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Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

The Department of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics offers a Master of Science in aerospace engineering and mechanics degree via an on-campus program and an off-campus (distance learning) program through the College of Continuing Studies.

An MSAEM can be earned by coursework only or by a combination of coursework and an approved thesis. Most distance learning students elect to complete the coursework only degree option. On-campus students supported by assistantships are expected to complete an approved thesis.

Checklists for M.S. Programs

MSAEM – Thesis (Plan I) Option

Credit Hours

A total of 30 semester credit hours is required for a masters of science in aerospace engineering and mechanics degree. For the MSAEM Plan I option, these credit hours consist of:

  • 6 hours of Core coursework
  • 6 hours of Mathematics coursework, including GES 554
  • 12 hours of Elective coursework
  • 6 hours of AEM 599 Thesis Research

Elective coursework must be approved by the student’s advisor. Of the 12 Elective coursework credit hours, at least 6 hours must have an AEM designation.

Core Course Requirements

All students must complete a minimum of one (1) class from the Aerospace Core listing of classes and one (1) class from the Mechanics Core listing of classes.

Aerospace Core

  • AEM 567 Orbital Mechanics
  • AEM 582 Space Systems
  • AEM 614 Airfoil and Wing Theory
  • AEM 668 Advanced Dynamics of Flight

Mechanics Core

  • AEM 500 Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
  • AEM 530 Continuum Mechanics
  • AEM 562 Intermediate Dynamics
  • AEM 637 Theory of Elasticity

For more information about when courses are offered, see the 2016-2020 Course Rotation.

Mathematics Requirement

A total of six credit hours of mathematics is required. GES 554 Partial Differential Equations, which is 3 credit hours, is required and counts toward the six-credit hour mathematics requirement. The remaining three credit hours of mathematics coursework must be approved by the advisor.

Elective Coursework Requirement

A student must complete at least 12 hours of elective coursework. These courses are typically AEM courses, but other approved courses are acceptable. The specific courses must be approved by the student’s advisor.

Thesis Requirement

The student is required to submit a written thesis and defend in front of a thesis committee for approval by the committee and the graduate school.

Test Pilot School

Students that seek credit for Test Pilot School completed through the United States Air Force may send official transcripts from the TPS to the UA Graduate School for transfer credit. The student must receive a grade of at least a B in TPS for the credit to transfer. Additionally, the transfer of credit from TPS is subject to the restrictions placed on the transfer of credit by the Graduate School and the AEM Department. A maximum of six hours may be transferred. For additional information, view the transfer credit policy at the UA Graduate School website.

Transfer Credit

With approval of the UA Graduate School, a maximum of 12 hours of graduate credit for coursework completed at another institution may be applied toward the 24 credit hour coursework requirement for the MSAEM Plan I degree. The maximum of 12 hours of graduate transfer credit includes the six hours of credit transferred from TPS, if applicable.

All credit toward the MSAEM degree, including transfer credit, must have been earned during the six years (18 fall, spring and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the MSAEM degree is to be awarded. Students who have earned post-baccalaureate course credit are encouraged to explore transfer credit opportunities. For additional information, view the transfer credit policy at the UA Graduate School website.

MSAEM – Non-Thesis (Plan II) Option

Credit Hours

A total of 30 semester credit hours is required for a Master of Science in aerospace engineering and mechanics degree. For the MSAEM Plan II option, these credit hours consist of:

  • 6 hours of Core coursework
  • 6 hours of Mathematics coursework (including GES 554)
  • 18 hours of Elective coursework

Elective coursework must be approved by the student’s advisor. Of the 18 Elective coursework credit hours, at least 12 hours must have an AEM designation.

Core Course Requirements

All students must complete a minimum of one (1) class from the Aerospace Core listing of classes and one (1) class from the Mechanics Core listing of classes.

Aerospace Core

  • AEM 567 Orbital Mechanics
  • AEM 582 Space Systems
  • AEM 614 Airfoil and Wing Theory
  • AEM 668 Advanced Dynamics of Flight

Mechanics Core

  • AEM 500 Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
  • AEM 530 Continuum Mechanics
  • AEM 562 Intermediate Dynamics
  • AEM 637 Theory of Elasticity

Mathematics Requirement

A total of six credit hours of mathematics is required. GES 554 Partial Differential Equations, which is three credit hours, is required and counts toward the six-credit hour mathematics requirement. The remaining three credit hours of mathematics coursework must be approved by the advisor.

Elective Coursework Requirement

A student must complete a least 18 hours of elective coursework. These courses are typically AEM courses, but other approved courses are acceptable. The specific courses must be approved by student’s advisor.

Comprehensive Examination or Culminating Experience

Students pursuing the MSAEM Plan II degree option have the choice of completing one of the following options to satisfy the requirement of a comprehensive examination or culminating experience:

  • Pass the Ph.D. qualifying examination or
  • Complete a culminating experience and receive faculty advisor approval for the written report detailing the culminating experience. MSAEM Plan II students may, but are not required to, enroll in AEM 594 Special Projects, three credit hours, complete the culminating experience, and submit the written report detailing the culminating experience as part of the AEM 594 course requirements.

The student must have completed at least 18 hours of coursework prior to submitting the written report for the culminating experience. The approved written report for the culminating experience must be submitted no later than the thesis deadline date during the semester in which the student intends to graduate. The comprehensive examination option may only be attempted twice.

Test Pilot School

Students that seek credit for Test Pilot School completed through the United States Air Force may send official transcripts from the TPS to the UA Graduate School for transfer credit. The student must receive a grade of at least a B in TPS for the credit to be transferable. Additionally, the transfer of credit from TPS is subject to the restrictions placed on the transfer of credit by the Graduate School and the AEM Department. A maximum of six hours can be transferred. For additional information, view the transfer credit policy at the UA Graduate School website.

Transfer Credit

With approval of the UA Graduate School, a maximum of 12 hours of graduate credit for coursework completed at another institution may be applied toward the 30 credit hour coursework requirement for the MSAEM Plan II degree. The maximum of 12 hours of graduate transfer credit includes the six hours of credit transferred from TPS, if applicable.

All credit toward the MSAEM degree, including transfer credit, must have been earned during the six years (18 fall, spring, and summer semesters) immediately preceding the date on which the MSAEM degree is to be awarded. Students who have earned post-baccalaureate course credit are encouraged to explore transfer credit opportunities. For additional information, view the transfer credit policy at the UA Graduate School website.

M.S. Program Requirements Prior to 2015

M.S. Program Requirements Prior to 2012