Graduate Degrees

  • Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in Aerospace Engineering
  • Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Space Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Aerospace Engineering

M.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering

This degree is designed for students who desired a curriculum that is focused on the scientific aspects of Aerospace Engineering. A total of 30 credit hours is required (typically 10 classes). Of these, 15 credit hours must be 500-level classes in Aerospace Engineering with a B grade or better (excluding AEROSP 590 and AEROSP 585), and 6 credits must be from approved courses in mathematics. A single course cannot double count towards both the aerospace requirement and the mathematics requirement.The remaining credits can be fulfilled with any Rackham-approved AEROSP courses, where up to six hours of directed study (AEROSP 590) and three credit hours of aerospace engineering seminar series (AEROSP 585) may be elected. Students are encouraged to take advantage of directed study and become involved in research as part of their M.S.E. experience. The M.S.E. program does not include an option for a thesis per se; however, through AEROSP 590, students can perform research work in close supervision of a faculty member and investigate a problem of common interest.

Admission requirements include a strong performance in an undergraduate program in engineering or science and submission of acceptable Graduate Record Exam (GRE) scores.

Students are strongly encouraged to consult with faculty in their intended areas of specialization to discuss the composition of their program.

M.Eng in Space Engineering

The M.Eng. in Space Engineering provides a comprehensive set of courses and training in space-related science and engineering, and the systems approach to design and manage complex space systems. The M.Eng. in Space Engineering requires 30 credits of course work, of which 18 must be at the 500-level or higher and 24 must be graded (not P/F).

Course elections must include:

  • Depth in a main area (9 credits). For example, a student could select dynamics and control, structures or propulsion.
  • Breadth by crossing engineering/science boundaries (9 credits)
  • Systems engineering (6 credits)
  • team design experience (6 credits)

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Aerospace Engineering

Student towards the Ph.D. degree requires a strong background in an area of specialization and an ability to carry out independent research. Students must complete, in order:

Precandidacy Status

A student must apply for and be admitted to precandidacy status before taking the Preliminary Exam. Once admitted, the student is a pre-candidate. Students admitted directly to the doctoral program may also earn a Master degree by fulfilling the Master’s degree requirements concurrently with the Doctoral degree. The embedded Aero M.S.E. degree is awarded at the end of the Ph.D studies.

Research Involvement

The student must initiate research activity with his/her advisor in the first year of graduate study.

Preliminary Exam

The Ph.D. degree requires a sound background in aerospace engineering combined with strong knowledge of applied mathematics and computational sciences. The Ph.D. dissertation requires that the student demonstrate ability to pursue and solve an original research problem, which implies the ability to carry out independent research. Each student must apply, with the endorsement of her/his research advisor, to the Graduate Student Services Coordinator to take a Preliminary Examination. The student must be registered in the Department of Aerospace Engineering during the term in which the preliminary exam is taken. For the May exam, this refers to the preceding Winter semester. The student must formally indicate the three core courses and the two additional courses selected from a list given on the departmental website. To qualify for the preliminary examination, a student must achieve a G.P.A. of at least 3.5/4.0 in the five chosen courses. The student must also specify her/his doctoral research area as approved by her/his Aerospace faculty advisor and should submit to the Graduate Coordinator a research portfolio consisting of material related to his/her research activity.

Advancing to Candidacy

Candidacy can occur once the student passes the preliminary examination, completes the Rackham cognate requirement, attends all Responsible Conduct of Research and Scholarship (RCRS) workshops, and accumulates at least 18 credit hours of course work.

The Dissertation

The student must perform original research, present a written dissertation and defend the dissertation at a final oral presentation. The research is done under the supervision of a faculty advisor in the Aerospace Engineering department and a dissertation committee. Students are expected to begin research in their first year of graduate study.

Ph.D. Degree

The Ph.D. degree is awarded upon successful completion of a Ph.D. dissertation, a Ph.D. defense, and other academic credit requirements. See the Rackham Graduate School Academic Policies for details. Students should have taken a minimum of 16 graduate courses beyond the bachelor’s degree. There is no foreign language requirement, and there are no specific course requirements.