Take the next step in your aerospace engineering career with an online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering. Whether you’re already working as an engineer or looking to enter the field for the first time, discover whether a master’s degree may be the career move for you. Explore highly rated schools, salary expectations, common duties, and reasons to choose this field with this 2022 guide.
What Is Aerospace Engineering?
Aerospace engineering is a specialized field that focuses on the design, development, and production of aircraft and spacecraft. This category of engineering includes aeronautical and astronautical engineering, which focus on flights within and outside of the earth’s atmosphere, respectively.
As an aerospace engineer, you’ll direct and coordinate the manufacturing, testing, and designing of aerospace and aircraft products. You’ll also work closely with team members to develop quality standards, design methods, and safe operations procedures.
There are many different specializations within this field of engineering. Here are some aerospace engineering specializations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS):
- Flight mechanics
- Celestial mechanics
- Guidance and control systems
Why Get a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering?
Is a master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering worth it? The most common entry-level degree requirement for the industry is an undergraduate degree, preferably a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering. There are, however, many reasons to consider a master’s degree in your field. Here are a few benefits of choosing to study online at this level as an aerospace engineer:
- Increased master’s in aerospace engineering salary expectations
- Up-to-date technology information
- In-depth research into specialized aerospace topics
- Improved application for future positions
- Flexible program options and locations
The number of aerospace engineers is expected to increase by 5,100 between 2020 and 2030, according to BLS. This means a job outlook of 8% this decade. With a 2020 median pay of $118,610, a career as an aerospace engineer can be a great way to earn a competitive income.
How Much Does a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering Cost?
The exact cost of your next degree varies depending on the school, length of study, available scholarships, and other factors. For most students, an engineering master’s degree at a leading institution costs between $9,000 and $58,000 per year, according to U.S. News. The lower end of costs includes local colleges with in-state tuition discounts, while the higher end includes prestigious private universities.
How long does it take to get a master’s degree in aerospace engineering? You can expect your master’s degree program to take between two and three years to complete as a full-time student, depending on the Master’s in Aerospace Engineering prerequisites you may have earned.
10 Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering Programs
If you’re ready to start your online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering, it’s time to explore your options. Review these 10 highly rated programs to consider which option is right for your personality and career.
Georgia Institute of Technology – Master of Aerospace Engineering
This Georgia Institute of Technology program requires you to complete 33 credits at a cost of $1,100 per credit hour. The school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges and has National Council for State Authorization Reciprocity Agreements approval.
Georgia Tech offers two versions of the online aerospace engineering master’s degree: A designated degree and an undesignated degree. The designated degree requires candidates to complete or have completed all the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering coursework before graduation, while the undesignated degree doesn’t.
John Hopkins University – Space Systems Engineering Master’s Program
Explore the John Hopkins space systems engineering program to see if this online opportunity is right for you. Chaired by Patrick Binning, this program offers courses in engineering space systems, satellite development, spacecraft hardware design, and electro-optical space systems, to name a few required and elective options.
The total program cost for the 2022-2023 academic year is $49,200 before any scholarships. John Hopkins estimates that 78% of tuition costs for students in this program is covered by employer contribution programs, so it can be a great option if you’re already working in the space systems field.
Purdue University – Master of Aeronautics & Astronautics Engineering
Apply for the 30-credit hour master’s program in aeronautics and astronautics at Purdue University. This online program consistently ranks high in the U.S. News and World Report and is designed to expand your technical knowledge in both astronautics and aeronautics. Study autonomy and control, structures and materials, propulsion, and other advanced topics through a flexible online format.
Purdue University requires students to hold a relevant engineering undergraduate degree from an ABET-accredited program in order to enroll. Tuition costs range from approximately $10,800 per year for in-state rates to around $29,600 for out-of-state tuition.
Texas A&M University – Master of Engineering in Aerospace
Texas A&M University offers an online non-thesis Master of Engineering degree that requires 30 credit hours of required and elective courses. The current head of the aerospace department, Ivett Leyva leads the other notable faculty. Together, the faculty bring relevant experience from NASA, the Department of Defense, and the National Science Foundation.
