best aerospace engineering graduate schools

Last Updated on September 13, 2021

What is Aerospace Engineering?

According to Wikipedia, Aerospace engineering is the first area of engineering that is related to the development of aircraft and spacecraft. Basically, it consists of two main and interrelated parts: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering.

Basically, Aerospace engineering is a field of engineering that deals with the development and designing of new technologies that can be used in aviation, defense systems, and spacecraft

In the same vein, it has to do with designing different types of aerospace products, such as commercial and military airplanes and helicopters; remotely piloted aircraft and rotorcraft; spacecraft, including launch vehicles and satellites; and military missiles and rockets.

Who is an Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace Engineer is an engineer that designs and develops aviation products. He can focus on areas like aerodynamic fluid flow; structural design; guidance, navigation, and control; instrumentation and communication; robotics; and propulsion and combustion.

Also, the engineer designs primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. In addition, they create and test prototypes to make sure that they function according to design.

As an Aerospace engineer, you have two types of speciality that you can focus on any: aeronautical or astronautical.

If you are an Aeronautical engineer, you will work with aircraft. And also with the theory, technology, and practice of flight within the Earth’s atmosphere.

On the other hand, if you are an Astronautical engineer, you will work with the science and technology of spacecraft and how they perform inside and outside the Earth’s atmosphere.

Why Should I attend Aerospace Engineering Graduate School?

Although Aerospace engineering has other degree programs like Diploma and bachelor’s degrees that once you acquire you can start up your career, attending an Aerospace Engineering Graduate School comes with lots of advantages.

First and foremost, getting a graduate degree from any of the Aerospace Engineering Graduate Schools provides you with a wider scope of job opportunities more than someone with just a diploma or bachelor’s degree.

Secondly, it is true that with a college degree in aerospace engineering, you develop the knowledge and ability to work in the airline industry, but when you a graduate degree, you tend to get advanced knowledge and skills in which you will agree with me that pays more.

If you are passionate about teaching or you want to be a lecture, that is the most important reason you should consider any of the attending best graduate schools for aerospace engineering.

I said that because your graduate degree can pave way for you to teach in a variety of industries.

Furthermore, in aerospace engineering graduate schools, there are several degree program options you can choose from including online programs. Some of the programs include a Master of Aerospace Engineering: Space Systems, Aerospace Engineering Doctorate Programs to earn a Doctorate of Aerospace Engineering, a Master of Avionics, and a Master of Business Administration in Aviation Management.

How Long Will it Take to attend Aerospace Engineering Graduate School?

The length and duration for completing an Aerospace Engineering Graduate program to an extent are the same among schools, though there can be a slight difference.

Some bachelor’s degree programs take 5 years to complete. Note, these particular bachelor’s degree program allows you as a student to earn both bachelors and masters degree at the same time.

Meanwhile, if you are going for a doctorate, it will take you two to four years to complete.

What are the Aerospace Engineering Graduate School Requirements?

Just like there are basic requirements you must meet before applying for any program in any school either as a national or international student, so also is for any of the best graduate schools for aerospace engineering.

Though the requirements for enrolling into any Aerospace Engineering graduate schools differs by schools, there are basic requirements who almost all the schools must ask you to provide.

Some of them includes;

  • Application form to Graduate School 
  • A Brief Statement of Purpose (300-500 words)
  • Official transcripts. If you are an international student, you must submit both the original language document and an English translation.
  • Three letters of recommendation
  • Recent TOEFL scores (for international applicants)
  • A resume or Cv
  • Unofficial transcripts showing proof of a bachelor’s degree in aerospace or mechanical engineering, or a related engineering or science field
  • GRE scores (recommended quantitative score: 161, verbal score: 150, analytical writing score: 3.5 for entry into the MSAE program)
  • Then, three names and email addresses for writers of letters of recommendation 

What can I do with an Aerospace Engineering Graduate Degree?

Like I mentioned earlier, there are lots of job opportunities available for you must have gotten a graduate degree from any of the top aerospace engineering graduate schools.

