Have you ever dreamt of becoming a rocket scientist? If so, the Top 20 Online Master’s Programs in Aeronautics & Aviation can help launch your career to new heights.
Earning a Master’s degree in aeronautics or aviation can benefit anyone who is passionate about engineering– especially those who are already employed as flight engineers, pilots, or air traffic controllers.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians is projected to grow five percent between 2018 and 2026. Depending on educational experience, folks in this field can expect to earn an average income of $50 – 110k.
Typical Master’s programs require applicants to have an undergraduate degree involving aerospace engineering and allow current students to study a variety of areas of specialization such as fluid dynamics, aerospace design, and propulsion.
If either one of these topics sparks a light in your eye, Grad School Hub can help you find the program that’s right for you! Here are the 20 Best Online Master’s in Aeronautics & Aviation.
Top 10 Best Online Master’s in Aeronautics & Aviation
The staff of Grad School Hub has compiled the following 20 Best Online Master’s in Aeronautics & Aviation 2019 for the 2019-20 academic school year based on public data released from educational, commercial, and government databases. Data contributed from sources such as the National Center for Education Statistics, and the U.S. Department of Labor plays a significant role in how graduate degree programs are ranked because institutional transparency is essential for deciding which career path is right for you. Based on this data, GSH organizes information into five weighted categories, which are:
Alumni Feedback: 20%
Continued Enrollment: 20%
Degree Selectivity: 10%
Graduate Expenses: 25%
Projected Annual Salary: 25%
A more comprehensive evaluation of how each category is determined and scored is accessible through our Ranking Methodology page.
Johns Hopkins University offers an MS degree in Space Systems Engineering through its G.W.C. Whiting School of Engineering. Graduate students must complete 10 courses consisting of five core courses, and five elective courses. JHU offers two tracks for MS students to choose from which include Technical Systems/Subsystems or Leadership/Management.
Required courses include Systems Engineering for Space, and Small Satellite Development and Experimentation. While JHU's online MS program is offered online, all students must attend a residency weekend at the Applied Physics Laboratory on campus in order to complete the laboratory component of their capstone requirement.
The Professional Science Master of Engineering and Business at the University of Maine is an online 30-credit program. Graduate students can choose to study aerospace engineering or surveying engineering. Required courses include Flight Dynamics and Control of Aircraft, Advanced Boundary Law, and Geodesy. All students are expected to complete six credits of applied field experience as well.
UM's program is intended for those who already hold a bachelor's degree in engineering or engineering technology. UM is ranked at #97 among the nation's Top Public Schools by U.S. News and World Report, and has been recognized as a top school for Best Online Graduate Engineering Programs.
The John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota offers a unique online MS degree in Aviation. Graduate students may choose one of four specialization areas, including Safety, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Management, or Human Factors. Online classes at UND are offered in a synchronous format, which means classes are live and meet at specific times.
The average UND student is capable of completing their degree within 2-3 years. Applicants are required to submit their GRE scores. New students can apply and enroll year round.
Online students can earn their MS in Aerospace Engineering degree at Mississippi State University and right in the heart of The Raspet Flight Research Laboratory. Graduate students at MSU study concentrations such as Fluid Dynamics, Structural Mechanics, Flight Mechanics and Controls, and Flight Test Engineering.
All MSU students are required to take a minimum of 30 graduate hours, which includes six hours towards a required research thesis. However, you may opt for a non-thesis program instead. MSU has been ranked among the nation's top public schools and best engineering schools by U.S. News and World Report.
University of Central Florida's College of Engineering and Computer Science offers an online Masters of Science in Aerospace Engineering. UCF's online program immerses students in the specialties of Controls and Dynamics, Aerodynamics, Propulsion, Thermal Analysis, and Design. While enrolled, online UCF students have access to tech support, library services, career support services, and more.
UCF is ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the best graduate engineering schools, most innovative schools, and top public schools in the country.
