Aerospace Engineering - Courses, Subjects, Eligibility

11 mins

Although the concept of flight engineering can be traced to the earliest days of mechanical engineering, the first drawings of fly vehicles were developed by Leonardo da Vinci. Then, in 1958, the first description of aerospace engineering was published. 

Aerospace Engineering provides knowledge and skills in designing, developing, and maintaining spacecraft, missiles, and weapons systems. It also covers various topics such as mathematics, physics, and computer application to build a base for this course. 

This discipline is considered among the most demanding engineering programs out there. However, after completing its course, students can take on challenging projects and careers.

Skillset to become an Aerospace engineer
  • Interested in aviation and science
  • Sense of Responsibility
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills
  • Creative ability to see alternative ways of things
  • Strong mathematics and Mechanics
  • Technical Expertise
  • Concern about safety
  • Work under pressure to meet the deadlines
  • Communication skills
  • Speed and accuracy 

Best aerospace Universities in the World

S. NoUniversitiesPlace
1California Institute of TechnologyCalifornia, United States
2Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyMassachusetts, United States
3Georgia Institute of TechnologyGeorgia, USA
4University of Michigan- Ann ArborMichigan, United States
5Stanford UniversityCalifornia, United States
6University of Maryland- College ParkMaryland, United States
7Purdue UniversityIndiana, United States
8Beihang UniversityIndiana, United States
9Delft University of TechnologyDelft, Switzerland
10Pennsylvania State UniversityPennsylvania, United States


California Institute of Technology- Caltech is a world-renowned scientific institute that marshals the brightest minds in the world to address some of the most pressing scientific questions.

The Caltech manages NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, responsible for the agency's mission to explore the solar system's planets. Caltech also owns and operates several astronomical observatories.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology also known as MIT, is a private research university founded in 1861. It is regarded as one of the World's most influential academic institutions.

With its roots in the Industrial Revolution, MIT is regarded as an American institution that has created millions of jobs and launched new industries. Its exceptional community is also magnetized by talent from around the World.

The Georgia Institute of Technology is a public research university. The School's name was changed to Georgia Institute of Technology in 1948 to reflect its growing prominence in scientific and academic research. In 1952, women students were admitted to Georgia Tech, and in 1961 the university became the first in the Deep South to admit African-American students without a court order.

Throughout its history, Georgia Tech has been focused on preparing students to excel in academic and professional fields

The University of Michigan was one of the first research universities in the U.S. It was founded in 1817. The school has a total of 780 acres of land, three regional campuses, as well as a center in Detroit. The school has been known for its high standards of research. 

Its graduate program offers various degrees in various fields, including social sciences and engineering. In addition, the university's colossal alumni base is one of the largest in the World and provides valuable networking and industry connections to current students.

Stanford University is a private research university that's located in California. It has an enrollment of over 17,000 students. The university is known as one of the best in the World. It was established in 1885 by Jane and Leland Stanford, who were the parents of its only child. The school's first students were admitted on October 1, 1891.

The university has seven schools composed of academic departments and professional schools. These schools are located on the same campus. Students participate in 36 varsity sports. Stanford has won more than any other university in the country in team championships. It also has more than 300 Olympic gold medals.

The University of Maryland's College Park is a public university located in College Park, Maryland. It has 30,875 undergraduate students, and its campus size is 1,335 acres. Its campus is located in the heart of the Washington, DC, area. This suburb has numerous clubs and organizations, including over 60 sororities and fraternities. Although most students live on-site, some are required to stay in dorms. In addition, the university has various on-site activities such as lectures, film screenings, and comedy shows.

Purdue University is a public research university established in 1869 in Indiana. The institution, known for its engineering program, is among the best in the country regarding its academic quality. The main campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette offers over 200 majors and over 69 masters and doctoral programs. The university also has 18 intercollegiate athletics teams and more than 900 student groups.

Aside from being a leading research university, Purdue also has notable affiliates that have made significant contributions in various fields such as politics, media, and science. In addition, it has been associated with numerous world-renowned personalities, such as Nobel Prize winners, former Olympic medalists, and Pulitzer Prize winners. With a population of approximately 400,000, Purdue has the largest living alumni pool in the country. Some of its notable alumni include 26 astronauts and six Fortune 500 executives.

The University of Beihang was established in 1952 as one of China's first 16 universities. It was one of the country's first universities to establish an aviation department. It was initially known as the Beijing Institute of Aeronautic Science and Technology. In 1988, it was renamed the Beijing University of Astronautics.

