Aerospace engineering is one of the most exciting branches of engineering. Read this article to know more about courses in aerospace engineering.

Aerospace Engineering Courses

Perhaps, some of the most path-breaking technologies of the 20th century have been those related to aviation and space exploration. These technologies have given mankind wings to fly and explore, and have fired the imagination of young and old alike. The famous space missions of last century had once become household names and the astronauts were heroes for thousands of young children. The ability to send man into outer space and explore places millions of miles from earth has arguably been human race’s greatest achievement. And the people who have been at the forefront of the development of these technologies are aerospace engineers. Aerospace engineers have given sweat and blood to develop launch vehicles to carry payloads of over a hundred thousand kilograms, to create space shuttles which could make space travel as easy as taking a flight and to make space observatories which have given us some of the most significant knowledge of the universe we live in. They have also helped improve air travel to such a stage that any place on earth is only a few hours away. So, if you are one of those people who want to feel the exhilaration of creating a flying machine, aerospace engineering is the perfect field of study for you. Read on to know more about aerospace engineering courses.

Courses In Aerospace Engineering

Course Details


Aerospace engineering is a highly specialized field of engineering and is taught in select universities and institutes of the world. There are both undergraduate and graduate courses in this field. This is also a field where research is of major interest to companies. For undergraduate courses in the US, the student needs to give the SAT Reasoning Test (Scholastic Aptitude Test) or ACT (American College Testing) and also SAT Subject Tests for certain universities. For international students, TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) is a must. For graduate courses, GRE (Graduate Record Examination) is a necessity along with TOEFL for international students. The students must possess a good educational record and must have studied sciences at school or must possess a bachelors degree in a related field. For most universities in countries like UK and Australia, having a good educational record is needed along with scores of other standardized tests such as IELTS (International English Language Testing System) for international students. Some universities conduct their own entrance examinations. 

Details of Course Curriculum
For undergraduate courses, the course curriculum generally covers:

  • Introduction to Aerospace and Design
  • Materials and Structures
  • Fluids and Aerodynamics
  • Thermodynamics
  • Physics and Dynamics
  • Information and Control Engineering 
In graduate courses, the student has to choose his/her specialization. There are many varied specializations and the course curriculum is according to the need of the field. 

For graduate degrees and doctoral theses, there are many fields of specialization available for aerospace engineers. Some of them are:

  • Aerospace Computational Engineering
  • Air Transportation Systems
  • Aircraft Systems Engineering
  • Communications and Networks
  • Control Systems
  • Materials and Structures
  • Space Propulsion
  • Space Systems 

Skills Required
Being an engineering course, there are certain pre-requisites in terms of skills required. Good knowledge and skills in physics and mathematics are required at all stages, be it the bachelors level or the research level. As the studies get more advanced along with increased lab work and research, the student needs to have abilities to experiment, analyze and innovate. A lot of work is done on computers, and a lot of advanced softwares are used, thus, a good knowledge of computers is also a must. Communication skills, creativity and organizational skills are required for completing projects and theses. Aerospace engineers are considered to be people with very high IQ working with the most advanced technologies, as has been popularized by the term ‘rocket science’ for anything highly complex. Thus, aerospace engineers need to have the ability to raise the bar in terms of putting in effort for studies and research at all times. 

Career Prospects
Aerospace/aeronautical technology is used in many sectors like civil aviation, defense, space research and exploration, automobile industry, etc. Thus, aerospace engineers have a wide range of career options to choose from or to specialize in. Majority of aerospace engineers gain employment in aircraft manufacturing firms, or the aircraft parts industry. Design, development and testing of new aircrafts and aerospace technologies are also major industries for employment. Defense is a diversified field where the engineers specialize in military fighter planes, transport planes, helicopters, missile or rockets, among others. Space research organizations like NASA also recruit some of the best aerospace engineers each year. The skills of aerospace engineers are much in demand in automobile industry for use in design of vehicles with more aerodynamic bodies and analysis of wind resistance, etc. 

Some of the Best Institutes Offering Aerospace Engineering

  • Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA.
  • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, USA.
  • Division of Engineering and Applied Science, California Institute of Technology, USA.
  • Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Stanford University, USA.
  • The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.
  • School of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Purdue University, USA.
  • The Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Michigan--Ann Arbor, USA.
  • The Department of Aerospace Engineering, University of Illinois--Urbana-Champaign, USA.
  • Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Cornell University, USA.
  • School of Engineering, Cranfield University, UK.
  • Institut Supérieur de l’Aéronautique et de l’Espace (ISAE), Supaero and Ensica, France.
  • School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
  • Department of Aerospace Engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India.

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