Policies for all Graduate Students


The following policies apply to all Aerospace Engineering Graduate Students and are consistent with Graduate College policies outlined in the Graduate College Handbook.  Please check the Graduate College Handbook before approaching the AE Graduate Programs Office.


AE 590 is a Seminar Series designed to enhance your graduate degree.  Professionals in industry and academia are invited to campus to speak on a topic and about their background and experiences in engineering.  This also provides an opportunity for students to network with professionals.  Topics vary and  are listed in the department calendar.

All MS and MENG graduate students must register in the seminar course, AE 590, and must attend 10 seminars each semester while earning their graduate degrees in Aerospace Engineering.  All PhD students must enroll in AE 590 prior their qualifying exam, and then must enroll for an additional four consecutive semesters of AE 590 after passing the qualifying exam.  Please review these additional AE 590 course policies.


The Aerospace Engineering Department conducts annual reviews of all students enrolled in the graduate program. At the end of the spring semester, all graduate students are asked to provide information about their academic and research progress. This information is reviewed by their advisor and the Graduate Policy Committee. Students are informed in writing of the results of their review.


Non-native speakers of English who wish to be considered for teaching assistantships must provide evidence of spoken English language proficiency.  Students who receive a score of at least 24 on the speak section of the TOEFL exam or 8 on the speak section of the IELTS within two years of the proposed assistantship meet this requirement.  Students may also elect to take the campus English Proficiency Exam (EPI).  The EPI is offered each semester.

In addition, Illinois requires all first time TAs to attend training prior to the semester in which they plan to hold TA. 

  • The Graduate Academy for College Teaching is a required, pre-semester orientation for new teaching assistants (TAs and ITAs) who have classroom responsibilities (teaching lecture, discussion, laboratory, or studio sections). 
  • The Symposium on Grading & Office Hours is for those TAs who have non-classroom responsibilities. In large and small group sessions, TAs learn about effective and fair grading techniques and how to use office hours as an opportunity for good teaching and learning. 

These trainings are offered in January and August prior to the beginning of classes.


Effective Fall 2021, all students in The Grainger College of Engineering graduate programs must register for at least 9 credit hours (including in AE 599 courses) during each fall and spring semester of enrollment in order to be considered as full-time students in their program.

Students in an online AE MS or AE MEng program will receive an automatic waiver of this requirement and do not need to explicitly request an exemption.  

Students in the on-campus MS, PhD, or MEng programs, including those enrolled in an online section of an on-campus course, wishing to register for fewer credit hours in an individual semester than this required minimum must request advance permission for this from the AE graduate program by completing this form and submitting it to the AE Graduate Programs Office (ae-grad@illinois.edu).

Students who have completed all of their degree requirements except their thesis or dissertation, are in Good Academic Standing, do not hold a tuition-waiver generating appointment (e.g., as a result of the 5-year PhD funding guarantee), and meet the required minimum by registering only for thesis research will receive a college-issued stand-alone tuition waiver.  Please contact the AE Graduate Programs Office (ae-grad@illinois.edu) for more details.


Grainger Engineering Ph.D. students in their first five years of enrollment are guaranteed a funded appointment for fall and spring semesters that includes a full tuition waiver, a partial fee waiver, and a stipend. Students are also eligible for, but not guaranteed to receive, summer support. Students must remain in Good Academic Standing (see the Graduate College Handbook, Part I, Chapter 3.2) and successfully perform the duties of their assistantships. 


Grainger Engineering students who receive external fellowships must work with their academic department to ensure that funding from Grainger Engineering to the student does not exceed set limits. For information about holding concurrent awards or appointments, see the Graduate College Handbook.


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. 


The Aerospace Engineering Department follows the Graduate College's Grievance Policy as described in the Graduate College Handbook.


AE requires all students working in research laboratories to receive training in general lab safety. In order to meet this requirement, all graduate students currently working in research labs must enroll in MSE 492/Lab Safety by the second semester after matriculation.


Any student seeking to enroll in on-campus classes must arrive on or before the 10th day of classes for the arrival semester.  Arrivals after the 10th day of class may be ineligible for on-campus sections, research assistantships, and other sources of financial aid.  International students requiring a visa must pay very close attention to the time between receiving a visa and eventual travel to campus to ensure they are present on or before the 10th day of classes of the semester.  Please contact the AE Graduate Programs Office (ae-grad@illinois.edu) for more details.


AE graduate students seeking thesis research may have non-AE faculty members as their research advisor(s).  Those faculty members identified as AE Affiliate Faculty are eligible to serve as both research and academic advisor.  If the non-AE faculty member is not an AE affiliate, the AE graduate student must have a tenured or tenure-track AE faculty member serve as his/her AE co-advisor.  Both advisors will be responsible for reviewing and approving a thesis or dissertation.  It is the responsibility of the student to find their AE faculty co-advisor.  Please contact the AE Graduate Programs Office (ae-grad@illinois.edu) for more details.


