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Best Doctorates in Aerospace Engineering: Top PhD Programs, Career Paths, and Salaries

Sana Uqaili - June 12, 2022


Graduates with a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing can become leaders in the aerospace design field. This advanced degree is one of the highest academic achievements you can get and a great choice for anyone with a deep interest in aircraft and spacecraft design, dynamics, and development. An aerospace engineering PhD opens the door to high-level, lucrative engineering jobs and to opportunities to enter the field of academia as a professor.

Our guide covers the best PhDs in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing and the best aerospace engineering jobs. We’ve included a few online degree options for those who wish to earn their degree while working full-time. We’ll end with what you can expect from a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing salary and job outlooks in the field.

What Is a PhD in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing?

A PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing is the highest academic qualification in the field of aerospace design. Aeronautical engineering and astronautical engineering are the two main branches of aerospace engineering, the former involving aircraft that function within Earth’s atmosphere and the latter involving aircraft outside Earth’s atmosphere.

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Maintenance engineers, aircraft developers, and spaceship developers are just a few of the career options open to those with an aerospace engineering PhD. Similar fields of study include robotics, automotive engineering, and mechatronics.

How to Get Into an
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing PhD Program: Admission Requirements

The admission requirements for a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing are typically a four-year undergraduate degree or, in some cases, a master’s degree. The bachelor’s degree can be in any engineering field with core subjects related to aerospace engineering.

Other typical requirements for admission into this degree program include the submission of academic transcripts, scores from standardized tests like the GRE/GMAT, a letter of recommendation, a thoroughly updated resume, and a personal statement to indicate your dedication. Having a strong research background and articles published in scientific journals may also be required.

PhD in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s or master’s degree and an engineering background
  • Copies of academic transcripts and published articles (if any)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • A statement of purpose or personal statement
  • A comprehensive resume or curriculum vitae

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Aerospace Engineer

ing PhD Acceptance Rates: How Hard Is It to Get Into a PhD Program in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing?

It is very hard to get into a PhD program in aerospace engineering because it is one of the toughest engineering degrees. Do you know the saying, “It isn’t rocket science”? Well, this literally is rocket science. You need to have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of engineering and mathematical concepts in order to excel in this field.

The acceptance rates for aerospace engineering PhD programs at the top universities are quite low. For example, the California Institute of Technology’s aerospace engineering PhD program has an acceptance rate of about 9 percent . However, this school’s particular engineering graduate program has been singled out as the most selective in the nation. There are other programs that are less challenging to get into if you are motivated and prepared.

How to Get Into the Best Universities

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Best PhDs in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing: In Brief

School Program Online Option
California Institute of Technology PhD in Aeronautics or Space Engineering No
Georgia Institute of Technology PhD in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing
No
Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics No
Princeton University PhD in Mechanical and
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing
No
Stanford University PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics No
Texas A&M University-College Station PhD in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing
No
University of Colorado Boulder PhD in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing Sciences
Yes
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign PhD in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing
No
University of Michigan-Ann Arbor PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing
No
University of Texas at Austin PhD in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing
No

Best Universities for
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Aerospace Engineer

ing PhDs: Where to Get a PhD in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing

The best universities for aerospace engineering PhDs include Massachusetts Institute of Technology, California Institute of Technology, and Stanford University. If you are wondering where to get a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing, we’ll take a detailed look at some of the top institutes in the US.

We’ve researched the admissions process requirements, academic coursework, and required semester hours or credits and listed them in the section below to make sure that qualified students can easily get a PhD and start working in the aerospace engineering field. Read on for more information.

1

California Institute of Technology

Pasadena, CA

The California Institute of Technology , also known as Caltech, is a private research university in Pasadena, California, that was founded in 1891. The university excels in science and engineering and is one of the world's top, most selective universities. It has six different academic divisions but its main emphasis is on the fields of science and engineering.

