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The University of Texas at Arlington
Vol LXXXVII - July 2004
Graduate Catalog 2004-2006
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     Note: This Catalog is superseded by the 2005-2006 Catalog.

Program in Aerospace Engineering

department web page: www-mae.uta.edu/ae/aemenu.html
department contact: www-mae.uta.edu/contactus.html
graduate web page:
graduate contact:


Don Seath
214C Wolff Hall

Admission Requirements | Continuation | Degree Requirements | Courses: AE

Area of Study and Degrees

Aerospace Engineering
M.S., M.Engr., Ph.D.

Master's Degree Plans

Thesis (M.S.), Thesis-Substitute (M.S.) and Non-Thesis (M.Engr.)


Don Seath

214C Woolf Hall, 817.272.2059

Graduate Advisor

Don Wilson
315F Woolf Hall, 817.272.2072

Graduate Faculty


Anderson, Chan, Gaines, Joshi, Lawrence, Lu, Seath, Wang, Wilson

Associate Professors


Assistant Professors

Dogan, Subbarao

Professors Emeritus

Dalley, Fairchild, Jiles, Payne


The overall objective of the graduate program in aerospace engineering is to develop in a student the ability to define a technical problem, establish an appropriate mathematical or experimental model based on a firm understanding of the physical nature of the problem, analyze the problem by theoretical, numerical, or experimental techniques, and evaluate the results. Although this ability is developed in the context of aerospace problems, it is applicable to the engineering of any physical system. The program is designed for a student with any of the following specific objectives:

  1. A sound foundation in advanced mathematics, science, and engineering which will equip the student well for research and development work or for further advanced study toward a doctoral degree in engineering.
  2. A program of advanced study which allows specialization in one of the following areas:
    • Fluid dynamics, aerodynamics and propulsion (theoretical and applied aerodynamics, gasdynamics, viscous fluid mechanics, turbulence, computational and experimental fluid dynamics, hypersonic flow theory, high-temperature gasdynamics, V/STOL and rotorcraft aerodynamics, air-breathing and rocket propulsion);
    • Structural mechanics (theory of elasticity, mechanical vibrations, structural dynamics, composite structures, damage tolerance, smart structures, high-temperature structures and materials, aeroelasticity);
    • Flight mechanics (atmospheric and space flight mechanics, orbital mechanics, guidance, navigation and control);
    • Vehicle design (atmospheric flight vehicle design, spacecraft design).
  3. A balanced but non-specialized program of advanced study in aerodynamics, astronautics, flight dynamics, structural analysis, propulsion, and fluid mechanics, with emphasis on experimental techniques and modern mathematical analysis.

Admissions Requirements

Admission Criteria

Admission to the graduate program in AE is based on equal weighting of the of the following six criteria:

  1. An overall GPA, as calculated by the Graduate School, of 3.0 or higher in undergraduate coursework.
  2. Relevance of the student's previous degrees to the AE curriculum.
  3. Reputation of the universities or colleges the student has attended.
  4. A sum of verbal and quantitative GRE scores of at least 1050 for MS or 1250 for Ph.D. applicants.
  5. Three satisfactory written recommendation forms from prior professors or supervisors.
  6. A written essay on the student's goals and reasons for pursuing graduate studies.

Admission Status

  • Unconditional Admission: Applicants who show by meeting all of the above criteria that they are fully prepared to start immediately on their selected graduate program of interest will be admitted unconditionally.
  • Probationary Admission: Applicants who fail to meet the conditions for unconditional admission, but satisfy at least four of the six criteria listed above, will be considered for probationary admission. The graduate advisor normally identifies areas of deficiency that must be removed by successfully completing assigned remedial courses before the admission status is changed to unconditional.
  • Provisionary Admission: Applicants who are unable to supply all of the required documentation prior to the admission deadline, but who otherwise appear to meet the admission criteria, may be granted provisional admission.
  • Denial: Applicants who fail to meet at least four of the six admission criteria will normally be denied admission.
  • Deferral: A deferred decision may be granted when an application file is incomplete or when a denied decision is not appropriate.
  • Criteria for Award of Fellowship

    Applicants who demonstrate skills, experience or interests that meet the needs of the AE Graduate Program will be considered for fellowships or assistantships.


    The Aerospace Engineering Graduate Program, in fulfillment of its responsibility to graduate highly qualified professional engineers, has established certain policies and procedures. In addition to the requirements of the Graduate School listed elsewhere, to continue in the program each aerospace engineering graduate student must:

    1. Maintain at least a B (3.0) overall GPA in all coursework major and minor, and
    2. Demonstrate suitability for professional engineering practice.

    At such time as questions are raised by aerospace engineering graduate faculty regarding either of the above, the student will be notified and will be provided the opportunity to respond to the Committee on Graduate Studies in Aerospace Engineering. The Committee on Graduate Studies will review the student's performance and make a recommendation concerning the student's eligibility to continue in the program. Appeal of a decision on continuation may be made through normal procedures outlined in the section of this catalog entitled "Grievances Other than Grades."

