2024-25 Academic Catalog

Aerospace Engineering

Department Head: Dr. Rani Sullivan (Interim)
Graduate Coordinator: Dr. Adrian Sescu

330 Walker Engineering Building
Box A
Mississippi State, MS  39762
Telephone: 662-325-3623
E-mail: grad-coord@ae.msstate.edu
Website: http://www.ae.msstate.edu

The Department of Aerospace Engineering offers graduate study leading to the degrees of Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Doctor of Philosophy with an Aerospace Engineering concentration. Online learning options for these degrees are also available (see http://www.bcoelearning.msstate.edu). Major areas of study are include the following:

  • Aeroacoustics
  • Aerodynamics
  • Aeroelasticity
  • Autonomous systems
  • Structures and composites
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Design optimization
  • Fatigue and fracture
  • Fluid structure interaction
  • Guidance and control
  • Nondestructive evaluation

Research in the Department of Aerospace Engineering is performed in state-of-the-art facilities. The Advanced Performance Composite Materials Laboratory focuses on innovative methodologies for structural health monitoring of composite structures. Capabilities include fatigue and fracture testing and non-destructive evaluation. Research in the Autonomous System Research Lab focuses on UAS control and monitoring systems to enable a high degree of autonomous, cooperative behavior in unmanned air and ground systems. Other department facilities include a low speed wind tunnel and a two-stage light gas gun. Faculty and students also conduct research at the Advanced Composites Institute, including the Marvin B. Dow Stitched Composites Development Center, the Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, and the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS), which is a member center of the High Performance Computing Collaboratory. Graduate research and teaching assistantships are available for highly-qualified students.

Accelerated Program

Highly qualified undergraduates in the Bagley College of Engineering are encouraged to consider applying to the Accelerated Program in Aerospace Engineering. This program permits students to earn up to 9 hours of graduate-level coursework and earn both undergraduate credit and graduate credit simultaneously. Students must consult with the Graduate Coordinator to ensure graduate credit could be applied to a program of study for the graduate degree. Interested students should see Accelerated Programs  for complete information and contact the department's Graduate Coordinator. 

In addition to the University requirements, applicants in the Department of Aerospace Engineering must also meet the following requirements:

  1. Be enrolled at Mississippi State University in one of the eight Bagley College of Engineering programs
  2. Have at least 85 hours earned toward their respective B.S. degree
  3. Have an overall cumulative GPA of at  least 3.50

An application package consists of the following items, which must be submitted to the Graduate Coordinator of the Aerospace Engineering Department:

  1. Application form (NOTE: Students wishing to pursue a thesis in their M.S. program must have the support of an advisor prior to applying for the program).
  2. One page résumé
  3. Contact information for three references (included on the application form). Ideal references are those who are knowledgeable about the academic abilities of the applicant. The department will contact these references to gather additional information as needed to determine the acceptability of the study into the program.

The Aerospace Engineering Graduate Coordinator will review applications three times a year to assess whether students possess those qualifications and interests that are indicative of successful completion of the Aerospace Engineering M.S. program.

Admission Criteria

In addition to meeting the requirements discussed in the General Requirements for Admission section of this publication, the minimum requirement for regular admission to the graduate program is a B.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering or a closely related field, with a 3.00/4.00 GPA for the junior and senior years. An applicant with a B.S. degree from a program that is not accredited by EAC/ABET (Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology) must submit GRE general-test scores. Applicants required to take the TOEFL examination (see Admission section for more details) must have a minimum score of 550 PBT (79 iBT) or an IELTS score of 6.5. Applicants for the Ph.D. program should have a M.S. degree in Aerospace Engineering or a closely related field. Exceptionally qualified applicants (GPA in excess of 3.50/4.00 for junior and senior years) may apply for direct admission to the Ph.D. program. Graduates from an EAC/ABET-accredited program will receive the highest consideration.

Contingent Admission

A student whose B.S. or M.S. degree is not in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering may be granted contingent admission, depending on qualifications and experience. Typically, the contingency is removed by taking undergraduate prerequisite courses in the first few terms after admission. Specific conditions are handled on a case-by-case basis. For more information, please contact the Graduate Coordinator.

