Graduate Programs

Our graduate programs offer research degrees with graduate assistantships at the master’s and Ph.D. levels, with the opportunity to specialize in a wide range of topics in mechanical and aerospace engineering. We also offer a non-thesis master’s degree and are a leader in distance education. Students can earn a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering or a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree without ever setting foot on campus.

Application to NC State is handled at the university level by The Graduate School. For an overview of our graduate admission requirements visit our Graduate Admission Requirements website. Visit our How to Apply page for admission deadlines and procedures.

Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering

Career Focus The aerospace engineering program prepares its master’s graduates for careers in aircraft and space systems design, analysis and manufacturing.
Degree Programs Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering (MSAE)
Credit Hours Required 30
Plan of Study View the MAE Graduate Degree Requirement Updates (as of Fall 2016)

Suggested First Semester Graduate Courses

General Course Suggestions (by Topical Area)

All Graduate Courses (Course Catalog)

Specialty and Concentrations
  • Aerodynamics and applied aerodynamics
  • Aerospace propulsion
  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Dynamics and design of spacecraft and space systems
  • Flight dynamics and control
  • Multifunctional materials and smart structures
Accelerated Tracks Accelerated 5-year Bachelor/Masters (ABM)

Direct-to-PhD Program

Distance Education Available for non-thesis only. Learn more about Engineering Online

Engineering Online for U.S. Military and Veterans

How To Apply Apply to NC State

Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Career Focus The mechanical engineering program prepares its master’s graduates for careers in mechanical and thermal systems design, analysis and manufacturing.
Degree Programs Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)
Credit Hours Required 30
Plan of Study View the MAE Graduate Degree Requirement Updates (as of Fall 2016)

Suggested First Semester Graduate Courses

General Course Suggestions (by Topical Area)

All Graduate Courses (5-Year Schedule)

Specialty and Concentrations
  • Applied mechanics
  • Biomechanics
  • Combustion
  • Design and manufacturing
  • Dynamic systems and control
  • Energy conversion and systems
  • Experimental mechanics
  • Fluid dynamics
  • Heat transfer
  • Mechanics of materials
  • Micro, Nano and MEMS
  • Vibration and acoustics
Accelerated Tracks Accelerated 5-year Bachelor/Masters (ABM)

Direct-to-PhD Program

Distance Education Available for non-thesis only. Learn more about Engineering Online

Engineering Online for U.S. Military and Veterans

How To Apply Apply to NC State

Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering

About The Doctor of Philosophy degree is pursued by outstanding students with an intense interest in independent study and research. It consists of advanced coursework beyond the master’s degree, a written and oral comprehensive preliminary examination, extended and in-depth research, a written dissertation, and a final oral defense of the research.
Plan of Study 72 credit hours

Minimum 18 hours of letter-grade courses beyond the MS, up to 6 of which can be non-MAE courses.
If Minor declared, minimum 21 hours of letter-grade courses, 9 of which fulfill the minor requirement from other departments.

General Course Suggestions (by Topical Area)

View the MAE Graduate Degree Requirement Updates (as of Fall 2016)

*New PhD students starting from Fall 2016 are required to take a minimum of two 700-level courses.

First Semester Courses  Suggested First Semester Graduate Courses
Research Areas
  • Aerodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Propulsion and Space Exploration Systems
    Atomization and sprays; Combustion; Heat and mass transfer; Renewable energy; Thermal management; Thermodynamics; Spacecraft altitude dynamics and control; Tethered satellite systems; Planetary exploration rovers; Dynamics of planetary atmospheres
  • Dynamics, Vibrations and Controls
    Adaptive structures; Control and system identification; Machine design and dynamics; Mechatronics and smart systems; Vibration and acoustics; Structural health monitoring
  • Structural Mechanics, Materials and Manufacturing
    Active materials and auto-adaptive structures; Composite materials; Elasticity, Plasticity and fracture mechanics; Manufacturing and automation; MEMS; Stochastic mechanics
  • Thermal Sciences and Energy Systems
    Biofluid mechanics; Computational fluid dynamics and design optimization; Experimental aerodynamics and flight research; High-speed propulsion; Reactive and multiphase flows; Stability, transition and turbulence
Accelerated Tracks Direct-to-PhD Program
Residency Requirement 1 year
How To Apply Apply to the Graduate School at NC State