The MSE degree is the primary Master’s degree offered in our department and provides students with a more in-depth knowledge of Aerospace Engineering topics, beyond what is covered in the BSE program. Current U-M undergraduate Aerospace Engineering students may apply to the Sequential Undergraduate/Graduate Studies (SUGS) program. This program makes it possible for students to pursue a five-year sequential BSE/MSE.
Although this is a coursework based degree, research opportunities exist for interested students. Current students can use the MSE checklist to keep track of their performance and progress towards the degree. The program typically takes three to four terms to complete.
Admission for study towards the MSE degree requires the equivalent of a BSE at the University of Michigan. Solid undergraduate preparation in mathematics and engineering is essential. Learn more about the academic background of applicants.
For the MSE degree, 30 credit hours of coursework are required. Students have substantial flexibility in selecting courses to meet their individual needs. A single course cannot double count towards both the Aerospace Engineering graduate course requirement and the mathematics requirement.
Minimum of 5 Aerospace Engineering graduate courses with a B or better grade (excluding directed study courses (AERO 590) and seminars (AERO 585). It is generally recommended that MSE students take a combination of fundamental and elective courses that meet their interests. Some elective courses are not offered every year and require having taken fundamental courses as prerequisites.
Minimum of 2 approved MATH courses with a B or better grade (from approved list)
Rackham recognizes the value of intellectual breadth in graduate education and the importance of formal graduate study in areas beyond the student’s field of specialization. Cognate courses are those that are in a discipline or area different from a student’s field of study but are related or connected with some aspect of this field. All cognate coursework must be approved by the graduate program. The cognate requirement may be satisfied in two ways:
By completing 4 credit hours of cognate coursework in Rackham-approved graduate-level courses with a grade of B or better. Cognate courses may be AEROSP courses as long as they are cross-listed as a course in another program.
By completing graduate coursework at another institution that meets the expectation of the cognate requirement. These courses do not apply toward the minimum credit hours required for the degree, do not appear on the University transcript and must be completed no more than 5 years before admission to the current Rackham graduate program. The student must provide Rackham Academic Records and Dissertations (OARD) with an official transcript, and the graduate program should notify OARD that the coursework fulfills the cognate requirement.
All the required courses (the five AEROSP 5XX and the two Math courses) must be completed with a grade of B or better. Rackham requires that students must end the program with a cumulative GPA of 3.0 (B) or higher. U-M MSE students applying to the PhD will need a GPA of 3.5 or higher (as per the Preliminary Examinations requirements) to be considered.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of directed study and become involved in research as part of their MSE experience. The MSE 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, resulting in a paper of publishable quality, if they so choose. Students should become acquainted with the research work being performed in the department and then contact faculty members with whom they find common research interest.
The Master’s degree is a terminal coursework-based degree. Students interested in pursuing a PhD after the Master’s degree must complete a full application to the PhD program. Most students successful in making this transition are students who engage with faculty during their time as Master’s students, typically through directed-study projects. If a student receives support of a faculty member, ultimately in the form of a letter to the graduate office with an advising and funding commitment, that student will generally be admitted directly into the PhD program after passing the preliminary examinations <link to “Preliminary Examinations” section of AERO’s PHD webpage>. The student must meet with the Graduate Coordinator to review the admissions policy and determine eligibility. On the other hand, if a student applies for the PhD without secured faculty support, that student will be considered together with the large pool of all other PhD applicants in that admissions cycle.