“Each person in this department has some kind of drive, some problem they want to solve. It’s the people around you the definitely keep you going and that’s one of the main things I love about this department. Archeology is like discovering more about our past and where we’ve been. AeroAstro is understanding where we can go.” - Course 16 alumnus Aaron Okello
MIT AeroAstro is a vibrant, robust, connected community of uniquely talented faculty, students, alumni, and staff, committed to excellence. We anticipate and welcome the grand challenges of today and tomorrow, as we have throughout our more than 100 years of aerospace research and education.
Markets in emerging economies will double air transportation demand by the mid-21st century. Countries throughout the world are developing indigenous space capabilities. The aerospace industry is a robust, powerful engine of employment, innovation, and income. The U.S. aerospace and defense industry employs 849,000 highly-skilled workers and leads the country in manufactured goods export. Thirty-five percent of the world annual trade value is shipped by air, greatly enabling e-commerce and just-in-time manufacturing.
MIT AeroAstro embraces the aerospace challenges at our doorstep. With our remarkable students, alumni, faculty, and staff, AeroAstro is shaping the future of air and space transportation, autonomous systems, artificial intelligence, exploration, communications, engineering education, and national security.
Diverse undergrad backgrounds welcome
Our graduate student population includes students from undergraduate programs in mechanical engineering, computer science, electrical engineering, physics, materials science, and mathematics, in addition to aerospace engineering. With our community of people from diverse backgrounds and disciplines, AeroAstro transforms the ways in which society lives, communicates and travels, on Earth and beyond.
Our research ranges from autonomous aviation, automotive, and manufacturing systems; to alternative fuels and environmental science; to space suits for planetary exploration; to nano satellites; to the development of ultra-wide bandwidth communications. These projects will make our environment cleaner and quieter; improve our health and safety; increase our mobility; heighten our efficiency; enable us to explore frontiers far beyond our current limitations. All of these labs have research opportunities for AeroAstro graduate students.
Take a look at our affiliated labs and centers:
- Aerospace Computational Design Lab
- Aerospace Controls Laboratory
- Communications and Networking Research Group
- Gas Turbine Laboratory
- Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies
- Interactive Robotics Lab
- International Center for Air Transportation
- Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment
- Laboratory for Information and Decision Systems
- Man Vehicle Laboratory
- Robust Robotics Group
- Space Propulsion Laboratory
- Space Systems Laboratory
- Space Telecommunications, Astronomy and Radiation Laboratory
- Strategic Engineering Research Group
- System Architecture Lab
- System Engineering Research Lab
- Systems Engineering Advancement Research Initiative
- Technology Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Structures
- Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel
We offer a wide range of funding options including research and teaching assistantships, MIT and external fellowships, and, most recently, diversity fellowships specifically for females and underrepresented persons. More info in this website’s Graduate Funding area.
AeroAstro teams, groups, and clubs offer excellent opportunities for activities with peers who share your interests and enthusiasm. They include groups like the Rocket Team, Flying Club, Solar Electric Vehicle Team, and Design-Build-Fly. Of particular interest to grad students are two of MIT’s most active organizations:
• The Graduate Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics promotes graduate student well-being, advocates student interests, and fosters a sense of community within the department. GA3 sponsors a wide variety of events including lectures and seminars, and social activities.
• The Women's Graduate Association of Aeronautics and Astronautics welcomes all AeroAstro women graduate students. Its objective is to build a community and encourage relationships among graduate women in aerospace engineering, women faculty in AeroAstro, and women throughout MIT.