20 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREES IN AEROSPACE ENGINEERING

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20 BEST ONLINE MASTER’S DEGREES IN AEROSPACE ENGINEERING

The 20 Best Master’s Degrees in Aerospace Engineering prepare students with advanced knowledge of the discipline and desirable professional skills applicable to all types of engineering. Aerospace Engineering is an exciting and competitive field calling for dedicated and well-equipped candidates. While many enter the professional field with a bachelor’s degree, having a graduate-level degree in Aerospace Engineering ensures one’s place in the workforce as an innovative and comprehensively-trained leader. It’s worth noting that Master of Science programs expand upon student’s capacity for research, whereas Master of Engineering programs is more focused on a greater breadth of coursework. 

While undergraduate programs familiarize students with an understanding of the field that readies them for the professional field, master’s programs allow for a more specialized approach to Aerospace Engineering. Most MS programs ranked in the article offer formal concentration areas, and if not still leave room for focus areas through elective allotments. Some specialized topics include propulsion, aerodynamics, and mechanics and controls. Lucky for prospective students, there are many graduate-level aerospace engineering programs out there, and finding one with an individualized course of study is not difficult. 

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Here are the 20 Best Online Master’s Degrees in Aerospace Engineering for 2020!
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Featured Online Programs

Figuring out where to apply? These top, accredited schools offer a variety of online degrees. Consider one of these accredited programs, and discover their value today.

  1. University of Virginia
    Location

    Charlottesville, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Engineering in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia is designed to strengthen and extend the training one received in undergraduate studies. The 30-credit program consists of advanced coursework, and at least 15 credits must be earned at the UV, as applications are open to transfer students. The only specific course requirements are that at least 18 credits obtained within the Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering department. Aside from that, students can tailor their program of study to best fit their ambitions in the field. Courses may include Finite Element Analysis, Linear State Space Systems, and Turbulence and Multiphase Flow. There's no thesis required. 

  2. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
    Location

    Champaign, IL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering offered by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a non-thesis, non-research program that can be completed entirely online. Students in the online course of study benefit from the same lectures, assignments, exams, and projects as those pursuing the program on-campus. The 32-credit program is made up of advanced coursework in aerospace engineering, a mathematics course, and required seminars each semester. Offered specialization areas include Aerodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Combustion/Propulsion, Structural Mechanics, and Solid Mechanics and Materials. To ensure that students receive a well-rounded understanding of the field, they must take at least one course in Fluid Mechanics, Solid Mechanics, and Dynamics and Controls.

  3. University of California - Los Angeles
    Location

    Los Angeles, CA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of California Los Angeles is made up of core courses, electives, and a capstone project or three written exams. There is no thesis required. Students typically complete the degree within about two years, including summer terms. The online degree provides students a comprehensive understanding of all major technical areas in the field, including aerodynamics, fluid dynamics, propulsion, and structures and dynamics. The curriculum is made up of nine courses, requiring at least five to be at the graduate level. Once the necessary work is completed in Aerospace Engineering, students can take classes from other engineering departments. All students must complete a Comprehensive Exam Requirement, fulfilled by either a Capstone Project or three written exams within their selected specialization area. 

  4. Missouri University of Science and Technology
    Location

    Rolla, MO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Missouri University of Science and Technology's Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering is offered with both a thesis and non-thesis course of study. The curriculum covers a wide variety of areas in aerospace engineering, as it recognizes the inherently interdisciplinary nature of the field. Both options require 30 credits, while the thesis course of study includes six credits of research and the non-thesis allowing the same amount of courses from different departments. Course topics within the department include Mechatronics, Viscous Fluid Flow, and Combustion Processes. Most students take three-to-four years to earn the MS at a pace of one or two classes a semester. 

  5. Purdue University
    Location

    West Lafayette, IN

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Purdue University consistently ranks as one of the top aerospace engineering degree programs in the U.S. The online program is designed for those who are already working engineering, offering flexible schedules. Courses are offered in specific topic areas, including Aerodynamics Dynamics and Control; Aerospace Systems, Structures, and Materials; and Astrodynamics and Space Applications. The 30-credit degree is a non-thesis program, and students will meet with an academic advisor to help tailor their plan of study. While there is no thesis, students are encouraged to pursue a unique project alongside their professor of choice. 

  6. Georgia Institute of Technology
    Location

    Atlanta, GA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering program at the Georgia Institute of Technology offers six different concentration areas, which include aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, aeroelasticity and structural dynamics, propulsion and combustion, or system design and optimization. The degree is made up of 33 credits that include three credit hours of Special Problems research. Completing a thesis is optional and would account for nine credits used toward additional coursework. Offered courses cover the breadth of the field, including structural controls and experimental and design methods. The curriculum is designed to be flexible, and students create their course of study to best-suit their intentions in the field.

  7. University of Washington
    Location

    Seattle, WA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The University of Washington's Master of Aerospace Engineering is designed to be a multidisciplinary program, covering all applied skills and experience needed in the industry and its related fields. The terminal degree is meant for completion at a part-time pace in three years. Synchronous courses occur only once per week in the evening, which is attended online or in-person. All students in the program declare a concentration such as Structures, Controls, Fluids, or Composites. The curriculum covers analytical methods, core topics, the technical breadth of the field, and professional development. Courses otherwise vary based on the chosen concentration area. Applicants should have an undergraduate degree in aerospace or mechanical engineering.

  8. North Carolina State University at Raleigh
    Location

    Raleigh, NC

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University at Raleigh is a 30-credit program covering the breadth of the field, including topics interconnected with mechanical engineering. The degree is designed to be earned in one year, intended for students who have only one year available to attend, those who are working full time, or those who only want one year's worth of graduate coursework and will, therefore, cover their expenses. Coursework is identical to that of on-campus courses but maintains maximum convenience and flexibility. There's no required oral exam or thesis. Courses include Principles of Structural Vibration, Finite Element Analysis, and Fluid Dynamics of Combustion. 

  9. Iowa State University
    Location

    Ames, IA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Iowa State University's Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering is designed around the research and education provided by individual faculty members. There are no specific required courses, but rather a minimum number of course credits to earn the degree. The degree is a minimum of 30 credits and is a research-oriented program requiring a thesis. The Master of Engineering in Aerospace Engineering, however, is focused on coursework and less on research experience. While the program is designed quite flexible, there are specific guidelines to navigating one's course of study: for example, students must designate a Major Professor from whom they take a majority of courses with, and possibly pursue a teaching assistantship. 

  10. Johns Hopkins University
    Location

    Baltimore, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Johns Hopkins University offers two different focus areas or tracks: Leadership/Management and Technical. The program is designed to prepare students for post-graduate employment as leaders in competitive industries. Courses can be taken in a hybrid format or entirely online. Applicants must have an undergraduate or graduate degree in a quantitative discipline such as computer science or mathematics. The ten-course program is completed in five years, and consists of courses like Fundamentals of Engineering Space Systems, Systems Engineering for Space, and electives that coordinate to the selected track. Electives cover topics like Space-Based Radar Systems and Management of Systems Projects. 

  11. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
    Location

    Blacksburg, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University's Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering emphasizes aerodynamics, structures, propulsion, and flight mechanics. The program is designed with maximum flexibility and convenience in mind, with maybe students entering as full-time workers. Required courses cover advanced levels of general topics, whereas electives offer specialized areas such as Boundary Layer Theory and Heat Transfer; Orbital Mechanics; and Hypersonic Aerodynamics. Students may complete a thesis or opt-out and fulfill credits with more electives. Many electives also take up introductory topics in Naval Engineering. All students in the program are required to complete a final comprehensive oral exam. 

  12. The University of Texas at Arlington
    Location

    Arlington, TX

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington teaches students how to define a technical problem, establish an appropriate mathematical or experimental model applicable to the problem, analyze the problem through theoretical and innovative techniques, and final evaluation of the results. While the program examines these steps in the context of aerospace engineering, students are well-equipped with skills applicable to the engineering of any physical system. Students have the opportunity to specialize in topics such as fluid dynamics, flight mechanics and controls, and vehicle design. The 30-credit program focuses heavily on research, and students must complete a thesis to graduate. 

