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What Are the Best Schools for Aeronautics?

See what makes a great aeronautics school and get three examples. Learn about school, faculty and program distinctions. See what your degree options are and what you'll study.

What Should I Look for in a Top Aeronautics School?

Top aeronautics universities may have excellent research laboratory facilities and established relationships with corporate and government entities like NASA and the U.S. Air Force. Domestic and foreign internship programs may be available. Some might offer opportunities to participate in research projects as an undergraduate. They might offer you options ranging from aircraft maintenance and management to Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) engineering programs.

Three Top Aeronautics Schools

Ohio State University in Columbus

OSU's graduate program in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering tied for 17th in U.S. News & World Report's 2019 rankings. In OSU's aeronautical and astronautical engineering major, you might participate in student project teams or the Engineering Co-Op and Internship Program. The department partners with aerospace corporations, the NASA Glenn Research Center and the Air Force Research Laboratory. In the honors program, you could take special courses, live in designated residence halls and pursue research with faculty. You'd also have access to the University Honors and Scholars Center. These degrees are offered:

  • Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • B.S./Master of Science (M.S.) in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
  • Doctor of Philosophy in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering

Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN

In U.S. News & World Report's most recent rankings for aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering schools, Purdue came in fifth in 2019 for undergraduate programs and ninth for best engineering schools. It was also ranked fifth for its graduate aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering programs and eighth best for graduate engineering programs. The School of Aeronautics and Astronautics offers specific lab facilities, such as wind tunnels for aerodynamics specialists. Work experience programs include internships and co-op programs that alternate periods of work with periods of study. These programs are offered:

  • B.S. in Aeronautical and Astronomical Engineering
  • M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronomical Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Aeronautical and Astronomical Engineering

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY

RPI's graduate programs in aerospace, aeronautical and astronautical engineering placed 23nd in the 2019 U.S. News & World Report evaluation. At RPI, you'd have access to the O.T. Swanson Multidisciplinary Design Laboratory. Opportunities for aeronautical research on fixed wing, rotorcraft and space vehicles are available to both undergraduate and graduate students with structures, controls and fluid dynamics laboratories available. Students also have access to RPI's Computational Center for Nanotechnology Innovations, wind tunnels and a 100-MeV linear accelerator. These degrees are possible.

  • B.S. in Aeronautical Engineering
  • M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering
  • M.Eng. in Aeronautical Engineering
  • Ph.D. in Aeronautical Engineering

Nine Schools with Aeronautics Programs

College/University Institution Type LocationEstimated Graduate In-State Tuition*
Arizona State University 4-year, Public Tempe, Arizona$12,000
California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo 4-year, Public San Luis Obispo, CA$11,000
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach 4-year, Private Daytona Beach, FL$19,000
Mississippi State University 4-year, Public Mississippi State University, MS$9,000
Stanford University 4-year, Private Stanford, CA$51,000
Tuskegee University 4-year, Private Tuskegee, AL$22,000
University of Colorado - Boulder 4-year, Public Boulder, CO$13,000
University of Oklahoma - Norman 4-year, Public Norman, OK$8,000
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University 4-year, Public Blacksburg, VA$15,500

*Source: NCES, U.S. Department of Education