Top Schools with Aerospace Graduate Programs

Learn about the graduate programs in aerospace engineering offered by three top national universities. Discover school ranking information and program details so you can make an informed decision.

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Graduate degree programs in aerospace engineering are available at several top-ranking national universities. Explore a few of these schools and the various programs they offer.

School Overviews

For students in search of a graduate degree in aerospace engineering, there are several strong schools to consider based on rankings by the U.S. News & World Report. The California Institute of Technology (Cal Tech), Princeton University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) are high-ranking schools offering programs in aerospace engineering and related fields, such as aeronautical and astronautical studies. Cal Tech offers a 1-year graduate degree in aerospace engineering, while Princeton and MIT offer several graduate options.

California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA

School Highlight: In 2017, U.S. News & World Report ranked Cal Tech #12 among all national universities.

In 2015, the California Institute of Technology ranked #4 in the nation on the U.S. News & World Report's list of the best engineering graduate schools in the areas of aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering and #4 overall. Students at Cal Tech's Graduate Aerospace Laboratories can choose from five degree plans, including a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering. This 1-year, full-time program allows students to work with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, as well as various research centers around the Cal Tech campus.

Princeton University in Princeton, NJ

School Highlight: In 2017, Princeton ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of schools in the nation.

The nation's fourth-oldest university, Princeton also ranked as the country's top school, according to U.S. News & World Report's 2017 list. Princeton's School of Engineering and Applied Science offers Master of Science in Engineering, Master of Engineering and doctoral degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering. Students can work in the department's 12 laboratories, in addition to six associated labs on Princeton's campus.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA

School Highlight: MIT ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's 2016 list of best schools with aerospace engineering programs.

MIT ranks #7 on the national universities list by U.S. News & World Report for 2017. The school offers a master's and doctorate degree in the field with 12 available fields of study, including aerospace computational engineering, space systems and air transportation systems. Students can work in one of the 25 AeroAstro research labs to conduct research and collaborate with expert faculty.

Top Aerospace Graduate Schools

Here we discuss some other top aerospace graduate programs and what makes them stand out from other programs.

  • The Ohio State University in Columbus is located near three top aerospace facilities: the Air Force Research Laboratory, the NASA Glenn Research Center, and GE Aviation.
  • Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN, boasts twenty-two graduates that have gone on to become NASA astronauts.
  • The University of California in Los Angeles allow students access to four centers and institutes, including the Fusion Science and Technology Center and the Center for Systems, Dynamics and Control.
  • In 2010, the National Research Council recognized the University of California San Diego's Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department as being among the top ten in the nation as far as excellence in research. The university is located in La Jolla, CA.
  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has students that consistently place highly in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Foundation Undergraduate Team Space Transportation Design Contest.
  • The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor tied for #4 on U.S. News & World Report's 2016 listing of best schools with graduate programs in aerospace engineering.
  • The University of Texas in Austin offers several research areas, including orbital mechanics, structural dynamics and guidance and control.

There are several top-ranking graduate programs in aerospace engineering available to students across the country, including the programs at schools like MIT and Princeton. These top graduate programs stand out in the degree programs that they offer, as well as the facilities and accomplishments of their faculty and student bodies.

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