Aerospace Engineering, B.S.

Aerospace Engineering, B.S.

What is an aerospace engineering degree?

Aerospace Engineering BSAerospace engineering is primarily concerned with the design and analysis of aircraft and spacecraft. Subfields include aerodynamics, structures, controls and propulsion systems. Students at Florida Tech who choose to earn an aerospace engineering degree at Florida Tech are part of a prestigious program listed among the Fiske Guide's "Engineering/Top Technical Institutes" and among other prestigious rankings and accolades.

Whether you want to design aircraft, develop new methods of propulsion or be part of the team for space exploration, an aerospace engineering degree from Florida Tech is the one you want. Here, you'll develop a strong background in engineering and get hands-on experience in fields like aerodynamics and fluid mechanics.

Gain Practical Experience

Florida Tech's aerospace engineering degree begins with courses such as Introduction to Aerospace Engineering and Calculus-Based Physics. Our Melbourne location gives you access to the Kennedy Space Center and other global leaders in space exploration and aerospace technology innovation.

As a senior working towards your aerospace engineering degree, you complete a senior design project in collaboration with a team of your peers. Together, you conceptualize, design, construct and present an aerospace system or component that fulfills a real-world need and present the project to industry leaders and employers. New technical electives allow you to specialize in unique career-track subfields such as systems engineering, nanotechnology or sustainability, making you a hot prospect in the eyes of future employers.

Build Professional Relationships

Beyond the classroom, aerospace engineering majors build leadership and professional experience through exciting internships and participation in academic organizations like Sigma Gamma Tau (aerospace engineering honor society), the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, the Student Rocket Society, Student Government and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Employers seek out graduates with an aerospace engineering degree from Florida Tech. Employers that have recruited our students for internships and careers include NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, GE, Harris Corporation and Northrop Grumman.

Earn an Advanced Degree

After receiving their aerospace engineering degree, many of our students go on to graduate school at universities such as Florida Tech, Stanford, Johns Hopkins, Virginia Tech and MIT.

Why pursue an aerospace engineering degree at Florida Tech?

The ABET accredited aerospace engineering program at Florida Tech is a challenging course of study that offers students a chance to tackle compelling, relevant engineering problems using cutting-edge engineering tools and laboratory equipment.

Accreditation

ABETThe undergraduate aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, ocean engineering and software engineering programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Small Class Sizes and Low Student-to-Faculty Ratio

One of the reasons why students choose Florida Tech as their aerospace engineering university is because the academic environment in the College of Engineering is conducive to student success and personalized one-on-one attention from professors. This is made possible by small class size. Florida Tech boasts low student-to-faculty ratios in many of its programs, while providing a high quality curriculum. Working alongside professors in internships and research also gives students a more robust learning experience.

Dive In To Your Major Freshman Year

What sets Florida Tech apart from another aerospace engineering university is that students are introduced to aircraft design in their first year compared to other schools that reserve that as a junior or senior year experience. You can expect to learn basic machining; use software to build models and analyze real aerospace parts and systems; and design, build and test your own model airplane or rocket.

Leaders in Cutting-Edge Aerospace Research

All of our professors share a special dedication to teaching and working with students. They have many years of relevant background in aerospace systems and are leaders in cutting-edge aerospace research. Unlike another aerospace engineering university you might consider, two of our professors are Boeing Welliver Faculty Fellows and three are American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Associate Fellows. In addition, one of our professors recently received the coveted AIAA Faculty Advisor of the Year award.

With this panel of distinguished professors, undergraduate students participate in valuable research as a vital part of an aerospace engineering university experience. Research projects and relevant hands-on workshops in the classroom involve concepts and systems at the forefront of engineering. Currently, students are conducting research collected onboard the International Space Station.

High-Tech Laboratories & Facilities

As an aerospace engineering university, Florida Tech ensures that students work and study in outstanding experimental facilities. These include wind tunnels to study scaled models of airplanes and aerospace parts, shock tubes for high speed and high temperature flow studies, a rocket and gas turbine engine thrust stand, a variety of apparatus for structural and materials testing and modern state-of-the-art software for computer aided design.

In addition, Florida Tech gives students yet another reason why they should choose it as their aerospace engineering university.

Great Florida Location in the Heart of the World's Gateway to Space Exploration

Florida Tech is truly the ideal aerospace engineering university because of its position in the heart of the Space Coast, near NASA Kennedy Space Center, the world's premier gateway to space exploration. In addition to the many academic benefits our students gain at Florida Tech, the university also has connections to world-leading aerospace companies such as Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin, Space X and Harris Corporation. These relationships enable our students to form valuable connections that lead to future career opportunities.

