Application Questions

What are the minimum admission standards required to apply for the aerospace engineering sciences graduate program?

Successful applicants typically have completed:

  1. Undergraduate courses in calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations.
  2. Two semesters of undergraduate calculus-based physics.
  3. At least two semesters of upper-division undergraduate courses in engineering or physics.
  4. An undergraduate degree from an accredited institution in any area of engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry or other physical sciences.

Visit the How to Apply page for more information.

I have taken graduate level courses from another engineering program. Are any of these courses transferable?

In some cases, a limited number of graduate level course credits can be transferred from another accredited institution and applied toward a masters or PhD degree. These credits must be approved by the AES Graduate Curriculum Committee and the Graduate School.

Students who have completed their first semester in the masters or PhD program are eligible to seek transfer credit. Students seeking a degree from the University of Colorado Boulder must complete the majority of their coursework while enrolled in a graduate program as a degree seeking student.

Generally speaking, graduate level courses that have not been used toward a bachelor’s degree, and in which grades of B or better are earned, are eligible for transfer into the MS or PhD programs.

Credits from a completed master’s program cannot be transferred into a current master’s program.

A maximum of 9 credits can be transferred to the MS program, and a maximum of 21 credits can be transferred to the PhD program.

How do I apply to the aerospace engineering sciences graduate program at CU Boulder?
Do you offer a distance learning program? How do I apply?

The MS and ProMS programs are available online. The application process is the same for the degree whether you attend in person or remotely. 

Visit our How to Apply page for application information. Details on our degree programs are available here.

What are the deadlines for admission to the program?

Application deadlines and admission information is detailed on our Deadlines page.

How many letters of recommendation are required?

Three letters of recommendation should be submitted. Additional letters will not be reviewed. 

How long are my GRE scores valid?

GRE scores are valid for 5 years. PhD applicants can elect to send in GRE scores, but they are not required. GRE scores will not be accepted for MS and ProMS applicants.

What criteria does the admission committee use to evaluate applicants for admission?

In evaluating applicants for admission, the admission committee relies on the completed application form, your undergraduate GPA and official transcripts, as well as your statement of purpose and recommendations from persons who have had an opportunity to observe your ability and performance.

The quality of your undergraduate institution will be considered.

Substantial consideration is accorded to special qualities such as motivation, undergraduate program, diversity in economic, social, or cultural background, employment or other experience, leadership, and perseverance in overcoming personal handicaps or disadvantages. Graduate level work is also considered.

I previously applied to the University of Colorado Boulder Smead Aerospace Engineering Sciences. How do I reapply?

Applicants who decline an offer of admission or were not offered admission may choose to reapply. Reapplication includes: submission of a new application, application fee, TOEFL scores (if applicable), statement of purpose, and recommendations.

If the TOEFL scores from your previous application are still current, they will automatically be carried forward, but all other materials must be new submissions.

I am an international applicant. Am I required to take the TOEFL?

Please view CU Boulder Graduate School English Proficiency Requirements here.

Can I add materials, or change information in my application, once it's been submitted?

No. Unfortunately, no edits are allowed to an already submitted application; however, additional materials (e.g. recommendations, transcripts, etc.) can be added by forwarding those materials directly to the admissions office at Make sure to include your full name and either the application no. or your empl/student ID number.

One of my recommenders didn't receive the recommendation link. What do I do?

For assistance with links to letters of recommendation contact technical support.

You cannot add additional names, or remove names, of recommenders in your application once it has been submitted; however, recommendations can be sent by your recommenders to the graduate admissions office at

Program Questions

What is the difference between a traditional and professional master's degree?

The MS degree program allows students to specialize in a particular topic in the aerospace field. This can be done through a coursework only option where you complete an approved certificate, a two-sequence graduate project course, or write and defend a master’s thesis. Traditional MS students are admitted into a specific focus area and are required to complete a focus area curriculum. Funding is not guaranteed for master’s students. Although in rare cases you be supported by faculty directly, the department does not guarantee that support.

The Professional Masters of Science degree (ProMS) offers an option for international and non-resident students, and for students who are interested in a more flexible coursework only program. As a ProMS student, you do not have to follow a specific focus area curriculum and can customize your degree based on your personal interests; however, 18 credits in ASEN, including a math course from the list of approved math courses is required. Note: ProMS students are ineligible for any university funding (TA/RA/fellowships).

More information is available about both the traditional MS and ProMS on our Degree Programs page.

How do I schedule a visit to the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences?

We offer tours of the aerospace building during the spring and fall semesters. Find our more about our building tours and campus-wide visit options.

Faculty welcome visitors and appointments should be made directly with them via email. You should directly contact faculty members who specialize in an area of interest similar to your own by sending them an email requesting an appointment and/or tour of their labs.

Establishing Colorado Residence

How do I become a resident of the state of Colorado for in-state tuition purposes?

Residency classification is governed by state statute. To be eligible for in-state classification, applicants must establish domicile (legal residence) in Colorado one year prior to the first day of class for the term for which in-state status is sought. Note: students may establish their residency while enrolled in the College of Engineering.

Applicants and students who have become eligible for a change to in-state status must submit a petition with documentation in order to have their status changed. Please direct questions regarding residency status to the Tuition Classification Office, or visit the registrar's residency website for more information.

I am a member of the armed forces. Can I qualify for in-state tuition?

Active duty members of the armed forces of the United States and Canada on permanent duty stationed in Colorado, and their dependents (as defined by military regulations), are eligible for in-state status regardless of domicile or length of residence.

Applicants and students who have become eligible for a change to in-state status must submit a petition with documentation in order to have their status changed. Please direct questions regarding residency status to the Tuition Classification Office, or visit the registrar's residency website for more information.

Financial Aid for Graduate Students

What are the expected tuition and fees?

Tuition and mandatory fees are available from the Bursar's Office Costs page. In June of each year, the Board of Regents determines the tuition and mandatory fees for the upcoming year.

How do I apply for federal financial aid?

In most instances a domestic graduate student will be eligible for enough federal aid to cover his or her total cost of attendance. The cost of attendance (budget) includes tuition and fees, books and supplies, rent and utilities, food, medical, transportation, and personal expenses. Please note that car expenses (payments, insurance, repairs), credit card payments, and rent/utilities over the budgeted amount are not included. It is very important to keep your expenses within the budget.

For more information regarding your eligibility for financial aid, please contact the CU Office of Financial Aid, 303-492-5091,

How do I apply for teaching assistantships, research assistantship, and fellowships?

Departmental funding information is outlined in the academics section, link. The admissions committee automatically considers admitted entering students for graduate fellowships; there is no separate fellowship application for entering applicants. Fellowship recipients are selected during the admissions process, and in most circumstances, recipients will be notified before their $200 enrollment deposit is due.

For information regarding outside fellowship opportunities, please visit our funding opportunities page