Best Aerospace Engineering Universities – ( Top 10 Roundup )

  • Best Aerospace Engineering Universities In the USA
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This is our roundup of the best aerospace engineering schools to get your degree in.

Aerospace Engineering Career Guide: What School Requirements, Courses, Financial Concerns & Other Factors to Consider When Planning to Go into Field

Do you have a knack for outside-of-the-box thinking and maximizing your creativity and analytic skills to solve problems? Are you the brainchild of futuristic ideas and do you want to develop these ideas? Are you interested in working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (or NASA) and Elon Musk’s SpaceX? Do you like drawing designs of different flyable machines? Do you enjoy working on projects with motivated and intelligent people? Do you see yourself engaged in field work assignments? Are you excellent in subjects related to math and science?

If so, it looks like you will be a good fit for a career in the field of aerospace engineering.

A career in aerospace engineering is actually satisfying – in different aspects. On top of earning a highly regarded name, it is also financially rewarding and flexible. Importantly, with it, you can make a big impact.

Take a look at some notable aerospace engineers such as Mike Griffin (a NASA top administrator who proposed space travel), Paul Poberezny (the promoter of homebuilt aircraft). These professionals have done the world a good deed by proposing grand ideas and then putting these ideas into motion.

If you dream of following their footsteps, studying aerospace engineering is for you. But don’t forget the aerospace field requires hard work and dedication. So, if you’re determined to pursue a career as an aerospace engineer, remember not to fall short of those requirements.

Here’s a guide that will help you in your pursuit.

General Information

Before anything else, you should ensure that you fully understand the coverage of your future career as an aerospace engineer. This includes answering general questions about aerospace engineering and reviewing (or even correcting) your knowledge of aerospace engineering.

7 of the Best Universities That Offer Programs in the Field of Aerospace Engineering

Attending an online aerospace engineering school, be it public or private, can help you receive a degree in aerospace engineering. Attending an online school is a great alternative to attending an on-campus program – especially if you have a 9 to 5 job, or have other important affairs.

An advantage is that most of these schools offer online labs and recordings of every class. Since they are accessible 24-7, these offerings reward you with a convenient means to review lectures.

To ensure you get a high-quality education in the aerospace field, you should choose a well-established online school. Below, you will find a list that highlights seven of the top online schools that offer aerospace engineering programs.

Public Engineering Schools

1: University of Michigan – Ann Arbor

University of Michigan – Ann Arbor is a leading (belonging in the top 10 around the US) school that offers globally recognized aerospace engineering programs for undergraduates and graduates. It has a winning faculty (that includes Carlos E. S. Cesnik, Ella Atkins, and William Anderson) and a set of research areas (such as areas for Dynamics and Control, Structures and Materials, Gas Dynamics, and Space Systems), which are intended to challenge students to stay ahead in the field of aerospace engineering.

If you decide to go here, you can join different student organizations (such as Solar Drones Team, Human-Powered Helicopter, and The Michigan Jet Engine Team). You can also participate in special events (such as Intelligent Systems Workshop and Solar Car Unveil).

Address: Ann Arbor, Michigan

Tuition: About $1,600 per credit

Enrollment: About 400 enrollees per year

Acceptance rate: 86%

Website: https://aero.engin.umich.edu

Contact Director of Admissions: Felicia Becker at (734) 647 7024 or email at frbec@umich.edu

Requirements:

  • TOEFL certification (for international students)
  • Application essay
  • Graduate Record Examination test
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation (at least two from professional contacts)
  • Undergraduate degree and course work (engineering-related) required
  • Work experience (engineering-related) required

2: Purdue University – West Lafayette

The mission of Purdue University – West Lafayette is aimed at the development and maintenance of quality research programs in aerospace engineering. Since the establishment of The School of Aeronautics & Astronautics in July 1945, it continues to produce a roster of graduates who are known for their significant contributions in the field of aerospace engineering – one of them is the first man who walked in the moon, Neil Armstrong.

