WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Purdue University and United Kingdom-based Cranfield University are offering a dual master’s degree in defense engineering and technology with a specialization in expeditionary warfare, or the deployment of a country’s military forces to fight abroad. The program was fully approved in February by the Indiana Commission for Higher Education.
The program began in summer 2019 and seeks to train members of the U.S. Department of Defense and its allies in military arts, science and technology. The first cohort had 37 students from the Naval Surface Warfare Center Crane Division, the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Corona, in California, and the defense contractor community in southern Indiana.
“Crane worked very hard to identify a cohort of students with specific educational needs and who were ready to get started, so we began offering courses in the summer of 2019 in anticipation of program approval,” said Steve Beaudoin , academic director of the dual Master of Science program and director of the Purdue Energetics Research Center.
Students will complete 36 credit hours of graduate coursework and three credit hours of research. The program can be completed in three years and includes two, three-credit-hour courses offered by Purdue faculty every summer. Overall, Purdue faculty instructs six, three-credit-hour courses, with Cranfield faculty instructing the remaining six, three-credit-hour courses.
“One of the things that makes this program so unique is that this is the first graduate program Purdue has that is so interdisciplinary that it does not live in any one academic college,” said Beaudoin, also a professor of chemical engineering. “The program is more than just engineering. It draws on Purdue’s strengths in defense from units across campus.”
All instruction within the program is done face-to-face. Students receive instruction over a five-day period, receiving about eight hours of instruction each day. At the end of the instruction period, the students are mentored by the faculty as they complete nine weeks of homework and project work. The program also offers short-courses, where students can participate in the classroom portion of the courses for training purposes, without receiving academic credit.
The program is being offered at Purdue@WestGate in Odon, Indiana.
“If we can help people working at Crane and across the Department of Defense to continue their education, it will expand their capabilities and their range of opportunities. The program will help Southern Indiana become a center for Department of Defense activity and will build a better economic base there,” Beaudoin said.
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