Updated December 5, 2022

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.

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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. 

Selection Criteria

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  • Student & Alumni Evaluation (25%)
  • Cost Value (25%)
  • Matriculation (10%) 
  • Academic Success (15%) 

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Here are the 20 Best Online Master's Degrees in Aerospace Engineering!
#1 University of Virginia Charlottesville, VA
#2 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Champaign, IL
#3 University of California - Los Angeles Los Angeles, CA
#4 Missouri University of Science and Technology Rolla, MO
#5 Purdue University West Lafayette, IN
#6 Georgia Institute of Technology Atlanta, GA
#7 University of Washington Seattle, WA
#8 North Carolina State University at Raleigh Raleigh, NC
#9 Iowa State University Ames, IA
#10 Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD

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

    Charlottesville, VA



    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

    Champaign, IL



    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

    Los Angeles, CA



    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

    Rolla, MO



    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

    West Lafayette, IN



    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

    Atlanta, GA



    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

    Seattle, WA



    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

    Raleigh, NC



    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

    Ames, IA



    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

    Baltimore, MD



    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. 

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