Earn a Master's Degree in Aerospace Engineering

The aerospace engineering graduate program at Missouri S&T offers multiple opportunities for collaboration on research and study. 

You will get the benefit of working with the brightest minds in academia and industry. Our graduate students become leaders in their field whether it be in the corporate world, government agencies or higher education. Thesis master's students conduct groundbreaking research in our laboratories and research centers while being mentored by world-class faculty. Non-thesis master's and certificate programs are also available for those wanting to update and enhance their technical skills. All programs and certificates are available to distance students.

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Degree Information

Thesis program requirements

In order to obtain a Masters of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, you must:

  • Complete at least 30 total credit hours
  • Complete at least 21 credit hours of lecture courses
  • Complete at least 6 credit hours of AE 6099
  • Complete at least 9 credit hours of lecture courses in the MAE department, at least 3 credit hours of which is at the 6xxx level
  • Complete at least 3 credit hours of mathematics, statistics, or computer science; AE/ME: 5830 Applied Computational Methods may be used to satisfy this requirement
  • Complete at least 6 credit hours of 6xxx lecture courses
  • Complete thesis (see below)
  • Pass oral examination (see below)
  • Meet seminar requirements (see below)

No course below the 5xxx level may be applied to the degree requirements. A graduate student accumulating 10 or more credit hours of C and F grades shall no longer be a candidate for an advanced degree from Missouri S&T. In order to earn a graduate degree, all students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all graduate work taken at Missouri S&T, as well as for all graduate courses listed on the program of study (Form 1 for master’s students).

Thesis requirements

The thesis is a document embodying the results of the student’s original investigation under the guidance of his/her Advisory Committee. It is expected that this document will yield scholarly products, typically one or more articles worthy of publication in high quality archival journals. The student’s Advisory Committee will examine the student’s thesis closely for both scientific content and format. The thesis must be formatted appropriately. Formatting specification and further information regarding theses are available through the Office of Graduate Studies.

Oral Examination Requirements

The oral examination is an oral defense of the student’s thesis. When the thesis is completed, the student distributes a copy to each member of his/her Advisory Committee and arranges a time and place for the oral examination. Each Advisory Committee member should be allowed to examine the thesis for at least seven working days before the oral examination. In order for the student to pass the oral examination, every member of the student’s Advisory Committee must vote affirmatively. Further information regarding the oral examination is available in the Graduate Catalog.

Seminar Requirements

All graduate students are required to attend the Department Seminar Series. 

Non-these requirements

In order to obtain a Masters of Science degree (non–thesis option) in Aerospace Engineering, a student must:

  • Complete at least 30 total credit hours of lecture courses
  • Complete at least 24 credit hours in the MAE department
  • Complete at least 9 credit hours of 6xxx lecture courses, at least 6 credit hours of which is in the MAE department

† No course below the 5xxx level may be applied to the degree requirements. A maximum of 4 credit hours of special problems may be applied to the degree requirements. A graduate student accumulating 10 or more credit hours of C and F grades shall no longer be a candidate for an advanced degree from Missouri S&T. In order to earn a graduate degree, all students must achieve a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher in all graduate work taken at Missouri S&T, as well as for all graduate courses listed on the program of study (Form 1 for master’s students and Form 5 for doctoral students). Register for classes, after consulting with your Graduate Advisor, before each semester. Complete, in consultation with your Graduate Advisor, Graduate Form 1. This form lists all of the courses you have taken and plan to take. Your Graduate Form 1 must be submitted to the Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs within six weeks of the beginning of the semester in which you take your fifteenth graduate credit hour. If there are any changes in your coursework, you must submit Graduate Form 1A. This form should be done once you are absolutely sure there will be no further changes. The Aerospace Graduate Form 1 (non-thesis) Checklist‌ can be used to aid this process.

Pre-Graduation Checklist

The following pre-graduation checklist can be used to plan the final steps of your program: Pre-Graduation Checklist for MS - Non-Thesis

Thesis option

  • The Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs will advise the student regarding his/her academic program during the first semester, or until the student selects a Graduate Advisor.
  • Submit a Graduate Advisor Form to the Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs once you have selected a Graduate Advisor.

In situations where two faculty members are actively involved in advising, you may have a Graduate Advisor and a Graduate Co–Advisor. The Graduate Advisor or Co–Advisor must be a faculty member of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) Department.

You are strongly discouraged from changing graduate advisors. When an unavoidable circumstance arises and warrants consideration for a change, you and the Graduate Advisor must meet with the Associate Chair for Graduate Affairs to resolve the issue before you may select another Graduate Advisor.

Non-thesis option

For the non-thesis option, the student’s graduate advisor is automatically the associate chair for graduate affairs, except for distance students doing their degree from the Engineering Education Center in St. Louis.

  • The non-thesis option requires coursework only, while the thesis option requires a thesis with your research advisor.

What Students Say About S&T

My time at Missouri S&T has been extremely valuable and rewarding. Without this school I would not have met my closest friends or had the opportunities to grow my academic and professional careers through my professors and their connections.

-David Lund

Innovation starts by thinking differently and is made possible by persistent; S&T provides the experiences required to develop these skills.

— George Holmes Jr., CEO and Co-Founder of Hire Henry

Research in Aerospace Engineering

Nearly 100% of all students who conduct research receive support for their studies. 

In the aerospace engineering master’s thesis program at S&T, you will do research with our expert faculty in one of many areas that drive advances in aircraft, spacecraft or space systems, including aerodynamics, autonomous systems, propulsion, control, structures and materials and small satellites.

Explore Research Fields

Students construct a rocket at the Student Design Center

Your Career in Aerospace Engineering

As an aerospace engineer, you can choose from a wide variety of careers, including research, design and development, field service, marketing, software development and teaching. 

Most aerospace engineers work directly within the aerospace industry designing and developing flight-worthy aircraft.

Career Paths

  • Commercial aerospace engineers
  • Spacecraft designers
  • Inspectors and compliance officers
  • Mechanical engineers and drafters

Aerospace Engineers Work With:

  • Aircraft manufacturers
  • NASA centers and other federally-funded research and development centers
  • Engine manufacturers
  • Commercial space companies
  • Helicopter manufacturers
  • Government agencies and labs
  • Electricity generation in power plants
  • Airlines

Rocket launching with a plume of vapor beneath it

See the Graduate Student Experience

Information for Future Students