In order to maintain good academic standing in the AE graduate program, students must meet the following requirements students must maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0  and a semester GPA of 3.0.  In addition, students must make satisfactory progress towards their degree such as competing coursework and/or research requirements.  Students who fail to maintain the minimum GPA or make satisfactory progress will be placed on academic probation and may be dismissed from the program.  Complete information about remaining good academic standing and probation may be found in the Graduate College Handbook.


Training in the ethical and responsible conduct of research is essential for the professional development of all graduate students including those in the online program. To conform with Campus and College requirements, and as approved by the AE faculty on April 4, 2012, all current (online and on-campus) and new AE graduate students are required to complete online training in Responsible Conduct of Research through the Collaborative Institutional Training (CITI) program.  Information about completing the training will be provided by the AE Graduate Programs Office.  This training is only required once.


A graduate student placed on probation who fails to improve their academic standing by the end of the probationary period will receive a notice of dismissal from the Graduate College. This action prohibits the student from registering and drops any courses for which the student has pre-registered. The student may request reinstatement to the Graduate College through the petition process. The Graduate College will consider petitions containing strong support from the academic program they wish to pursue and strong justification based on other factors pertinent to the program’s determination of satisfactory academic progress.

Students who are not making satisfactory progress towards research may be dismissed from their research duties by their advisor.  Master’s degree students will be given one semester to find another research before being placed in the Master’s non-thesis program which does not require a thesis advisor.  Doctoral students will be given one semester to find another research advisor.  If no research advisor is found, the student may elect to graduate with a Master’s degree if they do not already have Master’s in AE from another institution or leave the program without a degree.


The AE Department does not require students to register during the summer in order to hold an assistantship.  However, students should check with their advisor about their wishes.

International students must be registered during the summer only if it is their first or last semester at UIUC; see the Guide to Full course of Study at  http://www.isss.illinois.edu/students/f1j1/  for additional information.  Please contact the International Student and Scholar Services Office at 3-1303 if you have questions regarding registration and visa status. 

Some students may be required to be registered full-time due to student loans, fellowships, etc.  The Full-Time Course of Study for Graduate Students policy can be found in the Graduate College Handbook .  Graduate students with 25%-67% assistantships are enrolled full-time with 4 graduate hours.  Graduate students with less than 24% assistantships or no assistantship are enrolled full-time with 6 graduate hours.

Not registering during the summer will affect student health insurance.  Graduate Students should receive an email from the Graduate College regarding this matter.  See http://si.illinois.edu/faqs/ for additional information. 

Student who are registered for less than 3 hours in the summer (and less than 6 hours during the academic year) must pay a semester fee of $110 in order to be able to use the McKinley Health Center.  The fee must be paid in the McKinley Business Office.  Please see the McKinley Health Center website at http://www.mckinley.illinois.edu/ for more information,

  • must pay a fee to use the campus recreation facilities (see https://campusrec.illinois.edu/,
  • will be assessed additional taxes of 5.65% (Medicare 1.45% and social security 4.2%).

Information regarding summer tuition and fees can be found at http://registrar.illinois.edu/tuition-fee-rates .  A tuition and fee waiver will cover the following fees:

  • service fee,
  • half of the health insurance fee
  • health serve fee
  • AFMFA fee (if accessed)
  • half of the Library/IT fee (if accessed)

Students without summer waiver-generating appointments who held waiver-generating appointments for the spring semester are eligible to receive summer automatic tuition waivers if they enroll in the summer semester.  Only the tuition, service fee, the AFMFA fee and the Library/Information Technology fee are waived.  See the Graduate College Handbook for additional information.

Summer Automatic Waivers. Students without summer waiver-generating appointments who held waiver-generating appointments for the previous spring semester are eligible to receive summer automatic tuition waivers if they choose to enroll in the summer semester. The summer automatic waiver provides the same tuition waiver as that granted during the previous spring. However, it does not provide a waiver of the same fees as a waiver-generating appointment. Only the service fee, AFMFA fee and the Library/Technology fee are included. The health service fee and health insurance fee are not covered. Students with dental and vision insurance coverage from a waiver-generating appointment in the spring term continue to have dental and vision coverage through August 31. Authorized disciplinary colleges may request reimbursement for summer automatic waivers from an appointing unit if that unit was billed for the waiver in the spring semester.

Graduate Contacts

Ioannis Chasiotis   
Director of Graduate Studies

Jenna Russell

Jenna Russell
Graduate Programs Coordinator

Dung Quach Wisdom

Dung Quach Wisdom
Graduate Programs Advisor