Prospective Students

All students in the Advanced Astrodynamics Concepts (AAC) research group are pursuing doctoral degrees. Prospective students are encouraged to send their applications to the Purdue University Graduate School and indicate their interest in AAC in the Essay or Statement of Purpose.

Prospective AAC students typically take the following courses:

  • AAE 507:  Principles of Dynamics
  • AAE 440 (590):  Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics
  • AAE 532: Orbit Mechanics
  • AAE 508: Optimization in Aerospace Engineering

Students with Baccalaureate degrees take the non-thesis Master’s option before moving in to the Ph.D. program. Potential students are invited to take AAE 590 (Directed Study) for two semesters during which they define their doctoral dissertation topic. During this definition period, students present weekly reports on their progress to the AAC research group. Upon successful completion of their directed studies and their non-thesis Master’s degree, students are admitted to the research group to pursue their doctoral degrees.

New graduate students who already have a Master’s and have taken equivalent courses to the aforementioned should take AAE 632 (Advanced Orbital Dynamics) and AAE 607 (Variational Principles of Mechanics) if their schedule permits. These students are considered for admission to the AAC research group only when they pass the Astrodynamics and Space Applications Ph.D. Qualifying Exams.

+ About Financial Support

Research and Teaching Assistantships in AAC are limited. Therefore, students often must seek financial support through various means such as the following.

  1. Fellowships (NSF; Office of the Chief Technologist, NASA; NASA GSRP etc.).
  2. Scholarships (mainly applicable to International students from their home countries).
  3. Teaching Assistantships (Math, First Year Engineering, Freshmen Honors Engineering, languages, etc.).
  4. Graduate Research Assistants, Graduate Assistants in non-AAE schools, Libraries, Purdue administration.

Please note that this is not a comprehensive list of funding options for students.

While the pursuit of a Ph.D. in the AAC research group is challenging both intellectually and financially, virtually all successful candidates find prestigious positions in the aerospace industry, government laboratories, and academia.