Explore the requirements and other details for pursuing your advanced degree. AEM offers two options for graduate degrees: Master of Science, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics and Doctor of Philosophy, Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics.
Master of Science (MS)
This program emphasizes coursework in the engineering sciences that is fundamental to this field: fluid mechanics, aerospace systems, and solid mechanics. It also includes optional coursework, in aerodynamics and aerospace systems, dynamical systems, materials properties, and fluid and solid behavior, all of which is inspired by and focused upon our faculty’s cutting-edge research.
Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
The Ph.D. program requires approximately two years of coursework and is typically followed by another two to three years of thesis research. The first year’s coursework is similar to the MS program, and most Ph.D. students receive a master's degree. By the end of the first year, students identify a faculty research advisor.
The second year is devoted to more advanced coursework and beginning research. Subsequent years still include some coursework, but focus increasingly on research. The time required to complete a research project varies, but students who enter with a bachelor's degree usually finish the Ph.D. program within four to six years.
Complete the M.S. degree in two years minimum and no more than 3 years.
Complete 30 credits of coursework composed of a minimum of 14 credits in AEM , and a minimum of 6 credits in a related field, such as mathematics or mechanical engineering.
Maintain a cumulative GPA higher than 2.8 at the end of the program.
Attend two semesters of AEM Colloquium.
There are three pathways (“plans”) for Master’s students:
Plan A: independent research, completion of a thesis, and a final oral exam. The thesis counts as 10 of your 30 required credits.
Plan B: completion of a project and a final oral exam. The project counts as 3 of your required 30 credits.
Plan C: coursework only.
Students declare a plan by the end of the first year, with advisor approval.
Incoming students who have not covered basic aerodynamics, airplane dynamics, structures, and propulsion studies in their undergraduate programs may be required to complete this coursework in addition to the 30-credit graduate program.
Masters students typically register for between nine and 12 credits per semester.
Complete the Ph.D. degree in four to five years and no more than six years.
Complete 42 credits of coursework and 24 thesis credits.
Maintain a cumulative GPA higher than 3.0 at the end of the program.
Maintain active/registered status for a minimum of five semesters.
Attend four semesters of AEM Colloquium.
Pass the written preliminary exam, the preliminary oral exam, the final oral exam, and produce a thesis.