AeroSPace & IndustRial Engineering Scholarship Program (ASPIRE)

Program Overview

The goal of the ASPIRE scholarship program at Mississippi State University (MSU) is to improve recruitment and retention of aerospace engineering (AE) and industrial engineering (IE) students, and to prepare them to enter the local technical workforce or pursue advanced technical degrees.

ASPIRE scholarship awards will be given each semester in the amount of $2,500 per semester. ASPIRE Fellows can receive up to eight semesters of scholarship support, for up to $20,000 in total support per student, pending continued eligibility. Fellows who participate in a co-op semester will not receive the scholarship for that semester, but will still receive eight total semesters of scholarship support.

Twelve scholarships will be given for AY 2016-2017, eighteen will be given for AY 2017-2018, and twenty-four will be given each year for AY 2018-2019, AY 2019-2020, and AY 2020-2021.

Application Overview

Students who wish to apply for an ASPIRE scholarship must complete the General Scholarship Application online through the MSU Office of Admissions and Scholarships. To access the scholarship application, log-in to your myState account, click on the Scholarship tab and select "Submit/Revise General Scholarship Application". For the ASPIRE program, a complete scholarship packet must include:

  • Five brief essays, each with a maximum length of 200 words.
    The five essay prompts are:

    • Essay 1: State your major field of study and why you are interested in this area.
    • Essay 2: What are your career aspirations? What position or opportunities do you hope to obtain by obtaining a degree in your selected major?
    • Essay 3: How will this scholarship benefit you and help you succeed as a student in MSU’s Bagley College of Engineering?
    • Essay 4.  Describe an activity or organization you have been involved in.  How did you demonstrate leadership?  What was your favorite part of being involved?
    • Essay 5.  Have you been involved in any engineering-related activities?  Examples may include robotics clubs, internships, or advanced STEM courses.  What made you interested in these activities?  What did you take away from your experience?
  • As part of the application process, you will need to provide the names and email addresses of two references who can speak to your academic or leadership abilities. For example, a high school teacher, guidance counselor, community mentor, coach, or job supervisor.

Additional information about the student applicant (e.g. high school GPA, completed coursework, contact information) will be gathered from the applicant’s MSU student record.

About Industrial Engineering and Aerospace Engineering

Industrial and systems engineering (ISE) is concerned with designing and improving systems to make products or provide services. ISE looks at the “big picture” of what makes organizations work best. Students in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering learn and research how to design, improve, and control systems of people, materials, information, equipment, energy, and capital to increase quality, safety, and profitability. Industrial and systems engineers provide innovative solutions to the complex problems faced by virtually all enterprises operating in today’s global economy. It is no surprise, then, that the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that of the more than 18 fields of engineering in the United States, our field is among the top three employed. More information about Industrial Engineering at MSU can be found at

The Department of Aerospace Engineering (AE) at Mississippi State University provides an accredited undergraduate curriculum with the mission of preparing students to enter the workplace as qualified entry-level aerospace engineers or to enter any aerospace engineering graduate program adequately prepared for advanced study. Aerospace engineers are primarily focused on the design, fabrication, testing and analysis of aircraft and spacecraft and their components. The AE department mission is accomplished by a strong foundation in mathematics and physical and engineering sciences upon which student problem solving and application skills are developed. The curriculum stresses analytical and communication skills, with particular emphasis placed on engineering design throughout the curriculum. A capstone design experience in the senior year provides the opportunity to integrate design, analytical, and problem solving skills along with communication skills in a team environment which emulates aerospace engineering practice. More information about Aerospace Engineering at MSU can be found at

About Mississippi State University and the Bagley College of Engineering

For more than 100 years, the Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University has been at the forefront of education and research. Advancing in every aspect, the college is committed to pursuing excellence in education, as well as providing an environment for personal growth and development.

As one of approximately 40 named engineering colleges in the nation, the Bagley College offers degree programs in eight different academic engineering departments and 10 certificate programs. Each academic program provides a challenging curriculum and an encouraging environment to allow students to achieve their full potential.

The Bagley College of Engineering is Mississippi State’s third largest college. It currently ranks 51st among all engineering colleges nationally in research and development expenditures according to the National Science Foundation. Research centers in the college include the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS), Raspet Flight Research Laboratory, and the High Performance Computing Collaboratory (HPC2).   U.S. News and World Report ranks its undergraduate and graduate programs in the top 100 nationwide.

More information about the Bagley College of Engineering can be found at

Scholarship Sponsor

The ASPIRE program at Mississippi State University is made possible by a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF Award #1458253).