University of Alabama's College of Engineering is home to a 30-credit MS in Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics. This degree can be completed entirely online and offers courses such as Orbital Mechanics, Theory of Elasticity, and Airfoil and Wing Theory.
Prospective students are admitted during the spring, summer, and fall semesters with a minimum GRE score of 300.
UA is ranked by U.S. News and World Report among the best colleges for veterans, best value schools, and top public schools in the U.S.
The online, 30-credit MS in Aerospace Engineering degree program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is unique for a couple reasons, beginning with its proximity to the country's most famous aerospace hubs: The Kennedy Space Center.
Two other intriguing points that allow ERAU to stand out are how graduate students aren't held to strict deadlines or class meeting times. In addition, incoming students with military status are offered discounted tuition rates and application fee waivers. Required courses at ERAU include Smart Materials in Engineering, Structural Health Monitoring, Boundary Value Problems. Applicants must submit their GRE scores to be considered for admission into this 30-credit program.
Embry-Riddle has been ranked by U.S. News and World Report at #15 for Best Regional University in the South. It's also ranked at #9 for the Best Colleges for Veterans, #46 for Best Value Schools, and #8 for Most Innovative Schools in the Country.
The University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering offers an online MS in Aerospace Engineering for students who complete their degree with at least a 3.0 GPA. Required courses include Aircraft Structures Analysis, Nonlinear Control Systems, and Fatigue and Fracture.
Graduate students also have the option enrolling full-time or part-time, and choosing an area of specialization including Aerospace Control, Aerospace Design, Computational Fluid Dynamics, or Propulsion. All applicants must submit their GRE scores and should hold an undergraduate degree in engineering, math, or hard science. The university accepts new students during the spring and fall semesters.
Old Dominion University offers a 30-credit MS in Aerospace Engineering through its Frank Batten College of Engineering and Technology. Students of ODU will benefit from the university's close association to the NASA Langley Research Center, nearby military research centers, and other federally funded research laboratories in the industry.
ODU's graduate degree programs require all students to complete a thesis for graduation. Online courses at ODU are live and scheduled in conjunction with the university's regular academic calendar. ODU also offers an online non-thesis MSE program which requires a comprehensive exam.
Applicants are expected to submit their GRE score and already hold an undergraduate degree in aerospace engineering, engineering mechanics, or mechanical engineering.
Iowa State University offers students an online MSE in Aerospace Engineering that is much less research-oriented the MS degree option and doesn't require a thesis to graduate. Required courses include Finite Element Analysis, Optimal Control, and Nonlinear Systems. ISU graduate students typically earn their degrees in less than two years.
U.S. News and World Report have ranked Iowa State University at #56 among the nation's Top Public Schools, # 81 for Best Value Schools, and #80 for Best Colleges for Veterans. Prospective students should note that ISU requires GRE scores and previous educational records. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.
Students at The University of Texas at Arlington can pursue an online MS or MSE in Aerospace Engineering through the College of Engineering.
UT's 30-credit research-oriented program requires the completion of a thesis involving a specialization is either Fluid Dynamics, Aerodynamics and Propulsion, Structural Mechanics and Structures, Flight Mechanics and Controls, or Vehicle Design. Required courses include Gas Dynamics, Finite Element Methods, Air-Breathing Propulsion, and Advanced Flight Mechanics.
The Department of Aerospace Engineering at Auburn University now offers an online MS in Aerospace Engineering with classes such as Dynamics of Flight, Orbit Determination, Thrust Generation, Rocket Propulsion, and Aeroelasticity.
All AU applicants must submit their GRE scores and already hold an undergraduate degree in aerospace, or mechanical engineering. AU is ranked at #115 for the nation's Top Public Schools, #132 for the nation's Best Value Schools, and #59 for Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs by U.S. News and World Report.
The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Technical University offers an online MS in Aerospace Engineering. Required courses include Aircraft Design, Rotary Wing Aerodynamics, Combustion, Acoustics, and Wind Engineering. Online courses can be accessed at any time, but students must adhere to built-in deadlines and assessments.
