup: Use the Student Application Form to register for a course. Alternatively, you can contact us to check course availability.

NTPS Catalog: For more detailed information please visit the online catalog page to view or download the NTPS Catalog.

Notice: Course costs and dates are subject to change without notice. Please refer to the Course Schedule and Costs page for more information. Contact us to check course availability.

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Contact Info

National Test Pilot School
P.O. Box 658
Mojave, CA 93502-0658 USA
Phone: 661-824-2977
Fax: 661-824-2943