Aerospace Engineering Ph.D. (Ithaca)

Field of Study

Aerospace Engineering

Program Description

The program emphasizes balance in aerospace science and technology, both basic and applied, to prepare students for the diverse opportunities at the frontiers of research, in contemporary industrial development, and in government agencies. The faculty is particularly strong and active in aerospace vehicle dynamics and feedback control, wind energy, celestial mechanics, the Global Positioning System, and spacecraft systems engineering, as well as in basic aerosciences including transonic flows, turbulence, nonequilibrium gas dynamics, unsteady and vortical flows, combustion processes, transport processes in microgravity and chemical kinetics. (see field description for more detail).

The Ph.D. program provide advanced levels of training suitable for students pursuing careers in research and development, education, or government service. The field does not admit students into an M.S.-only degree program; applicants may apply for the Ph.D. program with a bachelor's degree. Ph.D. students must take a qualifying examination in addition to the examinations required by the Graduate School. Typically the qualifying exam is taken at the end of the first semester for students entering with a Master's degree and at the end of the first two semesters for those entering with a Bachelor's degree. Teaching experience for two semesters is required of Ph.D. students.

Contact Information

Phone: 607 255-5250

107 Upson Hall
Cornell University
Ithaca,New York 14853

Concentrations by Subject

  • aerodynamics (PhD only)
  • aerospace systems (PhD only)
  • biomedical mechanics (PhD only)
  • dynamics and control (PhD only)
  • materials and structures (PhD only)
  • propulsion (PhD only)
  • thermal sciences (PhD only)


Visit the Graduate School's Tuition Rates page.

Application Requirements and Deadlines

Application Deadlines:

Fall, Dec. 1; no spring admissions.

Requirements Summary:

Learning Outcomes

Make an original and substantial contribution to the discipline

  • Think originally and independently to develop concepts and methodologies
  • Identify new research opportunities within one’s field

Demonstrate advanced research skills

  • Synthesize existing knowledge, identifying and accessing appropriate resources and other sources of relevant information and critically analyzing and evaluating one’s own findings and those of others
  • Master application of existing research methodologies, techniques, and technical skills

Demonstrate commitment to advancing the values of scholarship

  • Keep abreast of current advances within one’s field and related areas
  • Commit to professional development through engagement in professional societies, publication, and other knowledge transfer modes
  • Create an environment that supports learning—through teaching, collaborative inquiry, mentoring, or demonstration

Demonstrate professional skills

  • Advance ethical standards in the discipline
  • Communicate in a style appropriate to the discipline
  • Listen, give, and receive feedback effectively