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

Our undergraduate bachelor's degree program in aerospace 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 aerospace 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: Now Offering Bachelor's Degree in Aerospace Engineering
Rocket Launching Against Blue Sky

Clarkson University continues to defy convention and educate the next generation of world leaders, and one way we're doing that is by making changes to one of the most popular undergraduate majors at the university. Beginning January 1, 2022, Clarkson’s Bachelor’s in Aeronautical Engineering will become an Aerospace Engineering Bachelor’s degree. 

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Aerospace Engineering Careers

Clarkson Class of 2020 97 percent employment

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

  • manufacturing engineer
  • design engineer
  • simulator
  • modeling engineer

According to PayScale, the average aerospace engineer salary is currently over $85,000 per year. Clarkson aeronautical (now aerospace) engineering graduates from the Class of 2020 had an average starting salary of over $67,800, with the highest starting salary at $77,000. 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 aerospace engineering major, you will also be prepared for graduate school work, should you choose that route. In recent years, Clarkson aeronautical (now aerospace) 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.

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

    Aerospace Engineering Curriculum & Academic Options

    Major in Aerospace Engineering

    The Aerospace 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. Aerospace engineering majors take courses such as:

    • Aircraft Structural Analysis
    • Orbital Mechanics
    • Spacecraft Design
    • Space Robotics
    • Design of Propulsion Systems
    • Aircraft Performance and Flight Mechanics
    • Aircraft Design I and II
    • Design of Aircraft Structures
    • Stability and Control of Aerospace Vehicles
    • Intro to Spacecraft Engineering
    Core Requirements

    The aerospace engineering program consists of 36 credit hours in aeronautical engineering, 21 credit hours in electrical science, and at least 35 credit hours in other courses. 3 credit hours are in free electives.

    Click here for a sample curriculum schedule

    All courses are 3 credits unless noted.

    Clarkson Common Experience

    The following courses are required for all students, irrespective of their program of study. These courses are offered during the fall semester, with FY100 First-Year Seminar being required of only first-year students. Both FY100 and UNIV190 are typically taken during the fall semester of the first year at Clarkson.
    FY100 First-Year Seminar (1 credits)
    UNIV190 The Clarkson Seminar (3 credits)

    Students are required to complete the following courses:

    Aerospace Engineering

    • AE201 Introduction to Experimental Methods in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (1 credit) 
    • AE212 Introduction to Engineering Design 
    • AE301 Experimental Methods in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (1 credit) 
    • AE324 Dynamical Systems  
    • AE342 Intro to Comp Methods (1 credit) 
    • AE350 Aircraft Structural Analysis 
    • AE401 Advanced Experimental Methods in Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering (1 credit) 
    • AE425 Aerodynamics  
    • AE427 Design of Propulsion Systems 
    • AE429 Aircraft Performance & Flight Mechanics 
    • AE430 Stability & Control of Aerospace Vehicles 
    • AE431 Gas Dynamics 
    • AE450 Aircraft Design I  
    • AE451 Aircraft Design II 
    • AE458 Design of Aircraft Structures 

    Professional Experience

    Students are required to complete the following Professional Experience:
    Internship, co-op, or directed research related to the student's professional goals

    Core Electives

    Students must complete the following courses:

    Electrical Science

    • ES220 Statics 
    • ES222 Strength of Materials 
    • ES223 Rigid Body Dynamics 
    • ES250 Electrical Science 
    • ES260 Materials Science & Engineering I 
    • ES330 Fluid Mechanics 
    • ES340 Thermodynamics 

    Mathematics

    • MA231 Calculus III 
    • MA232 Elementary Differential Equations 
    • or MA331 Fourier Series & Boundary Value Problem 
    • and STAT383 Probability & Statistics 
    Electives

    Biology/Chemistry

    Students must complete one course from the following:

    • BY160 Biology II: Cellular & Molecular Biology
    • CM132 General Chemistry II (4 credits)

    Professional Electives

    The student must complete 9 credits of professional electives. Professional electives are upper-division courses in mathematics, physics, other engineering disciplines; for example, STAT383 Applied Statistics, MA339 Fourier Series and Boundary-Value Problems, ME444 Computer-Aided Engineering (CAD), ME443 Optimal Engineering, ES350 Biomechanics, ME390 Additive Manufacturing and ME429 Welding and Metallurgy.