PhD in Aeronautics or Space Engineering

Students admitted into this PhD program must complete first-year coursework that is the same as the first year of the master's degree program. Then they must select a research advisor and pass a qualifying exam.

The qualifying exam determines the student’s readiness to tackle the challenges that are a major characteristic of PhD-level research. Prior to graduating, students will need to host a seminar presenting the outcomes of their thesis study.

PhD in Aeronautics or Space Engineering Overview

  • Program Length: Approximately 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 9%
  • Tuition and Fees: $58,467/year
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Assistantships, external fellowships, institute fellowships, loans, stipends

PhD in Aeronautics or Space Engineering Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Academic transcripts
  • A resume or CV
  • A statement of purpose

2

Georgia Institute of Technology

Atlanta, GA

The Georgia Institute of Technology , more commonly known as Georgia Tech, has evolved a lot since its inception in 1885. The PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing program at Georgia Tech is renowned for its academic and research excellence. It is widely regarded as the most rigorous program in the school.

PhD in
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Aerospace Engineer

ing

Aerodynamics, Fluid and Structural Mechanics, Material Behavior, Aeroelasticity and Structural Dynamics, Propulsion and Combustion, System Design and Optimization, and Flight Mechanics and control are among the specializations available to the students of this PhD program.

You must reach specific milestones within a set timeframe in order to successfully complete this PhD. These include a qualifying exam, a thesis proposal, and a successful research defense.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Overview

  • Program Length: 4-5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $14,064/year (full-time in state); $29,140/year (full-time out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Assistantships, fellowships, out-of-state tuition waivers, outside sponsorships, veterans services

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field
  • A statement of purpose
  • Letters of recommendation
  • GRE/GMAT scores
  • Relevant work experience

3

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Cambridge, MA

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is among the world’s most prestigious institutes of technology. It has created countless inventions, including pioneering high-speed photography and inventing a new kind of matter.

At the institutional level, MIT provides significant support for multidisciplinary research throughout its multiple schools and departments.

PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics

The mission of this program is to produce original research in the field of aerospace engineering and create new leaders in the field. Graduates of this program will be able to solve future problems in aerospace engineering through advanced analytical and reasoning skills and communicate their solutions effectively.

PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics Overview

  • Program Length: Not given
  • Acceptance Rate: 6.7% (graduate school)
  • Tuition and Fees: $28,795/year (in state); $1,440 for the first 3 semesters, plus $4,430/ subsequent semester (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Research assistantships, aero/astro diversity fellowships, teaching assistantships, MIT-sponsored fellowships, external fellowships

PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics Admission Requirements

  • Online application for PhD study and application fee: $75
  • Statement of objectives
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts
  • English proficiency scores (international students)

4

Princeton University

Princeton, NJ

Princeton University meets high standards for academic excellence and research opportunities across the board. Students pursuing a PhD in Engineering (such as the PhD in

4

Mechanical Engineer

ing or the PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing) from this institute benefit from exchange programs with other top colleges and universities across the globe.

PhD in Mechanical and
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

The program educates researchers in engineering and applied sciences, preparing them for jobs in academia, industry, and government. It stresses foundational knowledge, deep knowledge, and outstanding communication abilities.

PhD in Mechanical and
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Overview

  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 11% (graduate school)
  • Tuition: $56,010/year (in state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Research assistantships, instruction assistantships, departmental funds, external fellowships

PhD in Mechanical and
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Admission Requirements

  • A statement of purpose and an updated resume/CV
  • Recommendation letters
  • Academic transcripts from your graduate degree
  • Statement of financial resources and the area of interest for research
  • English language tests (international students)

5

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Stanford University is located in Palo Alto, California. It is consistently listed among the world's finest institutions. It was founded in 1885 and currently serves more than 17,000 students. It follows high academic standards and offers a number of engineering programs.

PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics

Students enrolled in this PhD program receive a broad-based education in aeronautics and astronautics through coursework as well as rigorous research in a particular area that culminates in a doctoral thesis.

PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics Overview

  • Program Length: 4-6 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $66,297/year (full time)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Fellowships, research assistantships, training grants, teaching assistantships

PhD in Aeronautics and Astronautics Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or graduate degree and academic transcripts
  • Online application and application fee
  • Statement of purpose
  • 3 letters of recommendation
  • TOEFL scores (if applicable)

Texas A&M University-College Station | College Station, TX

Texas A&M University (TAMU) is a land-grant university located in College Station, Texas. It is a public institute that was created in 1876. It serves as the flagship institution of the Texas A&M University System. As of fall 2021, TAMU had the largest student body in the United States. It is the only university in the state to be designated as a land, marine, and space grant institution concurrently.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

This PhD program provides you with in-depth knowledge of your chosen topic of study, research methods, and engineering principles. For degree completion, research must be carried out successfully in one of the following areas: aerodynamics, propulsion, dynamics, materials, or systems, and human integration. Tuition rates are based on a 9-credit-per-semester rate.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Overview

  • Program Length: Not given
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $8,026/semester (in state); $17,553/semester (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Graduate assistantships, research assistantships, teaching assistantships, academic excellence fellowship, Amelia Earhart Fellowships for Women

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Admission Requirements

  • Online application
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree
  • Transcripts or grades from other institutions
  • Internships or other work experience and published works (if any)
  • TOEFL score, a statement of purpose, a resume, recommendation letters

7

University of Colorado Boulder

Boulder, CO

With 15 interdisciplinary research institutes, the University of Colorado Boulder offers PhD students a variety of research options. The College of Engineering & Applied Science provides graduate degrees in eight fields of engineering and applied science.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Sciences

CU Boulder offers a varied range of opportunities for interdisciplinary research, ranging from space systems and control theory to biotechnology. Numerous collaborative research centers are available for students pursuing a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Sciences to collaborate with other students and researchers. While the acceptance rate for the entire university is 84 percent, there isn’t an available acceptance rate for this program specifically.

The school’s popular research centers include the Anschutz Medical Campus, the National Science Foundation's Industry-University Cooperative Research Program, and the Colorado Renewable Energy Collaboratory.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Sciences Overview

  • Program Length: 4-6 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $17,068/year (in state); $35,824/year (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Graduate student assistantships, fellowships and grants, student employment

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Sciences Admission Requirements

  • A bachelor’s degree
  • 3.40 GPA
  • A graduate faculty advisor
  • Courses taken in calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations at the undergraduate level
  • 2 semesters of calculus-based physics and engineering

8

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Urbana, IL

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is a land-grant research public university in Champaign and Urbana, Illinois. It is the system's flagship institution, having been founded in 1867.

This institute currently enrolls about 56,000 undergraduate and graduate students, making it one of the largest public colleges in the country.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

The Department of

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing at this institute is a world leader in aerospace research and engineering. It is committed to excellence and leadership in teaching, research, and service through internationally renowned staff and state-of-the-art research facilities.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Overview

  • Program Length: 4-6 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 37% (college of engineering)
  • Tuition: $18,256/year (in state); $34,762/year (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Internal and external fellowships, research and teaching assistantships, graduate awards

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree
  • GPA of at least 3.0
  • Letters of recommendation, transcripts, certificate of declaration of finances
  • Completed online application
  • Paid application fee of $70 ($90 for international students)

9

University of Michigan-Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor, MI

The University of Michigan is a forward-thinking research university. It is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities and has been designated an R1 institution. With such a strong research focus, the university's PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing program provides ample opportunities for multidisciplinary research.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

Michigan’s aerospace engineering program is the nation's oldest and most highly ranked collegiate aeronautics program. The graduate studies cover fundamental and contemporary aerospace themes, as well as a graduate seminar led by leading academics.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Overview

