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Top Schools for Aeronautics, Aviation and Aerospace Science

Find out which top schools offer degree programs in aeronautics, aviation and aerospace science. Read about the academic options and unique program features at three leading institutions, and find a table that lists other schools in the U.S. that provide training for aeronautical, aerospace or aviation professionals.

School Overviews

The three schools highlighted below include a national and a regional university, as well as a military academy. Both universities offer undergraduate and graduate programs in aerospace, aerospace engineering or aeronautics, among other closely related areas. Cadets at the United States Air Force Academy can earn an undergraduate degree and participate in research.

1. California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena, CA

School Highlight: Offers a dual master's degree program with Ecole Polytechnique.

In 2015, U.S. News & World Report ranked Caltech number ten on its list of national universities. As of 2015, the university also ranked number two in the nation for its aerospace and aeronautics graduate programs and number four for its aerospace and aeronautics undergraduate offerings.

Caltech's Graduate Aerospace Laboratories offers a Master of Science (M.S.) in Aerospace Engineering or Aeronautics, as well as an aeronautical engineer degree and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Aeronautics. Although Caltech does not offer bachelor's degrees in the same or similar fields of study, undergraduates can pursue a minor in aerospace. Unique to the school is its cooperative relationship with the Ecole Polytechnique in France, through which graduate students can earn a dual master's degree.

2. Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, FL

School Highlight: Significant number of programs in aeronautics and aviation.

This private university is a small aeronautics school that offers degrees in aerospace engineering, aeronautics and aviation. Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degrees are offered in several related fields, including aeronautical science, aeronautics, aviation maintenance science and aerospace engineering. Additional programs can lead to an M.S. in Aerospace Engineering or Aeronautics; Master of Aerospace Engineering (MAE) and Master of Business Administration (MBA) in Aviation Management programs are also available. Advanced students can pursue a Ph.D. in Aviation.

3. United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO

School Highlight: Military training and education offered.

The United States Air Force Academy is a military academy that offers a B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering. Students complete core coursework in the humanities, science and engineering, as well as more specialized studies in aerothermodynamics, fluid dynamics and aircraft performance. Cadets can also participate in ongoing research projects through the Aeronautics Research Center. Additional resources include the Modeling and Simulation Research Center.

Top Aeronautics, Aviation and Aerospace Science Schools

School Name Distinction Location
Texas A&M University NASA space shuttle flight simulator College Station, TX
University of Southern California Offers an Engineer in Aerospace Engineering (EAE) degree Los Angeles, CA
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Collaborative Center for Multidisciplinary Sciences with Wright State University and the Air Force Research Laboratory Blacksburg, VA
Georgia Institute of Technology Aerospace Systems Design Laboratory Atlanta, GA
Stanford University Research priority in environmentally sustainable aviation Stanford, CA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology Features 21 different aeronautic and astronomic laboratories Cambridge, MA
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute Multidisciplinary Design Laboratory for undergraduates Troy, NY

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