Over the past 60-70 years, aeronautical studies have been amongst the most exciting areas of study offered anywhere. The opportunity to work in an industry that includes the space program or the next generation of aerospace technology is considered a very prestigious endeavor. The field is very competitive and securing a top level education is the key to entry. Here is a listing of the 10 best aerospace engineering schools according to U.S. News and World Report.
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is private school located in Cambridge and was founded in 1861. MIT’s Aeronautics and Astronautics Department resides in the school of Engineering. The undergraduate program offers two degree options, Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Bachelor of Science in Engineering (16- Eng).
The graduate programs offers a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics plus a Doctorate degree option. Students in these programs are afforded a great opportunity for exposure to government programs and research studies involving NASA. The listing of job opportunities for MIT graduates are amongst the most elite jobs available in both the private and public sectors. Estimate Annual Tuition: $43,210
2. Georgia Institute of TechnologyThe Georgia Institute of Technology is a public school located in Atlanta and was founded in 1885. Within the College of Engineering, GT’s Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering has become one of the school’s most prestigious programs. The school offers a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering and a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering. They also offer a Doctorate program which will prepare recipients to participate in cutting edge research and development for institutions such as NASA and the U.S. Air Force.
Within the overall curriculum, students will learn about disciplines such as aerodynamics, propulsion, and design. Estimated Annual Tuition: $10,650 residents, 29,954 non-residents.
3. University of Michigan–Ann Arbor
The University of Michigan is a public school that was founded in 1817. The School of Engineering offers a B.S.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the Aerospace Engineering department. The department also offers Master’s and Doctorate programs in Aerospace Engineering and Aerospace Science as well as a ME in Space Engineering. The department is relatively small with approximately 310 undergrad students at a time. With the faculty of 19 tenured professors, the 17:1 ratio allows the students close interaction with instructors. The department is accredited by ABET. Estimated Annual Tuition: $14,000 residents, $42,000 non-residents.
4. Stanford University
Stanford University is a private university founded in 1891 and located near the Silicon Valley in California. Students use the Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a declared major in Aeronautics and Astronautics as a catapult towards the graduate program. The Master of Science in Aero/Astro requires students to take certain courses such as Fluids, Structures, Guidance and Control, Propulsion and Experimentation/Design.
The Ph.D. in Aero/Astro is a continuation of the Master’s program. Before receiving their Doctorate, students are required to complete dissertation research. Overall, the Aerospace department maintains a prominent place in two specific areas, computational aerospace engineering and an research program in Computational-Based Design. Estimated Annual Tuition: $43,245.
5. University of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign
The University of Illinois is a public university founded in 1867. The College of Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering which gives students balanced exposure to engineering, mathematics, and science as well as the analysis and design of future aircraft and spacecraft. Students pursuing a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering will get a unique opportunity to participate with other graduate students and staff in researching and developing cutting edge technology related to flying and/or space travel.
The school also has a Master’s program in Aerospace Systems Engineering and a PhD program for students who received their Master’s from UI or other qualifying universities. Estimated Annual Tuition: $20,000 residents, $35,000 non-residents,
6. Purdue University–West Lafayette
Purdue is a public school located in Indiana and was founded in 1869. The Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering department is part of the School of Engineering. They offer Bachelor’s, Master’s and Doctorate degrees in Aero & Astro Engineering. The undergraduate program is accredited by the ABET. The Master’s program offers a distance learning option for students who choose not to stay at the campus.
The School of Aeronautics and Astronautics has graduated 14 individuals who have gone on to become astronauts. Estimated Annual Tuition: $10,000 residents, $29,000 non-residents.
7. California Institute of Technology
California Institute of Technology is a private school located in Pasadena and was founded in 1891. Caltech serves as home to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory where robotic research related to solar system exploration is performed. The undergraduate program offers a minor in Aerospace as a supplement to other degrees. Most students targeting the graduate programs will seek their Bachelor of Science in Engineering.
The graduate programs offered are a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineer and Doctor of Philosophy in Aeronautics or Space Engineering. With the Master’s in Aerospace, students may choose from one of nine majors on disciplines such as physics of fluids, structural mechanics, space technology and control of aerospace systems and materials. Estimated Annual Tuition: $41,538
8. University of Texas–Austin
The University of Texas was founded in 1883. The Cockrell School of Engineering offers a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree through the department of Aerospace Engineering & Engineering Mechanics. They also offer a Master Of Science and Doctorate degree in Aerospace Engineering. The Doctorate program stresses cutting edge and advanced research within different disciplines in the aeronautical and astronautical industries. Amongst the specific areas of concentration offered are Orbital Mechanics, Solids, Structures and Materials, and Aerothermodynamics and Fluid Mechanics. Estimated Annual Tuition: $10,200 residents, $35,100 non-residents.
9. Princeton University
Princeton University is considered one of the top educational institutions in the world. The school is private and was founded in 1746 making it one of the oldest universities in the country. At the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering is offered in addition to a Master’s and PhD programs in Aerospace Engineering within several areas of concentration. The graduate programs carry approximately 90 students per semester making it one of the most elite and competitive programs in the country. Prior to graduation from the school, all Engineering students are required to complete an independent project or a senior theses. Estimated Annual Tuition: $41,820
10. University of Maryland–College Park
The University of Maryland was founded in 1856. The Department of Aerospace Engineering is located in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. The Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering is offered with majors in Aerodynamics, Flight-dynamics, Propulsion, Materials and Structures, and Systems Design. The school also offers a Master of Science and Doctorate in Aerospace Engineering with specializations in Aerodynamics and Propulsion, Structural Mechanics and Composites, Rotorcraft, Space Systems and Flight Dynamics, Stability and Control. Estimated Annual Tuition: $9,162 residents, $28,348 non-residents