Astronautics degree

February 16, 2019
Lockheed Martin on Twitter:

The Master of Science in Aeronautics & Astronautics (MSAA) is intended for students with an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering or closely related field who are interested in pursuing a graduate degree emphasizing technical expertise as well as preparation for advanced, independent research.

The MSAA degree may be completed through a coursework-only or a Master’s Thesis path. MSAA graduates are eligible to continue toward a PhD.

MSAA courses are offered on a traditional, daytime schedule. The MSAA is generally intended as a full-time program (five-six quarters) but may also be completed on a part-time schedule (three-four years)

MSAA students will identify an area of concentration. Currently, the department offers concentrations in the areas of:

  • Controls
  • Fluids
  • Plasmas
  • Structures
  • Composites

Visit these links for more information:
MSAA - Graduation Requirements

Admission Requirements

Previous Academic Preparation: The Master of Science in Aeronautics & Astronautics is an advanced engineering degree. It is expected that admitted applicants will hold an undergraduate degree in aerospace or mechanical engineering.

Undergraduate degrees in other fields may be acceptable, as long as the applicant has completed fundamental engineering and math coursework. (For an example of appropriate math and "engineering fundamentals, " please see the requirements outlined in our department's Bachelor of Science curriculum).

Professional experience, though highly desirable, is not accepted in lieu of college-level coursework.

Minimum GPA and Exam Scores: The University of Washington Graduate School requires an applicant to have a minimum 3.0 GPA to be considered eligible for admission. Beyond this, our department does not maintain a fixed minimum for either GPA or exam scores.

However, admission to our department is a competitive review process. And we are able to provide historical data on average GPA/exam scores for students admitted to this program.

Admitted Applicants






Average GPA




Average GRE Q 87% 89%
Average GRE V 67% 77%
Average GRE W 51% 64%

When to Apply

The department accepts new degree students for autumn quarter only. Completed applications must be submitted by 11:59pm (Pacific Time) on the deadline date. Late applications will not be accepted.

Application Deadline: December 15.

The department does not review applications until after the deadline has passed. After the deadline, the application system will stop accepting new applications while the department begins its review process. You can monitor the status of your application by logging in to the application system. However, if there are any questions or concerns regarding your application we will contact you.

The department strives to provide decisions within 8-10 weeks of the application deadline. However, the actual date of notification will vary depending on factors such as the size of the applicant pool. Applicants will be notified via email when a final decision has been made.

How to Apply

Applying for admission to a graduate degree program begins with the online application system managed by the University of Washington Graduate School. All materials, including letters of recommendation, will be submitted electronically through this system. Once an applicant submits an application, the application and all supporting materials are routed to the department for review.

Required Application Materials: The following materials must be provided in order for an application to be considered complete and eligible for review.

  1. Resume
  2. GRE Scores

    GRE scores must be submitted electronically by ETS to the University of Washington (Institution Code: 4854). Test scores must be dated prior to the application deadline.

  3. Transcripts

    We only want transcripts from institutions where you received (or will receive) a degree. Please do not mail official paper transcripts.

    Unofficial electronic transcripts should be attached to your electronic application. They should be drawn from documents generated by the institution. A scan of an official transcript is strongly preferred. However, an unofficial transcript or "academic history" generated by an online student portal may also be acceptable.

    Electronic transcripts must clearly show the institution's name; the student's name; a list of all courses taken and all grades received; as well as the title and date of any degrees conferred. Electronic transcripts must be in PDF format.

    Anything that appears to be self-generated or otherwise lacking in the information specified above will not be considered valid (this includes "copy and pasting" from a website) and may be grounds for declining an application. Illegible or indecipherable documents may also negatively impact an application. The department admissions committee reserves the right to require further documentation, up to and including an official transcript, prior to reaching a final decision.

  4. Statement of Purpose

    A Statement of Purpose should convey additional information not available on your transcripts or resume. It should be approximately 2 pages in length and should offer a clear overview of your reasons for pursuing this graduate degree, your previous preparation, your research experience and interests, and your plans for seeing this degree through to completion. Other relevant information may also be included.

  5. Two (2) Letters of Recommendation

    Letters from academic references are preferred but relevant professional references are also acceptable. Strong letters will be substantive, specific, and will address (1) an applicant's technical experience and research ability, (2) the applicant's likelihood of success in graduate-level studies, and (3) the relevance/appropriateness of the MSAA program for the applicant's future goals.

  6. English Proficiency

Cost of Attendance

While certain fees are the same for all on-campus students, MSAA tuition depends on a student’s residency status and full- or part-time enrollment status. For the current tuition rates, refer to the office of Office of Planning & Budget tuition website. Note: Students in our department are assessed the “Graduate Tier III” tuition rate.

Financial Aid

Departmental Assistance: Much like PhD students, on-campus MSAA students are automatically considered for department assistance in the form of Teaching Assistantships, Research Assistantships, and departmental scholarships/fellowships.

Financial Assistance decisions are made after admissions decisions have been announced. Applicants will be notified via email once aid decisions have been made.

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