Students

Master of Science in Aeronautics & Astronuatics (MSAA)

 

The Master of Science in Aeronautics & Astronautics (MSAA) is a research-oriented graduate degree for students with an undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering or closely related field. The MSAA will prepare students to conduct independent research and to pursue careers in academia, government, or industry. (See Also: MSAA Admissions)

The MSAA can be completed with a master's thesis or through a selection of additional, masters-level coursework. MSAA students who meet minimum academic criteria are eligible to continue on for a PhD.

MSAA Degree Requirements:

Credits, Enrollment, & Time to Degree
Registering for Classes
Curriculum & Requirements
Approved Courses
Master's Thesis
Ready to Graduate
Continuing to PhD

 

 

 


Credits, Enrollment, & Time-to-Degree

Total Credits: MSAA students are required to complete approximately 45 graduate-level credits. (Actual credit value may vary depending on certain elective courses.) All courses must be numerically graded.

Enrollment: MSAA students can pursue their degree on a full-time or part-time schedule. Most MSAA students enroll full-time.

Time-to-Degree: Full-time MSAA students typically finish their degree within 2 academic years.

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Registering for Classes

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MSAA Curriculum & Requirements

The MSAA degree requirements are distributed among the following categories. All MSAA students are required to maintain an up-to-date degree plan with the department advising office. The degree plan must be reviewed and approved by an appropriate member of the department prior to graduation. See "Approved MSAA Courses" below.
 

1. Analytical: All MSAA students must complete 3 graduate-level analytical/math courses (~15 credits).

2. Depth Area: All MSAA students must complete a minimum of 5 graduate-level aerospace courses appropriate to their area of concentration (~15 credits).

3. Breadth Electives: All MSAA students must complete 2 breadth electives outside their concentration (~6 credits). These courses must come from two different areas.

4. Master's Thesis or Coursework: MSAA students may choose to complete their degree with a Master's Thesis or additional masters-level coursework.

  • Master's Thesis: While completing a thesis, students must enroll in AA 700, "Master's Thesis" (9 credits minimum). See "Master's Thesis" below

  • Master's Coursework: Students who do not wish to complete a master's thesis may satisfy their MSAA requirements by successfully completing an additional 3 courses (~9 credits) in their area of concentration.
 
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Approved MSAA Courses

MSAA students should choose their classes from the following lists of pre-approved courses. Requests to substitute other courses must be approved in advance.

 

 

Approved Analytical
Sequences

 

Approved Depth
Classes

(Thesis: Choose 5;
Non-thesis: Choose 8)

Approved Breadth Electives

(Choose 2
from Different Areas)
Controls  
  • AMATH 501
    and 502
    and 503
     
  • AMATH (501 or 581 or 582 or 584)
    and 585
    and 586
     
  • AMATH 567
    and 568
    and 569
    (see your advisor)
     
  • AMATH 568
    and 569
    and AA 510
    (if PhD-track)
     
Additional Options w/ Advisor Approval: AMATH 507, EE 505, AA 570
 
  • A A
    516    518    528   
    546    547    548
    549    550    571*  
    578    580    582
    583    585    593   
    594    597  
 
*or ME 588
 
  • Fluids:
    AA 501, 543,
    or other fluids
     
  • Plasma:
    AA 529
    or other plasma
     
  • Structures:
    AA 530, 540, 553,
    or other structures
     
  • Cross Disciplinary:
    AA 527, 554
     
Fluids  
  • Choose two from [AMATH 501*, (581 or 582), 584, 585, 586]
    and AMATH 503
     
  • AMATH 567
    and 568
    and 569
    (see your advisor)
 
*AMATH 501 is required for students without complex analysis experience.
 