So, don’t your head over how you can do with that degree because there are lots you can do. Below are some of the careers you can build with your degree;

  • Aerospace engineer
  • CAD technician
  • Design engineer
  • Higher education lecturer
  • Maintenance engineer
  • Manufacturing systems engineer
  • Materials engineer
  • Mechanical engineer

Here are their major roles

Aerospace engineer

Going for this opportunity, you will major mainly on making researches, designs, developing, maintaining and testing the performance of civil and military aircraft, missiles, satellites, space vehicles, weapons systems.

Also, anything that has to do with improving flight safety, fuel efficiency, speed and weight, as well as reducing system costs and using developing technologies to meet customer needs will be your major. 

Check out: Best Aerospace Engineering Schools in Florida

Higher Institution Lecturer

This is another job you can qualify for your a aerospace Engineering graduate degree. So if you are passionate about teaching and impacting knowledge, this job is just for you.

As a Higher education lecturer, your role includes delivering lectures, seminars and tutorials. You will also design, prepare and develop courses and teaching materials.

However, if you want to be more effective you will need experience in your education sector to teach students. Hold conferences that include lectures, seminars, lectures, practical presentations, fieldwork, and learning. Various media technologies are increasingly used.

Mechanical Engineer

Next is a Mechanical Engineer. Here, your role will involve providing efficient solutions to the development of processes and products, ranging from small component designs to extremely large plants, machinery or vehicles.

Moreso, you’ll work on all stages of a product, from research and development to design and manufacture, through to installation and final commissioning.

Materials Engineer

This is another career opportunity that you can fit in once you have a degree from any of the top aerospace engineering graduate schools.

Basically, you will handle all the functions that have to do with working with various materials to improve their performance and creating new materials to help advance technologies or products.

Moreso, you will be in charge of testing materials to assess how resistant they are to heat, corrosion, or chemical attack analyzing data using computer modeling software.

 CAD Technician

 CAD Technician uses CAD software to create drawings and designs, also known as boring, for products and parts used in engineering, construction, and industrial applications.

Moreso, he can work with architects and engineers to understand the requirements of your original designs and transform them into detailed drawings and details into 2D and 3D models.

Maintenance Engineer

As a maintenance engineer, you will be responsible for working on a continuous machine. Using the operating system, you are responsible for regular maintenance and upkeep.

There will also be some of the tools that are occasionally seized and verified, and the design will help with repairs.

Manufacturing systems Engineer

As a Manufacturing Systems Engineer, you will work as part of a team to design, install, monitor, and develop custom machines and equipment.

You can also participate in the manufacture and construction of new plants and products. Furthermore, you can work to integrate the entire operating system. This is from design and delivery to marketing.

Note, the objective is to allow the production of the highest quality products at the lowest possible cost in the short term.

What are the Best Aerospace Engineering Graduate Schools?

There are over 100 aerospace Engineering Graduate schools you can for this year to get that aerospace engineering degree at the graduate level.

Knowing fully well that making your choice from these schools will be very confusing, we have decided to help you out here in making the right choice.


We the World scholarship Forum, after making extensive research we have been able to put down here 10 top Aerospace Engineering Graduate Schools you can choose from.

Top 10 Ranking Masters Degrees in Aeronautics/Aviation Engineering

1University of Colorado-BoulderBoulder, CO
2Purdue UniversityWest Lafayette, IN
3Missouri University of Science and TechnologyRolla, MO
4University of FloridaGainesville, FL
5University of WashingtonSeattle, WA
6Virginia TechBlacksburg, VA
7University of Southern CaliforniaLos Angeles, CA
8University of Texas-ArlingtonArlington, TX
9North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NC
10Auburn UniversityAuburn, AL

Ranking the Top Online Masters Degrees in Aeronautics/Aviation Engineering

To develop the following ranking of best online masters in aeronautics/aviation engineering programs, our editors considered the 29 online graduate aeronautical engineering offerings ranked by U.S. News & World Report. Tuition information from College Navigator was considered when applying the rating and ranking methodology above, as was information from each school’s website. In cases of a tie, the more affordable programs received the higher ranking.