Attending this school will not only further your skills in mathematics and sciences; it will also expose you to a brilliant curriculum. With an emphasis on the disciplines of aerodynamics, here, you will be focusing on the development, design, operation, and research in aerospace.

Address: West Lafayette, Indiana

Tuition: About $1,200 per credit

Enrollment: About 700 enrollees per year

Acceptance rate: 70%

Website: https://engineering.purdue.edu/AAE

Contact Director of Admissions: Jennifer Washington at (765) 494 7015 or email at proed@purdue.edu

Requirements:

  • TOEFL certification (for international students)
  • Application essay
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation (at least one from professional contacts)
  • Undergraduate degree and course work (engineering-related) required
  • Work experience (engineering-related) required

3: University of Colorado – Boulder

You will be in good hands if you go to the University of Colorado – Boulder. It has been offering online engineering programs since 1983. It has also been recognized by reputable authorities (including US News) to be among the top-ranking online schools that welcome students who want to expose themselves to high-quality education in the field of aerospace engineering.

To support both the undergraduate and graduate students, the post-doctoral fellows, as well as the faculty, the University’s Aerospace Engineering Sciences Department offers state-of-the-art research centers. These research centers focus on Bioastronautics, Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems, Aerospace Engineering Systems, and Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Sciences.

Address: Boulder, Colorado

Tuition: About $1,000 per credit

Enrolment: About 200 enrollees per year

Acceptance rate: 83%

Website: http://www.colorado.edu/aerospace

Contact Director of Admissions: Colleen Newman at (303) 492 6301 or email graduate.admissions@colorado.edu

Requirements:

  • TOEFL certification (for international students)
  • Application essay
  • Graduate Record Examination test
  • Minimum of four letters of recommendation (professional contacts)
  • Undergraduate degree and course work (engineering-related) required
  • No work experience (engineering-related) required

Private Engineering Schools

4: Duke University – Pratt

The aerospace engineering program at Duke University – Pratt offers a core curriculum: management, intellectual property and business law, finance, and marketing. Apart from ensuring a memorable student experience, it focuses on global awareness and application.

Address: Durham, North Carolina

Tuition: About $2,100 per credit

Enrolment: About 70 enrollees per year

Acceptance rate: 72%

Website: http://memp.pratt.duke.edu

Contact Director of Admissions: Dr. Bradley Fox at (919) 660 5455 or email at memp@pratt.duke.edu

Requirements:

  • TOEFL certification (for international students)
  • Application essay
  • Graduate Record Examination test
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation
  • Undergraduate degree and course work (engineering-related) required
  • Work experience (engineering-related) required

 

5: University of Southern California – Viterbi

If you enroll at the University of Southern California – Viterbi’s Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, you will focus on the traditional disciplinary strengths of aerospace engineering, as well as mechanical engineering. You will also actively participate in a plethora of design/build projects (such as competition Hyperloop pod, competition cars, and competition airplanes.

Address: Los Angeles, California

Tuition: About $1,800 per credit

Enrolment: About 900 enrollees per year

Acceptance rate: 49%

Website: https://ame.usc.edu

Contact Director of Admissions: Matthew O’Pray at (213) 740 4530 or email at viterbi.gradadmission@usc.edu

Requirements:

  • TOEFL certification (for international students)
  • Application essay
  • Graduate Record Examination test
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation (and at least one from professional contacts)
  • Undergraduate degree and course work (engineering-related) required
  • Work experience (engineering-related) required

6: Columbia University

If you go to Columbia University, you can participate in outstanding projects (such as Generalized Mathematical Homogenization, Optimal Petascale Solvers, and Ceramic Matrix Composite). Under the university’s Multiscale Science and Engineering Center, you can explore the aerospace field effectively.