The cost per credit for this program is between $287 and $816, depending on whether you’re a Texas resident. Courses can be delivered asynchronously, meaning you can study when it’s most convenient for you.
University of Colorado – Boulder – Professional Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
The National Research Council ranks the University of Colorado Boulder’s Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences as one of the nation’s top four graduate programs for aerospace engineering. Study online under award-winning faculty to learn more about advanced research techniques and real-world problem-solving abilities in the field.
Tuition costs $1,114 for in-state students and $1,432 for out-of-state students for the 2022-2023 academic year. If you’re looking for an opportunity to advance in your astronautics career, then this program is a competitive option. Currently, 19 alumni and faculty have flown to space as astronauts working with NASA. A full 100% of students have job or research offers within six months of graduating from this program.
University of Florida – Master’s of Science in Aerospace Engineering
The University of Florida Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering offers this 30-credit hour program with both thesis and non-thesis degree options. The program offers courses in space systems, manufacturing, robotics, microsystems, fluid dynamics, and other related topics.
This program is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. It offers opportunities for students to work alongside notable faculty with real-world experience in aerospace engineering.
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign – Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
Connect with leading faculty at the Grainger College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering program offers in-depth coursework in astrodynamics, aerodynamics, control systems, structural mechanics, combustion, and propulsion.
Study 32 credit hours of coursework to complete your program. Tuition fees cost approximately $19,000 per year for Illinois students and $36,200 for out-of-state students. Ask about scholarships and grant programs to reduce or completely cover these fees.
University of Southern California – Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering
Consider the University of Southern California online program to explore advanced elective options This online Master of Science degree optional specializations in aerospace structures, aerospace control, computational fluid dynamics, propulsion, fluid mechanics electives, and more.
Tuition for this graduate engineering program varies depending on the length of study and available scholarships. For both online and on-campus students, the Fall 2022 tuition is $2,309 per unit, with the total program requiring 27 units to graduate.
University of Washington – Master of Aerospace Engineering
The admissions requirements for the Master of Aerospace Engineering online program at the University of Washington include previous undergraduate coursework in aerospace. Professional experience isn’t a substitute for a bachelor’s degree, though it can improve your application.
Study online with the University of Washington to choose a concentration in composites, fluids, controls, or structures. The admissions cost for the 2021-2022 academic year was $1,110 per credit, with many scholarships and grant opportunities available.
Virginia Tech – Master of Science in Aeronautics Engineering
The Virginia Tech online aerospace engineering program offers graduate-level training, research, and theory in propulsion, aerodynamics, flight mechanics, and structures. As a student, you’ll take at least one course out of each of these four disciplinary areas to improve your understanding of the field as a whole. You’ll also choose between thesis and non-thesis tracks.
Prepare to dive into your chosen courses through either synchronous, asynchronous, or blended online learning. You’ll need to complete 30 credit hours of coursework with a yearly in-state tuition cost of approximately $12,400.
Common Courses in Aerospace Engineering Master’s Programs
Master’s in aerospace engineering courses vary depending on the program you take. You can, however, expect to find courses related to these topics when you study at one of the best online aerospace engineering master’s programs:
- Nonlinear control
- Fluid mechanics
- Aerospace design, control, and structures
FAQs About Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Degrees and Programs
How Much Do Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Graduates Typically Earn?
According to BLS, the 2020 median pay for aerospace engineers was $118,610 per year.
What Is the Job Outlook for Master’s in Aerospace Engineering Graduates?
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that the number of aerospace engineers will grow by about 8% between 2020 and 2030, which is about as fast as the average job growth.
What Specializations Are Associated With a Master’s in Aerospace Engineering?
The aerospace engineering field is generally divided into aeronautical engineers and astronautical engineers. In addition to this, master’s students can also specialize in structural design, aerodynamic fluid flow, instrumentation, guidance, navigation, robotics, propulsion, or other specializations.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Master’s Degree in Aerospace Engineering?
Most Master’s of Science programs take between two and three years to complete.