Application Questions

What are the minimum admission standards required to apply for the Aerospace Engineering graduate program?

Aerospace Engineering Sciences at CU-Boulder has established minimum standards for graduate admission. 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, sciences, or mathematics from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.
  5. Have an undergraduate grade point average of at least 3.40
  6. Provide three letters of recommendation.
  7. Provide a personal statement.

International students must provide documentation that they have the financial resources to support themselves for at least the first year in the program.

Note: The department does not typically fund Masters students.

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 Ph.D. 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 Ph.D. program are eligible to seek transfer credit. Students seeking a degree from the University of Colorado at 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 18 credits can be transferred to the PhD program.

How do I apply to the Aerospace Engineering Sciences graduate program at the University of Colorado Boulder campus?

For information about our program, faculty and research projects, as well as information on application materials, please visit our website, For program information, click on ‘Graduates, Academics, Degree Programs’, then click the blue ‘Graduate Handbook’ icon on the right hand side. For application materials, click ‘Prospective Students’ and go to ‘Graduates, Admissions’ and follow the links.

Do you offer a distance learning program? How do I apply?

Distance coursework is offered for both the ProMS and the Traditional Master's (MS) programs. For information, please visit the CU Boulder Graduate School.

Aerospace courses can be taken through the Course Library, with the professor's permission. More information is a available on the Library Courses site.

If you have questions about online programs, please contact the Graduate School at or 303.492.6331.


What are the deadlines for admission to the program?

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

How many letters of recommendation are required?

A minimum of three letters of recommendation should be submitted.  Further information about the admission process is detailed on our admission pages. 

How long are my GRE scores valid?

The GRE General Test measures critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. Information about the GRE is available on the Educational Testing Service website, Current GRE Board policy states that your scores are reportable for 5 years. Your scores are retained for the 5 testing years following the testing year in which you tested. All scores earned during this time will be reported to each institution you designate. The Aerospace Engineering Admission Committee will not accept scores older than 5 years.

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, the report of GRE scores, 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.

GRE scores and GPA are considered in the context of the entire application. Our desired undergraduate GPA is 3.4.

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, valid GRE / TOEFL scores, statement of purpose, and recommendations.

If the GRE or 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?

Prior to admission, applicants from countries where English is not the native language must demonstrate a full command of the English language by making a satisfactory score of 560 (paper) or 220 (computer) or 83 (internet) on the Test of English as Foreign Language (TOEFL). 
You are not required to submit the TOEFL if,

1. your native language is English, or 
2. you have completed at least one year of full-time study at a U.S. institution, or at an institution in a country where English is the native language, at the time you apply, and within two years from your desired admission term. More information is available at

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 is a two-year program allowing students to specialize in a particular topic in the aerospace field. This can be done through a coursework only option where the student completes an approved certificate, a two-sequence graduate project course, or writes and defends 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 they may be supported by faculty directly, the department does not guarantee their support.

The Professional Masters of Science degree (ProMS) offers an affordable option for international and non-resident students, and for students who are interested in a more flexible coursework only program. ProMS students do not have to follow a specific focus area curriculum and can customize their degrees based on their 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).

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

Faculty welcome visitors, and appointments should be made directly with them via email. Faculty information is found on our website. 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. Campus tours are offered through the university, not the department.

Click here for maps and driving directions. It is recommended that visitors park in metered lots designated for public parking, which are located around campus.


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 (rather than to the College of Engineering), Regent Administrative Center 105; telephone 303-492-0907; or

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.

For further information regarding tuition classification please contact the Tuition Classification Officer, Regent Administrative Center 105; telephone 303-492-0907;; or    

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 opportunity, please visit our fellowship opportunities page