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Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Graduate Admissions

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  • Applications are reviewed by an Admissions Committee composed of MAE faculty. The Graduate Program Director (GPD) makes the final decision to admit based on the recommendation from the Admissions Committee. Applications are reviewed holistically, accounting for undergraduate course performance, work experience, letters of recommendation, CV, personal statements, and standardized test scores.

  • Yes, but having a major in STEM is generally needed. The main factor will be the math and physics background, so if higher-level courses have been taken in those areas, then applying is worthwhile. For U.S.-based non-STEM majors who have such background, the students may be admitted under non-matriculated status to demonstrate their abilities via select graduate courses. If their performance is satisfactory, they can be accepted subsequently for matriculation into the MAE graduate program, with those course credits counting towards their degree requirements.

  • Yes, if you are in a STEM major. 

  • There is no difference in the final degree awarded. However, All Campus online students cannot take in-person courses at Rutgers, while regular in-person students can take any online MAE graduate course (and thus conceivably do the entire degree online). Note that the number of online courses is limited compared to in-person courses. Also, current Rutgers undergraduate students applying for the BS-Masters program should not apply for the All Campus online program.

  • The Rutgers School of Graduate Studies (SGS) requires a GPA of >= 3.0 to be admitted as a matriculated (degree-studying) student. Typically, the MAE department threshold is a GPA >= 3.2.

  • You cannot be a matriculated (degree-studying) student with a GPA < 3.0; however, U.S. citizens and permanent residents can be admitted as nonmatriculated students, with the recommendation of the GPD. Non-matriculated students can take a few classes (e.g., up to 12 credits). If the student does well in these classes, they can transition to become a matriculated student with the approval of the GPD.

  • ≈The GRE General test is required for Ph.D. applicants. The GRE General test is highly preferred for M.S. or M.Eng. applicants, as GRE scores (especially the quantitative score) are used in making admissions decisions. No minimum score is specified for acceptance. The GRE is waived for Rutgers undergraduates in the School of Engineering applying for the BS-Masters degree.

  • For international students, the Rutgers Graduate Admissions guidelines for minimum requirements in all English proficiency tests can be found at: Admitted international students may need to register for additional English courses with Rutgers PALS in their first year: Satisfactory TOEFL/IELTS scores are critical if students seek funding via teaching assistantships.

  • For current tuition, please see the Student Accounting, Billing, and Cashier Services website at:

  • Is there any funding available for Ph.D. students? For Ph.D. students, funding is usually available through graduate assistantships, teaching assistantships, or fellowships, which cover tuition and stipend. Generally, students need to have a research advisor sponsor such funding, so reaching out to specific faculty members is worthwhile while your application is under consideration. For exceptional candidates, the GPD may recommend the student for University fellowships or teaching assistantships. The MAE department will make every effort to support post-qualifying-exam Ph.D. students.

  • Most M.S. students are either self-funded or bring their funding (e.g., from external fellowship, industry, or government lab). Occasionally, funding is available for M.S. students via graduate assistantships from a research advisor or a University fellowship, but this is rare. There may be opportunities for stipends to teach summer courses or other hourly work.

  • M.Eng. students should not expect to receive financial support. However, there may be opportunities for hourly pay (e.g., through grader or departmental positions).

  • The MAE Graduate Program, the School of Graduate Studies, and Rutgers Global-- International Student & Scholar Services work with admitted graduate students to ensure they obtain the appropriate visa. Visa processing can be lengthy, so students should apply early.

  • No, but fee deferral may be requested through SGS. See: