Georgia Institute of Technology: Distance Learning Programs In-Depth

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Center for Distance Learning
Atlanta, Georgia

Distance Learning Program

Georgia Tech's Center for Distance Learning serves more than 500 distance learning students and is housed within a unit that reports directly to the provost. Georgia Tech is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Engineering disciplines are accredited by the Accrediting Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc.

Delivery Media

Video cameras record instructor presentations and student-instructor interaction during regular Georgia Tech graduate classes. The videotapes, CDs or DVDs, and supporting materials are sent to off-campus students, who take courses without having to come to the campus. Selected courses are available at some locations via videoconferencing, satellite, and the Internet. Students enrolled in the program communicate with their Georgia Tech professor by telephone, fax, and/or e-mail. Students have access to the Georgia Tech Electronic Library and the computer system via a business or home computer and a modem. Access is also provided over the Internet. Every student is expected to high-quality computer with a printer and Internet access. (High-speed connection is highly recommended.)

Programs of Study

The Georgia Tech video-based distance delivery program provides high-quality graduate-level courses that can be applied to several master's degree programs. The School of Aerospace Engineering offers two master's degrees, the Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (M.S.A.E.) and the Master of Science (M.S.). The M.S.A.E is generally referred to as a designated degree, while the M.S. is referred to as an undesignated degree. The difference between the two degree programs is that the designated degree program includes the completion of all academic course work required for a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree. The Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering is offered with options in computer engineering, digital signal processing, power, and telecommunications; all options require 30 hours of course work. The M.S. and the Master of Science in Environmental Engineering (M.S.Env.E.) degrees are offered with concentrations in water quality, surface and subsurface systems, hazardous and solid waste, and air quality; all programs require 30 hours of course work or the equivalent. The Master of Science in Industrial Engineering is offered with specializations in automation, production and logistics systems, and statistical process control and quality assurance; it requires 30 hours of course work and students must hold an undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited engineering curriculum. The Master of Science in Operations Research (M.S.O.R.) is a program for students who likely have a background in engineering, mathematics, the physical sciences, or computer science. The Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering is offered with specializations in thermal science and mechanical systems; it requires 30 hours of course work. The Master of Science in Medical Physics (M.S.M. P.) degree program is intended to prepare students with a bachelor's degree in science or engineering for productive careers as medical physicists. Students have the choice of a thesis or a nonthesis option in the medical physics curriculum. Both options include seven required courses (21 credit hours) and a clinical rotation (3 credit hours). The thesis option includes an additional 6 credit hours for the preparation of a thesis and the elective for a total of 33 credit hours.

Founded in 1885, the Georgia Institute of Technology is the Southeast's largest technological institution. Georgia Tech is located on a 330-acre campus near downtown Atlanta—the financial, communications, and cultural hub of the Southeast. The Institute's mission is to be a leader among those few technological universities whose alumni, faculty, students, and staff define, expand, and communicate the frontiers of knowledge and innovation.

U.S. News & World Report consistently lists Georgia Tech among the fifty best universities in the nation. Georgia Tech also makes their list of the top graduate engineering programs in the country. Eight of the engineering options were ranked in the top ten, with four in the top five.

In addition to its high-quality undergraduate and graduate instructional programs, Tech has a world-class research program, with $314 million in new grants and contracts awarded during the 2004 fiscal year. This ranks Tech as the South's number one public institution in engineering research.

New for the 2005–06 academic year is a Masters of Science degree in building construction and integrated facility management. The master's program requires 36 semester hours. Students can choose either the thesis option or the nonthesis option. The thesis option is 18 hours of required courses in addition to two elective courses and a master's thesis. The nonthesis option is 18 hours of required courses and 18 hours of professional electives. The course emphasis is on professional trends, environmental and safety concerns, planning and project management, real estate and facility maintenance and management, and financial topics.

Specific information on admission and degree requirements can be obtained by calling the academic coordinators for each area. Students should call the contact name for additional information.

Special Programs

Georgia Tech offers a series of graduate-level credit courses in mechanical engineering (ME) that enable qualified students around the world to earn a Georgia Tech master's degree in ME completely online. Georgia Tech also offers online graduate courses in electrical and industrial engineering that can be applied toward master's degrees in this discipline.

All Georgia Tech online graduate courses use state-of-the-art streaming audio and video technologies synchronized with slides, simulations, and other multimedia and make maximum use of the pedagogical advantages offered by Web-based courseware and instruction. Further information about these new online degree programs is available at the Georgia Tech Center for Distance Learning Web site at the address listed in the Contact section.

A Certificate in Manufacturing provides students with the fundamentals in support of education and research in manufacturing. Each student pursuing the certificate develops knowledge and skills in a particular discipline coupled with a general knowledge of the entire manufacturing enterprise and an ability to work well as a member of a team. The certificate emphasizes the philosophy that it is not possible to educate engineers, managers, or scientists in all aspects of manufacturing. Accordingly, the program is structured to broaden and enhance the education of students who are enrolled in traditional academic disciplines. The program encourages students to develop knowledge in multiple disciplines from class work and experiences in multidisciplinary team activities. Thus, the program balances technical depth with a broad exposure and comprehension of the realistic problems and solution methodologies that are faced by manufacturing industries every day. The Certificate in Manufacturing is obtained as part of a graduate degree program (M.S. or Ph.D.) from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Students must complete a graduate degree to obtain the certificate. The certificate program consists of a set of key courses that are fundamental to manufacturing, from which the students select 12 semester hours. Students are also required to attend seminars.

Credit Options

Students earn credit toward their degree by registering for and completing courses delivered by videotape. Requirements for each course are the same as for on-campus students enrolled in the course. A student may receive transfer credit of up to 6 hours for graduate-level courses (approved by the academic adviser) taken at an accredited institution in the United States or Canada and not used for credit toward another degree.


There are 802 full-time faculty members at Georgia Tech. of these, 93 percent hold doctoral degrees. Sixteen percent, or 125 faculty members, teach in the Distance Learning Program.


Admission requirements vary among the academic disciplines. To apply, individuals should contact the academic adviser or admissions office in the School to which he or she is applying.

Tuition and Fees

Tuition for in-state and out-of-state students for the 2005–06 academic year is $763 per credit hour. Fees are subject to change each year. Students are assessed a technology fee of $100 per semester; students must also purchase their own textbooks and software.

Financial Aid

There are financial aid programs available through Georgia Tech for distance learning students. Most employers have programs that will help students pay the course fees. The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved the Georgia Tech Video Program as independent study. Georgia Tech has a memorandum of understanding with DANTES and with the Air Force.


Student Support Services Manager
Center for Distance Learning
Georgia Institute of Technology
Atlanta, Georgia 30308-1031
Phone: 404-894-3378
Fax: 404-894-8924
Web site:


Application materials can be obtained from the School to which the student is applying. Applicants must submit an Application for Admission, three letters of recommendation, a biographical sketch, two official transcripts of all previous college work, and scores from the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE). Decisions are made by the individual Schools.