The Best Aerospace Engineering Schools in the USA

As an aspiring aerospace engineer, it's crucial to consider the best engineering schools that can offer you the degree, and the support you need to start your engineering career on the right foot.
Nader Mowlaee

If you want to be an aerospace engineer, then you'll need a degree. However, if you're going to get an aerospace engineering degree, then you'll need to know some of the top schools that offer the degree.


While some of the most prestigious and oldest engineering schools in the world set the stage by shaping the field, there are several top schools right in the United States.

Is a Career in Aerospace Engineering in Demand?

If you're wondering whether pursuing an aerospace engineering degree is worth it, you put your mind at ease. That's because a career in aerospace engineering is in demand with a six percent estimated growth rate between 2016 and 2026. 

Individuals who graduate with an aerospace engineering degree often make more than typical graduates by 45 percent. So, pursuing a degree in this field is not only rewarding, but it offers the potential for high earnings.

What Should You Look for in an Aerospace Engineering Program?

When considering some of the best aerospace engineering schools, it's essential to evaluate whether the school meets your needs. Not only should the school offer the degree you need, but it should also provide the services to support your education and career.

Consider schools that have the career coaching, mental health counseling, health services and academic tutoring services you need. It's also worth looking at undergraduate and graduate degree programs accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology in the United States (ABET)

These programs must meet a high standard that produces professional engineers with efficiently training fit for entry into a global workforce.

Where Can I Pursue an Aerospace Engineering Degree?

A quick search on the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Postsecondary Education website will bring up thousands of schools that have an engineering or engineering-related degree program. 

However, if you're interested in starting a career as an aerospace engineer, it's important to sift through schools by knowing which schools offer an aerospace engineering degree. You also want to ensure the school is providing the degree level you seek.

Most aerospace engineers require a Bachelor's degree or higher level of education to get a job. Luckily, several schools offer an aerospace engineering degree at the undergraduate level. Some of the schools that top the list include Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Worcester Polytechnic Institute, Pennsylvania State University-University Park, and Missouri University of Science Technology.

 Here are three other top-tier aerospace programs where you can pursue your undergraduate degree:

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*Georgia Institute of Technology. As an undergraduate at Georgia Institute of Technology, you'll find internship opportunities, opportunities to study abroad and an academic curriculum that focuses on aerospace vehicles' and integrated subsystem's performance and design.

*Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech). As one of Ranker's top ten schools for aerospace engineering, you can count on a high-quality curriculum when pursuing a degree at Virginia Tech. The school has partnerships with leading organizations, such as NASA, to give students unique career and learning opportunities. Students also have the chance to pursue a double major in aerospace with ocean engineer for their undergraduate degrees.

*University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA). As an ABET-accredited school, UCLA offers a high-quality curriculum for its undergraduate aerospace program. Students have ample exposure to the development and concept phases for spacecraft, helicopters, aircraft and structural design of parts, including producing lightweight aircraft wings.

Which Schools Offer Graduate Degrees?

You can also further your career opportunities in this exciting engineering field by pursuing a graduate degree. Some of the best aerospace engineering schools also offer graduate degrees, including Stanford University, University of Texas--Austin (Cockrell), Princeton University and University of Illinois-Urbana-Champaign. 

Check out these additional that top the list of best aerospace engineering schools for graduate-level degrees, according to U.S. News & World Report:

*California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Caltech is one of the top engineering schools in the U.S.A. for good reasons. It has a small student body with just 543 full-time enrolled students in its graduate engineering programs. It's also only 10 miles away from Los Angeles and offers events that offer networking opportunities and research insight for alumni and enrolled students alike. Caltech's Department of Aerospace offers graduate-level degrees in a variety of specialization, including aeronautics and space engineering. This school also offers an aerospace minor for undergraduates interested in exploring the field.

*Georgia Institute of Technology. This school has one of the largest and oldest programs in aerospace engineering and offers graduate-level degrees for aspiring aerospace engineers. It also provides a place for graduate students to live and co-op and volunteer opportunities.

*Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). S. News & World Report ranks MIT as a top school for aerospace engineering, and for good reasons. MIT has a small student-faculty ratio for its Ph.D. engineering program averaging 5.6 students per faculty member. A smaller student-faculty ratio makes it easier for students to get the individual coaching and attention they need for research and other academic tasks. The school also offers opportunities for innovation, including an entrepreneurship competition.

*Purdue University-West Lafayette. Graduate students in Purdue's program can count on flexible rolling admissions and a small student-to-faculty ratio (5.4 students per faculty).

*University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. This top public research university offers graduate students the opportunity to volunteer and get alumni mentors. The university also hosts a graduate symposium for engineering students each year.

Final Thoughts

As an aspiring aerospace engineer, it's crucial to consider the best schools that can offer you the degree, and the support you need to take your career to new heights. But it requires a plan for finding the school that's right for you. 

By knowing the different factors that impact your career as an aerospace engineer, you find some of the best aerospace engineering schools in the country. 

If you have any particular questions, please feel comfortable to reach out to me directly.

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