Graduates are expected to demonstrate critical thinking, an ability to do an independent, original investigation, and mastery of an area of scholarly literature.

Admission Requirements

For unconditional admission to the PhD programs, an applicant should have:

  • a relevant graduate and undergraduate degree history,
  • a 3.25 GPA on all relevant graduate course work at the time of admission,
  • scores of 145 (verbal) and 155 (quantitative) on the GRE examination. While seating for the GRE examination is unavailable due to COVID-19 restrictions, the applicant's grade history in mathematics courses will be used as a replacement for the GRE score,
  • one letter of reference from a faculty member who can speak to the candidate’s research capacity,
  • a written statement from a faculty member in the MAE Department indicating a commitment to advising the student during the first academic year of the student’s program of study.

If admission to the PhD program directly from the baccalaureate degree is requested, a 3.25 GPA on the last 60 relevant hours of a baccalaureate degree in mechanical or aerospace engineering or in a related field replaces the 3.25 GPA requirement on graduate course work.

The requirement regarding the GRE examination can be waived for applicants with a completed MS degree in a relevant field from an accredited American university.

International Applicants

For additional admissions information for international applicants see the graduate admissions page.

Program Description

The PhD in Aerospace Systems Engineering or in Mechanical Engineering requires the successful completion of an independent research project culminating in a dissertation. 

The Program of Study consists of a minimum of 66 course and research semester hours beyond the B.S degree. A minimum of 18 semester hours of coursework beyond the Department’s MS degree is required. The Program of Study also includes two examinations, the qualifying exam which consists of two parts, and the dissertation defense which is formally referred to as the Final Comprehensive exam. The two-part qualifying exam includes a written preliminary examination and a subsequent oral exam including the proposal of a dissertation topic. Descriptions of all examinations are provided in the MAE Department Office.

Curriculum Structure for Both Options
Additional Information and Program Documents

Coordinator for Aerospace Systems Engineering

For initial advising contact the Graduate Program Coordinator:

Dr. Gabe Xu

Coordinator for Mechanical Engineering

For initial advising contact the Graduate Program Coordinator:

Dr. George Nelson