  13. University of Colorado Boulder
    Location

    Boulder, CO

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering program at the University of Colorado Boulder is internationally recognized for its research and educational leadership in aerospace engineering, earth, and space sciences. The department's world-renowned faculty have aided in challenges of astrodynamics and satellite navigation; celestial mechanics; autonomous systems; remote sensing; Earth and space sciences; vehicle systems; and bioastronautics. The university is the number one public recipient of NASA research awards. Students are guaranteed to receive a sought-after education in the field, with training in the understanding, conception, design, and application of aerial systems. The degree can be earned entirely online and serves as preparation for their doctoral program or immediate entrance to the professional field. 

  14. Old Dominion University
    Location

    Norfolk, VA

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Old Dominion University awards both a Master of Science or Master of Engineering degree in Aerospace Engineering, both of which can be earned online. The 30-credit programs prepare students for careers working with air and spacecraft, rockets, drones, and much more. The university's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering works closely the NASA Langley Research Center, the Air Force Research Lab, the Naval Research Lab, and other government and local agencies. These connections offer early-on exposure to the professional field and relationships that could spark post-grad opportunities. Prospective students are encouraged to reach out to graduate program directors for support in the application process. 

  15. Auburn University
    Location

    Auburn, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Auburn University's Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering is limited to students having an undergraduate degree in aerospace or mechanical engineering. The MSAE is earned with or without a thesis, but both feature a research project where students focus on areas such as aerodynamics, astrodynamics, boundary layer theory, and control theory. Through the support and under the guidance of senior faculty members, students are trained and prepared for competitive career opportunities within several disciplines of engineering. They may also continue into Auburn's doctoral program in the field. 

  16. University of Central Florida
    Location

    Orlando, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    University of Central Florida's Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering is a 30-credit program dedicated to transforming students into experts in the field. The curriculum is specifically designed to train students in bold decision making that will lead to more efficient and effective aeronautics projects. Course topics cover aerodynamics, propulsion, thermal analysis and design, and more. Applicants to online graduate programs at UCF are encouraged to speak to a success coach before beginning the formal application. This then leads to support in creating an accommodating and personalized plan to aid student success. Prospective students are often already working in the field and looking to increase their potential. 

  17. Mississippi State University
    Location

    Mississippi State, MS

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    Mississippi State University's Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering is designed for students in pursuit of a doctoral degree or professional work in the field upon graduation. Students may complete a thesis or opt-out into the non-thesis path. The 30-credit thesis program is made up of 12 credits worth required courses, 12 credits of electives, and six in thesis research; those without the thesis add three credits to each prior category. Classes are offered in overarching topics of the field: Dynamics and Controls, Fluid Mechanics, and Solid Mechanics. Students who opt-out of the thesis complete a final, written examination before graduation.

  18. The University of Alabama
    Location

    Tuscaloosa, AL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The 30-credit Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics from The University of Alabama is designed with the working student in mind and therefore offers maximum flexibility and convenience. Admissions are highly competitive, and graduates are ensured to excel in the global job market as impressive candidates for many opportunities. The curriculum is identical to the residential program, with access to recorded campus lectures and examinations conducted in proctored locations. No campus visits are required. The degree is made up of an Aerospace Core and a Mechanics Core, each section covering advanced topics in the breadth of the field. Students then have room for electives that allow more specialized coursework. 

  19. University of Maryland-College Park
    Location

    College Park, MD

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Maryland trains its students in the intricate design and construction of creating and testing aircraft and missiles. They'll also be prepared to supervise their manufacturing. Applicants are required to have earned an undergraduate degree with a 3.0 GPA or better in an aerospace engineering or a related field. Required courses cover necessary aspects of the field, such as Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics and Control and Helicopter Aerodynamics. After completion of the core courses, students select electives in more specialized topics, such as Helicopter Stability and Control, or Nonlinear Finite Element Analysis of Continua. 

  20. University of Florida
    Location

    Gainesville, FL

    Tuition

    $$$$$

    The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Florida is a 30-credit program that offers a thesis degree option and coursework focused on Aerospace Engineering and related engineering fields. Students may also opt to complete two six-credit minors in accompaniment to their MS in Aerospace Engineering. Those who do not complete a thesis are required to complete a comprehensive final exam. The MS serves as preparation both for careers post-graduation, but also for the university's Ph.D. program. The curriculum is dedicated to providing a holistic and in-depth advanced study of the field, with topics like Dynamics, Systems, and Control; Solid Mechanics, Design, and Manufacturing; and Thermal Science and Fluid Dynamics. 

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