Skip to main content
A world of possibilities. Online.
Old Main building
Master of Engineering in


A total of 30 course credits are required for the M.Eng. degree, and 18 of those credits must be from 500-level approved core courses in acoustics. The 12 non-core course credits may be selected from the approved list of elective courses offered by the acoustics program or from the approved list of related courses offered by other departments with the approval of the acoustics program. 

Course List — Master of Engineering in Acoustics

Prescribed Courses (18 credits)
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Elements of Acoustics and Vibration ACS 501

Vibrational acoustics including mechanical oscillation, forced and damped response, vibration of strings, membranes, rods, bars, and plates. 

3 credits
Elements of Waves in Fluids ACS 502

Thermodynamic and hydrodynamic foundations of linear acoustics in fluids with applications to lumped-elements, reflection, refraction, radiation, attenuation, enclosures, and waveguides.

3 credits
Signal Analysis for Acoustics and Vibration ACS 503 Time- and frequency-domain analyses for sampled, discrete-time acoustic and vibration measurements. 3 credits
Electroacoustic Transducers ACS 514

The theory, design, and calibration of passive, linear, reciprocal electroacoustic transducers for use in both air and water media. 

3 credits
Acoustics in Fluid Media ACS 515

Wave propagation in stationary and moving fluids; acoustic radiation and scattering; standing waves in ducts and cavities. 

3 credits
Advanced Signal Analysis for Acoustics and Vibration ACS 597 This course is concerned with the time and frequency-domain analysis of discrete-time signals and discrete-time linear systems, with an emphasis on developing and applying analysis techniques with applications in acoustics and vibrations.

Prerequisite: ACS 503
3 credits
Elective Courses (choose 12 credits) 
Title Abbreviation Description Credits
Sound-Structure Interaction ACS 519

Acoustic radiation from and effects of fluid-loading on vibrating infinite and finite plates and shells. Acoustic transmission through and reflection from elastic plates and shells, acoustic excitation of elastic plates, and coupling between panels and acoustic spaces.

Prerequisites:  ACS 501 and ACS 502

3 credits
Stress Waves in Solids ACS 521 Recent advances in Ultrasonic Nondestructive Evaluation: waves; reflection and refraction; horizontal shear; multi-layer structures; stress; viscoelastic media; testing principles.  3 credits
Flow-Induced Noise ACS 530

Introduction to the basic and applied aspects of flow-induced noise created by subsonic flows of various complexities.

Prerequisites: ACS 501 and ACS 502
3 credits
Noise Control Engineering ACS 537

Introduction to the application of acoustic and vibration fundamentals to the analysis and reduction of noise and vibration problems in industrial and residential settings.

3 credits
Independent Study and Special Topics ACS 596 Individual courses on specific topics may, with acoustics program approval, be arranged with an acoustics program faculty member. Individual study courses range from 1 to 9 credits, with credit load based on the content and effort, and in negotiation between, student, instructor, and the acoustics program. 1-9 credits
Computational Acoustics ACS 597 The topics covered for this are review of thermoviscous linear sound; nonlinear equations of acoustics; steepening/harmonic generation; weak shocks/N-waves; Burgers' equation; sonic booms; acoustic saturation; radiation pressure; acoustic levitation; nonlinear reflections and standing waves; biomedical harmonic imaging; streaming; cavitation and sonoluminescence; parametric arrays and the audio spotlight; scattering of sound by sound; and computational nonlinear acoustics. 3 credits
Ocean Acoustics ACS 597 Covers a broad, but comprehensive, introduction to many important topics in underwater acoustics. 3 credits
Spatial Sound and 3-D Audio ACS 597 Overview of recent developments in virtual acoustics (also known as 3-D sound, 3-D audio, binaural audio, or spatialized sound). 3 credits
Outdoor Sound Propagation ACS 597 Covers a broad, but comprehensive, introduction to many important topics in outdoor acoustics. 3 credits
Audio Signal Processing ACS 597 This course will present the essential signal processing and acoustical modeling associated with audio systems used in broadcasting, communications, music recording, and video foley production.  3 credits
Applications of Aeroacoustics and Vibroacoustics (alternative title: Acoustics of Musical Instruments) ACS 597 This course will provide an in-depth exploration of the physics and acoustics of classical musical instruments.  3 credits
Architectural Acoustics Theory and Research ACS 597 Underlying theory and commonly used research methods in architectural acoustics. 3 credits
Advanced Transducers and Acoustic System Modeling ACS 597 Topics for this course include condenser, electret, piezoelectric, magnetic coil, and balanced-arm transducers; mechanical mounting; interaction of closely spaced transducers; and nonlinear response. Computational modeling for analog circuits using SPICE, and Modelica and Simscape™ for FEA and DAE models. 3 credits
Advanced Engineering Mathematics ACS 598E

Provides basic tools for solution of differential equation of acoustics and vibration.

3 credits
Aerodynamically Induced Noise AERSP 511 Review of fluid mechanics. General theory of aerodynamic sound. Noise radiation from jets, boundary layers, rotors, and fans. Structural response. 3 credits

Capstone Paper

The Master of Engineering in Acoustics degree does not require a thesis, but it does require a capstone paper, representing a study of a particular topic more limited than what is necessary for a thesis. The paper must involve a topic that is in the public domain, and it does not have to be related to a research project; the primary requirement is that the paper demonstrate application of acoustics content you have learned from the courses taken toward the degree. The paper must be approved by a faculty adviser and the program head. The Distance Education Coordinator in the graduate program in acoustics will help match students with a faculty adviser.

Examples of recent Master of Engineering in Acoustics paper topics:

  • Review of Radiated Noise Criteria for Fisheries Research Vessels
  • An Overview of Rotorcraft Blade Vortex Interaction (BVI) Noise
  • The Effects of Meteorology on the Effectiveness of Noise Barriers
  • Vehicle Interior Noise Simulation: The Future State of Noise and Vibration Prototyping
  • The Impact of Subsonic Twin Jets on Airport Noise
  • Two Applications of Sound Intensity for Industrial Noise Control Engineering
  • Fundamentals of Guitar Acoustics
  • Computer Modeling for Acoustics with Case Study
  • Validation of FEA Damped Model and Optimization on Damping Part Geometry
  • Comparison of U.S. Government Roadway Traffic Noise Projection Techniques
  • Measuring Voice Coil Fatigue in Micro Loudspeakers
  • A System to Record Courtship Songs of the Fruit Fly

Additional course descriptions are available at the College of Engineering's Graduate Program in Acoustics website.

Penn State World Campus Graduate

Ready to Learn More?

Get the resources you need to make informed decisions about your education. Request information on this program and other programs of interest by completing this form.

* required 1/3

I agree to be contacted via phone, email, and text by Penn State World Campus and affiliates. Privacy Policy. reCAPTCHA protected. Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.