It is possible to earn a bachelor's, master's or doctoral degree in aerospace engineering. Graduate certificate programs in aeronautics-related subjects are also available at some schools.
10 Schools with Aeronautics Programs
Here are some schools that provide relevant educational opportunities in this field:
|College/University||Location||Institution Type||Degrees Offered*||Tuition and Fees, In-State (2015-2016)**|
|Arizona State University||Mesa, AZ||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||Undergraduate: $9,684|
|Ohio State University||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||Undergraduate: $10,037|
|University of Florida||Gainesville, FL||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's||Undergraduate: $6,381 Graduate: $12,737|
|University of Minnesota - Twin Cities||Minneapolis, MN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate: $13,790 Graduate: $17,289|
|University of Central Florida||Orlando, FL||4-year, Public||Master's||Graduate: $6,368|
|The University of Texas at Austin||Austin, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate: $9,806 Graduate: $10,934|
|Texas A & M University||College Station, TX||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate: $10,176 Graduate: $8,656|
|Pennsylvania State University||University Park, PA||4-year, Public||Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate: $17,514 Graduate: $20,270|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Champaign, IL||4-year, Public||Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate: $15,054 Graduate: $18,041|
|Purdue University||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's, Doctoral||Undergraduate and Graduate: $10,002|
Sources: *School website, **National Center for Education Statistics
School Selection Criteria
Consider the following when looking for aeronautics schools:
- Students should make sure that the school is accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).
- It may be helpful to find out about the school's laboratory facilities in order to ensure that students have access to the latest aeronautics technologies for their advanced research and/or career preparation.
- Students who plan to enroll in research-based graduate programs should make sure that there are faculty members with whom they share research interests, as they may act as thesis or dissertation advisors.
- Students who want to go into industry after they graduate may want to look for schools that offer internships at aerospace engineering firms.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
In bachelor's degree programs in aerospace engineering, students begin by taking foundational coursework in scientific topics such as physics, chemistry, and mathematics. They build on this coursework with more advanced electives, in which they apply their knowledge to solve aerospace engineering problems related to aerodynamics, mechanics, propulsion and stability. Most programs confer a Bachelor of Science (BS) degree, but some schools allow students to enroll in a five-year accelerated BS/MS degree program.
Master's Degree Programs
At the master's degree level, prospective graduate students can choose between Master of Science (MS) in Aerospace Engineering and professional Master of Engineering (MEng) programs. MEng programs can be completed in one year and prepare graduates to enter directly into industry jobs. In contrast, MS programs require two years of advanced academic coursework and research leading to a final thesis. Graduates of these programs may find careers in academic research or advance to PhD programs.
Doctoral Degree Programs
In PhD programs in aerospace engineering, students conduct high-level research in a particular topic of interest under the supervision of a faculty member. They may be required to declare a concentration in a particular area of interest, which directs their coursework; options can include aerodynamics and propulsion, structures or dynamics and control. Prior to graduation, students must write and defend a research-based dissertation.
Aeronautics-related certificate programs vary depending on the school. At some schools, students who are enrolled in undergraduate or graduate programs in aerospace engineering may simultaneously earn a certificate in a particular interest area within the field, such as space systems engineering. There are also institutions that offer graduate-level certificates for working professionals who want to gain expertise in a particular aspect of aeronautics, such as failure analysis or guidance and control. These programs typically take between one and three years to complete, depending on the student's study schedule.
Aerodynamics degrees are offered at the bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels, as well as specialized certificates. Relevant programs can be found at schools throughout the country.