Master’s in Aerospace Engineering

Master of Science

Whether you want to continue your career in industry or advance to an academic opportunity, WPI’s master’s in aerospace engineering provides the knowledge and research to help you follow your best path.

Our flexible aerospace engineering master’s program allows you to earn your degree on a part-time or full-time basis so you’ll be able to fit it around your current obligations. The program retains the robust educational opportunities to expand your knowledge and stimulate your creativity within research topics that might include electric propulsion or renewable energy.


Curriculum for Master’s in Aerospace Engineering


Students in the master’s in aerospace engineering will study a curriculum based on three areas of study: fluids and propulsion, materials and structures, and dynamics and controls. Course work includes Advanced Fluid Dynamics, Turbomachinery, Spacecraft Propulsion, Heat Transfer, Mechanical Vibrations, Optimal Control of Dynamical Systems, Applied Finite Element Methods in Engineering, and Smart Materials.

You’ll choose from a non-thesis program if this will be your terminal degree or a thesis program if you plan to continue on to earn your PhD. You may switch your choice even if you are already enrolled in a program.

Students may use these academic planners to help determine their credits:

Research for Aerospace Engineering Master’s Program

If you pursue the research-focused thesis option for your MS, you’ll have opportunities to work one-on-one with our faculty on their own projects and as they guide you toward your own independent research projects. Using equipment like portable wind tunnels and vacuum chambers, you’ll explore the relationship between the theory and practice of flight to inform your next level of research or to progress to your next step in industry.

Aerospace engineering students work closely with faculty to gain mastery in the fundamentals of aerospace engineering and a strong technical competency in modern aerospace components and systems.

The world is our lab. Through coursework and research, students develop technical and scientific skills to solve real-world problems.

Collaborative, hands-on project work means many great minds use their knowledge to achieve better solutions.

A degree in aerospace engineering can lead to careers in academia, industry, and business

You’ll find extensive well-funded, state-of-the-art aerospace facilities at WPI to enrich your research and learning opportunities.

    Our labs:

    • Aerodynamics Test Facility
    • Computational Fluid and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory
    • Cubesat Ground Operations Room
    • Fluid Dynamics Laboratory
    • Fluid and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory
    • Micro Fluid and Plasma Dynamics Laboratory
    • Systems and Robot Control Laboratory
    • Vacuum Test Facility

    Graduate Studies Series

    Learn from our enrollment team members and other guests by attending quick and convenient 30-minute webinars we designed to highlight popular topics when starting grad school. Take a deep dive into specific areas of interest such as how to funding, how to ace your application, student services, and more!

    Faculty Profiles

    David J. Olinger
    Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering

    In my teaching I bring fluid and aerodynamics experiments, including wind tunnels, into the classroom each day. Fundamental concepts are demonstrated in these experiments, and collected data is immediately compared to the theory and equations learned during lecture. Students see that they can use what they are learning in class to predict the behavior of aerospace systems. They then go on to design improved systems in MQP projects and during their careers.

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    John J. Blandino
    Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering

    Prior to joining the faculty at WPI in 2001, I was a Senior Staff Engineer in the Advanced Propulsion Technology Group at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). My research at JPL included application of plasma sources for materials processing and the development of pulsed plasma and small-scale hydrazine thrusters. In the mission support area, I worked as the propulsion engineer for the Deep Space 3 Interferometer and Laser Interferometer Space Antenna (LISA) missions.

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    Nikhil Karanjgaokar
    Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering

    Prior to joining the faculty at WPI in August 2015, I worked as a post-doctoral research associate at Graduate Aerospace Laboratories at California Institute of Technology. My research at Caltech focused on the development of a Granular Element Method (GEM) based force visualization technique for the study of 2D granular systems under impact loading. I examined of the role of granular fabric on the wave motion and formation of force chains in granular media.

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    Nikolaos A. Gatsonis
    Professor & Department Head- Aerospace Engineering, Aerospace Engineering

    Nikolaos A. Gatsonis received an undergraduate degree in Physics at the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki, Greece (1983), an M.S. in Atmospheric Science at the University of Michigan (1996), an M.S. (1987) and a Ph.D.

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    Raghvendra V. Cowlagi
    Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering

    Autonomous vehicles – aircraft, cars, rovers, over- and underwater vehicles that can move in the real world by themselves without human pilotage – have gained immense importance not only due to the broad spectrum of their potential military and civilian applications, but also due to the concurrent development of sensor technology and embedded systems that enable the realization of true autonomy.

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    Michael A. Demetriou

    Professor Demetriou is very active with the Controls and Systems research community. He served as an Associate Editor in the IEEE Tr. on Automatic Control (2004-2007), in the ASME Journal of Dynamic Systems, Measurement, and Control (2009-2011), and in SIAM J. Control and Optimization (2009-present). He is also serving in the IEEE-Control Systems Society Conference Editorial Board as an Associate Editor (1997-present). In 2003 he established the IEEE-CSS Technical Committee on Distributed Parameter Systems and served as his first chair (2003-2012).

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    Jagannath Jayachandran
    Assistant Professor, Aerospace Engineering

    My research is aimed towards understanding fundamental aspects of reacting flows at thermodynamic conditions of relevance to aircraft, rocket, and automobile propulsion. Reacting flow phenomena occurring in engines are complicated as a result of turbulent flow, interaction with solid boundaries, and extreme thermodynamic conditions. In order to understand and simulate combustion phenomena under such conditions, there is a necessity to develop accurate chemical kinetic and molecular transport models in addition to fluid mechanics models.

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    Reach New Heights with a PhD!

    Do you already have a background in aerospace or mechanical engineering and want to reach new heights, literally? Consider earning a PhD in aerospace engineering which offers opportunities to conduct independent research on topics like dynamics and control, materials and structure, or fluids and propulsion alongside innovative faculty. Maybe you’re more interested in major engineering challenges rather than aerospace? Our PhD in mechanical engineering covers breakthrough research in biomedical robotics, electronics cooling, medical imaging, and more.

    A BS in Aerospace Engineering Launches an Exciting Career

    Are you a rising undergraduate student who is fascinated by how airplanes and jets are launched and maintained? Consider putting your passion to work with a bachelor’s in aerospace engineering. Gain hands-on experience and work alongside scientists and engineers from other disciplines from high school to PhD students. Did you already decide on a major that ignites your inner flame, but have an interest in airplanes and fighter jets? Our minor in aerospace engineering is ideal for students who want to get hands-on knowledge in astronautics, aircraft design, and more.