Timothy Peck 6 min read Career Path Breakdowns, College Lists

List of All US Colleges with an Aerospace Engineering Major

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Aerospace engineers design and build flying machines such as spacecraft, airplanes, and missiles along with developing and constructing their various parts like instruments, navigation systems, and communication devices. They also develop quality control standards, design testing processes, and find solutions to known issues. 

 

Aerospace engineering is generally divided into two branches: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering.

 

  • Aeronautical engineers focus on aircraft that fly within the earth’s atmosphere. 
  • Astronautical engineers attend to aircraft that operate outside of the earth’s atmosphere. 

 

Ready to launch yourself into this interesting and rewarding field? If so, keep reading to learn what schools offer an aerospace engineering major and what to look for in an aerospace engineering program. 

Overview of Aerospace Engineering Major

 

What are the course requirements most majors will need to take?

 

Students studying aerospace engineering require exceptional STEM skills—the knowledge and application of science, technology, engineering, and math are all vital to succeed in this demanding field. Freshmen and sophomores in an aerospace engineering program receive coursework focused on building foundational skills, while upperclassmen take more field-specific classes such as:

 

  • Aerodynamics
  • Aerospace instrumentation and experimentation
  • Aircraft propulsion and power
  • Aerospace structures
  • Aircraft flight dynamics
  • Control of aerospace systems
  • Dynamics of aerospace systems
  • Flight software systems
  • Space flight dynamics
  • Space navigation and guidance
  • Space propulsion and power
  • Thermodynamics
  • Vibration and elasticity

 

What sort of student would succeed in this major? 

 

A broad STEM skillset is an excellent attribute for students with an interest in aerospace engineering—all of them will get tested regularly. Aerospace engineers are commonly methodical, analytical, and logical thinkers who are incredibly detail-oriented. They are also curious and persistent people who are interested in discovering new challenges and accustomed to overcoming obstacles. 

 

Do most students go on to grad school?

 

A bachelor’s degree is often suitable for entry-level aerospace engineering jobs, but higher-level positions commonly require a master’s or doctoral degree. Because of the value of a graduate degree, many colleges and universities offer five-year programs that allow students to earn both a bachelor’s and master’s degree simultaneously.  

 

Professional licensure is also a requirement for many upper-echelon aerospace engineering positions. The most common license needed by an aerospace engineer is a Professional Engineer (PE) license, which is earned by working under a PE for at least four years, passing two competency exams, and earning a license from the state they’re working in. 

 

It’s also common for aerospace engineers to continue taking courses after earning a degree to keep up on advances in the field like technology, materials, and regulations. 

 

What are the popular career paths for this major? 

 

Prospects are excellent for aerospace engineers—according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the field is supposed to grow at a rate of 3% over the next decade, which is about average. However, the median wage for aerospace engineers is $116,500 (as of May 2019), which is almost four times higher than the $39,810 average annual wage for all workers.

 

Manufacturing and the federal government are the primary employers of aerospace engineers, typically either in research and development or testing and maintenance. 

 

What to Look for in a College as an Aerospace Engineering Major


Study Abroad 

 

The best aerospace engineering programs feature study abroad programs that allow students to develop skills, tools, and character to become global leaders in the field. Top study abroad programs place students at world-renowned aerospace institutions where they can learn from some of the world’s most respected minds in the field.   

 

Research Opportunities 

 

Hands-on experience developing plans, writing proposals, conducting research, analyzing data, and presenting research results is a key for graduates of an aerospace engineering program to successfully enter a career. Research opportunities are also beneficial to students interested in pursuing a graduate degree, as it allows them to network with other top schools and is a tried-and-true way to land a good recommendation letter. 

 

Internships 

 

The “right” internship program allows students to sample a certain career path and apply the lessons taught in the classroom to real-life situations. Similarly, firsthand experience gained through a job can cement principles learned at school and provide a stronger foundation for future learning. Internships provide employers with an introduction to a potential employee and give a student a headstart on a career after graduation.  

 

Mentoring 

 

Mentoring programs pair students with either alumni or leaders in the field to offer personalized guidance and advice on academic and professional matters. Mentors can also assist in networking, offer insight into the field, and teach other lessons not taught in the classroom. 


Learning Communities 

 

Learning communities give students a chance to network with other like-minded students, learn together, and take part in a supportive community. Learning communities vary from school to school; some are focused solely on aerospace engineering while others fall under the more broad label of aviation. Aviation communities provide a unique opportunity, as they give students the chance to see issues from another perspective, for example, that of a pilot or traffic controller. 