The university's main campus is in Zhongguancun Science Park, also known as China's Silicon Valley. Its second campus, Shahe, is about 20 kilometers away. As part of Project 975 and 211, which aim to improve the academic standards of Chinese universities, the university has a focus on scientific and technological research. It is also committed to developing new knowledge in the aerospace field.

The Delft University of Technology, also known as TUT Delft, is the oldest and most significant public technical university in the Netherlands. It is ranked among the best universities in the World by QS Rankings.

William II of the Netherlands established the university on January 8, 1842. It initially served as a Royal Academy for training civil servants and later became a polytechnic school and an institute of technology. Heike Kamerlingh Onnes, Jacobus Henricus van 't Hoff, and Simon van der Meer have all been associated with TUT Delft.

Penn State University is a public research university that was established in 1855. It became the first land-grant university in Pennsylvania in 1863.

The University Park campus offers a variety of programs. It is regarded as a quality educational institution that provides education comparable to Ivy League schools. Aside from being a land-grant university, it also participates in various other research consortia. This makes it one of the only four universities both a part of an independent of the space-grant program.

List of Courses in Aerospace Engineering

  • B.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering- It is a 4-year course. It is a requirement for those who want to pursue a career in aviation engineering. In NASA, Indian engineers can be found in various countries like the UK, France, Germany, and the US.
  • B.E. Aeronautical Engineering- The Aeronautical Engineering program is a four-year course that prepares students for careers in the design, development, and operation of aircraft and space satellites. It is a degree acknowledged by the Ministry of Education, India. Therefore, this course has broad scope and importance for the candidates.
  • B.Tech Aerospace Engineering- Aeronautical engineering is a course that can be pursued after graduation from class 12th. It is a four-year course that is divided into 8 semesters. It is a course usually taken by people interested in the design and systems of an aircraft. In this discipline, the concept of aerodynamics is studied.
  • M.Tech in Aeronautical Engineering- Aeronautical Engineering is a 2-year professional course that prepares engineers to design and repair parts of flying objects. Individuals with a degree in B.E or B.Tech can pursue the course Aeronautical Engineering. There are various entrance exams for this field. 

In aerospace engineering, students study the basic principles of flight and its motion. Some concepts covered in the Aerospace Engineering course include:

  • Aircraft Structures
  • Materials science
  • Fluid Mechanics
  • Astrodynamics
  • Propulsion
  • Control Engineering
  • Avionics
  • Aeroacoustics
  • Flight Test
  • Solid Mechanics
  • Aeroelasticity

Eligibility requirement-

Indian Universities-
  • The minimum requirements for admission to the Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering course are completed or appearing status of class 12th with a minimum of three subjects (Physics, Chemistry, and Biology).
  • An Engineering Diploma of 3 years in any stream must be passed or appearing; Candidate must have 60 percent marks (55 percent for SC/ST) in Bachelor's degree (BE/B Tech or equivalent).
  • Students with a four-year degree in Engineering or a technical diploma are also eligible to pursue aerospace engineering.
  • GATE score is required for admission to post-graduate and Doctoral programs and research.
  • A Ph.D. degree is prescribed to join The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It recommends that a degree in various disciplines be pursued if one aims to join the company in the United States, which includes Biomedical Engineering, Ceramic Engineering, Chemistry, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Metallurgy, Optical Engineering, and Oceanography.
Foreign University- 
  • Many universities in the USA and Canada require you to take the GRE. Few universities in Germany require GRE scores. However, Australian Universities don’t require a GRE score.
  • IELTS or TOEFL is compulsory for acquiring a student visa and proof of English proficiency.

Averages fees for Aerospace Engineering Course

UniversityTuition (Master’s)/per year
California Institute of Technology-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology$53,450
Georgia Institute of Technology$29,140
University of Michigan- Ann Arbor$52,098
Stanford University$57,861
University of Maryland- College Park-
Purdue University$57,861
Beihang University-
Delft University of Technology-
Pennsylvania State University-


Top Scholarships in Aerospace Engineering

  • William T. Piper Sr, General Aviation Systems graduate award
  • John Leland Atwood Graduate Award
  • Luis de Florez Graduate Award
  • AIAA Foundation Scholarships
  • NASA Aeronautics Scholarship Program
  • Women in Aerospace Foundation Scholarship Scheme
  • Orville and Wilbur Wright Graduate Awards
  • Guidance, Navigation, and Control Graduate Award
  • The Aerospace States Association
  • Neil Armstrong Graduate Award (Armstrong Banner)

