DoctorateAerospace Engineering

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in aerospace engineering program from Wichita State offers advanced study in several specializations to help you advance your career. You’ll have access to some of the best aerospace facilities in the country—and the chance to work and research with faculty and industry professionals on campus and throughout Wichita, the world’s “Air Capital.”

Learn how aerospace engineering is the right fit for you.

Robotics lab.
Aerospace engineering students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real industry problems in the Robotics and Automation Lab, part of WSU's National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR). 

Applied learning at Wichita State

At Wichita State, applied learning is everything. In fact, every degree we offer has a guaranteed applied learning or research experience built right into it equipping you with the relevant skills and experience to make you workforce ready before graduation.

Admission to the program

Admission to any Ph.D. program in engineering requires:

  • The completion, or near completion, of a master’s degree in engineering or physical science
  • Submission of scores for the General Test of the Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Completion of prerequisite courses for some students
  • Recommendation by the department chairperson to the graduate dean for admission

Inside the Program

Successful NASA career started at Wichita State

When he was a high school student considering where to go to college, Alex Kanelakos looked for the best opportunity to get an education that provided real, hands-on work in his field. 

He chose WSU when he learned about its relationship with NASA. To say it worked out well for him is an understatement.

After graduating in 2007, Alex immediately got a job at NASA. He now carries one of the heaviest responsibilities at mission control: training space station crew members for space walks in giant swimming pools, then monitoring them in space.


The Ph.D. program offers four specializations.

  • Aerodynamics and fluid mechanics
  • Structures and solid mechanics
  • Flight dynamics and control
  • Multidisciplinary analysis and design

Your plan of study will also include courses outside of your specialization, in addition to your dissertation.


Whether you’re pursuing a promotion or preparing for a Ph.D., WSU’s vast industry connections, research opportunities and unmatched facilities create an environment for our aerospace students to gain the expertise that leads to dream careers with employers like:

  • Boeing (space, commercial and military)
  • Cessna/Textron Aviation
  • Spirit AeroSystems
  • NASA and SpaceX
  • U.S. Military