skip to content

Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics

The University's basic requirements for the master's degree are outlined in the "Graduate Degrees" section of this bulletin. Students with an aeronautical engineering background should be able to qualify for the master's degree in three quarters of work at Stanford. Students with a bachelor's degree in Physical Science, Mathematics, or other areas of Engineering may find it necessary to take certain prerequisite courses, which would lengthen the time required to obtain the master's degree. The following are departmental requirements.

Grade Point Averages—A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.75 is required to fulfill the department's M.S. degree requirements; a minimum GPA of 3.4 is required for eligibility to attempt the Ph.D. qualifying examination. It is incumbent upon both M.S. and potential Ph.D. candidates to request letter grades in all courses except those that do not offer a letter grade option and those that fall into the categories of colloquia and seminars (for example, AA 297 and ENGR 298). Insufficient grade points on which to base the GPA may delay expected degree conferral or result in refusal of permission to take the qualifying examinations. Candidates with GPAs of 3.0 through 3.4 may request the permission of the candidacy committee to attempt the qualifying examinations.

The master's program (45 units) in Aeronautics and Astronautics (AA) is designed to provide a solid grounding in the basic disciplines. All candidates for this degree are expected to meet the basic course requirements in experimentation in aeronautics and astronautics, fluid mechanics, guidance and control, propulsion, and structural mechanics (category A below), in addition to work in applied mathematics (category B) and technical electives (category C).

A. Basic Courses—Candidates choose eight courses as follows:

  1. One course in each basic area of Aeronautics and Astronautics:
    1. Experimentation: 241X, 236A, 257, 284B, or 290; or ENGR 206 or 207A
    2. Fluids: one of 200 or 210A
    3. Guidance and Control: ENGR 105 or ENGR 205
    4. Propulsion: 283
    5. Structures: 240A
  2. Three courses, one each from three of the areas below:
    1. Fluids: 200 (if 210A was taken or waived in item 1); or 210A (if 200 was taken or waived in item 1)
    2. Structures: 240B or 256
    3. Controls/Dynamics: 242A, 271A, or 279
    4. Aero/Astro elective: AA course numbered 200 and above, excluding seminars and independent research.

Candidates who believe they have satisfied a basic course requirement in previous study may request a waiver of one or more courses (see "Waivers and Transfer Credits" in the "Graduate Programs in Aeronautics and Astronautics" section of this bulletin).

B. Mathematics Courses—During graduate study, each candidate is expected to develop a competence in the applied mathematics pertinent to his or her major field. This requirement can be met by matriculating in a minimum of 6 units in either (1) applied mathematics (for example, complex variables, linear algebra, partial differential equations, probability), or (2) technical electives that strongly emphasize applied mathematics. A list of courses approved for the mathematics requirement is available in the departmental student services office. (Calculus, ordinary differential equations, and vector analysis are fundamental mathematics prerequisites, and do not satisfy the master's mathematics requirement.) Students planning to continue to the Ph.D. should note that 25 percent of the major-field Ph.D. qualifying examination is devoted to pertinent mathematics.

C. Technical Electives—Candidates, in consultation with their advisers, select at least four courses (totaling at least 12 units) in their major field from among the graduate-level courses offered by the departments of the School of Engineering and related science departments. This requirement increases by one course, taken in either the major or peripheral fields, for each basic course that is waived. Normally, one course (3 units) in this category may be directed research. Courses taken in satisfaction of the other master's requirements (categories A, B, and D) may not also be counted as technical electives.

D. Other Electives—It is recommended that all candidates enroll in at least one humanities or social science course. Language classes qualify in this category, but practicing courses in, for example, art, music, and physical education do not qualify.

When planning their programs, candidates should check course descriptions carefully to ensure that all prerequisites have been satisfied. A course that is taken to satisfy a prerequisite for courses in category A (basic courses) or B (mathematics) cannot be counted as a technical elective, but can count toward the M.S. degree in category D (other electives).

Copyright ©2011 Stanford University | Office of the University Registrar | Academic Year 2011-12 | Terms of Use | Copyright Complaints | Report a Problem with this site.