Provisional Admission

An applicant who has not fully met the GPA requirement stipulated by the University may be granted admission as a degree-seeking graduate student with provisional status. Please refer to the Provisional Admission requirements section for more details. The minimum acceptable undergraduate grade point average for admission as a provisional student is 2.75/4.00 for the junior and senior years.

Academic Performance and Continued Enrollment

Continued enrollment in the graduate program in Aerospace Engineering is contingent upon satisfactory performance in the courses and research and satisfactory performance toward completion of the degree. Satisfactory performance is achieved when all four of the following criteria are fulfilled:

  1. The student maintains a B average or better on
    1. all undergraduate prerequisite courses;
    2. all graduate courses completed;
    3. all graduate courses included on the program of study.
  2. The student has no more than one grade less than C.
  3. If the student registers for research credits in a given term, he/she receives a Satisfactory (S) grade at the end of the term.
  4. The student has a major advisor and a supervisory graduate committee by the end of the second term of enrollment.

Should the cumulative GPA (in any of the three categories of the first criterion) be less than a 3.00/4.00 at the end of a term, the student will be placed on probation. Should the student earn a second grade less than C, the student will be terminated immediately. Should the student receive an Unsatisfactory (U) grade on research credit hours attempted, he/she will be placed on probation.

The probationary period is defined to be one term (summer counts as one term if the student is enrolled). If at the end of the probationary period the student has not remedied his/her deficiency (i.e., has not achieved a 3.00 GPA, has not scheduled research credit hours and received a satisfactory grade), then his/her program of study will be terminated. A student may appeal termination of his/her program of study to the Aerospace Engineering graduate coordinator. If the appeal at the program level is unsuccessful, the student may then appeal to the college dean. If the appeal at the college level is unsuccessful, the student may then appeal to the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Further Information

For information about the program or financial support, contact the Aerospace Engineering Graduate Coordinator.

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering - Thesis

8XXXCoursework at the 8000 level9
Additional graduate-level coursework15
Thesis research/dissertation6
Total Hours30

A thesis master's degree student must pass a final thesis defense upon completion of all course requirements.

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering - Non-Thesis

8XXXCoursework at the 8000 level10
Additional graduate-level coursework20
Total Hours30

A non-master’s degree student must pass a coursework-based comprehensive examination.

Doctor of Philosophy with Aerospace Engineering Concentration

8XXXCoursework at the 8000 level10
Additional graduate-level coursework20
Dissertation research/dissertation20
Total Hours50

The number of course hours required of a Ph.D. student depends on each student’s needs; numbers shown above are typical beyond a Master's degree. In order to be admitted to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree, a student must pass a doctoral qualifying examination, have his/her dissertation topic approved, and sit for a candidacy examination. A final dissertation defense and an oral examination of the candidate are also required.

ASE 6013 Directed Project in Aerospace Engineering: 3 hours.

(Contact hours and title to be arranged). An individual professional project open only to candidates for the Master of Science degree (non-thesis option) Formal written and oral project reports are required

ASE 6133 Automatic Control of Aerospace Vehicles: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ASE 4123). Three hours lecture. Optimization techniques; structural flexibility effects; statistical design; sample-data control systems

ASE 6153 Advanced Performance: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ASE 2113 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Performance methods use for current aeronautical vehicles. Configurations considered are sailplanes, V/STOL aircraft, subsonic/supersonic transports, and fighters

ASE 6163 Introduction to Flight Test Engineering: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite:ASE 3313,ASE 4123).Three hours lecture. Introduction to the techniques of aeronautical flight test engineering. Supplements Aerospace curriculum Pitot/static systems, and introduces fixed-wing flight test engineering, data reduction,certification, flight-test risk assessment/mitigation, and fligt crew-station analysis procedures

ASE 6233 Structural Dynamics: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: EM 3413). Three hours lecture. Influence coefficients; matrix methods; Lagrange's equations of motion; divergence on an airfoil; introduction to flutter

ASE 6353 Combustion Theory and Modeling: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Grade C or better in ASE 3333 or CHE 3113 or ME 3513 or Instructor Consent). Three-hour lecture. Acquisition of theoretical basis of thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, and fluid physics for describing flames and combustion. Exploration of state-of-the-art problem-solving techniques and software tools. (Same as EM 4353/6353)

