Daytona Beach Campus

Master of Science in Unmanned & Autonomous Systems Engineering



The Master of Science in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Engineering (MSUASE) prepares students to work in an emerging industry that designs, develops and supports systems that operate along a spectrum of autonomy, from those remotely controlled through decreasing human interaction to full autonomy. Aside from the unmanned aircraft and autonomous cars increasingly in the news, the field includes robotic surface water and underwater vessels, spacecraft and industrial robots.

The program’s emphasis is on developing engineers with a strong interdisciplinary background in current and evolving engineering practices for unmanned and autonomous systems. Graduates will possess the breadth of knowledge required for analysis, design and development of the variety of unmanned systems platforms and related systems and components, as well as system reliability, safety and certifiability.

The program’s core presents a breadth of content in controls, the variety of unmanned systems platforms (aircraft, ground, nautical), planning and localization, sensors and data links, control systems and system reliability, safety and certifiability. The remainder of the program allows students to develop depth in one aspect of unmanned and autonomous systems or additional breadth across topics in the field, including the option to demonstrate development of a project or an idea to completion through either a two-semester capstone project or a publication thesis. Graduates of the program are expected to enter industry ready to contribute to the development of new systems and advance of the state-of-the-art in unmanned and autonomous systems.

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The Master of Science in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Engineering (MSUASE) gives students a chance to change the world. It is one of the first and one of the few such programs to offer study in the engineering of unmanned and autonomous systems.

Whether in flight or in space, on the water’s surface or the ocean’s floor, on the ground or deep below, the change-enabling — sometimes life-saving — contributions of unmanned and autonomous systems to jobs is already recognized. They similarly will have a substantial positive impact on manned systems, from better aircraft autopilots to self-driving cars. The value of unmanned and autonomous systems will only grow in the years to come.

The MSUASE program is uniquely posed to prepare tomorrow’s engineers for careers designing, developing and deploying unmanned and autonomous technologies. It builds on Embry-Riddle’s existing strong programs in aerospace engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering and systems engineering. 

It offers the student flexibility in how to complete the program, ranging from the coursework-only option to a substantial research thesis. Many students will elect the capstone project option, giving them a chance to develop a working unmanned or autonomous system in an environment that is as close to real-world as one can get on a university campus. And students particularly interested in unmanned aircraft systems have the option of the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Area of Concentration, providing specific depth in developing flight control systems for unmanned aircraft.


View requirements for the M.S. in Unmanned and Autonomous Systems Engineering degree on the Catalog site.