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Application Information

Frequently Asked Questions & Answers for Applicants to The Graduate Program in Aerospace or Mechanical Engineering

This list of FAQ’s is built upon questions that have been raised over the last several admission cycles.  We recommend that you read these carefully as you prepare your application for our programs.  These supplement and build upon a list of FAQ’s that can be found on our University of Notre Dame Graduate School website and I encourage you to also visit the website for additional information and resources for our graduate students. Please reach out to me if you have questions!

David B. Go (
Rooney Family Collegiate Professor and Director of Graduate Studies


Information about the University of Notre Dame Graduate School


How do I apply?

  • The application can be found online at:             
  • The application can be initiated by setting up an account and you can work on it periodically, saving it as needed. Just be sure to submit by the application deadline!


When is the application deadline?

  • The application deadline for 2020 Fall admission is January 15, 2020.


What do I need to provide with the application?

  • Unofficial transcripts
  • A curriculum vitae or resume
  • A statement of intent
  • Any other materials related to the applicant's history regarding dismissal, probation, or suspension from school, or criminal conviction.


Is there a minimum required GPA?

  • There is no minimum require GPA; we will consider all applicants. However, generally a GPA of at least 3.3 on a scale of 4.0 (or equivalent) is recommended to be a competitive applicant.


Do I need to take the GRE?

  • The general GRE test is required, but the subject GRE test is not.
  • There is no minimum score required, but generally, to be considered a competitive applicant for admission, a Quantitative score of at least 155 is recommended. You will also need to demonstrate strong English ability, especially if you are an international applicant.
  • We recommend that you have your test scores sent directly to our department, and institution and department codes can be found here:
  • If you do not have your official GRE scores ready by the time of the application deadline, you may submit unofficial scores and you application will be evaluated.  However, if recommended for admission, official scores are required to be submitted.


Do I need to take the TOEFL or IELTS if I’m an international student?

  • If you are an international student who obtained your degree overseas, then either the TOEFL or IELTS is required. 
  • The minimum TOEFL IBT score is 80 with a 23 on the speaking section. If your speaking score is below 23, we still encourage you to apply, but may request a phone or Skype interview to confirm speaking ability.
  • The minimum IELTS score is 7.0.
  • If you are non-native English speakers who spent a minimum of two academic years at an academic institution whose primary language of instruction was English, then you do not have to take the TOEFL or IELTS. If it is not obvious that the institution was English-speaking, a letter from the Registrar’s Office (or the office responsible for academic records) confirming English as the language of instruction is required.


Do GRE and/or TOEFL/IELTS scores expire?

  • Yes. ETS will not send us GRE scores that are older than five years; TOEFL/IELTS scores are valid for 2 years.


Do I need to get letters of recommendation?

  • Yes, we require 3 letters of recommendation.
  • The applicant must enter the recommender’s name and contact email address into a form in the online application. You may add as many as five recommenders; three are required. The recommender  will receive an email providing secure access to the recommendation form and instructions to complete the recommendation electronically. Please note that as soon as a recommender is added to an application, he or she will receive this email. Applicants should only add recommenders when they are prepared for this email to be sent, and for a recommendation to be submitted for that application.
  • The letters of recommendation are very helpful in evaluating an application. Letters that discuss your potential as a graduate student are particularly helpful, especially those that can cover your readiness and acumen for graduate level research.
  • We recommend that you line up your letter writers early in your application process so that they have enough time to write a strong letter and also have enough time to submit it by the application deadline.


What should go in the statement of intent?

  • The statement of intent is a very important part of the application. We are looking for something about 2 pages that discusses:
    • your passion for research, why you want to go to graduate school, and how it fits within your career goals;
    • how you are prepared for graduate school and especially graduate research, discussing past research experiences, your accomplishments, and the research skills you have developed (developing and testing a hypothesis, experimental skills, scientific writing) is especially encouraged;
    • what areas of research in our department you are especially interested in and any specific faculty you would like to work with.
  • All faculty in our department have access to your statement of intent, and identifying specific faculty by name is a good way for them to determine if you’re a good fit for their research group.


Can I submit anything after the submission deadline?

  • Recommendations and test scores can arrive after the deadline but are needed to complete your application.


When are decisions made?

  • Initial decisions will typically be made in early February, although some applicants may be placed on a waitlist, with final decisions coming sometime in March or April. You can check the status of your application anytime using the online application portal.
  • Admitted students have until April 15, 2020 to accept or reject the offer of admission.


Whom do I reach out to if I have questions or problems with my application?

  • Our Graduate Program Coordinator Gail Small ( is happy to help with any application questions!