ASE 6423 Introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Elementary aspects of computational fluid dynamics (CFD); review of numerical analysis and fluid mechanics as pertinent to CFD; numerical solution to selected fluid dynamic problems

ASE 6433 Fundamentals of Numerical Grid Generation: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Grid Generation strategies; effects of grid quality on discetization errors; structured and unstructured grid generation algorithms; solution adaptive grid generation; surface grid generation

ASE 6553 Engineering Design Optimization: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite:Consent of Instructor).Three hours lecture. Introduction to optimality criteria and optimization techniques for solving constrained or unconstrained optimization problems. Sensitivity analysis and approximation. Computer application in optimization. Introduction to MDO. (Same as EM 4143/6143 and IE 4743/6743)

ASE 6713 Introduction to Unmanned Aircraft Systems: 3 hours.

Three-hour lecture. This course provides an introduction to various aspects involved in design and operation of unmanned aircraft systems. With the increasing use of UAS in civilian and military roles, future engineers will benefit from a systems perspective of unmanned aircraft systems

ASE 6813 Advanced Orbital Mechanics: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ASE 3813). Three hours lecture. Orbital mechanics; perturbations and numerical integration. Global positioning system, launch performance and optimization

ASE 6990 Special Topics in Aerospace Engineering: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

ASE 7000 Directed Individual Study in Aerospace Engineering: 1-6 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged

ASE 8313 Advanced Compressible Aerodynamics I: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ASE 4343 or equivalent). Three hours lecture. Derivation of complete equations for compressible fluid flow; unsteady one-dimensional flows; method of characteristics; flow about two-dimensional and axis-symmetric shapes; integral methods

ASE 8323 Advanced Compressible Aerodynamics II: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ASE 8313). Three hours lecture. Perturbation theory for wings and bodies; optimum wing and body shapes; wing-body interference; transonic flows, hypersonic flows

ASE 8343 Incompressible Viscous Laminar Flow: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Incompressible Navier-Stokes equations; properties and exact solutions; laminar boundary layer equations; two- and three-dimensional solutions; time-dependent solutions; approximate solutions; boundary layer control

ASE 8353 Turbulent Flow: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ASE 8343). Three hours lecture. Origins of turbulence; stability statistical theory of turbulence; isotropic and non-isotropic turbulence; equations of turbulent flow; turbulent boundary layer; free turbulent flow

ASE 8363 Computational Heat Transfer: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Consent of Instructor). Three hours lecture. Application of numerical techniques to elliptic and parabolic problems in engineering heat transfer and fluid flow. Discretization techniques; linearization; stability analysis. (Same as ME 8363)

ASE 8413 Computational Fluid Dynamics I: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: Consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Review of relevant numerical analysis; one dimensional methods; compressible inviscid methods, Euler Equation methods, inviscid-viscous interaction methods; current literature

ASE 8423 Computational Fluid Dynamics II: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite: ASE 8413 or equivalent). Three hours lecture. Compressible Viscous Methods; Navier-Stokes equation methods; turbulence models; incompressible methods; panel methods; finite element methods, current literature

ASE 8853 Statistical Orbit Determination: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite:ASE 4813/6813 or consent of instructor). Three hours lecture. Review of matrix and statistical concepts. Overview of orbit determination problem. Least squares:sequential and batch processors; square-root filters; discrete and continuous Kalman filters

ASE 8863 Optimal Control of Dynamic Systems: 3 hours.

(Prerequisite:ASE 4123 or ECE 4913/6913 or equivalent). Three hours lecture. State variable description of systems: maximum principle of Pantryagin,dynamic programming, optimization of linear systems with quadratic performance measures;time optimal and fuel optimal systems. (Same as ECE 8943 )

ASE 8990 Special Topics in Aerospace Engineering: 1-9 hours.

Credit and title to be arranged. This course is to be used on a limited basis to offer developing subject matter areas not covered in existing courses. (Courses limited to two offerings under one title within two academic years)

ASE 9000 Research in Aerospace Engineering: 1-13 hours.

Hours and credits to be arranged