Just so you know, the university is one of the pioneers that choose to maximize advancements in technology to introduce ground-breaking feats in the field of aerospace engineering. For one, it recognizes that the combination of technology and systematic multiscale theory would kick-start discoveries in nanotechnology, microelectronics, and biotechnology.

Address: New York, New York

Tuition: About $1,900 per credit

Enrolment: About 306 enrollees per year

Acceptance rate: 87%

Website: http://msec.engineering.columbia.edu/aerospace

Contact Director of Admissions: Michelle Stevenson at (212) 854 6447 or email at admissions@cvn.columbia.edu

Requirements:

  • TOEFL certification (for international students)
  • Application essay
  • Graduate Record Examination test
  • Minimum of three letters of recommendation (and at least one from professional contacts)
  • Undergraduate degree and course work (engineering-related) required
  • Work experience (engineering-related) required

7: Johns Hopkins University (Whiting School of Engineering)

Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering is one of the front-running private institutions in the US. To engage students who want to further themselves in the field of aerospace engineering, it offers a highly structured course development process, a variety of teaching approaches, and expert faculty. Besides exposing them to an interactive learning environment, it rewards students with a degree in Space Systems Engineering.

If you choose this school, you will gain a profound understanding of the implementation of systems quality assurance. Additionally, you will undergo training in preparation for leadership positions in space systems development projects.

Tuition: About $1,300 per credit

Enrolment: About 2,400 enrollees per year

Acceptance rate: 49%

Website: https://ep.jhu.edu/programs-and-courses/programs/space-systems-engineering

Contact Director of Admissions: Douglas Schiller at (401) 516 2300 or jhep@jhu.edu

Requirements:

  • TOEFL certification (for international students)
  • Undergraduate degree and course work (engineering-related) required
  • Work experience (engineering-related) required

What Is Aerospace Engineering?

Aerospace engineering is a newer specialty in engineering (beginning in the 19th century) that deals with the conceptualizing, designing, and building of flyable machines. Back during the popularity of the first experiments in flight, many people started to take interest in the aerospace field.

Famous milestones in the field of aerospace engineering:

  • Steam-powered steerable airship
  • Manned glider
  • The Wright brothers’ incorporation of thrust, drag, lift, and weight
  • Fixed-wing airplanes
  • Rotary-wing aircraft (such as helicopters and auto-gyros)

What Is the Work of an Aerospace Engineer?

As mentioned, an aerospace engineer works wonders with flyable machines such as:

  • Aircraft
  • Satellites
  • Spacecraft
  • Missiles

The work of an aerospace engineer goes beyond that, however. Besides simply conceptualizing, designing, and building flyable machines, they are also responsible for other relevant duties such as:

  • Submitting prototypes for test to ensure seamless function
  • Designing components for flyable machines (such as airframes, landing gear, engines, wings, and control systems)
  • Inspecting designs to ensure the products meet standard engineering principles, as well as environmental challenges
  • Writing specifications for both the non-destructive and the destructive testing for the functionality, strength, durability, and reliability of flyable machines
  • Ensuring safety project operations

Where Does an Aerospace Engineer Work?

Generally, if you’re an aerospace engineer, you may work for the federal government or a manufacturing facility. Either way, you will be working in a professional setting (such as an office).

As a particular project requires, you will occasionally visit testing and manufacturing facilities. You will need to personally go to these sites because there may be concerns with the functionality of equipment (or a system) that necessitate close inspection.

Will It Be Expensive to Study Aerospace Engineering?

Not necessarily. Studying to become an aerospace engineer is not more or less expensive compared to other courses in college. The cost of education primarily depends on the average cost of tuition at a chosen school.

Are Aerospace Engineering, Aeronautical Engineering & Astronautical Engineering all Similar?

These three are commonly mistaken to be the same, but no, they are quite different. Aerospace engineering, aeronautical engineering, and astronautical engineering are all engineering specialties and they all have to do with flyable machines, but a closer look will reveal a slight difference.

