Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Master of Science (M.S.), Applied Scientist (App.Sc.), Engineer (Engr.), Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Location(s): Foggy Bottom - Main Campus

Program Overview

GW’s mechanical and aerospace engineering program boasts areas of excellence in nanotechnology, biomimetics, biomedical engineering, and energy, in addition to its strengths in the discipline’s traditional fields.

The department offers Ph.D. and M.S. degrees, as well as two professional degrees.  Graduate students can pursue the following focus areas: aerospace engineering; design of mechanical engineering systems; fluid mechanics, thermal sciences and energy; industrial engineering (under the M.S. only); robotics, mechatronics, and controls; solid mechanics and materials science; and structures and dynamics.

The Ph.D. program is designed to provide students with the training to perform original research. For more information, visit doctoral degree program of study.

Master’s degree students learn excellent skills at the cutting edge of mechanical and aerospace engineering and benefit from GW’s breadth of research in the discipline. Students may choose a thesis or non-thesis option for the master's degree. Details are available at Master of Science degree program.

The professional degree is appropriate for students who want in-depth study in their field beyond a master's degree but seek to concentrate on applied subject material rather than on basic science. This program provides advanced study in preparation for pragmatic application and leads to the degree of engineer or applied scientist. Additional information is found at professional degree program.

Students who pursue graduate certificates acquire hands-on experience with current professional design methodologies and software. They are prepared for a broad spectrum of new engineering opportunities. Students may transfer all of their certificate courses’ credits to the M.S. program if they subsequently decide to pursue a master’s degree. For details, visit graduate certificate in computer-integrated design in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Admission Requirements

Admission deadlines:

Fall – January 15
Spring – September 1
Summer* – March 1

Standardized test scores: 

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required of all applicants. (Institution code 5246). Competitive quantitative scores are in the 90th+ percentile; competitive verbal scores are in the 50th+ percentile.

The Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL), the academic International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or the PTE Academic is required of all applicants except those who hold a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree from a college or university in the United States or from an institution located in a country in which English is the official language, provided English was the language of instruction.  Minimum scores:

  • Academic IELTS: an overall band score of 6.0 with no individual score below 5.0; applicants requesting funding consideration must have an overall band score of 7.0 with no individual score below 6.0; or
  • TOEFL: 550 on paper-based or 80 on Internet-based; applicants requesting funding consideration must have 600 on paper-based; or 100 on Internet-based; or
  • PTE Academic: 53; applicants requesting funding consideration must have 68.

Applicants with lower test scores may qualify for our full-time Applied English Studies program.

Recommendations required:

Three (3) recommendations required for Ph.D. applicants and two (2) recommendation required for M.S. applicants applying for fellowships/assistantships. Two (2) recommendations required for all other applicants. If possible, one recommendation should be from your advisor at the institution from which you earned your highest degree.

Prior academic records:

Transcripts are required from all colleges and universities attended, whether or not credit was earned, the program was completed, or the credit appears as transfer credit on another transcript. Unofficial transcripts from all colleges and universities attended must be uploaded to your online application. Official transcripts are required only of applicants who are offered admission.

If academic records are in a language other than English, a copy in the original language and an English language translation must be uploaded. Transcript evaluations should not be uploaded. Applicants with degrees from Indian universities should upload transcripts and/or detailed marksheets.

Statement of purpose:

M.S., Engr., and App.Sc.: In an essay of 250 to 500 words, state your purpose in undertaking graduate study at The George Washington University; describe your academic objectives, research interests, and career plans; and discuss your related qualifications, including collegiate, professional, and community activities, and any other substantial accomplishments not already mentioned.

Ph.D.: Please write a more comprehensive essay of 400 to 600 words, indicating your primary and supporting fields of study, your specialized interests, and the general subject area of your planned dissertation or professional project.

Additional requirements: 

M.S.: Familiarity with computers and a bachelor's degree with a grade point averages of at least 3.0 (on a scale of 4.0) in the last 60 hours of coursework.

Ph.D: Applicants whose highest earned degree is a bachelor’s degree should have a grade point average of at least 3.3 (on a 4.0 scale). Applicants whose highest earned degree is a master’s degree should have a grade point average of 3.4. Applicants must demonstrate proficiency in a programming language.

All applicants must choose an area of focus that most closely matches their interests and note this on the online application. Applicants to doctoral programs must have a bachelor’s or master’s degree in engineering or a related field and must demonstrate a capacity for original scholarship. Applicants to the doctoral program should identify one to three faculty members whose research interests most closely match their own and note this on the online application.

International applicants only:

Please review International Applicant Information carefully for details on required documents, earlier deadlines for applicants requiring an I-20 or DS-2019 from GW.

* A limited number of doctoral applicants are accepted for the summer. Please contact the admissions office for details.  International applicants who require a visa from GW are eligible to apply for admission in fall and spring only (not summer).

For more information on the admission process, please visit the SEAS Frequently Asked Questions page
Contact for questions:
[email protected] - 202.994.1802 - 202.994.1651 (fax)
9:00 – 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday
Skype: GW Engineering