Florida Tech's central Florida location is just minutes from 72 miles of beautiful beaches, and a short trip to the Florida Keys or Orlando theme parks. Students enjoy a wealth of local entertainment options as well as student clubs, intramural sports and social activities. For all these reasons, Florida Tech is the aerospace engineering university of choice.

How will an aerospace engineering degree prepare me for the future?

Students at Florida Tech can work side-by-side with some of the most prestigious names in engineering through challenging aerospace engineering internships. Some of these organizations include:

  • NASA

  • Boeing

  • Lockheed Martin

  • Harris Corporation

  • Pratt and Whitney

  • SpaceX

These aerospace engineering internships allow our students to get hands-on experience at leading aerospace companies and government laboratories. Students are often tasked with supporting the efforts of engineers working on aerospace systems that can lead to an employment offer upon graduation.

Research

Outside of aerospace engineering internships, student research projects at Florida Tech are state-of-the-art. NASA sponsors many projects and students conduct research with data gathered from onboard the International Space Station. Florida Tech professors have won numerous prestigious research grants from NASA, the U.S. Air Force, the U.S. Navy and the National Science Foundation. In addition, they frequently present their research at leading national and international technical conferences.

Aerospace engineering internships and research projects include such diverse areas of interest as:

  • Aerodynamics

  • Structural dynamics

  • Controls

  • Wind tunnel testing and experimentation

  • Microgravity

  • Stuctures and solid mechanics

  • Computer-aided design

  • Combustion and propulsion

Create Innovative Solutions for Tomorrow

With experience gained from aerospace engineering internships and research, Florida Tech students culminate their Florida Tech undergraduate careers with comprehensive capstone senior design projects. These projects give students the experience of working in teams to address real-world issues and create innovative solutions through the design, development, prototyping and presentation of a complex engineering system.

Examples of these student projects include:

  • Project Cerebus Robotic Orbiter Test Device
  • HYDRA HYpersonic Dynamics Rocket Assembly
  • Air-Ball Free-Flying Satellite Simulator
  • ARISE Wire Repair Prototype Rocket Payload

Join Clubs and Organizations to Enhance Your Degree

Florida Tech's student branch of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics promotes the collection of aerospace research, talks, tools and activities and plans a variety of events to share its interests.

Students also participate in Sigma Tau Gamma, an honor society for aerospace engineering students who maintain academic excellence during their studies.

These clubs and societies provide networking opportunities that can later lead to aerospace engineering internships and jobs.

What can you do with an aerospace engineering degree?

Aerospace engineers hold jobs in industries that employ workers to design or build aircraft, missiles, systems for commercial use, national defense, research and development and the federal government. Today's aerospace engineering career involves use of sophisticated computer equipment, modeling, simulations and evaluation.

Career Outlook

Jobs that provide an aerospace engineering career are often related to national defense and demand a security clearance. These type of restrictions keep jobs in the United States. As policies on noise pollution and better fuel efficiency continue to increase, there will be a rising demand for aerospace engineers. In addition, as governments refocus their space efforts, new private companies outside of standard space agencies are emerging to explore access to space. These efforts will expand opportunities for anyone seeking an aerospace engineering career.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the United States Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things. Check the handbook for information on the outlook for an aerospace engineering career.

Career Options

Aerospace engineering degree graduates typically specialize in two types of engineering: aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering. They take jobs such as:

  • Aerospace Engineer
  • Aircraft Design
  • Satellite and Missile Design and Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Engineering Management
  • Computer Hardware Engineer
  • Electrical & Electronic Engineering Technician
  • Aerospace Product and Parts Designer
  • Research

Potential Employers

  • NASA
  • U. S. Department of Defense
  • Boeing
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Pratt and Whitney
  • Revolutionary Research
  • SpaceX
  • Harris Corporation
  • Federal Department of Transportation
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Defense Contractors

Entry-Level Salary Expectations

The median entry-level aerospace engineering salary is reported by PayScale.com to be $72,500 with late career salaries having the opportunity to grow to $172,000. Payscale.com is an online salary information company that helps people obtain accurate real-time information on job market compensation. Similar occupations also have attractive entry-level salaries including:

Mechanical Engineering: $65,200 – 142,000
Materials Science & Engineering: $69,000 – $153,000
Industrial Designer: $51,100 – $137,000

Check PayScale.com for the most recent information on these and other careers.

Graduate Programs

Florida Tech graduates also pursue graduate degrees (often at Florida Tech) in a variety of disciplines at such prestigious universities as:

  • Purdue University
  • University of Florida
  • California Institute of Technology (CalTech)
  • Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • University of California, Berkeley
  • Georgia Tech
  • Emory University
  • Columbia

New technical electives allow you to specialize in unique career-track subfields such as systems engineering, flight test engineering and control of space systems. This gives you additional skills and experience in the eyes of future employers looking for the candidate who will be successful in an aerospace engineering career.

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