Contact: Kathy S. J. Miller

Graduate Student Admissions Coordinator

Aerospace Engineering


Admissions Information 

Welcome and thank you for your interest in applying to one of our graduate programs. Michigan Aerospace Engineering ranks as one of the highest in the nation by US News and World Report!

Admission to the graduate program is determined by the faculty of the Aerospace Engineering Department through its Graduate Program Committee. The Rackham Graduate School acts as the administrative body overseeing the admissions process for all graduate degrees except the Master of Engineering degree in Space Science. For the MEng program in Space Science, please apply through the College of Engineering.


Deadline Information

Fall admission deadlines are December 15 for the PhD program and January 15 for the SUGS and MSE programs. 

Winter admission deadlines are October 1 for the PhD, SUGS and MSE programs. 

All application materials should arrive by these dates to be considered for admission.

Applications that remain incomplete beyond the deadline will be at a competitive disadvantage during the evaluation process. Applications that arrive after the deadline will be considered in the next admissions cycle.

Students currently in the terminal master’s program may apply for the PhD program following the Rackham admissions process.  The process and deadlines depend on whether a student has a faculty funding commitment.

  • A MSE student without committed faculty funding must adhere to the regular PhD admission deadlines.

  • A MSE student with a faculty funding commitment (conditional on passing prelims) must meet with the Graduate Coordinator to review the admissions policy and determine eligibility.  The deadline for a student with faculty funding for the Fall term is March 1 and for the Winter term is November 1.


Application Requirements

The items needed in order for your application to be considered complete are:

  • A completed online application form;
  • Transcripts from ALL schools where bachelor's, master's or professional degrees were awarded. The Aerospace Engineering Department generally looks for applicants who have demonstrated academic effort through a minimum GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale;
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General test scores (institution code: 1839). The Aerospace Engineering Department  generally looks for applicants who attain a minimum of (1) a combined Verbal and Quantitative score of 308, and (2) an Analytical Writing score of 4.0 on the revised GRE;
  • Three letters of recommendation with the official Rackham Recommendation Form cover sheet from people who are familiar with you, in particular faculty members who have supervised your coursework and/or research. At least 2 of the recommendation letters must be from faculty. Change of program applicants: Please note that you only need one letter of recommendation from your faculty advisor;
  • Academic statement of purpose, describing your graduate study objectives;
  • Personal statement for any additional information or extenuating circumstances;
  • Curriculum Vitae (CV); and,
  • Official TOEFL (institution code: 1839) scores (only for international applicants or non-native speakers of English). The iBT TOEFL minimum requirement is 84. For more information on score requirements, view the Rackham website.

To begin completing an application, go to the Rackham online application. You might be eligible for a waived application fee.


How to Apply

These materials must  be sent directly to Rackham:

  • A completed online application form, including the academic statement, personal statement, and CV (no hard copies need to be submitted)
  • Official test scores (i.e., GRE, TOEFL) (institution code: 1839)
  • All official transcripts (no copies) need to be mailed to:
    Rackham Graduate School
    Attn: Transcripts/U-M ID# (if known) or Date of Birth (mm/dd/yyyy)
    915 E Washington Street
    Ann Arbor MI 48109-1070

For more information about submitting your official transcripts, please view Rackham's guidelines.

Letters of recommendations should be submitted electronically by your recommenders. If your recommenders cannot provide the recommendation electronically, they will need to send hard copies of their letters of recommendation to:

Admissions c/o Graduate Office
Aerospace Engineering
François-Xavier Bagnoud Building
1320 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2140

For Foreign Applicants


General Recommendations

In general, our Admissions Committee is most interested in undergraduate and graduate academic performance, GRE scores, research experience, letters of recommendation (particularly coming from faculty at least 2 from faculty are required) and the academic statement of purpose.

If you are applying to the PhD program, we recommend that you contact faculty whose research is of interest to you. In addition to the quality of your application, our Admissions Committee takes into account the abilities of our faculty to mentor additional students in their labs. A PhD applicant will only  be admitted if there is a match of interest with faculty member(s).

An engineering background is highly recommended. We have found that the lack of an engineering background puts students at a disadvantage during their graduate studies. We request applicants who lack an engineering background to take the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) exam administered by the National Council of Examiners for Engineering and Surveying (NCEES), in addition to the already required GREs. If admitted to the program, we advise those students to also take upper level Aerospace Engineering undergraduate courses to lay the foundation for the graduate courses. The set of undergraduate courses is decided on a case-by-case basis and worked among the student, the PhD advisor (if applicable) and the Graduate Committee.

Correspondence and Information

If you have questions about applying to our program or about Aerospace Engineering at U-M in general, please visit our Frequently Asked Questions page or contact:

Admissions c/o Graduate Office
Aerospace Engineering
François-Xavier Bagnoud Building
1320 Beal Avenue
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-2140
Phone: (734) 764-3311

Additional information on criteria for admissions and degree programs is available on the Rackham Admissions site. Additional information on the admissions process, and an online admission application for the Space Science ME, are available through the College of Engineering Admissions site.