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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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 entry-level aeronautical engineer salary is currently over $69,000. Clarkson students 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 University. 

    Infographic: Best Undergraduate Engineering Program

    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

    Research Opportunities

    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.

    Students in Professor Byron Erath's research group work on a mechanical and aeronautical engineering project.
    A Clarkson undergraduate aeronautical engineering student meets with an employer at the annual Clarkson Career Fair
    Internship and Co-op Opportunities

    Nearly 200 companies come to campus to recruit Clarkson students for employment, internships and co-ops biannually at our career fairs. Aeronautical engineering degrees are in demand for a large number of these companies, including Collins Aerospace, GKN Aerospace, General Dynamics Mission Systems and Northrop Grumman Corporation. You will have the opportunity to meet with many such companies 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.

    SPEED Teams

    Undergraduate aeronautical engineering students get hands-on experience through our SPEED 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.

    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!

    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.

    An undergraduate aeronautical engineering student works on the Design, Build, Fly team airplane
    An engineering student on the Steel Bridge SPEED team uses machinery from Clarkson's Machine Shop
    Prototyping Labs and Machine Courses

    The Student Prototyping Lab is a fully equipped machine shop for student use. Manual lathes and mills, 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. 

    Clarkson also offers both the Research Prototyping Laboratory, which is a full service machine shop providing machining, fabrication services and design assistance, and the Innovation Hub, a University-wide resource for students to hone their skills and ideas using state-of-the-art technology.

    What's your purpose? Achieve it here.