#20 – Georgia Technical University

Online MS in Aerospace Engineering

Georgia Tech’s online master’s in aeronautics engineering program is offered through the Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. Classes are live-streamed for students who desire a synchronous experience, but they are also recorded and archived for those who wish to complete their coursework asynchronously. Sample courses comprising the curriculum for this program Propulsion Systems Design, Rotary Wing Aerodynamics, Turbulent Combustion, and Optoelectric Systems. Georgia Tech has been named one of the top awarders of master’s degrees in aerospace engineering online.
In-State Tuition: $13,452

#19 – University of Central Florida

Aerospace Engineering MS Online

The top online masters in aeronautics/aviation engineering program from the University of Central Florida’s College of Engineering and Computer Science is a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering with a specialty track in Thermofluid Aerodynamics Systems Design & Engineering. Courses will cover topics such as aerodynamics, controls and dynamics, propulsion, and thermal analysis and design. Students who earn their master’s in aeronautics/aviation engineering online degree will find top positions as mechanical engineers, compliance officers, materials engineers, spacecraft designers, and more.
In-State Tuition: $6,916

#18 –Johns Hopkins University

Online Master of Science in Space Systems Engineering

Johns Hopkins University’s Whiting School of Engineering offers an online MS in aerospace engineering program featuring two optional focus areas: Leadership/Management and Technical Systems/Subsystems. Enrolled students will take core aerospace engineering courses such as Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems, Small Satellite Development & Experimentation, and Systems Engineering for Space as well as specialization courses like Management of Systems Projects, Electro Optical Systems, and Assuring Success of Aerospace Systems. Students can take the courses required for their aerospace engineering master’s programs online either fully online or via a blended format.
In-State Tuition: $50,410

#17 –University of Illinois- Urbana- Champaign

Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Online

The University of Illinois- Urbana- Champaign offers a fully online, non-thesis online master’s in aeronautics/aviation engineering program from its Department of Aerospace Engineering. The curriculum for this 32-credit hour offering is identical to the school’s on-campus offering and covers all three major branches of aerospace engineering: fluid mechanics, solid mechanics and materials, and dynamics and controls. Students pursuing their master’s degrees in aerospace engineering online will take courses such as Electric Propulsion, Aircraft Flight Mechanics, Optimal Space Trajectories, Nonlinear Aeroelasticity, and Advanced Orbital Mechanics.
In-State Tuition: $15,267

#16 –University of Alabama

Online Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics

The University of Alabama offers a master’s in aeronautical engineering online program with both a thesis and non-thesis option, though most distance education students opt for the non-thesis option. Students are required to take just two core courses: one in aerospace engineering and one in mechanical engineering. The remainder of the program is comprised of elective classes, meaning the curriculum can be self-customized to a large extent. Sample core courses include Advanced Dynamics of Flight, Theory of Elasticity, Continuum Mechanics, and Airfoil and Wing Theory. Students must pass a comprehensive exam or complete a culminating experience before earning their aeronautics/aviation online masters degrees.
In-State Tuition: $10,470

#15 –University of Maine

Online Professional Master of Science in Engineering and Business: Aerospace Engineering

The University of Maine’s master’s in aerospace engineering online program is technically a Professional Science Master (PSM) in Engineering and Business with a specialization in Aerospace Engineering. Enrolled students will take a required course in Advanced Project Management as well as aerospace engineering concentration courses like Aeronautics, Flight Dynamics and Control of Aircraft, Astronautics, and Spacecraft Orbit and Altitude Dynamics and Control. Students must also complete an internship prior to earning their MS degrees in aerospace engineering online.
In-State Tuition: $7,524

#14 – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Online MS in Aviation Engineering

