Degrees in aeronautic or aerospace engineering are available at four-year universities and can lead to careers developing airplanes, rocket ships, missiles, space stations and lunar vehicles. A bachelor's degree is the minimum requirement for most aeronautic engineering jobs, and a graduate degree is needed for those interested in research or teaching. Combined bachelor's and master's programs exist for those who want to earn both degrees within five years.
Students take courses that cover the laws of thermodynamics, fluid motion and vehicle structure in depth. Students usually participate in both science and aeronautic engineering lab courses.
Here are common concepts covered in aeronautic engineering courses:
- Aerospace systems
- Mechanics of materials
- Electrical engineering
- Vehicle design
- Aircraft control
- Spacecraft structures
List of Courses
Introduction to Aerospace or Aeronautic Engineering
This course is offered at the beginning of an engineering degree program and provides an overview of aeronautics and the aerospace industry. Students learn the requirements, ethics and principles regulating the field of aeronautic engineering; they also study basic aerodynamic theories and how they can be applied to configure, simulate and test aerospace vehicle structure and performance.
Students learn the components and processes of thermodynamics by examining the elementary laws concerning its power, heat and energy. This course also addresses refrigeration cycles and the concept of psychometrics. Candidates are often required to take college-level math courses (such as algebra or calculus) before enrolling in this course.
Fluid motion and its conversion principles are explored in this course. Students study overall movement, including continuity, effect, lift, potential flow and drag. Lessons also cover airfoil design, the finite wing theory and how to apply numerical principles to wing functions. This course is typically completed after a series of beginning engineering, applied science and math courses.
Every element of an aircraft is essential to its performance; in this course, students analyze design considerations and methods used in aeronautic or aerospace structures. They also examine closed and multi-cell beam cross-sections, and the standard bending and extension movements of aerospace structures. Because aeronautic structure courses often encompass sophisticated mathematical formulas, designated math and engineering courses are usually required prior to enrollment in this class.
In this course, students analyze the cohesive elements of contemporary aircraft design. They examine how the engines, compressors, combustors, burners and inlets operate with air breathing propulsion. Prospective engineers learn how this applies to aeronautic and ground transportation. Prerequisite foundational engineering courses are often necessary.