    Degree Requirements

    All Graduate Degrees

    All entering students must be proficient in mathematics, engineering analysis, and computer programming. Students not meeting these requirements may be admitted on a probationary basis and given a plan of remedial undergraduate coursework. No graduate credit will be granted for these courses. Normally, all master's and doctoral candidates in aerospace engineering shall enroll in the Graduate Seminar (AE 5101) a minimum of three times (see course description). Repeat enrollments shall require an oral presentation of thesis/dissertation results. All candidates are required to select a Supervising Professor and obtain an approved program of work in the second full semester or after 12 hours are completed.

    Master of Engineering or Master of Science

    The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering offers both the Master of Engineering and the Master of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering. The Master of Engineering is a non-thesis program of advanced study, requiring 36 hours of coursework. This is the preferred route for distance education students. Although the Master of Engineering is a non-thesis degree, students pursuing this option must still select a faculty member to act as a Supervising Professor. The Supervising Professor will assist the student as described below.

    The Master of Science degree requires a minimum of 24 hours of coursework, a minimum of 6 hours of thesis preparation, and an acceptable thesis. Additional research credit hours are often needed for the Master of Science degree. The thesis may be oriented toward either research or advanced engineering analysis and design. Students pursuing the Master of Science option must select a faculty member to act as a Supervising Professor. The Supervising Professor will help to form an appropriate plan of study for elective courses, guide the student through his research project, and take care of any required administrative tasks.

    In special cases, the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering will also grant a Master of Science degree based on a "thesis substitute," which is of more limited scope compared with the Master's thesis. In this case, a minimum of 30 hours of coursework and a minimum of 6 hours of research are also required. Additional research credit hours may also be needed for the thesis-substitute option.

    All three Master's degree plans require the same set of core courses. Five core courses are required; three in engineering, and two in a minor area, typically mathematics. In addition to the five lecture courses, three credit hours of graduate seminar are also required (see the discussion in the preceding section). The engineering core is satisfied by taking a minimum of three out of the following core courses:

    1. AE 5302 Advanced Flight Mechanics
    2. AE 5313 Fluid Dynamics
    3. AE 5326 Advanced Propulsion
    4. AE 5330 Finite Element Methods

    In most cases, the minor is satisfied by completing the following two courses:

    1. AE 5351 Analytical Methods in Engineering
    2. AE 5352 Engineering Analysis

    For students with exceptional mathematics background, the minor may be composed of two courses selected by the student and Supervising Professor that are deemed supportive of the student's area of concentration and meet approval of the Graduate Advisor.

    For any of the Master's degree plans, the balance of the required coursework hours may be chosen by the Supervising Professor to meet the student's needs and interests. Normally these additional elective courses should be selected from the offerings of the Program in Aerospace Engineering or the Program in Mechanical Engineering. Courses taken outside the two programs require approval of the student's Supervising Professor as well as the Graduate Advisor.

    Doctor of Philosophy

    The Ph.D. degree can be tailored to satisfy the individual student's aspirations in choice of the area of specialization, while at the same time providing a broad range of knowledge in the major technical areas comprising the field of aerospace engineering. The program will generally require two to three years of full-time study beyond the Master's degree and will include a scholarly dissertation that provides an original contribution to the literature in aerospace engineering.

    All entering the Ph.D. program are required to take, at the first opportunity, the Ph.D. Diagnostic Exam: this is offered once per year on the first Saturday in October. Possible outcomes of this evaluation are: 1) continuation in the doctoral program, 2) approval to continue with certain specified remedial work, 3) failure with approval to retake, 4) termination in the program.

    The grade of R (research in progress) is a permanent grade; completing course requirements in a later semester cannot change it. To receive credit for an R-graded course, the student must continue to enroll in the course until a passing grade is received.

    An incomplete grade (the grade of X) cannot be given in a course that is graded R, nor can the grade of R be given in a course that is graded X. To receive credit for a course in which the student earned an X, the student must complete the course requirements. Enrolling again in the course in which an X was earned cannot change a grade of X. At the discretion of the instructor, a final grade can be assigned through a change of grade form.

    Three-hour thesis courses and three- and six-hour dissertation courses are graded R/F/W only (except social work thesis courses). The grade of P (required for degree completion for students enrolled in thesis or dissertation programs) can be earned only in six- or nine-hour thesis courses and nine-hour dissertation courses. In the course listings below, R-graded courses are designated either "Graded P/F/R" or "Graded R." Occasionally, the valid grades for a course change. Students should consult the appropriate Graduate Advisor or instructor for valid grade information for particular courses. (See also the sections titled "R" Grade, Credit for Research, Internship, Thesis or Dissertation Courses and Incomplete Grade in this catalog.)

    Courses in Aerospace Engineering (AE)

    Course fee information is published in the online Student Schedule of Classes. Please refer to www.uta.edu/schedule for a detailed listing of specific course fees.

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