Frequently Asked Questions

Below are frequently asked questions for AEM graduate students. If you have any questions on the graduate program, feel free to contact Professor Elliott, Director of Graduate Studies or email us at aem-dgs@umn.edu.

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Table of Contents

1. What can I do to prepare for applying to the University of Minnesota?

2. How do I determine my ELP if I am a non-native speaker of English?

3. Can I apply online?

4. Can I have my application evaluated without paying the fee?

5. What should I write in my personal statement?

6. What are my chances of being admitted to the Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics?

7. Does Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics admit applicants for the Spring semester?

8. What are the minimum requirements to be considered for admission to a graduate program in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics?

9. How do I apply for graduate studies in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics?

10. Can I apply to the Ph.D. program directly?

11. Does Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics require the GRE?

12. Does the Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics require that I calculate and list my grade-point average (GPA) on the application?

13. What is the minimum GPA required to gain admittance into the program?

14. How many letters of recommendation are required?

15. On the online application it asks for more than one statement do I need to complete all of them?

16. I do not have my official GRE or TOEFL score sheet, how can I upload my scores to the application?

17. Do I need to report my official GRE or TOEFL scores?

18. My Application status shows incomplete, but I submitted everything to the department?

19. What TOEFL score do I need to be considered for admission?

20. Will I be notified when my application has been submitted or is complete?

21. How do I apply for Financial Support?

22. When will I be notified whether I have been admitted?

23. Do I need to submit a financial certification form with my application?

24. How do I accept or decline your offer of admission?

25. If I apply to the PhD program and I'm denied, can I still be considered for the MS program?

26. How can I upload or add documents to my application if I have already submitted it?

27. I've been admitted to the AEM Graduate program, but need to defer. What should I do?

28. Can I use credits taken as an Undergrad toward my Graduate degree?

1. What can I do to prepare for applying to the University of Minnesota?

We encourage you to begin early and prepare all documents needed to support your application. Contact three of your professors regarding letters of recommendation. If you have been out of the academic scene for a while please use professional contacts for letters of recommendation. The GRE is not required for the AEM program, but if you have taken it we encourage you to list your scores on your application.  It is the University of Minnesota policy that non-native speakers of English must have an English Language Proficiency (ELP) rating in order to be considered eligible to become a teaching assistant. 


2. How do I determine my ELP if I am a non-native speaker of English?

ELPs are determined by your score on one of the following assessments:

  1. Internet-based TOEFL (speaking subscore)
  2. SETTA (Spoken English Test for Teaching Assistants)
  3. Final exam taken after coursework in the International TA Program 

The AEM department requires all Graduate Teaching Assistants to have an ELP of 0 or 1. A score lower than a 1 requires further action. Please see: https://cei.umn.edu/spoken-english-test-teaching-assistants-setta for more information.


3. Can I apply online?

Yes, the University of Minnesota will only accept applications through the online application system.


4. Can I have my application evaluated without paying the fee?

No, the fee must be paid before an application will be processed and reviewed. 


5. What should I write in my personal statement?

The personal statement should describe succinctly your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the University of Minnesota, your preparation for this field of study, academic and research interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests.


6. What are my chances of being admitted to the Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics?

Because of the large volume of applications and inquiries we receive during each admissions cycle, we cannot evaluate the potential success of each applicant. Admissions decisions can only be made by the admissions committee after an application is complete (including all supporting documents).


7. Does Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics admit applicants for the Spring semester?

We admit graduate students for FALL SEMESTER ONLY. Only under unusual circumstances will students be allowed to begin their studies at another time during the academic year.


8. What are the minimum requirements to be considered for admission to a graduate program in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics?

We admit students based on the strength of the application pool, which is always highly competitive.


9. How do I apply for graduate studies in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics?

Complete instructions are located here: Application Instructions


10. Can I apply to the Ph.D. program directly?

You may apply directly to the Ph.D. If you plan to pursue a Ph.D., we encourage you to apply directly to the Ph.D. program. In this case you will automatically be eligible for the M.S. degree. Applicants who already hold an M.S. degree from another institution should apply directly to the Ph.D. program.


11. Does Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics require the GRE?

No, GRE scores are not required and are not allowed on the graduate application.


12. Does the Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics require that I calculate and list my grade-point average (GPA) on the application?

For applicants who received their undergraduate degree at a U.S. university or college, calculate the GPA using all course work. Applicants who received their undergraduate degree outside the U.S. should not convert their grades to the U.S. scale. We are familiar with grading scales from around the world and will evaluate your transcript based on your country’s grade scale. Please list your GPA on the application reflecting the grade base of your school.


13. What is the minimum GPA required to gain admittance into the program?

Typically, we look for a GPA of 3.2 or higher, but it really depends on the applicant pool of that particular year.


14. How many letters of recommendation are required?

We require 3 letters of recommendation.


15. On the online application it asks for more than one statement do I need to complete all of them?

You need to complete the Personal Statement and Diversity Statement.


16. I do not have my official GRE or TOEFL score sheet, how can I upload my scores to the application?

You should have ETS report your scores to the University of Minnesota, school code 6874. For the GRE, or if your TOEFL is likely to be delayed in reporting, you can upload your copy of the score sheet, or a screen shot of your scores that are available online.


