MS/MEng Degree Program

The Department of Aerospace Engineering is ranked #6 by U.S. News & World Report (2021).

Aerospace Engineering offers two MS degree types: MS degree with Thesis and MS degree Non-Thesis On Campus. In addition, the department offers an Aerospace Systems Engineering track.

Requirements for all MS Degrees

  • All graduate students must maintain a cumulative grade point average (GPA) of at least 3.0 to continue in the AE Graduate Program.  The cumulative GPA is computed on all courses taken for credit except thesis and seminar courses in which DF, S, and U grades are recorded. 
  • The Grading System can be found on page 22 of the Graduate Student Handbook.
    The Department of Aerospace Engineering requires a grade of C- or better in order for a course to count toward degree requirements. 
  • Per Office of the Registrar Policy, credit/no credit courses are not counted toward the GPA, but are included as part of the total credit hours and are assessed as credit hours. Credit/no credit courses will not count toward degree requirements.
  • All graduate students must register in the seminar course AE 590 and must attend all seminars each semester while they are on campus. 
  • MS students are expected to select courses in consultation with an MS advisor.
  • MS students may count a maximum of four (4) credits of Technology and Entrepreneurship (TA) graduate coursework toward their degree.
  • The University of Illinois requires all students working research laboratories to receive training in general lab safety.  In order to meet this requirement, all graduate students working in research laboratories must complete MSE 492/Lab Safety Fundamentals by the second offering after enrollment.  MSE 492/Lab Safety Fundamentals is not a graded course and so does not count toward the credit requirement for the MS and MS non-thesis degree programs.
  • (The online MSAE program and online AE classes are restricted to off-campus students and are not intended for University employees or students in on-campus programs.)

Graduate Options and Joint Programs

AE graduate students have the option of combining their AE degrees with joint programs offered through Computational Science and Engineering, the MBA Program, and the Medical Scholars Program.

Degree Conferral

MS and PhD degrees are conferred in May, August, and January. In order to receive a degree, the student's name must be on the graduation list for the appropriate graduation date. Students should submit their names to the AE Departmental Office at the beginning of the semester in which they intend to deposit their thesis.

The Department of Aerospace Engineering does not have a separate commencement ceremony. Students graduating with a degree from the AE Dept. attend the College of Engineering and/or University of Illinois commencement ceremonies.

Time Limitations

Aerospace Engineering requires on-campus candidates for the non-thesis MS degree to complete all the requirements within four semesters and for the MS with thesis to complete all the requirements within five semesters.

Ambar Sarup

An interview with a graduate: Ambar Sarup, BS '21, MEng Dec. '22

Ambar Sarup is originally from Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India. He earned a B.S. in '21 and an MEng in December '22. Recently, he relocated to Vero Beach, Florida to start a job at Piper Aircraft. 

Why did you choose an MEng rather than an MS?

Although similar in many ways, I chose the MEng in Aerospace Systems Engineering because it allowed me the flexibility to follow the path that I wanted to take. In addition to the two superbly taught systems engineering classes, the final practicum at the end of the program was an excellent way to work on solving pressing issues in industry using a multi-disciplinary approach.  Additionally, I was able to take other classes including on design for six sigma, reliability engineering, and business for engineering applications, all concepts that are becoming increasingly relevant in engineering.  

Learn More

Graduate Contacts

Ioannis Chasiotis   
Director of Graduate Studies

Jenna Russell

Jenna Russell
Graduate Programs Coordinator

Dung Quach Wisdom

Dung Quach Wisdom
Graduate Programs Advisor