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List of All U.S. Colleges With an Aerospace Engineering Major

 

School

Location

Texas A&M University

College Station, Texas

University of California, Irvine | UC Irvine

Irvine, California

North Carolina State University | NC State

Raleigh, North Carolina

California State Polytechnic University, Pomona | Cal Poly Pomona

Pomona, California

University of California, San Diego | UCSD

La Jolla, California

Arizona State University | ASU

Tempe, Arizona

Pennsylvania State University | PSU

University Park, Pennsylvania

California Polytechnic State University | Cal Poly

San Luis Obispo, California

University of Kansas

Lawrence, Kansas

Purdue University

West Lafayette, Indiana

University of Michigan

Ann Arbor, Michigan

Rutgers University‚ New Brunswick | Rutgers

New Brunswick, New Jersey

United States Air Force Academy | Air Force

USAF Academy, Colorado

Mississippi State University | MSU

Mississippi State, Mississippi

San Diego State University | SDSU

San Diego, California

Massachusetts Institute of Technology | MIT

Cambridge, Massachusetts

Ohio State University | OSU

Columbus, Ohio

University of Minnesota, Twin Cities | Minnesota

Minneapolis, Minnesota

New Mexico State University | NMSU

Las Cruces, New Mexico

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, Indiana

Missouri University of Science & Technology | Missouri S&T

Rolla, Missouri

California State University, Long Beach | Long Beach State

Long Beach, California

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, Virginia

University of California, Davis | UC Davis

Davis, California

University of Arizona

Tucson, Arizona

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute | RPI

Troy, New York

Iowa State University

Ames, Iowa

University of Cincinnati

Cincinnati, Ohio

University of Texas at Austin | UT Austin

Austin, Texas

Worcester Polytechnic Institute | WPI

Worcester, Massachusetts

University of Virginia | UVA

Charlottesville, Virginia

United States Naval Academy | Navy

Annapolis, Maryland

San Jose State University | SJSU

San Jose, California

University of Central Florida | UCF

Orlando, Florida

Oklahoma State University | OSU

Stillwater, Oklahoma

University of Oklahoma

Norman, Oklahoma

Georgia Institute of Technology | Georgia Tech

Atlanta, Georgia

Embry‚ Riddle Aeronautical University

Daytona Beach, Florida

University of Florida

Gainesville, Florida

Auburn University

Auburn, Alabama

Tuskegee University

Tuskegee, Alabama

University of Akron

Akron, Ohio

Florida Institute of Technology | Florida Tech

Melbourne, Florida

Wichita State University | WSU

Wichita, Kansas

Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

Clarkson University

Potsdam, New York

Saint Louis University | SLU

Saint Louis, Missouri

Illinois Institute of Technology | Illinois Tech

Chicago, Illinois

University of California, Los Angeles | UCLA

Los Angeles, California

University of Miami

Coral Gables, Florida

West Virginia University | WVU

Morgantown, West Virginia

University of Colorado Boulder | CU Boulder

Boulder, Colorado

University of Maryland, College Park | Maryland

College Park, Maryland

Western Michigan University | WMU

Kalamazoo, Michigan

University of Alabama in Huntsville | UAH

Huntsville, Alabama

University of Illinois at Urbana‚ Champaign | UIUC

Champaign, Illinois

Case Western Reserve University

Cleveland, Ohio

University of Tennessee

Knoxville, Tennessee

University of Texas at Arlington | UT Arlington

Arlington

University of South Carolina | USC

Columbia, South Carolina

University of Southern California | USC

Los Angeles, California

University of Washington

Seattle, Washington

University of Alabama

Tuscaloosa, Alabama

Notice a school that’s missing? Email us and let us know!

 

What Are Your Chances of Acceptance?

 

Knowing how you stack up against other applicants is a good first step toward understanding your odds of acceptance at a particular college. Many highly selective schools—like those of the Ivy League—use a calculation of a student’s academic performance called academic index to expedite filtering out under-qualified candidates. 

 

In addition to academics, colleges are interested in how a student will fit in on campus and within their program. The best ways for applicants to demonstrate fit is with extracurricular activities and essays. Attention-grabbing extracurricular activities for future aerospace engineers include participation in an aeronautics or aviation club, participation in a distinguished summer program like RISE, or a wow-worthy internship at NASA

 

Want to know your chances of being accepted into a top aerospace engineering school? We recommend using our Chancing Engine (it’s free). Unlike other calculators, it takes into account a large portion of your individual profile, including academic stats and more qualitative factors like extracurriculars.

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Timothy Peck
Blogger at CollegeVine
Short bio
A graduate of Northeastern University with a degree in English, Tim Peck currently lives in Concord, New Hampshire, where he balances a freelance writing career with the needs of his two Australian Shepherds to play outside.