17. Do I need to report my official GRE or TOEFL scores?

You should have ETS report TOEFL scores directly to the University of Minnesota, using school code 6874. If your scores are likely to be delayed, you can upload a copy of your score sheet. If you are admitted you will need to supply official scores for the TOEFL. GRE scores are not required and are not allowed on the graduate application.


18. My Application status shows incomplete, but I submitted everything to the department?

The online application status is updated by the UMN Graduate School, not the department. You will need to contact the Graduate Admissions at gsquest@umn.edu, regarding the status of your application.


19. What TOEFL score do I need to be considered for admission?

The minimum TOEFL score required by the University of Minnesota for graduate admission is 550 on the paper and pencil test, 213 on the computer based test and 79 on the Next Generation TOEFL (iBT). Applicants with a score below these values will not be admitted. 

Test scores are not required for applicants that have completed post-secondary coursework in:  

  • United States
  • Canada (except Quebec)
  • United Kingdom/Ireland
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Most current and former British and U.S. territories in the Caribbean/Central and South America

To qualify for exemption, the coursework: 

  • Consists of least 16 semester credits or 24 quarter credits,
  • Does not include ESL coursework, and
  • Was completed within the past 2 years.

The TOEFL score is due on December 15, along with the rest of the application. If this presents a scheduling problem for you, compile and submit all other materials and then contact aem-dgs@umn.edu to work out a plan to submit TOEFL scores.

More information can be found here: https://grad.umn.edu/admissions/international-student-resources/english-language-proficiency


20. Will I be notified when my application has been submitted or is complete?

The Graduate School Admissions Office will send you a confirmation email after your online application is submitted. Once the Graduate School Admissions Office forwards your application to our department you will receive an email if any materials are missing. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure that the application is submitted and all supporting documents are received by the Department of Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics by the appropriate deadline.


21. How do I apply for Financial Support?

Anyone who applies by the Dec. 15th deadline is automatically considered for financial assistance. All materials on the application page including recommendation letters must be on file by Dec. 15th to be considered.


22. When will I be notified whether I have been admitted?

We will start notifying applicants in mid-February and continue to do so until the admissions committee has made all of their decisions. All applicants are notified by e-mail. If your application is successful, the Graduate School will notify you that you have been recommended for admission.


23. Do I need to submit a financial certification form with my application?

If you are accepted, we will inform you of the information we need and send you the necessary forms. Do not send financial statements in advance.


24. How do I accept or decline your offer of admission?

Applicants receiving an offer of admission will also receive from the Graduate School Admissions Office a request to complete an Enrollment Form. Once the Enrollment Form is complete you will be eligible to register for classes. We appreciate notification via email as well.


25. If I apply to the PhD program and I'm denied, can I still be considered for the MS program?

No, once you are denied for one program, we will not consider you for another.


26. How can I upload or add documents to my application if I have already submitted it?

Please contact the department (aem-dgs@umn.eduabout changing your application after it has been submitted.


27. I've been admitted to the AEM Graduate program, but need to defer. What should I do?

We understand that plans may change and you may decide to attend the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics (AEM)  for a semester other than the one for which you were admitted. Common reasons for deferral are for work, travel, military service, religious observance, medical reasons, or some other extraordinary opportunity.  If you wish to join AEM in a future term, please read the following information carefully:

An offer of admission to the Graduate School is made only for the upcoming academic year.  Acceptance of the offer is generally not deferred; however, the Graduate School permits academic departments to recommend admission deferrals on a case-by-case basis.

You may defer your enrollment for up to one academic year, if requested before the start of the term for which you originally applied.  If you need to defer your entry term beyond one year, you must reapply at that time. Please note that you may NOT defer for more than one academic year (e.g. from Fall 2019 to Spring 2021) and that any financial offer you receive with your initial admission offer will not carry over, but will be considered for the new entry date. Also please be aware that the AEM department strongly suggests new students begin Fall semester.

Deferred students may not enroll at another college or university or in a program that grants college credit without prior approval from the AEM Director of Graduate Studies. Students will need to provide a transcript for any courses they may have taken. (Not providing this information could be considered scholastic dishonesty).

Deferrals require approval by the departmental graduate program and the Graduate School.   

**If the deferral is approved, you must reapply for any scholarships, financial aid, graduate assistantships, or other opportunities that were offered for the original admission.

Deferral Procedures

To request a deferral the student must:

  1. Complete the deferral form (preferable via: Google Form but a PDF version is also available if necessary)

  2. Submit the deferral form 1 month prior to the first day of classes of the original term of admission for review and approval by the AEM Department and the Graduate School.  Please be aware that the review process can take up to two weeks. Individuals will be notified of the decision  by the Graduate Program Coordinator."

AEM Graduate Admission Deferral Request - https://forms.gle/NvfWZ4Y5Rk2YExZy8

AEM Graduate Enrollment Deferral Policy


28. Can I use credits taken as an Undergrad toward my Graduate degree?
 
Graduate credits taken before the award of an undergraduate degree may be counted toward a graduate degree under limited circumstances if approved by the graduate program and collegiate unit. In order to avoid double-counting, graduate courses that were used to meet either credit or degree requirements for the undergraduate degree may not be counted toward a graduate degree.