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Graduate Program

For More Information

If you would like to obtain additional information about the graduate program in Aerospace Engineering at Mississippi State University, or inquire about touring our facilities and meeting with academic representatives, please contact:

Ratneshwar (Ratan) Jha, Ph.D. 
Graduate Coordinator
Mississippi State, MS 39762
Phone: 662.325.2911

Mississippi State University operates a large number of residence halls with moderately priced rooms and apartments. The University also operates Aiken Village, a housing complex with many furnished apartments for full-time students, their spouses, and/or dependents. The village has a preschool program for children of ages three to five. A wide variety of accommodations is also available off campus.


The Community 

Starkville is located in the east-central part of the state and is part of the Golden Triangle area, a cluster of three communities that also includes Columbus and West Point. The city has a population of 18,500, and Oktibbeha County, in which Starkville is located, has a population that exceeds 40,000. The close-knit community is approximately 23 miles west of Columbus and 125 miles northeast of Jackson.Education is provided by seven public schools in the city (kindergarten through grade 12), four public schools in the county, and one private academy. Health services are available at the modern Oktibbeha County Hospital, the County Health Office, the Community Counseling Center, three nursing homes, and a Student Health Center on the Mississippi State University campus. Major airline service is provided by affiliates of Delta and Northwest Airlines at the Golden Triangle Regional Airport, located 15 miles east of Starkville.Besides services, Starkville also provides recreation and entertainment for both the local citizens and MSU students. There are parks, tennis courts, golf courses, theaters, a riding stable, and a skating rink. The city also has two museums, three libraries, a community theater, and a symphony orchestra. Within a 20 minute drive of campus there are the university’s award winning golf course, the 50,000 acre Noxubee Wildlife Refuge, and the Tennessee-Tombigbee Waterway. Also of interest are the more than 50 dining places and 80 churches in the area.

The climate is mild, with average annual rainfall of 51 inches. Temperatures average 46 degrees Fahrenheit in January and 82 degrees in July. The elevation is 400 feet above sea level.



To be admitted to the Master’s program in Aerospace Engineering, the applicant must hold an undergraduate engineering degree from a University accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET), or must take the General GRE (Graduate Record Examination) test. The applicant must have maintained a minimum 3.0 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale in his/her undergraduate courses.
To be admitted to the doctoral program, the applicant must have maintained a 3.0 grade-point average on a 4.0 scale on all courses taken at the master’s level.International students wishing to be admitted to either program must have a minimum TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) score of 550 (paper-based) or 213 (computer-based). In special cases, provisional admittance to the Master’s and doctoral programs will be allowed upon the recommendation of faculty members.In order to be considered for admission, applicants must complete and return an application form, three letters of recommendation, a statement of purpose, and official transcripts of prior college studies. To obtain an admission packet, contact the Department of Aerospace Engineering, or register on-line at:



Since its founding in 1935, the Department of Aerospace Engineering has been recognized as one of the most productive and innovative departments at Mississippi State University. To date, the Department has awarded several hundred Master’s and doctoral degrees to men and women who are now leaders in government, industry, and academia.Mississippi State University is a comprehensive land-grant institution founded in 1878 near Starkville, MS. The university continues to build on its traditional strengths in engineering and scientific agriculture, but offers more than 100 majors at the undergraduate level. Mississippi State is ranked among the nation’s top 70 research universities by the National Science Foundation and is classified as a Doctoral/Research-Extensive institution by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. About 2,500 degrees, bachelor’s through doctoral, are awarded annually. The University, the state’s largest, enrolls almost 16,000 students at its main campus and at campuses in Meridian, Vicksburg, and Bay St. Louis. The university has close to 1,000 faculty members and an alumni family of approximately 100,000. Mississippi State competes in several women’s and men’s varsity sports in the prestigious Southeastern Conference.The first freshman class enrolled in engineering at Mississippi State University (then Mississippi A&M) in 1892. Since that time, more than 15,000 engineers – men and women from all walks of life – have become respected leaders in many diverse fields. From 13 students more than 100 years ago to a current enrollment of more than 2,000 in nine major fields, the last century has seen the College of Engineering grow in size, and more importantly, national prominence.The Department of Aerospace Engineering awarded the College of Engineering’s first master’s degree in 1951. The department awarded the college’s first doctoral degree in 1960. Currently, the department has awarded 266 master’s degrees and 74 doctoral degrees to men and women who are now leaders in government, industry, and education around the world.


