What Types of Degrees Are Available in Aerospace Engineering?

Aerospace engineering degree programs prepare students to design and build aircraft, satellites and space vehicles. Students can pursue bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering; continue reading for more information about these types of programs and for career outlook information. Schools offering Engineering & Technology Management degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

Degree Programs in Aerospace Engineering

Degrees in aerospace engineering are offered at the bachelor's, master's, and doctoral levels. The following sections cover the specifics of each degree.

Important Facts About Aerospace Engineering Education

Online AvailabilityFull coursework online for master's; some coursework online for bachelor's
CertificationOptional Professional Engineer (PE) certification may increase employment opportunities
Continuing EducationRequired by many states to maintain certification
Key SkillsMath, analytical, problem-solving, critical-thinking

Bachelor's Degree

Individuals can earn a Bachelor of Science degree in aerospace engineering. The first couple years of the B.S. program typically include coursework in mathematics, chemistry, physics and general engineering principles, while advanced coursework in the junior and senior years covers aerodynamics, propulsion, control systems, space systems and flight mechanics. Courses that students take include a laboratory component to teach them how to design, evaluate and test different systems and theories. Some schools require students to complete an internship or a co-op to gain hands-on experience before they graduate.

Master's Degree

Students can also earn a Master of Science or a Master of Engineering degree in aerospace engineering. An M.S. degree focuses on research, typically requiring students to complete a thesis or another research project, while an M.Eng. program focuses more on the practical applications of aerospace engineering. Sometimes, programs offer specialization options, including materials mechanics, thermal-fluid science, astronautics, robotics, nanoengineering and biomechanics. Program coursework is usually determined by students and advisors to fit students' particular interests within the field.

Doctoral Degree

Some universities offer Ph.D. programs in aerospace engineering, which can prepare students for careers in teaching and research. Students must complete an original dissertation based on their research interests. To prepare, they take coursework related to their area of interest, which could be in propulsion, aerodynamic systems or aerospace structures, among other topics.

Career Information

With a bachelor's degree, individuals can seek entry-level employment with government agencies, aerospace manufacturing industries. A master's degree can prepare individuals for jobs in research, design and development, or it could help them advance in their current careers. With a doctoral degree, one can lead research teams and may also teach at the university level.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that employment opportunities in aerospace engineering should decline by 2% between 2014 and 2024, removing approximately 1,600 jobs. Engineers who have skills in robotics, modeling, simulation and/or computational fluid dynamics software may stand out in the job market, and those who specialize in propulsion or engines will also be in demand. Also reported by the BLS, the median annual salary of aerospace engineers was $105,380 as of 2014.

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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