The aerospace engineering discipline involves the design, production, operation, and support of aircraft and spacecraft. Aerospace engineers solve problems, design aircraft and spacecraft, conduct research, and improve processes for the aerospace industry.
KU Aerospace Engineering is an international leader in aerospace education and is committed to developing a global community for students, educators, and researchers by strategically aligning teaching, research, and service missions. A world-class graduate and undergraduate education focused on designing, simulating, building, testing, and flying aerospace vehicles is provided. The department invests in research infrastructure and chooses outstanding students who will work with faculty, and staff to conduct basic and applied research of relevance to aerospace vehicles and systems. The department supports the aerospace profession by educating the public, by maintaining the KU aerospace short-course program, and by advising policy-makers in government, industry, and disciplinary professional organizations.
The Aerospace Engineering graduate program objective is that our graduates contribute to the aerospace profession, related fields, and other disciplines through skilled professional practice in industry, government, and/or academia. Within a few years after graduation, we expect that:
- Graduates are meaningfully employed or continuing graduate study in aerospace or other high technology fields, with the majority retained in aerospace or closely related engineering
- Graduates have a positive professional career path including promotions, leadership, and/or continued education
- Graduates recognize the value of their educational preparation for their current and future professional endeavors
The Master of Science program in Aerospace Engineering (MSAE) is a program in which students conduct original work related to Aerospace Engineering. Our program is designed to achieve our objectives by establishing measurable learning outcomes which graduates of the program must demonstrate:
- The ability to apply fundamental physics, mathematics, AE principles, and underlying technologies to solve realistic problems
- The ability to effectively communicate advanced AE concepts in writing and orally at a professional level
- The ability to effectively communicate advanced aerospace engineering and management concepts in writing and orally at a professional level
- The ability to acquire new information, to learn new concepts, build new skills, and engage in lifelong learning
Graduate Admission to the Department of Aerospace Engineering
In order for applications to be considered complete, the following materials must be submitted online with the application by the posted deadline:
- Transcripts from all degree-granting institutions: for processing purposes, you may attach scanned versions of official transcripts to your application, as well as a copy of your degree certificate and/or diploma if the degree has been earned outside the US. A printout from a student portal is NOT considered an official copy.
- Transcripts that are in a language other than English must be accompanied with English translations.
- NOTE: Documents uploaded with your application are not considered official. KU does not consider transcripts that come from applicants or that have been in the applicant's possession as official.
- Three letters of recommendation. Letters must be on letterhead. Recommenders will receive instructions on submission at the time the application is submitted.
- Resume or CV
- Official GRE score report
- Statement of Objectives
- Official TOEFL, IELTS, or PTE score report (International students only)
- Statement of Financial Resources (International students only)
* Please note: All application materials must be received before any kind of decision is made. Documentation sent in addition to that requested above is not required and may be destroyed. Do not send paper documents unless requested.
Our department priority deadlines for admission are:
Fall Admission: December 1 (all applicants)
Spring & Summer Admission: September 15 (all applicants)
For full consideration for fellowships, scholarships and research/teaching assistantships, applications should be received by December 1 (for fall admissions). Application materials should indicate the interest in financial assistance or research/teaching assistantships.
Letters of Recommendation
The letter of recommendation form should be completed and sent with a signed document from your chosen references. Recommenders will receive instructions on submission at the time the application is submitted.
Statement of Financial Resources
As a part of the application process, all international students must submit credible evidence of financial support for the first year of study. Financial documents must be less than 6 months old, indicating the type and amount of currency in US dollars. If the bank account is not in the applicant's name, please attach a statement signed by the account holder indicating the relationship to the student for whom the support will be provided. There is no form for the Statement of Financial Resources, please send only the form(s) of documentation listed below.
Acceptable evidence includes:
- Bank statement from checking, savings, stock holdings and/or certificate of deposit.
- Bank letter on letterhead indicating date account opened, average balance and current balance.
- Scholarship or sponsorship letter verifying amount, source and dates of award.
Students who wish to apply for admission to the Aerospace Engineering graduate program must have, as a minimum, a BSAE degree or a BS degree in a closely-related field from a university or college with a program equivalent to the KU BSAE program. Students applying with either a BS degree from an engineering program that is not equivalent to the KU BSAE program, or a BS degree from a non-aerospace engineering program may have to make-up certain undergraduate AE courses at the discretion of the department graduate advisor. Such students will be admitted provisionally until a plan of study for make-up courses is completed.
Master's program regular admission requires an undergraduate GPA of at least a 3.0.