  • A A
    501*   503    504   
    506    507    508
    524**  525**  543  
    544
     
  • M E
    543    544
 
*Gas Dynamics
**Propulsion & Energy Conversion
 
  • Controls:
    AA 447*, 571,
    or other controls
     
  • Plasma:
    AA 405, 529,
    or other plasma
     
  • Structures:
    AA 530, 540,
    or other structures
     
  • Cross Disciplinary:
    AA 527, 554
 
*AA 447 is not allowable for students who completed a BSAA from UW.
Plasmas  
  • AMATH (501 or 581 or 582 or 584)
    and 502
    and 503
     
  • AMATH 567
    and 568
    and 569
    (see your advisor)
     
  • AMATH 570
    and 571
    and 572
     
 
  • A A
    405    523    529   
    545    556    557
    558    560    564   
    565
     
  • ESS
    577    578
     
  • PHYS
    513    514    515   
    543
     
 
  • Controls:
    AA 447*, 571,
    or other controls
     
  • Fluids:
    AA 501, 543,
    or other fluids
     
  • Structures:
    AA 530, 540,
    or other structures
     
  • Cross Disciplinary:
    AA 527, 554
 
*AA 447 is not allowable for students who completed a BSAA from UW.
Structures
&
Composites
 
  • AMATH (581 or 582 or 584)
    and 502
    and 503
     
 
  • A A
    503    530    531   
    532    533    534
    535    538    540*
    541*   553**
     
  • M E
    559    588
 
*Solid Mechanics/Structures
** Structural Mechanics
 
  • Controls:
    AA 447*, 516, 547,
    or other controls
     
  • Fluids:
    AA 501, 504, 524, 543,
    or other fluids
     
  • Plasma:
    AA 405, 529,
    or other plasma
     
  • Cross Disciplinary:
    AA 527, AA554, IND E 526
 
*AA 447 is not allowable for students who completed a BSAA from UW.
 
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Master's Thesis

Students who choose to complete their degree with a master's thesis must identify a master's thesis committee that includes a primary faculty adviser (committee chair) and at least one other thesis reviewer. Master's thesis advisers must hold an appointment in the A&A Department. (Adjunct appointments are sufficient). 

The student and advisor must agree on a thesis topic and final product. Theses typically result in a single paper of appropriate length and a presentation. Thesis-track students are urged to begin planning their project and research as early as possible.

PhD-track students pursuing an MSAA en route to their doctorate are strongly encouraged to complete a thesis. Similarly, industry-bound students frequently benefit from the thesis-writing experience as well.

Thesis Presentation

  • Students pursuing the thesis option must give a presentation (also referred to as Master’s Defense) that includes time for questions and answers. The presentation and questions and answers period is typically 60-90 minutes total.
     
  • Students are strongly encouraged to make their presentation on/before the last day of instruction. This allows a minimum of one week for edits and revisions before the complete thesis must be submitted to the Graduate School. Both the thesis adviser and reviewer must be in attendance.
     
  • Once a student has confirmed a date, time, and location for their presentation she/he must notify the graduate adviser. Presentations are announced to the department and open to the public.

Thesis Submission

  • The student and reviewers must sign the Master's Supervisory Committee Approval Form. The student must submit the original, signed form to the UW Graduate School by 5pm on the last day of the quarter.
     
  • The student must also submit an electronic copy of her/his final thesis through the "Electronic Thesis/Dissertation (EDT) Administrator Site" by 11:59pm on the last day of the quarter.

Refer to the UW Graduate School website for additional details regarding Master's Thesis policies and requirements.

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Ready to Graduate

  • At the beginning of the quarter in which they expect to graduate, students must submit an online degree request via the "MyGrad" website.

    Degree requests are reviewed by the department and the UW Graduate School to ensure all degree requirements have been satisfied. Students will be notified of any concerns or contingencies related to their requests.

    At the end of the quarter, when all requirements are confirmed (including the optional thesis), the department will formally recommend a student for graduation and the Graduate School will process that request.
  • All library books must be returned and all outstanding fines/fees paid before students will be allowed to graduate.
     
  • Graduating students must provide a reliable mailing address before graduating. This is the address where you will receive important materials such as your diploma. Addresses and contact information should be updated via MyUW.

    Diplomas and final transcripts are typically available 10-12 weeks after the end of the quarter in which the PhD is awarded.
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Continue to PhD from MSAA

Students admitted to the MSAA program are eligible to take the qualifying exam only after completing the MSAA. To be eligible to take the Qualifyhing Exam, a student must have a minimum GPA of 3.4 and identify a faculty member who will serve as chair of their Doctoral Supervisory Committee.

MSAA students seeking to continue toward the PhD are expected to take the qualifying exam during the first examination cycle following completion of the MSAA. MSAA students will only be promoted into the PhD program after receiving their MSAA degree and passing the qualifying exam.
 

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