GT has been ranked #4 among the top ten Most Innovative Schools and Best Graduate Aerospace Programs in the country by U.S. News and World Report.
Graduate students at the University of Washington can earn an MS in Aerospace Engineering while studying areas of concentration such as Controls, Fluids, Structures, or Composites. UW's MS degree is designed for a student to complete over three years with a part-time schedule. Online students participate in lectures via live webcasts and have continued access to them after they've been posted.
Applicants can apply year-round and should have an undergraduate degree in aerospace or mechanical engineering. Unlike most universities in the U.S., UW's online tuition is the same for all students regardless of state residency.
Virginia Tech offers a 30-credit online MS in Aerospace Engineering with both synchronous and asynchronous courses. Graduate students can decide between a thesis and a non-thesis track and are able to participate in class discussions online for one hour a week.
Required courses include Structural Optimization, Transonic Aerodynamics, Orbital Mechanics, and Linear Control Theory. A final comprehensive oral exam is required of all students as well. VT admits new students for both the spring and fall semesters. U.S. News and World Report have ranked VT at #30 among the Nation's Top Public Schools, #43 for Best Colleges for Veterans, and #103 for Best Value Schools.
The MS in Aerospace Engineering degree at the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign is an entirely online non-thesis, non-research program. Graduate students in this 32-credit program may choose one or more areas of specialization including fluid mechanics, orbital mechanics, and spacecraft.
Required courses include Aerospace Control Systems, Rocket Propulsion, and Wing Theory. Additionally, all students must choose one of three AE specialty areas, including Aerodynamics, Fluid Mechanics, Combustion, and Propulsion; Astrodynamics, Controls, and Dynamical Systems; or Solid Mechanics and Materials. Applicants are required to submit their GRE score with their application by Jan. 1 to be considered for fall admission.
Earning an MS in Aerospace Engineering at North Carolina State University doesn't require a thesis, final oral exam, or on-campus residency. NCSU's 30-credit program can be completed entirely online, and prospective students don't need to submit a GRE score!
Required courses include Nanotechnology, Physical Gas Dynamics, Wing Theory, and Smart Structures and Materials. Online students at NCSU follow the on-campus class schedule for submitting homework and taking exams. U.S. News and World Report have ranked NCSU at #37 for Most Innovative Schools, and #55 for Best Value Schools, and #80 among the Nation's Top Public Schools.
Graduate students at the University of Virginia can earn an online Master's of Science Engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering through UV's Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.
Required courses include Fluid Mechanics, Finite Element Analysis, and Multibody Mechanical Systems. All students must complete at least 30 semester hours to earn their degree. UVA has rolling admission and new students are accepted each spring, summer, and fall. Applicants should note that Master of Engineering students are not considered for financial aid.
Missouri University of Science and Technology offers students an opportunity to earn an MS in Aerospace Engineering either residentially, or online, through a 30-credit degree program. Required courses include Stability of Engineering Structures, Flight Dynamics, Concurrent Engineering, and Fatigue Analysis. Courses are offered in four-, eight-, and 16-week formats.
U.S. News and World Report have ranked Missouri University of Science and Technology at #80 for the Nation's Top Public Schools and #106 for Best Graduate Engineering Schools.
Purdue University now offers a comprehensive Master's of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics Aerospace Engineering through its College of Engineering. This 30-credit hour non-thesis program can be completed entirely online, and allows students to take time-off from their studies as needed. Graduate students enroll in courses such as Digital Controls, Hypersonic Aerothermodynamics, and Intermediate Heat Transfer.
Purdue admits students with three letters of recommendation, and either a completed GRE or three years of relevant work experience. Application deadlines are Jan. 1 for fall term or Sept. 15 for spring term. Purdue is ranked by U.S. News and World Report at #6 for the Most Innovative School in the U.S. and #17 for Top Public School.