Programs for aspiring aircraft engineers are available at 4-year colleges and universities. To become aircraft engineers, students may obtain either a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Aerospace Engineering or a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering, both of which are commonly offered degrees that prepare students for entry-level positions in the field of engineering.
Schools with Aircraft Engineering Programs
The following public and private institutions offer aircraft engineering programs:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered||Undergraduate Tuition (2015-2016)*|
|University of Maryland||College Park, MD||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$9,996 (In-state) $31,144 (Out-of-state)|
|Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University||Daytona Beach, FL||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$33,218|
|University of Washington||Seattle, WA||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$11,839 (In-state) $34,143 (Out-of-state)|
|University of Michigan||Ann Arbor, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$13,856 (In-state) $43,476 (Out-of-state)|
|Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute||Troy, NY||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$49,341|
|Texas A&M University||College Station, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,176 (In-state) $28,768 (Out-of-state)|
|University of Texas||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$9,806 (In-state) $34,676 (Out-of-state)|
|Boston University||Boston, MA||4-year, Private||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$48,436|
|Auburn University||Auburn, AL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,424 (In-state) $28,040 (Out-of-state)|
|Arizona State University||Phoenix, AZ||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||$10,158 (In-state) $25,458 (Out-of-state)|
*Source: National Center for Education Statistics
University Selection Criteria
Students interested in gaining knowledge of aeronautical concepts should consider the more comprehensive aerospace degree, while students interested solely in aircraft which remain in the atmosphere should pursue aeronautics. Students may also consider the following when looking for an aircraft engineering program:
- An aspiring aircraft engineer can look for programs that have been accredited by ABET, Inc., formerly the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
- Laboratory and hands-on experience with aircraft could give students an edge in the field upon graduation. While some provide computer labs and moderate research facilities, others allow for access to nearby airport hangars where students can work with authentic machine tools, instrumentation and airplanes.
- Internships for students of aeronautical or aerospace programs could include a semester or summer with one of the major airlines, car manufacturers or even NASA.
Bachelor's Degree in Aircraft Engineering
Offered as a major in either aerospace or aeronautical engineering, these programs qualify students for entry-level positions in aircraft engineering or for further coursework at the graduate level. A final project or internship may be required for graduation.
Graduate Degrees in Aircraft Engineering
Students who attain a bachelor's degree can progress to postgraduate studies. These degrees can be based more on research and development. Some programs may offer specializations within the field, such as space systems and flight dynamics.
Bachelor's and graduate degree programs in aircraft engineering are available for students at 4-year public and private institutions. Students can look at program accreditation, experiences offered and internship opportunities when trying to make their decision for which school to attend.