The employment rate of aerospace engineers is expected to grow at a fast pace over the next decade. About 4,000 openings are projected annually over the next decade. Many of them are expected to be created by people looking to transfer to other fields.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labour Statistics, Aerospace engineers held about 61,400 jobs in 2020. The largest employers of aerospace engineers were as follows:

Aerospace product and parts manufacturing33
Engineering services18
The federal government, excluding postal service17
Navigational, measuring, electromedical, and control instruments manufacturing9
Research and development in the physical, engineering, and life sciences8


Work Opportunities

Here are a handful of careers you can pursue after graduating as an aerospace engineer.

  • Data Processing Manager
  • Military Aerospace Engineer
  • Inspector and Compliance Officer
  • Drafter
  • Aerospace Technician
  • Mission or Payload Specialist
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Aircraft/Spacecraft Designer
  • Data processing managers are responsible for overseeing the activities related to a company's data processing services. They are also involved in the company's overall computer operations.
  • They work under the supervision of the company's finance directors and are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the data processing department. They also plan and implement goals and objectives, and they supervise the work of their technical staff.
  • Military Aerospace engineers- Even though the military acquires commercial equipment, it still relies on its aerospace engineers to fulfil its missions.
  • Aerospace engineers are responsible for designing, developing, and evaluating military aircraft and systems. They also formulate policies and manage programs for aircraft and components.
  • Compliance officers - who enforce the contractual obligations of various types of businesses and individuals. Most of the time, these individuals work for a specific organisation or business, and they're tasked with ensuring they meet ethical and legal standards. This often involves reviewing documents and performing other tasks related to the compliance officer's duties. They'll also play a leading role in developing and updating training materials for employees. Some compliance officers may choose to be consultants, while others may work for regulatory agencies that enforce industry standards.
  • Aerospace engineering drafters are usually computer-assisted designers who convert the drawings generated by aerospace engineers into technical drawings. Technical drawings help describe the various aspects of a project, such as material and processes, design specifications, and procedures. They are typically created using rough sketches and computer-generated models.
  • Traditionally, engineers would sit on a drawing board and write down their ideas using a variety of instruments and devices. Instead, most of them use computer-assisted design or CADD systems to prepare drawings.
  • As aerospace technicians, they work on various tasks related to the development and maintenance of air and space vehicles. Their duties can also overlap with those of engineers. They work both in the public and private sectors.

As part of their support team, aerospace technicians must also understand the concepts related to space and air vehicles. This ensures that they can provide the necessary support for their employers. In addition, aerospace technicians may have varying responsibilities depending on the company and the government agency. For instance, a consumer company may require an aerospace technician to perform various tasks such as analyzing and reporting airline data.

  • Mission specialist- In 1978, the US space agency NASA created the term mission specialist to refer to the astronauts responsible for transporting humans into space.

One of the mission specialists would be the flight engineer of the spacecraft. The other people would carry out tasks and scientific tests aboard the shuttle. They would also be responsible for conducting walks and carrying out other tasks on the cabin and the ground.

  • Mechanical engineer- This discipline combines the various elements of engineering with materials science to develop and maintain mechanical systems. This branch of engineering is responsible for the design, analysis, and operation of machinery.

Mechanical engineers are involved in generating, distributing, and utilizing energy. They also design and develop machines and systems used for various industries.

  • A spacecraft designer works on developing spaceplanes, spacecraft, and missiles. They test prototypes to make sure they're performing correctly. Spacecraft design was born during the 1950s and 1960s as an offshoot of the space exploration programs of the US and the Soviet Union. Since then, it has progressed but typically remains less than terrestrial technologies. One of the main reasons for this is the high energy cost associated with achieving orbit.

Top Aerospace Engineering recruiters

3United TechnologyUS
4Lockheed MartinUS
5Northrop GrummanUS
6GE AviationUS


Countries that pay the most for aerospace engineering jobs

CountriesAverage salary ($)
United States116,500
New Zealand76,200


Since aerospace engineers design and critical test equipment for various industries, such as fighter planes, satellites, and rockets, they can feel immense satisfaction that their work contributes to serving Nations. With a well-equipped Aerospace Engineering degree, students will be prepared to take on the challenges and opportunities that the industry has to offer.



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