The unmanned aerial systems program at Oklahoma State University’s College of Engineering, Architecture and Technology has been ranked No. 2 in the nation by Successful Student website in a ranking of the top 15 programs in the U.S.
The site recognized OSU’s first-in-the-nation graduate-level UAV concentration and the school’s facilities including a dedicated flight test facility with two runways, a control room and a hangar where more than 200 custom unmanned aircraft have been tested.
“Oklahoma State University has long been known as the go-to university for advanced unmanned aircraft design and build, so it is gratifying to hear that the addition of the UAS option at the graduate level has been recognized as well,” said Jamey Jacob, the Ray and Linda Booker Professor of Aerospace Engineering.
“This is a ranking of the 15 Best Drone Training Colleges in America. Factors that were considered in the ranking were academic reputation, hands-on drone training in piloting/engineering, variety of courses, and accreditation. As always at Successful Student, this ranking was considered from the student’s point of view. The terms “Drone”, “UAV” and “UAS” are used interchangeably.
The commercial and military impact UAV’s will have in the coming years is very significant, creating more than 100,000 new jobs by 2025, with an economic impact of $82 billion, according to a 2013 report by the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (a group representing 7,500 individual members and 600 corporations). The U.S. budget for drone warfare has increased from $667 million in 2002 to more than $3.9 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service. And the number of drones in military service has increased from 167 to nearly 7,500.
Known as America’s Healthiest Campus, Oklahoma State was also the first University to offer a concentration in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) at the graduate level. Students may choose between the Master’s of Science or PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Applicants at the Master’s level are required to have a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, and PhD applicants must have a Master’s degree. The curriculum covers design, construction, and test flights for UAS’s. Test flights are performed at a dedicated UAS facility that includes an aircraft hangar, control room, 2 runways, and a 1 mile/1 mile flight area of open land. Over 200 custom aircrafts have been launched at this facility, including a few world records. Students may also have the opportunity to work with the University Multispectral Laboratories at Ft. Sill, OK, giving them unique access to restricted airspace. Research opportunities are abundant through the UAS program, which covers a wide area of topics, including: UAS structure and design, flight path management, communications and operations, and aerodynamics.”