  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: 10%
  • Tuition and Fees: $25,230.38/year (in state); $50,646.38/year (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: All PhD applicants accepted receive full funding for at least 5 years; students are encouraged to pursue outside fellowships from NSF, DoD, NASA, or DoE.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Admission Requirements

  • A Master’s Degree in Engineering is not required but a background in engineering and math is
  • Online application
  • Statement of purpose and resume/CV
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Transcripts

10

University of Texas at Austin

Austin, TX

The University of Texas at Austin is the oldest institution in the University of Texas System, having been founded in 1883. It is also the largest institution in the system, with over 50,000 undergraduate and graduate students and over 24,000 faculty and staff.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

This aerospace engineering graduate program is ranked 10th nationwide, and its students work with world-class faculty. Alumni have gone on to become astronauts, administrators, and pioneers in the area of aeronautical engineering.

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Overview

  • Program Length: 5 years
  • Acceptance Rate: N/A
  • Tuition and Fees: $8,684 to $10,848/year (in state); $17,312 to $19,786/year (out of state)
  • PhD Funding Opportunities: Research assistantships, teaching assistantships, fellowships

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Admission Requirements

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in
    2

    Aerospace Engineer

    ing or any related engineering degree from an accredited university
  • Minimum 3.0 GPA in graduate-level work
  • GRE scores
  • Reference letters
  • Statement of purpose

Can You Get a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Online?

Yes, you can get a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing online. An online program will provide flexibility and convenience for you, which is especially helpful if you wish to pursue your PhD with fewer compromises to your work and personal life.

Best Online PhD Programs in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

School Program Length
Auburn University PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing
4 years
Mississippi State University PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing
4 years
University of Alabama PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing and Mechanics
4 years
University of Colorado Boulder PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Sciences
4-6 years
University of North Dakota PhD in Aerospace Sciences 4-7 years

How Long Does It Take to Get a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing?

It takes about four to five years to get a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing, which is the lengthiest timeframe for a degree. The main reason it takes so long to complete these engineering degree programs is that it requires original and authentic research, which takes time and dedication to produce.

The process will train you to be a researcher who can make innovative discoveries. You will first complete advanced courses for the program, then conduct research using professional research techniques, and lastly write a professional and publishable dissertation, which for aerospace engineering can be book-length.

Is a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Hard?

Yes, a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing is hard. An aerospace engineer must have a deep understanding of engineering science and technology. The design and construction of aircraft and spacecraft necessitates extensive knowledge of mathematics, encompassing principles like geometry, calculus, and statistics.

When it comes to design and testing, you will need a solid understanding of computers and electronic components. You must also possess a great deal of focus and dedication to complete your research and write your thesis. Strong communication skills come into play in writing articles for publication and defending your thesis.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing?

It costs about $19,792 per year to get a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing, according to the latest data from the National Center for Education Statistics. This cost applies to all public and private postsecondary degree-awarding institutions. The average annual tuition for a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing from a public institution is $12,410 per year, while the same degree from a private institution costs comparatively more per year, around $26,597.

Most doctoral programs, including those in aerospace engineering, provide ample funding opportunities to subsidize your studies. They include assistantships, fellowships, and external grants, which can sometimes cover the entire cost of your degree.

How to Pay for a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing: PhD Funding Options

The PhD funding options that students can use to pay for a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing include research assistantships, teaching assistantships, university fellowships, government fellowships, tuition waivers, performance allowances, external grants, and scholarships.

PhD students in the US are generally discouraged from engaging in external employment while pursuing their degree. This is because most schools provide work and research opportunities to help students pay for their degrees. Some schools even offer full coverage of expenses to students accepted into their program.

Some schools offering a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing are funded by government agencies or private companies to make sure they produce quality research. This can attract the attention of top-performing students and draw them to these schools.

Best Online Master’s Degrees

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What Is the Difference Between an
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Master’s Degree and PhD?

