Aeronautical engineering teaches you to apply engineering methods for solving professional problems. In the world of designing, manufacturing and maintaining aircraft and related systems, aeronautical engineers are essential.

Our undergraduate bachelor's degree program in aeronautical engineering prepares you for a career in the aerospace industry by providing the knowledge to understand the social, ethical and environmental context of aircraft workings. Courses in areas such as aerodynamics, propulsion, aircraft structures, flight mechanics, stability, flight control and aircraft design are key for successful program completion. In the aeronautical engineering capstone course, you work in teams to design an aircraft and apply the solution process to a real-life problem.

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AE News: COVID Changes Bring New Opportunities to Aircraft Structure Class
Undergraduate aeronautical engineering students are working virtually with planes from 10 museums across the country and Canada.

For the past four years, AE 350 classes have applied structural analyses to an aircraft in a semester-long group project with teams of students each studying a different aircraft.

This year, Prof. Craig Merrett has enhanced this aspect of the class's online version in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of World War II's end and the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Britain. He has enlisted 10 aircraft museums across the United States and Canada to participate in the group projects by offering one aircraft from their WWII collection for a group to analyze.

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Aeronautical Engineering Careers

Many graduates of our undergraduate bachelor's degree program in aeronautical engineering go on to become aeronautical engineers. However, the career opportunities for our aeronautical engineering majors can also include roles such as:

  • manufacturing engineer
  • design engineer
  • simulator
  • modeling engineer

According to PayScale, the average aeronautical engineer salary is currently over $78,000 per year. Clarkson aeronautical engineering graduates from the Class of 2019 had an average starting salary of over $62,600, with the highest starting salary at $79,300. They have recently gone on to work for companies such as Amphenol Aerospace, Belcan Engineering, BMPI, GE Aviation, General Dynamics, GKN Aerospace, Husky IMS, kW mission critical engineering, Lockheed Martin, Moog, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, Northrup Grumman Corporation, Pratt & Whitney and United Technologies Corporation.

    As a graduate of the aeronautical engineering major, you will also be prepared for graduate school work, should you choose that route. In recent years, Clarkson aeronautical engineering majors have gone on to graduate programs at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and Clarkson's own M.S. and Ph.D. programs in Mechanical Engineering.

    Aeronautical engineering undergraduate student Will Duma shares why he chose Clarkson's aeronautical engineering program and talks about some of the incredible opportunities he's had so far.  

    Aeronautical Engineering Curriculum & Academic Options

    Major in Aeronautical Engineering

    The Aeronautical Engineering undergraduate bachelor's degree program consists of 87 credit hours out of 120 credit hours. Those 87 credit hours in aeronautical engineering include classes in applied physics, applied mathematics, engineering science and mechanical engineering. Aeronautical engineering majors take courses such as:

    • Aircraft Structural Analysis
    • Design of Propulsion Systems
    • Aircraft Performance and Flight Mechanics
    • Optimal Engineering
    • Aircraft Design I and II
    • Design of Aircraft Structures

    Aeronautical Engineering Major Curriculum

    Relevant Minors

    Aeronautical engineering majors have the opportunity to explore minors that will complement the aeronautical engineering bachelor's degree. View our recommendations below or learn more about all of Clarkson's minors, concentrations and professional advising tracks.

    Biomedical Engineering Minor

    Robotics Minor

    All Clarkson Minors, Concentrations and Tracks

    Aeronautical Engineering Undergraduate Research

    Aeronautical engineering majors benefit from having a wide variety of research projects consistently being pursued by faculty and graduate students within the department - from optimizing luge sleds for the US Olympic Luge Association (USLA) and creating the newest ducted wind turbine technology, to improving the operation and design of engineering systems for industry partners and understanding the laryngeal aerodynamics of voiced speech. Any undergraduate student looking to have a research experience has the opportunity to do so.

    There are directed and independent study courses available in our curriculum, including research courses, that provide you with opportunities to pursue your own interests while being mentored by an expert faculty member. Learn more about our Department of Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering faculty and their research expertise.

    Students in Professor Byron Erath's research group work on a mechanical and aeronautical engineering project.

    Internships and Co-ops

    A Clarkson undergraduate aeronautical engineering student meets with an employer at the annual Clarkson Career Fair

    Nearly 200 companies come to campus to recruit Clarkson students for employment, internships and co-ops biannually at our career fairs and you'll have chances to meet with many of them throughout your years at Clarkson. Internships and co-ops are an important aspect in gaining real-world experience. Students often take a semester off from Clarkson to pursue six- to nine-month paid co-op opportunities at many of our corporate partners and, in many cases, are offered full-time positions after completion of their co-op. Aeronautical engineering students are in demand for a large number of these companies, including:

    • Collins Aerospace
    • GKN Aerospace
    • General Dynamics Mission Systems
    • Northrop Grumman Corporation

    Engineering Project Teams

    Undergraduate aeronautical engineering students get hands-on experience through our SPEED (Student Projects for Engineering Experience & Design) teams, especially representing the department on our Design, Build, Fly team, which competes in the international American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Competition each year. Any major can join any of our 12 SPEED teams, with aeronautical engineers joining other teams like FIRST Robotics, Baja SAE, Concrete Canoe, Formula SAE and Human-Powered Vehicle.

    In 2018, Clarkson's Design, Build, Fly team won the AIAA Competition, beating out nearly 80 teams from around the world. Watch their winning flight!

    The Student Prototyping Machine Shop is a fully equipped engineering machine shop for student use. Manual lathes and mills, an extensive welding lab, water jet cutting, as well as computer driven machining centers are provided for students to use for research and engineering competitions. Multidisciplinary Project Team Undergraduate Courses (MT Courses) are offered to all students who are interested in learning everything from basic shop skills, lathes, milling, welding, MasterCam and CNC Machining. Students also use the Innovation Hub, a University-wide resource hosted by Clarkson Ignite, to hone their skills and ideas using state-of-the-art technology.

    An undergraduate aeronautical engineering student works on the Design, Build, Fly team airplane

    Aeronautical Engineering Student Clubs

    Undergraduate students in Clarkson's Rocket Club show off their rocket

    Aeronautical engineering students can get involved outside the classroom through over 200 clubs and organizations on campus, including several related to aeronautical engineering. These include:

    • American Indian Science and Engineering Society (AISES)
    • American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA)
    • Flying Club 
    • Jet Propulsion Club
    • National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE)
    • Rocketry Club
    • Sigma Xi - The Scientific Research Society
    • Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE)
    • Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers (SASE)
    • Society of Women Engineers (SWE)
    • Tau Beta Pi - National Engineering Honor Society
    What's your purpose? Achieve it here.