The mission of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering is to educate leaders in engineering and applied sciences through a rigorous graduate program that defines the frontiers of knowledge in our field, and prepare them for careers in academia, industry, and government. Our program emphasizes achieving fundamental understanding in a broad range of topics, a deep understanding in a particular area, and excellent communications skills. The majority of outstanding technical problems in today’s science and engineering require a multi-disciplinary approach, and our department has a strong tradition in defining and pursuing new research areas at the intersection of engineering, physics, chemistry, biological sciences, and applied mathematics.

We offer exciting opportunities for graduate study in areas as diverse as thermal sciences and energy conversion, fluid mechanics, materials science, biomechanics, dynamics and control, underwater vehicles, flight sciences, astronomical instrumentation and space optics, computational and experimental fluid mechanics, lasers and applied physics, propulsion, and environmental technology. In addition, Princeton University is at the forefront of interdisciplinary research, and students are encouraged to sample the opportunities provided by other departments within the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, as well as allied departments and programs outside the Engineering School.

There are normally about 100 students in residence selected from a diverse pool of applicants from around the world. The size of the student population ensures a close association between each student and a faculty adviser that continues from arrival to the completion of the degree program.

Three separate degree programs are offered by the department, Ph.D., M.S.E. and M.Eng. (industry-sponsored, part-time only). Course performance requirements are the same for all three programs, only the emphasis of the overall plan of study (courses and thesis research) is different. 

In addition to joining a strong department, you will be coming to a relatively small research oriented University with excellent science and liberal arts faculties. The overall graduate student body is about 2,600 people and living, social and educational encounters will put you in touch with many interesting and motivated people. We believe that this climate will enable students to:

  • Be challenged and stimulated by a distinguished, accessible faculty and a close collegial relationship with afaculty adviser.
  • Prepare for career success in a multi-disciplinary department with a record of producing leaders in industry, academia, and government.
  • Conduct ground-breaking research in an engineering school with access to world-renowned departments of physics, mathematics and chemistry and interdepartmental research programs in materials, photonics, applied mathematics, environmental science, biology and public policy.
  • Enjoy the atmosphere of an Ivy League university with strength in the liberal arts and sciences.
  • Benefit from high faculty-to-student ratio.
  • Receive full financial support through the Ph.D. degree program.
  • Establish lasting professional and social friendships as a part of a small student population (out of the 7,800 students at the University, 2,600 are graduate students).
  • Enjoy life in a college town with a thriving arts community and easy access to New York and Philadelphia.