The difference between an aerospace engineering master’s degree and a PhD is the amount of time spent in class versus the time spent researching. A master’s degree provides further specialization in aerospace engineering through relevant classes and hands-on experience.

A doctoral candidate spends only a small portion of time in class and a large portion of time conducting independent research. Typically, a PhD program teaches you how to conduct your own independent research and how to publish your findings and present them to an audience.

Master’s vs PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Job Outlook

According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), jobs for aerospace engineering graduates are expected to grow by 8 percent in this decade. This applies to entry-level jobs available for those who possess a bachelor’s degree.

In general, the higher your level of education, the more job opportunities will be open to you. For managerial positions like aerospace engineering managers or instructors, which come with an average salary of $152,350 and an expected job growth of four percent according to BLS, having an advanced degree will help you stand out among candidates. A PhD also prepares you to be a postsecondary teacher, which BLS shows has a 12 percent job growth rate in coming years .

Difference in Salary for
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Master’s vs PhD

There is a considerable difference in salaries for master’s degree holders and PhD holders in the field of aerospace engineering. The average salary for someone with a Master’s Degree in

ing is about $91,000, according to PayScale. With this degree, you can work as an aerospace engineer, mechanical engineer, research scientist, research engineer, or senior systems engineer with small variations in annual salary.

On the other hand, the average salary for a PhD holder in aerospace engineering is about $111,000, according to PayScale. Many of the same jobs are available to these engineering professionals but with higher starting salaries. With an average difference in pay of $20,000 per year, earning a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing should be high on your list of career goals as it can make a big difference in your day-to-day life.

Related
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Degrees

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Why You Should Get a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

You should get a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing if you want to be among the most highly skilled and highly paid engineers in this field. A doctorate in engineering qualifies you to teach at the college or university level. Research and development in a variety of engineering disciplines, as well as managerial jobs, are further great career options.

If you are involved in research and development in the aerospace industry, getting a PhD will place you on a much higher level in your work due to the advanced research and development skills gained in earning your degree. Courses are taught by experienced aerospace and aeronautical engineers and industry leaders in the aerospace industry and aviation industry, so you’ll have plenty of opportunities to learn from them and sharpen your research skills.

There are sectors both inside and outside the aerospace industry where a PhD is considered almost essential for solving complex problems. Having a PhD will help increase your authority and give your peers and superiors more confidence in your work.

Reasons for Getting a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

  • Higher salaries. Following this program of study and getting a PhD in
    2

    Aerospace Engineer

    ing results in higher salaries for the same job as compared to having a master’s or bachelor’s degree.
  • Funding for research projects. The authority and experience that comes with a doctoral degree vastly increases your chances of winning various government-funded and privately funded research projects. This can help you become a leader and innovator in the field.
  • Robust academic career. Many aerospace engineering students who pursue a doctoral degree intend to make a career in academia rather than in the industry. You can publish research papers and grow as a respected researcher in this field.
  • More career options overall. In addition to research opportunities, PhD holders in this field have more job options overall. These are usually higher-ranked positions. You are also eligible to become a postsecondary teacher of engineering subjects at colleges and universities.

Getting a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing:
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing PhD
1

Coursework

The inside of a modern, well-designed spacecraft with navigational computer monitors
Aerospace engineering coursework is related to advanced topics like the design, airworthiness, development, and maintenance of flight vehicles.

While pursuing a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing, you have the opportunity to perform research in the fields of aerospace structures and propulsion as well as aerodynamic systems. As soon as you complete the graduate admissions process, you’ll need to put your previous academic background to good use because doctoral courses require a massive amount of both knowledge and research.

You will be required to complete a specific number of minimum credit hours in your graduate-level coursework on topics such as the fundamentals of fluid mechanics, aerospace engineering design, and advanced computational aerodynamics. Below are examples of the types of courses you can expect during your formal coursework.

