Program Rankings and Faculty Excellence

    Program Rankings:

2018 Graduates
  • Our undergraduate program is rated 4th in the nation by the Princeton Review's Gourman Report on Undergraduate Programs
  • Our Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics program ranked #14 for engineering programs in The 2019 U.S. News and World Report.
  • Our graduate program was rated 4th in the nation in the 2010 National Research Council (NRC) Assessment of Doctoral Research Programs. In the U.S. News 2016 rankings of Aerospace Engineering Graduate Programs, our program tied for 16th place in the nation.
  • The department was ranked highly on the 2007 Faculty Scholarship Productivity index from The Chronicle of Higher Education. The index placed AEM at #1 for <20 faculty, #2 for percentage of faculty with journal publications cited by another work, #5 overall for public universities, and #10 for all institutions.
  • The department is the descendant of one of the first ten accredited Aeronautical Engineering programs in the country.
  • Among public research universities, the University of Minnesota was ranked 8th in a 2015 survey of annual research expenditures from the National Science Foundation (NSF).


Degrees Awarded (AY 2016-2017):  
Bachelor's: 70
Masters: 20
Ph.D.: 8
Total Awarded: 98


Student Enrollment (Fall 2018):  
Undergraduate: 349
Graduate: 89
Total Enrollment: 438


Faculty Excellence: 

With a high quality student body and our outstanding faculty the department is well poised to achieve its mission of excellence in all areas. Some indicators of our faculty recognition include:

16 Tenured/tenure track faculty 9 McKnight Land-Grant Professors
1 Industrial Professor of Design 1 Former Regent's Professor
3 Endowed Russell J. Penrose Professorship 1 College of Science & Engineering Distinguished Professor
2 Endowed Russell J. Penrose Fellow 1 Packard Faculty Fellow
1 Presidential McKnight Professorship 4 NSF Career Awards
4 McKnight Distinguished Professors 2 Former National Academic of Engineering Member
1 Former American Acdemy of Art and Sciences Member 1 Former National Academy of Sciences Member
  • Our faculty members not only do research, but also teach. We teach some of the highest number of student credit hours per faculty member of any of the engineering departments and student evaluations of our courses are consistently very high.


AEM had over $8.9 million in research expenditures for the 2018 fiscal year. The faculty conducted research in the broad areas of Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics and Materials, and Aerospace Systems, with specializations in fields such as Nanotechnology, Non-equilibrium Fluid Flow, and Fault Detection. There are a wide variety of research projects including nanotechnology, biomechanics, computational and experimental fluid dynamics, formation flying of satellites, air traffic control, hypersonic aerodynamics, respiratory flow and particle transport in lungs, aeroacoustics, sensor fusion, large eddy simulation, continuum theory and atomistic models, and autonomous aerospace vehicles. AEM's strong, far-reaching funding base is a testimony to the interest our research activities draw from around the world and to the department's considerable achievement in conducting high-level, meaningful research. Major funding (greater than one million dollars) in the department includes research programs in Nanometer to Millimeter Scale Aircraft (Air Force Office of Scientific Research), and Analysis of Turbulent Flows (National Science Foundation). In addition, we have many smaller grants and contracts and every faculty member in the department has external funding. We also have a NASA funded Minnesota Space Grant Consortium which supports educational and outreach activities in aerospace sciences and engineering from kindergarten through graduate school.

University Research

  • The U of M ranks 8th among public universities in research spending, with more than $940 million annually.
  • University faculty conduct research across many disciplines. The U of M is one of only four universities in the country with schools of engineering, medicine and veterinary medicine, law, and agriculture on a single campus.
  • The U of M is among the top research institutions in the nation and is a powerful economic engine for the state, creating $8.6 billion in total economic impact annually.