How to Apply

Application Deadlines

We encourage all prospective graduate students to apply as early as possible—especially those students from outside the United States—to ensure that you have time to complete all necessary paperwork to study at Penn State. All application documents are due by the deadline date.

  • Application Deadline for M.Eng. Degree:
    We follow a rolling admissions process for the M.Eng. program. The application deadline for fall enrollment is December 15
  • Application Deadlines for M.S. and Ph.D. Degrees (with or without funding):
    For spring enrollment: August 15
    For fall enrollment: December 15

Spring admit decisions are typically made by mid-October. Fall admit decisions are typically made by mid-March/April.

Please contact the aerospace engineering graduate department with any questions at

Application Requirements

If you are ready to proceed to the application but have NOT read the Graduate School requirements, please visit the Penn State Graduate School website.

If you have read the Graduate School requirements and are ready to apply, you may proceed to the application.

Admission Criteria and Procedures

The Graduate Programs Office considers many criteria for admissions, including your letters of recommendation and potential for successful study and research. More information on the requirements for graduate school admission can be found on the Penn State Graduate School website. Below are some basic criteria.

  • An undergraduate degree in the engineering discipline for which you are applying or in a related engineering or science discipline
  • A 3.00 or higher upper-devision level grade point average
  • A competitive score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • For international students, acceptable Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) scores

Required Application Materials

Access the online application through the Penn State Graduate School. Do not send any materials by mail to Penn State. Application materials are included in your online application.

  • Statement of Purpose: A description of relevant experiences, technical interests, and the proposed field of study.
  • Résumé: Outlining educational background, professional experience, awards, honors, and publications.
  • Two (2) Letters of Recommendation:
    • The references you list in the online application will be given directions for submitting their letters.
    • We will accept letters by mail in a sealed and signed envelope if your references choose not to submit their letters online.
  • Non-refundable application fee
  • Official Graduate Record Examination (GRE) Scores:
    • Submit scores to Institution Code 2660, Department Code 1601.
    • Please order these early; they can take up to a month to reach us.
  • Official Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) Scores for international students only:
    • ALL international students from non-English speaking countries are required to submit a TOEFL or International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score.
    • TOEFL/IELTS Institution code is 2660, Department code is 63.
    • The minimum acceptable score for the TOEFL is 550 for the paper-based test, or a total score of 80 with a 19 on the speaking section for the internet-based test (iBT).
    • Applicants with iBT speaking scores between 15 and 18 may be considered for provisional admission, which requires completion of specified remedial English courses ESL 114G (American Oral English for Academic Purposes) and/or ESL 116G (ESL/Composition for Academic Disciplines) and attainment of a grade of B or higher.
    • The minimum acceptable composite score for the IELTS is 6.5.
    • EXEMPTION: International applicants are exempt from the TOEFL/IELTS requirement if they have received a baccalaureate or a graduate degree from a college/university/institution in any of the following: Australia, Belize, British Caribbean and British West Indies, Canada (except Québec), England, Guyana, Republic of Ireland, Liberia, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Scotland, the United States, and Wales.
  • Official Transcripts:
    • Copies of transcripts, degree/study certificates and diplomas in the language of instruction from all institutions of higher education attended, both undergraduate and graduate, should be uploaded online as part of the Graduate School Application.
    • If English is not the language of instruction, copies of all transcripts/documents in the English translation must also be uploaded.
    • Applicants recommended for admission will be notified by the Graduate School that official/original transcripts/documents and their official English translation must be sent from the originating institutions for review by the Graduate School, in order to finalize an admission decision. Notarized copies are not sufficient.

Application Review Process

The review process takes approximately three months from the application deadline. When a decision has been made, you will be notified via email, and a hard copy of the letter will be sent to you.

If you are admitted, please respond with your decision by the date indicated on your letter, via email to, that you wish to accept your offer of admission.

International applicants: The dean of Graduate Enrollment Services will notify the University Office of Global Programs (UOGP) of your admission, at which time, UOGP will review your financial guarantee and additional required supporting documentation. Please be patient, as this office handles visa documents for thousands of students. Your document will be sent via UPS once it has been completed; however, if the financial guarantee has not been met, no document will be prepared.

If your file was not completed by the deadline, you have the following options:

  • Defer to the next semester (you may only make this request once).
  • Withdraw your application.

Please notify if you wish to defer or withdraw your application.

Penn State Graduate School

For more information:



The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

229 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569