Fundamentals of Fluid Mechanics

This fluid mechanics course typically spans everything from air reentry at hypersonic speeds to particle transport and biofluid flow. Classes like this one provide opportunities for students to learn the wide range of experimental, computational, and theoretical approaches that are used to solve issues with fluid dynamics and mechanics.

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Design

This graduate study course deals with aeronautics , astronautics, and design concepts that address the essential principles and methodologies of aerospace engineering. The course promotes active learning by making use of exploration technologies.

Advanced Computational Aerodynamics

This course helps you understand and make sense of flow physics and numerical methods to identify and create solution algorithms for ordinary differential equations (ODEs) and partial differential equations (PDEs). It also helps you with the ability to pick and design solution algorithms for flight dynamics that can be described as vicious, inviscid, compressible, or incompressible.

Spacecraft Optimal Estimation

This course teaches conventional and new estimate techniques and links them to modern dynamic systems encountered in aeronautical specialties. It emphasizes the mathematical thinking and modeling of physical problems. The course applies to both spacecraft and aircraft systems.

Computational Multibody Dynamics

In this course, you will study the theoretical, numerical, and methodological foundations that will allow you to build your first model-based designs (MBDs) before you proceed to more complicated ones.

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How to Get a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing: Doctoral Program Requirements

Getting a doctoral degree in aerospace engineering involves having a solid background in the fundamentals of aerospace engineering, represented by a bachelor’s or master’s degree in the field. This knowledge is assessed by a preliminary exam.

A PhD dissertation must also be completed and defended, requiring you to demonstrate your ability to investigate and provide a solution for an original research problem. Below is a more thorough list of the steps that are required to complete all doctoral program requirements. We’ve done the research for you on how to get a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing, so read on to find out more.

1

Coursework

Doctoral students must complete the coursework required for the degree within the first academic year. While doing so, they must maintain at least a 3.0 GPA, which could vary for different universities.

The credits required for a PhD can vary based on a number of different factors, but generally you need a minimum of 48 credits for this degree. Most of your time will be spent conducting research rather than sitting in a classroom.

2

Research Work

Before taking the PhD candidacy qualification examination, you must complete three semesters of research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. In order to do this, you first need to present a dissertation proposal by the end of the third semester to formally start the proceedings for your dissertation research work.

In most cases, there is a requirement for scientific publication in reputed journals with a good impact factor to produce a high-quality dissertation thesis in an aerospace engineering PhD degree program.

3

Qualification Exams

Via the qualification exam, you will have the opportunity to demonstrate your mastery of the principles of your chosen discipline, your capacity to conduct original research, and your ability to successfully convey your findings to a broad audience.

Overall, the qualification examination encourages you to consolidate the knowledge and skills you have gained throughout the program. It is the responsibility of the department to determine whether you have met the degree standards and qualify for the doctoral degree in engineering.

4

Annual Reviews

Many universities measure the performance of each student during the research and coursework phases by conducting annual reviews. These reviews are done by the PhD advisory faculty committees, the school of aerospace engineering, and the personal advisor or supervisor.

If a candidate fails to meet the minimum requirements of the annual review, there is a chance of cancellation of the degree by the school.

5

Thesis for PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

The PhD program concludes with the completion of an original dissertation on a research topic chosen by the student and its defense in front of the dissertation committee as a final public oral examination. The dissertation requirements include providing substantial and unique contributions to the development of knowledge in any sub-field related to aerospace engineering.

Potential Careers With an
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Degree

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PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Salary and Job Outlook

The PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing salary and job outlook is reasonably high, between four and 12 percent with most jobs. With a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing, you will be among the most sought-after candidates in a wide range of engineering professions. You can either become an engineering professor in a university or college or work in the research and development sector of a company.

What Can You Do With a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing?

With a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing, you can have a successful career as a post-secondary engineering teacher, an aerospace engineer, an industrial engineer, a mechanical engineer, or a senior research officer. You can have a rewarding career in many leadership positions in academic- or industry-related jobs.