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers a 30-credit hour master’s in aeronautical engineering online program with both thesis and non-thesis options. The curriculum is prescribed and includes course titles such as Aircraft Structural Dynamics, Introduction to the Finite Element Method, Smart Materials in Engineering, and Engineering Materials Selection. In Fall of 2018, this master’s in aeronautics engineering online program will expand to include the areas of aerodynamics and propulsion and dynamics and control.
In-State Tuition: $7,440

#13 – University of Virginia

 Aerospace Engineering MS Online

The University of Virginia offers a 30-semester hour, non-thesis online master’s in aeronautics engineering program through its School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Sample courses comprising the curriculum for this offering include Statistics for Engineers and Scientists, Multibody Mechanical Systems, Finite Element Analysis, and Multiphase Flow. UV’s aerospace engineering MS online program combines both asynchronous and synchronous courses to provide students with a flexible, yet interactive learning experience.
In-State Tuition: $15,026

#12 –University of California- Los Angeles

Online Master of Engineering: Aerospace Engineering

The University of California- Los Angeles offers one of the more comprehensive MS programs in aeronautics engineering online. The curriculum for this offering covers three major technical areas : aerodynamics and computational fluid dynamics (CFD), systems and control, and structures and dynamics. Specific topics covered include linear dynamic systems, computational aerodynamics, digital control of physical symptoms, and design for aerospace structures. Students must also pass a cumulative exam prior to earning their aerospace engineering online master’s degrees. The program can be completed in just over two years.
In-State Tuition: $11,220

#11 –Old Dominion University

Online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering

The top masters in aviation engineering online programs from Old Dominion University’s Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology include both a Master of Science and Master of Engineering degree program. Although the curricula for these programs are similar, MS students will complete a thesis, while ME students will take a comprehensive exam upon graduation. Classes are synchronous, meaning classes are live-streamed at a specific, scheduled time. Those who complete their aerospace engineering online MS degrees will be prepared for high-level positions in research organizations, consulting firms, private companies, and government agencies.
In-State Tuition: $8,736

#10 –Auburn University

Online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering

Auburn University offers a flexible master’s in aeronautical engineering online program from its Department of Aerospace Engineering. This offering is specifically designed for those individuals with an undergraduate degree in aerospace or mechanical engineering, though exceptions may be made on a case by case basis. Sample course titles include Space Propulsion, Dynamic Simulation, Spacecraft Altitude Dynamics and Control, Rocket Propulsion, and Applied Orbital Mechanics. It is important to note that Auburn requires students to pass an on-campus oral examination prior to earning their online MS degrees in aerospace engineering.
In-State Tuition: $9,072

#9 – North Carolina State University

Online MS in Aviation Engineering

The master’s in aerospace engineering online program from North Carolina State University is a 30-credit hour, fully online option. Available through the school’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the program is primarily asynchronous, though enrolled students will have to meet specified deadlines. Sample course topics include Mechanical Design for Automated Assembly, Design for Strength and Endurance, Principles of Structural Vibration, and Design for Electromechanical Systems. No thesis or final exam is required in order for students to earn their online master’s degrees in aeronautics/aviation engineering.
In-State Tuition: $8,088

#8 – University of Texas- Arlington

Online MS in Aeronautics Engineering

The University of Texas-Arlington offers a master’s in aeronauts engineering online program that emphasizes experimentation and modern mathematical analysis. Enrolled students will choose one of four available specializations: Fluid Dynamics, Aerodynamics, and Propulsion; Structural Mechanics and Structures; Flight Mechanics and Controls; and Vehicle Design. The curriculum for the program covers a wide variety of topics in aerospace engineering, including aerodynamics, flight dynamics, propulsion, fluid mechanics, and structural analysis. Those who earn their online master’s degrees in aerospace engineering online are prepared for research and development careers in aerospace engineering or for doctoral study in the field.
In-State Tuition: $7,141

