Online Master of Philosophy (MPhil) in Aeronautical Accident Investigation

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Earn an Online Master of Philosophy in Aeronautical Accident Investigation and learn the fundamentals of vessel crash analysis, the human and material factors involved, and the procedural methodology of investigating air and space incidents.

As air and space travel continues to grow, so does the demand for professionals with the expertise to investigate and understand the root causes of accidents that happen in the air and in space. 

The MPhil in Aeronautical Accident Investigation is a research-intensive program designed for professionals with experience in relevant fields to enhance their skills and expertise in crash investigation. Graduates will be poised to become the leaders who will be responsible for supporting, expanding, and advancing the growing aviation and aerospace applications on all scales.

Under the guidance of a designated thesis chair, you’ll conduct original research in an area of aeronautical accident investigation that interests you, whether in commercial, civil, or general aviation, and graduate having successfully produced and defended your dissertation and contributed new knowledge to the field. 

What you’ll gain with an MPhil in Aeronautical Accident Investigation:

  • In-depth understanding of the principles behind accident investigation, including aeronautical engineering, forensic science, data analysis, and human factors
  • Exposure to the academic publishing process and practical research experience
  • Specialized expertise in your area of interest that enables you to serve as a top leader in your field 
  • Practical experience applying vessel crash analysis, forensic techniques, and procedural methodology to investigate root causes of air and space incidents 
  • In-demand workplace skills, such as critical thinking, attention to detail, resilience, and the ability to work under pressure
  • Insight into safety regulations and human and material factor considerations 
  • The opportunity to contribute new knowledge and ideas to an evolving area
  • Enhanced career prospects as a subject matter expert 
  • The mindset for continuous learning in growing areas of aerospace and aviation 

With an MPhil in Aeronautical Accident Investigation, you’ll develop a unique combination of skills that not only make you a competent accident investigator, but also open doors to other roles within the aviation industry and beyond. Whether you aspire to work for a national aviation authority, an aircraft manufacturer, or an independent consultancy, an MPhil in Aeronautical Accident Investigation positions you at the forefront of aviation safety and offers a platform to make a meaningful impact through fulfilling and dynamic careers. 

An MPhil in Aeronautical Accident Investigation prepares you to lead in these roles:


  • Aeronautical Accident Investigator
  • Aeronautical Developers
  • Aerospace Engineer 
  • Air Safety Investigator
  • Aircraft Safety Investigator 
  • Aircraft Incident/Accident Expert
  • Astronautical Engineering Consultant
  • Aviation Accident Investigator 
  • Aviation Safety Analyst
  • Crash Investigator
  • Director of Astronautical Facilities
  • Flight Data Record Inspector 
  • Researcher
  • Scientist 
  • Transportation Safety Specialist 

Graduates apply their expertise as subject matter experts for airlines, regulatory bodies, and insurance companies, as well as local, state, and federal government agencies to support our nation’s defense and position as a world leader in aviation and space innovation. The demand for this skillset will continue to grow as opportunities in commercial space open new doors. Our graduates also expand upon their research in PhD programs, with several tracks in Aviation and Astronautical Sciences offered at Capitol Tech, as well as competitive programs at other top institutions. 

Characteristics of an MPhil 

The MPhil is a research-intensive degree designed for experienced professionals who want to explore research studies to acquire highly specialized knowledge and skills  before starting a PhD program, or to conduct original research in a field specific to their work to advance their careers.  

Students pursue an MPhil degree to:

  • Gain practical research skills and experience
  • Develop advanced expertise in a specific area 
  • Become familiar with the academic publishing process 
  • Quickly engage in research, without the length of a PhD program 
  • Build their credibility by conducting and publishing original research 
  • Advance their careers with specific expertise and in-demand skills 
  • Prepare for a PhD program and other advanced research opportunities
  • Contribute new knowledge to emerging fields

The Master of Philosophy in Aeronautical Accident Investigation program offers deep proficiency in aviation, aerospace and aeronautics engineering through interdisciplinary methodology, and cutting-edge courses. The research degree enables you to quickly engage in research, publishing, and leadership with an opportunity to conduct extensive and sustained, original research in a specific area of accident investigation that interests you. The program's flexibility allows you to balance your studies with your career and design your thesis in a way that meets your specific goals, as well as contribute significantly to the Astronautical Engineering field.

Why Capitol?

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Expert faculty guidance in master's research

You’ll receive the guidance you need to successfully complete your master’s research and build knowledge in the field. 

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The only program of its kind to cover space

Our MPhil in Aeronautical Accident Investigation program is the one and only degree of its kind that trains professionals in accident investigation with a space option.

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Our location is a tech magnet

The Washington D.C./Baltimore, Maryland region is home to one of the largest concentrations of high-tech companies, from government agencies to defense contractors and other commercial enterprises.

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Program is 100% online

Our MPhil in Aeronautical Accident Investigation is offered 100% online, with no on-campus classes or residencies required, allowing you the flexibility needed to balance your studies and career.

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Collaborate with our industry-leading partners

Our unique partnerships give you the opportunity to use top companies and government agencies as resources, and even work on collaborative research with NASA, WIFA, and other aviation and space organizations.

Key Faculty

Career Opportunities

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Market Demand for Aeronautical Accident Investigation Expertise

As aviation and aerospace industries continue to grow, so does the demand for professionals with technical training and specialized expertise to investigate and understand the causes of accidents that happen in the air and in space.

There is a shortage of aeronautical crash investigators regionally, nationally and globally, with air travel companies, regulatory bodies, and insurance companies making up just a few of the potential employers seeking new hires with this specialized skillset. The demand also goes beyond commercial companies into local, state, and federal government agencies, where crash investigators are needed to support our nation’s defense and position as a world leader in innovation. The opportunities for professionals with this expertise and the applications of their skillset will only continue to grow with advancing areas of commercial space.

An MPhil in Aeronautical Accident Investigation can position you well for these emerging opportunities with training to handle the technical demands of middle and senior-level crash investigation roles. Crash investigators earn an average of $133,000 per year, according to Glassdoor.

Degree Details


The completion of the M.Phil. in Aeronautical Accident Investigation program requires the student to produce, present, and defend a master's dissertation after receiving the required approvals from the student’s Committee and the M.Phil. Review Board, which consists of the Dean and a senior academic with external expertise as needed and the M.Phil. Review Board. 

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates are subject to change.

The following rates are in effect for the 2024-2025 academic year, beginning in Fall 2024 and continuing through Summer 2025:

  • The per credit charge for all other masters courses is $630 per credit hour.
  • The active duty military tuition rate is $350 per credit.
  • The retired military tuition rate is $530 per credit.
  • The information technology fee is $40 per credit hour.
  • High School and Community College full-time faculty and full-time staff receive a 20% discount on tuition for master programs.

Find additional information for 2024-2025 masters tuition and fees.

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