    Knowledge Area/University Course Electives

    Students majoring in aeronautical engineering are required to take at least 15 credit hours to satisfy the Knowledge Area and/or University Course electives general education requirement. This must include ES110 Engineering & Society and a course in economics, such as EC350 Engineering Economics.

    Free Electives

    Students majoring in aerospace engineering have at least 3 credit hours available to use toward courses of their choice.

    School of Engineering Common First Year

    Students must complete the following courses in their first year:

    • CM131 General Chemistry I (4 credits)
    • CS141 Introduction to Computer Science (4 credits)
    • ES100 Introduction to Engineering Use of the Computer (2 credits)
    • ES110 Engineering & Society 
    • MA131 Calculus I 
    • MA132 Calculus II 
    • PH131 Physics I (4 credits)
    • PH132 Physics II (4 credits)
    Relevant Minors

    Aerospace 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.

    All Clarkson Minors, Concentrations and Tracks

    Biomedical Engineering Minor

    Biomedical Engineering Core Requirements

    Students are required to complete the following courses:

    Physiology/Anatomy

    • BY471 Anatomy and Physiology I
    • and BY473 Anatomy and Physiology I Laboratory
    • or BY472 Anatomy and Physiology II
    • and BY474 Anatomy and Physiology II Laboratory
    • or BY360 Comparative Physiology
    • and BY362 Comparative Physiology Laboratory
    • BR200 Introduction to Biomedical and Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology
    • BR450 Biomedical Engineering, Science, and Technology Capstone Design I
    • or equivalent engineering design course with a BEST approved project
    • BR400 Biomedical Engineering Fundamentals

    Mathematics/Science

    • MA131 Calculus I
    • MA132 Calculus II
    • PH131 Physics I
    • PH132 Physics II
    • BY160 Biology II: Cell and Molecular Biology

    Biomedical Engineering Core Electives

    Engineering Depth Elective

    Students must complete 1 3-credit course from the approved list of upper-level biomedical engineering related courses.

    Breadth Elective

    Students must complete 1 3-credit course from the approved list of upper-level biomedically related courses.

    Robotics Minor

    Robotics Core Courses

    To graduate with a minor in Robotics, students must earn an average GPA of 2.0 in six courses (18 credit hours).

    • MA339 - Applied Linear Algebra (3 credits) OR MA330 - Advanced Engineering Mathematics (3 credits)
    • EE455 - Introduction to Mobile Robotics (3 credits)
    • EE456 - Introduction to Robot Manipulators (3 credits)
    • MP414 - Applied Robotics or equivalent robotics project experience (0 credits)

    Robotics Elective Courses

    With elective courses, some course substitutions are possible - a list of acceptable substitutions will be maintained by the Coulter School of Engineering in conjunction with the Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering department, the Electrical and Computer Engineering department, and the Computer Science department and updated annually. 

    Electrical and Computer Engineering

    • EE260 - Embedded Systems
    • EE401 - Digital Signal Processing
    • EE408 - Software Design For Visual Environments
    • EE446 - Instrumentation
    • EE450 - Control Systems
    • EE451 - Digital Control
    • EE452 - Optimization Techniques in Engineering
    • EE465 - Computer Graphics
    • EE506 - Image Processing and Computer Vision
    • EE652 - Computer Vision

    Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering

    • ME385 - Design of Electromechanical Systems
    • ME443 - Optimal Engineering
    • ME444 - Computer Aided Engineering
    • ME450 - Control Systems

    Computer Science

    • CS449 - Computational Learning
    • CS451 - Artificial Intelligence
    • CS452 - Computer Graphics
    • CS459 - Human-Computer Interaction
    • CS461 - Mixed Reality
    • CS465 - Mobile Robotics/Human-Robot Interaction
    • CS652 - Computer Vision

    Aerospace Engineering Undergraduate Research

    Aerospace 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 Aerospace 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 as an aerospace engineering major. 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. Aerospace 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 aerospace 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 aerospace 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

     

    The Design-Build-Fly SPEED Team is preparing for the 25th annual Design, Build, Fly Competition. Read about their project and watch a test flight!

    Aerospace Engineering Student Clubs

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

    Aerospace engineering students can get involved outside the classroom through over 200 clubs and organizations on campus, including several related to aerospace 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.