Aerospace Engineering

Admission Requirements

Applicants apply for admission to the program via the Graduate School application for admission. Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-300 Admissions Policies.

The entering M.Eng. or M.S. student must hold a bachelor's degree in engineering, physical science, or mathematics, and may be required to complete (without degree credit) undergraduate course work in fluid and solid mechanics and intermediate mathematical analysis, if not already completed. The department will consider students with a 3.0 junior/senior grade-point average (GPA) on a 4.0 scale; students with special backgrounds, abilities, or interests may request a waiver to this GPA requirement. The best-qualified applicants will be accepted up to the number of spaces that are available.

Admission to the Ph.D. program requires satisfactory completion of a master's program in engineering, physical science, or mathematics. Admission to the Ph.D. program prior to completion of a master's degree may be considered upon the student passing the Ph.D. qualifying exam. A student must have completed at least 18 course credits beyond the baccalaureate degree in order to take the Ph.D. qualifying exam, and is not granted official status as a doctoral candidate until the comprehensive exam has been passed.

Degree Requirements

Master of Engineering (M.Eng.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-700 Professional Degree Policies.

Core Requirements

  1. Basic field theories. Complete two courses for 6 credits, one from a prescribed list in each of two of the following categories: fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, or system dynamics.
  2. Numerical/computational methods. Complete one 3-credit course that addresses the numerical analysis of differential equations, from a prescribed list.
  3. Applied mathematics. Complete one 3-credit, 500-level course from a prescribed list.
  4. Teaching assistants and teaching aides who have classroom or laboratory instructional responsibilities must satisfactorily complete ENGR 888. Those with responsibilities limited to grading, holding office hours, and offering problem sessions must take ENGR 888 or a grading seminar.

The M.Eng. degree is a non-thesis professional master’s degree. A total of 30 credits are required, including courses in the core requirements. A minimum of 18 credits must be taken at the 500-level. At least 18 credits in Aerospace Engineering courses are required, and a student may count a maximum of 9 credits of 400-level course work toward the degree. Each student must complete the capstone course.

Master of Science (M.S.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

Core Requirements

  1. Basic field theories. Complete two courses for 6 credits, one from a prescribed list in each of two of the following categories: fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, or system dynamics.
  2. Numerical/computational methods. Complete one 3-credit course that addresses the numerical analysis of differential equations, from a prescribed list.
  3. Applied mathematics. Complete one 3-credit, 500-level course from a prescribed list.
  4. Teaching assistants and teaching aides who have classroom or laboratory instructional responsibilities must satisfactorily complete ENGR 888. Those with responsibilities limited to grading, holding office hours, and offering problem sessions must take ENGR 888 or a grading seminar.

A total of 30 credits is required, including courses in the core requirements. Twelve credits must be in Aerospace Engineering courses with at least 6 credits at the 500 level. A student may count a maximum of 6 credits of 400-level course work toward the degree. Six credits of thesis research are also required. A completed M.S. thesis and its public presentation are required for graduation.

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Requirements listed here are in addition to Graduate Council policies listed under GCAC-600 Research Degree Policies.

Core Requirements

  1. Basic field theories. Complete two courses for 6 credits, one from a prescribed list in each of two of the following categories: fluid mechanics, solid mechanics, or system dynamics.
  2. Numerical/computational methods. Complete one 3-credit course that addresses the numerical analysis of differential equations, from a prescribed list.
  3. Applied mathematics. Complete one 3-credit, 500-level course from a prescribed list.
  4. Teaching assistants and teaching aides who have classroom or laboratory instructional responsibilities must satisfactorily complete ENGR 888. Those with responsibilities limited to grading, holding office hours, and offering problem sessions must take ENGR 888 or a grading seminar.

There is no foreign language requirement for the Ph.D. degree; however, students must demonstrate proficiency in reading, writing, and speaking English through an examination administered by the department. This must be completed to satisfy the Graduate Council requirement before taking the comprehensive exam. The student's Ph.D. committee decides which, if any, courses are required in addition to those specified in the core requirements; this typically involves 24 course credits beyond the M.S. degree. Ph.D. students must also demonstrate evidence of experimental experience.

Over the course of a Ph.D. program, the department and Ph.D. committee administer three examinations: The qualifying examination is given as a preliminary aptitude test before the end of the second semester following admission to the program. A comprehensive examination, which covers the major and minor fields of study, is administered after the student has substantially completed the required course work. The final oral examination, which is related mainly to the dissertation, is given after the candidate has satisfied all other degree requirements. All Ph.D. students must maintain continuous registration until the dissertation is approved. A completed Ph.D. dissertation and its public defense are required for graduation.

Student Aid

Graduate assistantships available to students in this program and other forms of student aid are described in the Tuition & Funding section of The Graduate School’s website. Students on graduate assistantships must adhere to the course load limits set by The Graduate School.

Courses

Graduate courses carry numbers from 500 to 699 and 800 to 899. Advanced undergraduate courses numbered between 400 and 499 may be used to meet some graduate degree requirements when taken by graduate students. Courses below the 400 level may not. A graduate student may register for or audit these courses in order to make up deficiencies or to fill in gaps in previous education but not to meet requirements for an advanced degree.

Contact

Campus University Park
Graduate Program Head Amy Ruth Pritchett
Director of Graduate Studies (DGS) or Professor-in-Charge (PIC) Jacob Willem Langelaan
Program Contact

Maria Beaty
229 Hammond Building
University Park PA 16802
mxb1801@psu.edu
(814) 865-6431

Program Website View