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Curriculum - PhD in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

You will work directly with a faculty advisor to complete these requirements. Lectures are recorded during live campus classes and then made available to students. You have the option of pursuing this program either part-time or full-time to accommodate your schedule.

This PhD program is completed primarily online through alternative residency, which means you will meet with your advisor on campus at least once a semester, present dissertation proposal on campus, attend at least one PhD defense on campus and attend a one-day on-campus AEM Graduate Colloquium. Required campus visits will be arranged at the discretion of your faculty advisor.

PhD Program Requirements (72 hours)

Core Course Requirement (6 hours)

Aerospace Core (Choose one course)

  • AEM 569 Orbital Mechanics
  • AEM 582 Space Systems
  • AEM 614 Airfoil and Wing Theory
  • AEM 668 Advanced Dynamics of Flight*

Mechanics Core (Choose one course)

  • AEM 500 Intermediate Fluid Mechanics
  • AEM 530 Continuum Mechanics
  • AEM 562 Intermediate Dynamics
  • AEM 637 Theory of Elasticity

Mathematics Requirement (9 hours)

Mathematics courses must be approved by the program advisor.

Elective Requirement (33 hours)

Complete 33 hours of elective coursework that are approved by the program advisor, in consultation with the student's graduate advisory committee. 

Dissertation Research Requirement (24 hours)

  • AEM 699 Dissertation Research

Students are required to propose, complete and defend an approved dissertation on a research topic that contributes to the field of aerospace engineering and/or engineering science and mechanics.

PhD Qualifying Examinations

The qualifying examination may only be taken twice and is based on core coursework. The exam should be completed within 18 months after completing 24 hours of AEM coursework and at least twelve months prior to graduation.

Test Pilot School

Students seeking credit for Test Pilot School completed through the U.S. Air Force may send official transcripts from the TPS to the UA Graduate School. The student must have earned at least a B in TPS and can transfer a maximum of 6 credit hours. Additionally, the transfer credit from TPS is subject to the restrictions by the Graduate School and the AEM department.

Please note that courses are subject to change.

* Students who do not hold a BSAE degree will need to first complete AEM 568 before enrolling in AEM 668.