Graduate Certificate in Hypersonics

Our Program

Purdue University's Hypersonics Graduate Certificate is designed for working professional engineers who want to develop a competitive edge by gaining graduate-level knowledge in hypersonics. This fully online program teaches state-of the-art methods in fluid dynamics, aerospace propulsion, and compressible flows. 

Advances in hypersonic technology are rapidly accelerating toward a speed where knowledge of the field becomes integral for success in the aerospace and defense industries, a key element of national security, and more. 

Because of national security needs, there is a strong demand within industry and government agencies for engineers and managers to gain understanding of issues related to hypersonic flows and the methods used to analyze them. Development of systems operating at hypersonic speeds (greater than Mach 5) can be difficult due to the intense heat transfer rates generated. The design of efficient propulsion systems also presents its own challenges. The ability of engineers to accurately predict hypersonic flows and to choose appropriate materials is critical to the successful development of hypersonic flight vehicles. 

Benefit from Purdue’s Expertise in Hypersonic Technology 

Ranked #2 in online Master’s in Engineering programs (U.S. News & World Report, 2023), Purdue is a leader in graduate engineering programs and online education. Learners in the online Hypersonics Graduate Certificate from Purdue’s top-ranked College of Engineering and School of Aeronautics and Astronautics complete a four-course, 12-credit series designed to enhance their knowledge and careers by: 

  • Upskilling with a selection of courses that support students’ areas of interest 

  • Developing a strong foundation in the fundamentals of fluid dynamics 

  • Expanding analysis capabilities for hypersonic propulsion systems and hypersonic external aerodynamics 

Purdue Engineering is a trailblazer in the field of hypersonics with a large, interdisciplinary team of research experts. Purdue is also home to a new Hypersonics and Applied Research Facility, a cutting-edge lab featuring HYPULSE and Mach 8 wind tunnels. 

Flexible Hypersonics Curriculum 

Purdue’s online Hypersonics Graduate Certificate is built on courses related to hypersonic flows and includes foundational subjects needed for students to be successful in the more specialized courses. Required curriculum includes one foundational course, two to four hypersonics-relevant courses, and one math course. Students can also take one course in mathematics, if needed. 

Students with an undergraduate background or graduate degree including fluid dynamics, aerospace propulsion, compressible flows or materials engineering may substitute a hypersonic-relevant course for the foundational course with approval.  

Students with a background including graduate level courses in mathematics may substitute a hypersonics-relevant course for the mathematics course with approval. This allows learners to tailor their program to their needs and interests from a selection of graduate-level courses taught by Purdue engineering faculty who are persistently known as leading experts in their fields.  

Foundational Courses

AAE 51100: Introduction to Fluid Mechanics
ME 50900: Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
AAE 51400: Intermediate Aerodynamics
ME 51000: Gas Dynamics
AAE 54800: Mechanical Behavior of Aerospace Materials
AAE 59000: Aerospace Propulsion

Hypersonic-relevant Courses

AAE 51200: Computational Aerodynamics (CFD) 
AAE 51900: Hypersonic Aerothermodynamics 
AAE 53700: Hypersonic Propulsion 
AAE 59000: Nonequilibrium Hypersonic Flows 
MSE 59700: Ceramics for Hypersonic Applications
AAE 62400: Laminar/Turbulent Transition 

Math Courses

MA 51100: Linear Algebra with Applications 
MA 52700: Advanced Mathematics for Engineers and Physicists I 
MA 52800: Advanced Mathematics for Engineers and Physicists II

Each course within the program is three credits. Credits earned in this program with a grade of B- or better can be applied towards an Interdisciplinary Master of Science (MS) in Engineering, MS in Aeronautics and Astronautics, or MS in another engineering program according to that program’s policy. 

Students should possess strong analytical writing and verbal communication skills, and have relevant work experience or a relevant academic background for the course prerequisites in Intro to Fluid Dynamics, Computational Aerodynamics, Hypersonic Propulsion, Aerospace Propulsion, and Laminar/Turbulent Transition. 


Term Deadline
Fall July 1
Spring November 1
Summer No Entry

Interested? Please email for more information.