Aerospace engineering is a broad concentration. It is the specialty that focuses on the development of flyable machines in general. Under it are two branches, which are aeronautical and astronautical engineering.

Moreover, the difference between these two branches in aerospace engineering lies in the intended application of the flyable machines. Aeronautical engineering focuses on the development of machines that fly within Earth (such as airplanes and helicopters). Astronautical engineering, on the other hand, deals with machines that can fly outside Earth (such as space shuttles and satellites).

Educational Preparations for Careers in Aerospace Engineering

To thrive in the field of aerospace engineering, you need to be well-educated. Even before your career officially commences, having a firm background in particular areas of study will increase your success.

What High School Subjects Help in Aerospace Engineering?

As a high school student, it is not mandatory to get an excellent record in particular subjects. However, it is definitely an advantage to polish your skills and start establishing a strong foundation on certain areas.

Doing so will gear you towards introductory-level engineering courses in college. Similarly, you should go for the Advanced Placement (or AP) alternatives of particular classes.

To help you in engineering college, you will need to be great in these subjects:

  • Math (especially Algebra, Trigonometry, and Calculus)
  • Sciences (especially Physics)
  • Computer Programming
  • Designing, Drafting, or Sketching

What Post-High School Education or Tertiary-Level Degree/s Should I Pursue to be an Aerospace Engineer?

To be recognized in the field of aerospace engineering, you need to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree that can take about four years. With a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree, you are qualified to apply for entry-level positions as an engineer, a life scientist, a physical scientist, a teacher, or a mathematician.

You can also get a Bachelor’s degree in other relevant engineering or science areas. Doing so qualifies you to apply to another school for a Master’s degree in the aerospace field. These areas are:

  • Mathematics
  • Chemistry
  • Physics
  • Meteorology
  • Geology
  • Biology

Other than that, you can also attend a technical school and earn your way to becoming an engineering technician. As such, you will typically earn an Associate of Science in Engineering Technology degree in about two years.

Your Future in Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace engineering is a great field to be in since it opens many doors to promising employment opportunities. As an aerospace engineer, you will be awarded with a good career position and be compensated highly.

What Licenses, Registrations & Certifications Does an Aerospace Engineer Need to Get?

For entry-level positions in aerospace engineering, a license is not required. On the other hand, if you want to pursue higher levels of employment, as well as independence and leadership, a Professional Engineering (or PE) license is required.

To secure the PE license, you must adhere to general requirements such as:

  • Work experience in the field of aerospace engineering or any engineering-related field (typically about four years)
  • Passing grade on the PE examination
  • A degree under an accredited program of Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (or ABET)

With such a license, you will be recognized as a Professional Engineer. And as a Professional Engineer, you are granted freedom to handle more assignments such as:

  • Signing off on more projects without the need to consult a higher authority in the field of aerospace engineering
  • Practicing aerospace engineering independently, or offer services directly
  • Providing advice regarding the work of other engineers

You also would need to get a passing grade on the Fundamentals of Engineering (or FE) Examination to get a PE license. Once you have earned a Bachelor’s degree in an engineering-related field, you are qualified to take the FE examination. And once you pass, you will be referred to as an Engineering Intern (or EI) or Engineer in Training (or EIT).

What Careers & Job Opportunities Are Available for an Aerospace Engineer?

As an aerospace engineer, the careers and job opportunities for you are in the fields of manufacturing, research, design, and analysis. Some of your potential careers are:

  • Architectural Manager
  • Engineering Manager
  • Aerospace engineering and operating technician
  • Electrical Technician
  • Electronic Technician
  • Computer hardware engineer
  • Electronics and communications engineer
  • Electrical Engineer
  • Materials engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Industrial Engineer

How Much Is an Aerospace Engineer’s Salary?

According to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (as of 2016), the median pay for an aerospace engineer is about $109,000 per year. This means, you will be paid about $52 per hour.

This is our roundup of the best aerospace engineering schools to get your degree in.
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