Direct PhD

Direct PhD

In addition to the traditional Ph.D. program, the AE Department offers a Direct Ph.D. program, which allows highly qualified students, generally with a B.S. degree GPA of 3.75 equivalent or better, to be admitted directly into the Ph.D. program without an M.S. degree. Application for this program for new students must be supported by a faculty advisor. Students currently in the M.S. program may petition the AE Graduate Policy Committee to join the Direct PhD program before the end of the second semester after enrollment.

Candidates for AE's Direct PhD must satisfy these course work requirements:

  • 96 hours of credit, including 48 hours of course work (a maximum of 4 of the total hours of course work may be in independent study; independent study with thesis advisor is not allowed)
  • 24 hours of course work of the 48 total required must be at the 500-level. 12 of the 24 hours must be in Aerospace Engineering (no substitutions allowed).
  • 8 hours of approved math with 4 hours at the 500-level
  • 2 core courses in separate Aerospace Engineering Breadth Requirement areas.
  • Completion of the the AE 590 seminar requirement.
  • Hold at least one 25 percent Teaching Assistantship during the graduate program.
  • The qualifying exam must be taken by the third offering after enrollment.
  • The preliminary exam can be taken at any time after the qualifying exam is passed.

Direct PhD Checklist



Program Administration:

elliottgatillinois [dot] edu (Prof. Greg Elliott)
Associate Head, Graduate Programs

tankatillinois [dot] edu (Staci McDannel)
Program Coordinator, Graduate Programs

Hours: 8:30 AM - 5:00 PM

Ready to apply?

If you're ready to submit your application for Graduate admission, follow the link below to start the process on the Admissions Office website.

Apply Now