Aeronautical engineering is a branch of engineering that involves the researching, designing, development, construction, testing of aircrafts. This field also deals with the study on the aerodynamics of an aircraft, such as behaviors and factors like airfoil, lift and drag, and control surfaces.
Aeronautical engineering has recently become one of the two key branches of aerospace engineering, along with astronautical engineering. If you have been admiring the history, technology, and methodology of flying machines, then aeronautical engineering could be for you. This article will tell you more about this field and where you can obtain a degree to kickstart your career.
Aeronautical Engineering Schools in the US
There are many schools in the United States that offer aeronautical engineering degree programs. The University of Arizona, and the Purdue University are the leading schools in aerospace and aeronautical engineering across the country. These two schools also offer graduate programs in this field, such as the University of Arizona’s dual program in aerospace and business.
University of Arizona (Tucson)
In 2015, this school was ranked number 58 among the top U.S. public schools by the U.S. News and World Report. The Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering has both undergraduate and graduate programs in the field. One of its graduate programs is a dual-degree that combines aerospace engineering and business administration. The curriculum involves courses in synthesis of control systems, non-linear control systems, finite element methods, compressible fluid dynamics, convective transport phenomena, and advanced thermodynamics.
Purdue University (Indiana)
Like the University of Arizona, Purdue University also received a high rank in U.S. News and World Report’s top engineering schools in 2015. The school ranked number six in the overall list, which means this school can definitely deliver. The media company also gave the school the fifth place among the country’s best aerospace graduate schools in 2015.
In addition, the Princeton Review named the school as one of the top Midwestern schools in the country in 2010. The university’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in the field. Coop programs and internships are also available. The graduate program covers aerospace systems design, dynamics and control, structures, aerodynamics, propulsion, and materials.
Other Top U.S. Aeronautical Engineering Schools
The top two schools mentioned above should be in your priority list, but you can also consider the other best U.S. aeronautical engineering schools, such as:
- Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ: It is the country’s largest public school in terms of student enrollment.
- Ohio State University (Main Campus – Columbus, OH): Its students are given access to the NASA Glenn Research Center, the Air Force Research Laboratory, and the GE Aviation.
- Texas A and M University (College Station, TX): The U.S. News and World Report ranked this school number 31 on its best value schools list.
- University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL): Its faculty have successfully published papers in journals, like the Applied Physics Letters and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
- University of Florida (Gainesville, FL): Its students are given the opportunity to join in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. They can also participate in the National Honor Society in Aerospace Engineering, and the Sigma Gamma Tau.
- University of Michigan (Ann Arbor, MI): The U.S. News and World Report ranked the school number four among its list of the best graduate schools that offer aerospace engineering programs in 2015.
- University of Minnesota Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN): The National Research Council ranked the school’s aerospace engineering doctoral program number four in the United States.
- University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX): This school ranked number eight on the U.S. News and World Report’s best graduate aerospace engineering schools list in 2015.
- University of Washington (Seattle, WAQ): The school’s astronautics and aeronautics program received accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
What to Expect
Aeronautical engineering undergraduate programs usually require three or four years for completion. However, there are schools that now let students progress to Masters in Aeronautical Engineering, meaning the course length is extended by one or two more years. There are a few schools that offer associate degree programs in the field, but they are usually reserved for professionals who want to shift fields.
Also read: How to become an Aerospace Engineer