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The graduate program in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering has over 150 MS and Ph.D. candidates. West Virginia University is classified as a "Carnegie Research Extensive I" institution, the highest classification possible.

Aerospace | Mechanical | Course Catalog | Syllabi

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (M.S.A.E)

The M.S.A.E. program is designed to give students greater knowledge of aerospace engineering while conducting research to advance the field as a whole. Students can choose to take courses in aerospace systems design, aircraft or spacecraft dynamics, stability and control, flight mechanics and simulation, advanced materials, vehicle propulsion, aerodynamics, aeroelasticity, and computational mechanics. For a tentative schedule in the Aerospace Engineering Program, see the M.S.A.E. Curriculum.

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (M.S.M.E.)

The M.S.M.E. program builds the knowledge and skills of by combining both research and academic course work. Students choose coursework in mechanical systems design, system dynamics, solid mechanics, energy systems, engineering materials, automatic controls, mechatronics, and computational mechanics. For a tentative schedule in the Mechanical Engineering Program, see the M.S.M.E. Curriculum.

Doctor of Philosophy in Mechanical or Aerospace Engineering

The Department's Ph.D. program is designed to give students competence at the highest level in mechanical or aerospace engineering. A Ph.D. is a research-based degree and students are required to research, complete, and successfully defend a dissertation in a subject of his/her choosing. The goal of the Ph.D. is to expand the field of knowledge in the mechanical or aerospace engineering fields. For tentative schedules in the doctoral programs, see either:

Admission Requirements

Admission to the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Graduate Programs are described in the appropriate section of the  Graduate Catalog.

Graduation Requirements


The MSAE, MSME, and MSE degrees require completion of 24 hours of coursework (with a minimum cumulative grade point average of 3.0/4.0) plus 6 hours of research leading to a thesis. The coursework must include 6 hours of mathematics from an approved list and 12 hours of courses from Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.


The PhD degree program has the following four main stages:

  1. Qualifying Examination

    All students enrolled in the Ph.D. program must take their qualifying examination no later than during their second semester in the program, not counting summer sessions. The exam is administered every Fall and Spring semesters. It is a written exam. Students failing the first time are allowed to take it again during the next semester. Only two consecutive examinations are allowed for every student with no exceptions. Student passing the exam become candidates to the degree.

  2. Proposal Defense

    Ph.D. candidates must constitute their advisory committee and defend their proposal for their Dissertation no later than a year after becoming Ph.D. candidates.

  3. Dissertation Defense

    Ph.D. candidates must successfully defend their Dissertation in front of their advisory committee as a prerequisite for graduation. Subsequently, they must gain approval of their written Dissertation for the same committee. The written document must be submitted and approved in format by the WVU Library before graduation.

  4. Course Requirements

    Ph.D. students are required to complete 24 credits ours of coursework with an average GPA above 3. Certain restrictions regarding the type of courses are listed in the graduate catalog. For example, a minimum of two math courses and two MAE courses are required. There is no limit to the number of courses that can be taken at the election of the student. Normally, students take some courses that help them prepare for the qualifying exam as well as preparing for their chosen area of research.

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Financial Support

The Department has been successful in awarding financial assistance to many of our graduate students through a combination of research assistantships, teaching assistantships, and fellowships.

Research and Teaching Assistantships and fellowships range from $1,650 to $2,000 per month plus waiver tuition fees. Exceptional students in some areas of research might qualify for even higher stipends. There is no specific financial aid application form since all applicants are considered for assistantships.

For Applicants in the Ph.D. Program in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering

Departmental Financial Support

Students admitted in the Ph.D. program in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department are automatically considered for Graduate Teaching Assistantships (GTA) for the first academic year and they have priority over all other applicants. GTA students earn $1,950/month by working 20 Hr./week grading, teaching, or otherwise assisting faculty in laboratory courses. GTA positions are not renewable on subsequent years since new applicants have priority. Students are responsible for contacting a faculty member and obtaining research funding for subsequent years by working on a project that serves also as their Dissertation topic. MAE offers between 6 and 12 new GTA positions each Fall semester, starting August 16. Some GTA students might quit their GTA appointments at the end of their first semester to join a research project, thus leaving some GTA openings available for the Spring semester, starting January 1. GTA positions are awarded to the most qualified candidates from the pool of incoming students enrolled in the Ph.D. program. Only under extraordinary circumstances a GTA position would be offered to a MS student, for example, when the student posses some unique expertise that is required to conduct the work assignment.

Faculty members normally award Graduate Research Assistantships (GRA) to students that have demonstrated their competence over a period of at least one or two semesters here at West Virginia University (WVU). A few students with extraordinary credentials and unique expertise required by the faculty are awarded a GRA in advance of enrolling at WVU.

No request for GRA or GTA will be considered before a completed application has been received at the university and department levels.

The information in this page is only a partial description aimed to provide a quick glance for prospective students. The graduate catalog and other approved documents supersede all the information provided in this page.

Fellowships and Scholarships

  • Amelia Earhart Fellowship Award for Women
  • ASME Graduate Teaching Fellowship
  • Hansen, Inc. Scholarship
    This scholarship is awarded annually to juniors, seniors, or graduate students majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
  • HERF Supplemental Fellowship
    The HERF Supplemental Fellowship provides a $2000 annual supplement to outstanding M.S. or Ph.D. students who have contributed significantly to the instruction of undergraduate courses. In the 2002-2003 academic year, this fellowship was awarded to Mrs. Sri Vani Motamari.
  • Internship Opportunities in NASA
    National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is offering internship opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. A one-time online application termed as "SOLAR", Student On-Line Application for Recruiting can be submitted over the website.
  • Kumar Tamma Award
    The Kumar Tama Scholarship is awarded to an outstanding MSME graduate from WVU that continues for a Ph.D. in MAE. Candidates are nominated by the Associate Chair and selected by the Chair.
  • NSF Research Fellowship
  • The Endowed Graduate Supplemental Fellowship
    Provides a $2000 annual supplement for outstanding PhD candidates who undertake responsibilities that support undergraduate teaching in the department. In the 2002-2003 academic year, this fellowship was awarded to Mr. Tom Damiani and Mr. Brad Seanor.
  • Travel Grants for Doctoral Students
    Support is available for up to one trip per year for doctoral students. The college contribution is matched dollar-per-dollar by the department. Applicants must submit the form (provided in the web site on this page) to the Department for approval. Presentation of a technical paper or other academic activity and partial monetary support from the advisor are encouraged.
WVU Fellowships and Scholarships

Graduate Seminars

During the course of the academic year, the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department conducts a series of seminars. The graduate student in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering becomes a member of a scholarly community devoted to the discovery and transmittal of new knowledge. One of the purposes of the seminar series is to broaden our students intellectually and to aid in their professional development by providing another connection with the world of industry and business. Exceptional speakers whose research span the range of the Mechanical And Aerospace Engineering discipline are invited to speak at the seminars.

Through these seminars we seek to expose our faculty, graduate students and undergraduate researchers to a spectrum of topics in areas both similar to and complementary to those areas investigated within the department.


For information on our research visit MAE Research or one of the links below for college and university research information.

Statler Research WVU Research Electronic Theses + Dissertations