Applicants for the MS with thesis program must have a research advisor. Candidates for the MS with thesis degree are required to complete a minimum of 24 hours of graded course work and 8 hours of thesis credit, selected in the following ways:

  • AE 590 (Departmental Seminar) must be taken every semester
  • At least 12 hours must be in the 500-level courses, and at least 8 of these 12 hours must be in Aerospace Engineering (may include up to 4 hours of 599 research credit).
  • About independent study courses (i.e. 497 or 597):
    • None may be counted towards the MS with Thesis degree.
    • Upto 4 hours may be counted towards the MS Non-thesis degree.
  • 16 hours must be AE designated courses (i.e. AE 4XX or AE 5XX). Of these 16 hours, 8 hours may be thesis credit (i.e. 599).
  • All students in the MS with Thesis option must complete a breadth requirement by taking one course from two of the three areas listed among the Aerospace Engineering Breadth Requirements. The courses listed among Aerospace Engineering Breadth Requirements cover fundamental concepts and are prerequisites for more advanced courses.
  • Graduate students are expected to exhibit competence in applied mathematics. MS students may meet this requirement by taking a minimum of 3-4 hours of courses listed among Mathematics Requirements.
  • A master's thesis for a minimum of 8 hours credit in AE 599 must be submitted. Only 8 hours of credit in AE 599 counts towards the MS degree even if the student registers for more AE 599 hours during the program.
  • Students should seek out faculty members with research interests similar to their and explore possible thesis topics as early as possible. In many cases, faculty members will advise students to read various articles or to take specific courses in order to obtain the necessary background for conducting research in their areas of interest. Recommended courses for various areas of research are also listed in the Suggested Program Tracts.
  • The MS with Thesis Check List needs to be completed in consultation with your advisor to plan your program. A DARS Audit is an unofficial audit of progress toward the undergraduate student degree that reflects courses currently in progress.


All MS degree candidates must complete Check Lists with their advisors to plan their programs.

Undergraduate & Graduate Contacts

Brian S. Woodard

Brian S. Woodard
Director of Undergraduate Programs
(217) 300-8109

Laura Ann Gerhold

Laura Ann Gerhold
Academic Advisor & Coordinator of Undergraduate Program
(217) 244-8671

John Lambros

John Lambros
Interim Director of Graduate Studies
(217) 333-2242

Jenna Russell

Jenna Russell
Graduate Programs Coordinator

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