The Graduate Program

The strength of the graduate program, as it has been for more than five decades, resides in its excellent Faculty, with a keen interest in the advancement of the students and a hands-on approach to education, further enhanced by the outstanding facilities of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and the College of Engineering.The Department of Aerospace Engineering offers graduate programs leading to the Master of Science and Doctor of Philosophy degrees. The major areas of study include fluid dynamics, structural mechanics, flight mechanics and controls, flight test engineering, and design optimization.The Master’s Program. The Department of Aerospace Engineering offers Master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering. The Master’s degree prepares the student for continued progress toward the doctoral degree, or to enter the work force at a level of preparation more advanced than a bachelor’s degree would provide.The Master’s student is required to take a minimum of 30 graduate hours beyond the undergraduate degree, six of which will be thesis research. The student must choose a committee during the first semester of study, consisting of a major professor and two other professors, who will help plan the program of study and serve as principal leaders of the thesis research.The Doctoral Program. The doctor of philosophy degree with an emphasis on Aerospace Engineering prepares the student to enter the university setting as a faculty member and researcher, or for a rewarding career in industry or government. The doctoral student must complete a minimum of 50 hours of course work beyond the master’s degree, of which 20 hours will be devoted toward dissertation research. The student must choose a committee of one major professor and four other professors, including one from outside the Department of Aerospace Engineering, who will help plan the program of study and serve as principal leaders of the dissertation.



The teaching and research facilities of the Department of Aerospace Engineering and the College of Engineering at Mississippi State University are among the most advanced of any campus in the country. The specialized teaching and research facilities available to the department’s education program include:The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory — The largest such university flight laboratory in the nation, the Raspet Lab has a long history of research in aerodynamics, flight mechanics, and structural mechanics. It is nationally recognized for its accomplishments in the design and operation of new and unconventional aircraft. The lab includes a complete aircraft manufacturing facility that was used in the production of all-composite, 8,000 lb., twin-turbofan aircraft in cooperation with Honda R & D Co. The Raspet facilities are state-of-the-art and offer a unique level of involvement and excellent hands-on experience for graduate students. The lab is home to several prototype and research aircraft, making it unique among such facilities on college campuses in the country.The Computational Simulation and Design Center (Simcenter) At The ERC –Located adjacent to the main Mississippi State campus, the ERC is a coalition of member centers and groups that share a common core objective of advancing the state-of-the-art in computational science and engineering using high-performance computing. The computing needs of the ERC are met by a vast array of servers: the ERC has been consistently ranked among the largest public supercomputing facilities in the world. As a component of the ERC, the SimCenter has a long and distinguished history of developing advanced computational technology for submarines, surface ships, rotary aircraft, launch vehicles, and turbomachinery. Several members of the aerospace engineering faculty are actively engaged in research through the SimCenter. Their involvement in the dynamic research programs at the ERC provides many unique opportunities for graduate students.



Excellence in research has always been a high priority among faculty in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. The success of their efforts is best exemplified by the fact that the Department has consistently remained in the top tier of University research efforts, with yearly research expenditures, in current (inflation-adjusted) currency, on the order of a few million dollars. Ongoing research by aerospace engineering faculty includes topics in computational fluid dynamics and related technologies, experimental fluid mechanics, multidisciplinary design, flight mechanics, composite structures, flight-testing, stability/control, data acquisition, and materials testing and evaluation..The Department of Aerospace Engineering is committed to providing quality educational experiences for its students. Graduate courses are offered in a coordinated manner to ensure that students have access to the classes necessary to develop well-rounded programs of study. Small class sizes facilitate more interaction between students and faculty members, and students have ready access to the faculty.


Financial Matters

Mississippi State University is a publicly assisted university, and tuition is comparable to that of similar institutions of higher learning in the southeastern United Stated. Current tuition and fees of the university are published in the Graduate Studies Bulletin, but are subject to change. The most up-to-date information on tuition and fees can be found online, at Tuition Assistantships & Financial Aid — Research and teaching assistantships are available, and any applicant who meets regular admission requirements is automatically considered for an award. Students who are awarded an assistantship receive a monthly stipend plus a tuition waiver (including both in-state and out-of-state tuition). Information on assistantships can be obtained by contacting the Department of Aerospace Engineering.In addition, the College of Engineering offers scholarships and fellowships for exceptional graduate students. The Barrier and Honda scholarships are available for doctoral students. Mississippi State University is a member of the National Consortium for Graduate Degrees for Minorities in Engineering and Science (GEM), which supports students from minority groups in advanced study in engineering. For more information or to obtain financial aid and scholarship application forms, please contact: Department of Student Financial Aid and Scholarships, P.O. Box 6035, Mississippi State, MS 39762-6035. Phone: 662-325-2450, or visit Financial Aid