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Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Ranked among the top four Aerospace Engineering PhD programs in the country by the National Research Council and 10th by the U.S. News and World Report, CU-Boulder’s Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences (AES) is internationally recognized for its research and education leadership in aerospace engineering, Earth, and space sciences. Its world-renowned faculty tackle challenges in aerospace technology and science, focusing on astrodynamics and satellite navigation, remote sensing, Earth and space sciences, vehicle systems, structures and materials, and bioastronautics. The department spends more than $15 million annually on research. It is home to four research centers and was named a program of excellence by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

With more than 40 faculty members and over 250 M.S. and Ph.D. students, our graduate programs prepare aerospace engineering students to meet the needs of our 21st-century society through the understanding, conception, design, and application of aerial and spacecraft systems.  The Masters program provides opportunities to focus on hands-on, experiential learning, technical and organizational expertise, and end-to-end mission and systems perspectives.  The Ph.D. program prepares students for exceptional research careers in commercial, governmental, and academic institutions.

Areas of Study and Research

Ph.D. and M.S. Graduate students are admitted into a specific focus area that provides research advising, financial support, and sets specialized admission and program requirements and recommendations for course work within and outside the department. The four focus areas are:

  • Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems
  • Bioastronautics
  • Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Science
  • Aerospace Engineering Systems (with specializations in fluids, controls and structures)

Each focus area has identified the characteristics it seeks in successful graduates at the MS and Ph.D. level, and defined required and elective courses that support a balance of technical depth and breadth appropriate for the specific discipline.

Graduate students in the Professional Master of Engineering degree program have greater flexibility in their course selections, which provides the opportunity for a more interdisciplinary degree plan including courses from across the spectrum of focus area offerings. 


Degrees Offered:

Degree Details: 


The Master of Engineering is a Professional Master degree program requiring a total of 30 semester hours, at least 24 semester hours of which must be completed at the 5000 level or above, and at least 18 semester hours of which must be ASEN courses.

The Master of Science requires a total of 30 semester hours (including courses and thesis hours), at least 24 semester hours of which must be completed at the 5000 level or above, and at least 18 semester hours of which must be ASEN courses. In addition, specific focus area requirements must be met.

The Ph.D. requires 36 credit hours at the 5000 level or above, at least 18 hours of which must be ASEN courses, and 30 hours of dissertation credit. Students must pass the departmental preliminary and comprehensive examinations and successfully defend the dissertation in a final examination. Students do not need to have a master’s degree to apply to the Ph.D. program.

Opportunity for a dual degree with:

  • Engineering Management 
Admissions Requirements: 

Applicants must:

  1. Have undergraduate courses in calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations.
  2. Have two semesters of undergraduate calculus-based physics.
  3. Have at least two semesters of upper-division undergraduate courses in engineering or physics.
  4. Hold a baccalaureate degree in engineering, science or mathematics from a college or university of recognized standing (or the equivalent).
  5. Have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.4.
  6. Provide official GRE scores from an examination taken within the last 5 years.
  7. Provide four letters of recommendation.
  8. Provide a statement of purpose.

Additional information is available on the department's website:

Fall Domestic Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, January 5, 2016
Fall International Application Deadline: 
Tuesday, December 1, 2015
Spring Domestic Application Deadline: 
Thursday, October 1, 2015
Spring International Application Deadline: 
Saturday, August 1, 2015
Contact Information: 

University of Colorado Boulder
Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Engineering Center
Office Tower 632 (ECOT 632)
429 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0429
Phone: 303-492-6416
Fax: 303-492-7881