#7 –University of Southern California

Online Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering

The University of Southern California offers a highly versatile masters of aerospace engineering online program from its Viterbi School of Engineering. The program features six different specializations areas: Aerodynamics/Fluid Dynamics, Aerospace Control, Aerospace Design, Aerospace Structures, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Propulsion. In addition to specialization classes, students will take core courses such as Engineering Analytical Methods, Compressible Gas Dynamics, Flight Vehicle Stability and Control, and Elements of Vehicle and Energy Systems Design. Students must maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA to earn their online master’s degrees in aeronautics engineering.
In-State Tuition: $41,592

#6 –Virginia Tech

Online MS in Aeronautics Engineering

Virginia Tech offers both thesis and non-thesis master’s degrees in aeronautics engineering online. Both programs consist of 30 credit hours and are comprised of both synchronous and asynchronous courses. Students will take four required core courses: Vehicle Structures, Vehicle Dynamics & Control, Applied Numerical Methods, and Advanced Aero/Hydrodynamics. Elective classes include Transonic Aerodynamics, Structural Optimization, Computational Fluid Dynamics, and Verification and Validation of Scientific Computing, for instance. A final oral examination is required prior to students earning their master’s degrees in aerospace engineering online.
In-State Tuition: $12,467

#5 – University of Washington

Online Master’s in Aeronautics Engineering

The online master’s in aeronautics engineering program from the University of Washington’s William E. Boeing Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics is a 45-credit hour, multidisciplinary offering. Enrolled students will choose one of four available concentrations: Controls, Fluids, Structures, or Composites. Sample course titles include Rocket Propulsion, Computational Methods in Aerodynamics, Classical Control Theory, and Manufacturing of Aerospace Composites. Students can earn their online master’s degrees in aeronautics engineering in three years on a part-time basis.
In-State Tuition: $15,207

#4 –University of Florida

Online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering

The University of Florida offers a robust master’s in aeronautical engineering online option through the Electronic Delivery of Gator Engineering (EDGE) program. The program features three areas of specialization: Dynamics, Systems, & Controls; Solid Mechanics & Design; and Thermal Fluids Transport. The 30 credit hour curriculum consists of course titles such as Nonlinear Control, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Design of Thermal Systems, and Robust Control for Aerospace Engineering, for example. These top masters in aerospace engineering programs online can be completed in just 24 months.
In-State Tuition: $10,770

#3 –Missouri University of Science and Technology

Online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering

The Missouri University of Science & Technology offers 30-credit hour thesis and non-thesis online MS programs in aerospace engineering. Enrolled students will take various courses in aerospace engineering, including Fracture Mechanics, Applied Computational Methods, Aeroelasticity, Introduction to Composite Materials and Structure, and Advanced Finite Element Analysis. In addition to the master’s degrees in aerospace engineering online options, Missouri S&T also offers several graduate certificates in aerospace engineering, including certificates in Energy Conversion & Transport, Engineering Mechanics, and Manufacturing Automation, for example.
In-State Tuition: $9,566

#2 – Purdue University

Online Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering

Purdue University offers two distinct master’s degrees in aeronautics engineering online from its School of Aeronautics & Astronautics: a Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering and an Interdisciplinary Master of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Aeronautics and Astronautics. Both programs are non-thesis options designed for practicing engineers. Sample course titles comprising the curriculum for this online master’s in aeronautics engineering program include Optimization in Aerospace Engineering, Hypersonic Propulsion, Intermediate Aerodynamics, and Introduction to Fluid Mechanics.
In-State Tuition: $9,208

#1 –University of Colorado- Boulder

Online Professional Master’s in Aerospace Engineering

Master’s in aeronautical engineering online students can pursue a Master of Science or Professional Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado-Boulder’s Ann and HJ Smead School of Aerospace Engineering Sciences. These programs allow for specialization in one of four distinct areas: Aerospace Engineering Systems; Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems; Bioastronautics; and Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Science. Graduate certificates in astrodynamics and satellite navigation systems and remote sensing are also available. The curriculum for this online master’s in aerospace engineering offering is delivered synchronously, and courses can be taken entirely online or via a blended learning format.
In-State Tuition: $10,836

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