Top Aerospace Graduate Schools

If you want to be in the aerospace industry as an astronaut, academic researcher or work for a company producing equipment for commercial and military applications, the schools below can potentially help you realize your dreams. Learn about some of the top aerospace graduate schools and what programs they offer. Schools offering Aviation Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Should I Look for in a Top Aerospace Graduate School?

The aerospace school you're looking for should have a stellar research faculty and students. Look for distinguished graduates and government and industry affiliations. Top schools also have exceptional research facilities. An aerospace degree from any of the schools below can position you for a career in the aerospace industry.

What Are Three Top Aerospace Graduate Schools?

California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, CA

The California Institute of Technology (CalTech) has produced 31 Nobel Laureates. In 2016, U.S. News & World Report ranked CalTech fourth among graduate aerospace programs.

As one of CalTech's 1,200 graduate students and a candidate for the Master of Science (M.S.) in Aerospace Engineering, you'll study science fundamentals and space technology like biomechanics, biopropulsion, and micro-and nanomechanics at the Graduate Aerospace Laboratories (GALCIT). Master's and doctoral degrees are also available in aeronautics.

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) funds CalTech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). JPL creations include guided missiles, Voyagers 1 and 2, and many other robotic spacecraft. CalTech's Palomar and Keck Observatories are also well known. Aerospace graduate degrees offered at CalTech include:

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Aeronautics
  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Space Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Aeronautics
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Space Engineering

Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University ranked sixth among graduate aerospace programs in 2016, according to U.S. News & World Report. Graduates of the Purdue aerospace program - known as the 'Cradle of Astronauts' - include 21 U.S. astronauts, among them Neil Armstrong.

As a grad candidate in the Purdue School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, you'll select one of four cores. In the aerospace system core, you'll learn to design air and spacecraft. Purdue offers on campus and online options.

Aerospace systems research at Purdue is supported by the National Imagery and Mapping Agency, the U.S. Air Force, NASA and major corporations. Research facilities include the Aerospace Sciences Laboratory (ASL) and other labs for dynamics and controls, structures and materials, aerodynamics, and propulsion. Graduate aerospace degrees offered include:

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Aeronautics and Astronautics
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Aeronautics and Astronautics

Texas A&M University in College Station, TX

Texas A&M tied for tenth place in the top graduate aerospace programs by U.S. News & World Report in 2016. Texas A&M is one of 52 National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) space grant colleges.

As an Aggie, you'll have National Science Foundation (NSF) graduate fellowship winners in your classes. You'll study aerodynamics and propulsion, materials and structures, and dynamics and controls. If you want to use aerospace skills in the armed forces, Texas A&M's Corps of Cadets has produced more officers than any school outside of the U.S. military academies.

Your specialized research and lab facilities will include the Aerospace Vehicle Systems Institute, the Flight Research Laboratory, the Center for Mechanics of Composites, and a Spacecraft Technology Center. Aerospace graduate degrees offered at Texas A&M include:

  • Master of Science (M.S.) in Aerospace Engineering
  • Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) in Aerospace Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering

Top Aerospace Engineering Graduate Schools

College/University Institution TypeLocation
University of Maryland 4-year, Public College Park, MD
Pennsylvania State University 4-year, Public University Park, PA
Massachusetts Institute of Technology4-year, Private Cambridge, MA
Georgia Institute of Technology 4-year, Public Atlanta, GA
Virginia Tech 4-year, Public Blacksburg, VA
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 4-year, Public Champaign, IL
University of Washington 4-year, Public Seattle, WA
Princeton University4-year, Private Princeton, NJ
Stanford University 4-year, Private Stanford, CA
University of Colorado--Boulder 4-year, Public Boulder, CO

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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