Doctoral program regular admission requires an undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0 and a GPA of at least 3.5 for courses taken as part of a master's program.
In exceptional cases, applicants with a GPA between 2.75-2.99 may be granted admission. Such students would be admitted as Aerospace Engineering Masters of Engineering students. If approved by the student's graduate advisor and the departmental graduate advisor, the student may change to an alternate Aerospace Engineering degree program after successful completion of the first semester and receiving a minimum 3.0 GPA.
Applicants must have a minimum of 50% on the Verbal and Analytical sections of the GRE and 85% on the Quantitative section. Applicants with lower scores, but otherwise exceptional record, will be considered for provisional admission.
English Proficiency Requirement
International students and students who indicated English as a second language, are required to show proof of English proficiency for admission purposes and must check-in at the Applied English Center (AEC) upon arrival on campus for orientation. This process serves to confirm each student's level of English proficiency and determine whether English courses will be included as a requirement of the student’s academic program.
Refer to link for university policy.
Scholarships/Fellowships - The Aerospace Engineering department nominates applicants for University and School of Engineering scholarships and fellowships based on academic merit and other selection criteria.
Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTAs) - Teaching Assistantships are available and are awarded competitively based on academic qualifications through the department or school.
Graduate Research Assistantships (GRAs) - Students work with their potential academic advisor/mentor to obtain a funded position on a research project.
*Important note: acceptance into the graduate program DOES NOT guarantee financial aid. To be considered for financial aid, applications must be received by the priority deadline.
A variety of scholarships, fellowships, and assistantships are available to graduate students through the School of Engineering and KU. Learn more at https://engr.ku.edu/graduate-scholarships
The graduate program staff is happy to work with all prospective students in determining the fit between the student and the program. In order to determine this, we feel that visiting our campus in Lawrence is a very important step. In order to facilitate your visit to KU, there are two main options:
The first, and most preferred, option entails simply applying for admission to the program. All prospective students are welcome to attend our Open House in mid-October and mid-March. Eligible admitted students are invited to participate in Campus Visit Days in late February (prior to the fall semester of your intended matriculation). These organized campus visit opportunities will allow you to gather a great deal of first-hand information which we hope will help you in making a final decision about whether to attend KU.
The second option is making arrangements to visit us on your own, outside of organized events. With early notification, we will do our best to work with you to provide information and schedule appointments with faculty when possible. Please contact us if you feel that this is the best option for you.
Please contact the AE Graduate Program Coordinator at email@example.com or (785) 864-2960, to schedule a visit or with questions about the application process.
The University of Kansas
AE Graduate Program
2120 Learned Hall
1530 W. 15th Street
Lawrence, Kansas, 66045
M.S. Degree Requirements
The Master of Science (M.S.) program in Aerospace Engineering (AE) has 2 options.
- The Thesis Option requires a minimum of 30 credit hours of graduate work. The course work includes 3 hours of math and 6 hours earned in the satisfactory completion of a thesis.
- The Project Option requires a minimum of 30 hours of graduate work. The course work includes 3 hours of math, 24 hours of other courses, and at least 3 hours in the satisfactory completion of a project (AE 895, M.S. Thesis or Project).
Graduate mathematics courses are considered those taken at the 600 level and higher. Master’s students may choose any 1 mathematics course (up to 3 hours) at level 500 and higher. AE 712, Techniques of Engineering Evaluation, is the only mathematics-intensive engineering course that will help fulfill the graduate mathematics requirement.
Students must take at least one semester of AE 690, Professional Development for Graduate Students.
No more than two courses below the 700 level may be used to satisfy degree requirements, in addition to the required AE 690 course. All AE courses other than AE 690 must be 700 level and above.
The candidate must pass a final oral examination in which the thesis or research project (results of the independent investigation) is defended and the candidate demonstrates a working knowledge in aerospace engineering.
Thesis or Project Committee
As part of the Plan of Study a student is required to form a thesis or project committee with a minimum of three Graduate Faculty, a minimum of two must be AE faculty members. Additional committee members may be selected by the student from either AE or other School of Engineering faculty members. The chairman of the committee must be an AE faculty member.
Plan of Study
Before the end of the first semester of graduate study the student must complete an online Plan of Study which includes the following information:
1. Three committee members. As a general rule, these committee members will be drawn from the AE faculty but exceptions may be approved.
2. Proposed area of research
3. Proposed sequence of courses through the semester of graduation.
4. Proposed semester of graduation.
The Plan of Study shall indicate for each course which requirement is being satisfied. Unique situations can be accommodated with the combined approval of the AE department graduate advisor and the student's major advisor.