What Degree Programs Are Available in Aeronautical Science?
Aeronautical science is the study of aircraft operations and flight and includes the subfield of aerodynamics or aircraft in motion. For more information about degree program availability, curriculum requirements, course topics and potential career options, read on!
Aeronautical Science Degree Program Overview
Obtaining a degree in aeronautical science can set you on the right path for a career in aviation. Below is an outline of degree levels in aeronautical science, and some specifics about each.
Important Facts About Aeronautical Science Degree Programs
|Prerequisites||High school diploma, or equivalent|
|Concentrations||Aviation management, air traffic control, professional flight, remotely piloted aircraft systems, mission aviation, aviation maintenance science|
|Online Availability||Fully available for bachelor's and master's degrees|
|Possible Careers||Certified flight instructor, commercial pilot, corporate pilot, military pilot, missionary pilot|
|Median Salary (2018)*||$115,670 (airline and commercial pilots)|
|Job Growth (2016-2026)*||4% growth (airline and commercial pilots)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Associate Degree Programs in Aeronautical Science
Associate degree programs in aeronautical science, such as those that lead to an Associate of Science in Aeronautics, are rare. In general, a 2-year program can require approximately 60 credits to complete, approximately half of which are in general education. In addition to an introduction to aeronautical science, the curriculum covers topics in aviation law and statistics. To fulfill the elective requirements, you may also choose courses in aerodynamics, aircraft performance and aircraft systems, as well as a cooperative education experience or independent study.
Individual schools may offer an Associate of Applied Science in Aeronautical Engineering, which can help you prepare for transfer to a 4-year school, or to pursue an entry-level career as an engineering technologist. Program purposes include the ability to design standard aeronautical parts and systems, and your coursework may cover topics in engineering and fluid mechanics, material science and thermodynamics.
Bachelor's Degree Programs
Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Science programs are easier to find and typically require about 121-139 credits of coursework. In addition to an aeronautical science core, some programs may incorporate the study of aviation history, meteorology and unmanned space vehicles (UAVs). Other programs may allow you to pursue a flight or non-flight option, a concentration in air traffic control or an internship at a major airline. Individual 4-year programs can also help you acquire your Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Commercial Pilot or Airframe and Powerplant (A&P) Technician certificate.
As a qualified graduate, you might obtain a position in aeronautical design, aeronautical maintenance, airline flight support or flight engineering. You may also pursue a career as a professional pilot or work in research and development.
Master's Degree Programs
Master's degree programs can lead to a Master of Aeronautical Science or a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics. In general, the programs can require approximately 36-45 credits to complete and may allow for specializations in aeronautics, aerospace or space studies. You may also be able to choose between a thesis or non-thesis option.
The core curricula can vary, but may include topics in air transportation systems, research and statistical analysis. Other programs may require studies in applied aerodynamics, control design techniques, propulsion and structural analysis. Learning outcomes include acquiring the technical knowledge you'll need to work in the aviation industry, education, government or research.