Graduate Research

Michigan Engineering has one of the top-rated aerospace engineering programs in the world. One of the reasons our institution is so highly regarded is its research; from best-in-class facilities to renowned faculty experts, students can take full advantage of the education only the University of Michigan can provide by combining in-depth study with hands-on experience, collaboration and applicability of research options – in and out of the lab.

The Aerospace department welcomes new research talent. You could be a part of it—learn more below about the opportunities, and pursue any or all of them throughout your degree.

Self-Directed Study

Students may submit proposals to faculty for self-directed study, and earn up to six credits toward their MSE, by taking AEROSP 590. Learn more about our AEROSP 590 self-directed opportunities. They are available during fall, winter and summer semesters.


Start thinking about what you’d like to focus on during an independent study. You can ask classmates about their projects and experiences to hone your own ideas.

student holding Octodrone
Ethen Daniels, AERO, sets up the DJI-S1000 in the Wilson Student Team Project Center’s wind tunnel to collect data for the Octodrone.

Graduate Student Research Assistant (GSRA) positions

There are a few openings each semester for highly qualified MSE students to contribute to research projects while they earn funding for health insurance, tuition and monthly stipends. These positions are primarily filled by PhD students, but it’s important to know that each semester a handful of MSE students may be appointed for a research position. Students can pursue these positions within the department by reaching out to faculty a couple of months prior to the start of a semester. Students can also pursue these positions in other departments.

Build your own research experience

Most aerospace professors welcome motivated MSE students who are interested in exploring their area of research. This may be especially useful to those considering applying to PhD programs in the future. The best way to connect with faculty regarding a possible spot on a project team is to review the work being done in the department and the faculty whose areas of interest most closely align with yours. You may email any faculty member directly with whom you’d like to work to inquire about ways to participate.

X-HALE aircraft

Flexible, long-winged aircrafts