Best Jobs with a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

  • Post-secondary engineering teacher
  • Aerospace engineer
  • Industrial engineer
  • Mechanical engineer
  • Senior research officer

What Is the Average Salary for a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing?

The average salary for a PhD in

ing is about $112,000 , according to the data collected by PayScale. A PhD holder earns the most among people with educational and professional backgrounds in aerospace engineering.The average fluctuates slightly according to the actual job, so read on for more information.

Highest-Paying
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Jobs for PhD Grads

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing PhD Jobs
Average Salary
1

Architectural and Engineering Manager

$152,350
2

Aerospace Engineer

$122,270
3

Materials Engineer

$98,300
4

Mechanical Engineer

$95,300
5

Industrial Engineer

$95,300

Best
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Jobs with a Doctorate

The best aerospace engineering jobs with a doctorate include aerospace engineer, mechanical engineer, industrial engineer, materials engineer, and architectural and engineering manager. These are all among the highest-paid jobs in the country with a good job outlook.

1

Architectural and Engineering Manager

Architectural and engineering managers are responsible for the planning, direction, and coordination of activities within architectural and engineering firms. They are most often seen working in offices, but they can also be found in research labs and manufacturing units.

2

Aerospace Engineer

Aerospace engineers are engaged in industries where employees design or construct aircraft, missiles, systems for national security, or spacecraft, among other things. They are largely engaged in the sectors of manufacturing, analysis and design, research and development, and the federal government.

3

Materials Engineer

Materials engineers manufacture, process, and test materials for a variety of uses. Materials engineers usually operate in offices with computers and design tools. Others work in research and development labs. Materials engineers are normally employed full-time, with the possibility of working overtime hours when necessary.

4

Mechanical Engineer

Aerospace engineering graduates may choose to work in the field of mechanical engineering . These engineers are responsible for the design, development, construction, and testing of mechanical and thermal machines and devices. They may visit work sites occasionally to address a problem or a piece of equipment that requires their personal attention.

5

Industrial Engineer

The goal of industrial engineers is to design efficient systems that integrate employees, machines, materials, information, and energy in order to manufacture a product or offer a service to the public. The best companies for industrial engineers are those that allow them to work in the environments they are seeking to change. For example, they may be found at an office looking at data collected by others or themselves, seeking to solve the errors in it.

Is a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing Worth It?

Yes, a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing is worth it. The salaries and job outlooks in this field are strong, especially with the private sector’s entrance into space exploration through companies like Space Exploration Technologies Corp (SpaceX).

If you want to learn how to solve unique problems in science and engineering, pursuing a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing may be a more worthwhile investment of your time. You will have the exciting opportunity to use your sharp scientific skills to make innovative research discoveries and become a leader in the field.

If you wish to work in academia as a professor, obtaining a PhD is almost always required. This is because having a PhD gives you authority in your field.

Additional Reading About
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing

[query_class_embed] https://careerkarma.com/blog/jobs-for-aerospace-engineering-majors/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/best-aerospace-engineering-schools/ https://careerkarma.com/blog/aerospace-tech-companies/

PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing FAQ

Which universities have the best PhDs in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing?

According to US News , the best university for a PhD in

ing is the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Caltech gets second place. They are both included in our list, which is based on key factors like tuition, quality of research and innovation in the aerospace field, laboratory facilities, and available funding for prospective students like PhD candidates.

Is the GRE required for admission in aerospace engineering?

Some universities do require GRE scores for admission into their PhD program in aerospace engineering. However, due to COVID-19 and its repercussions, most universities have waived the requirement.

Do aerospace engineers make good money?

Yes, aerospace engineers make good money. According to BLS, aerospace engineers earn on average $122,270 per year. The lowest 10 percent of aerospace engineers made less than $77,440, and the highest 10 percent earned more than $168,370. Aerospace engineers can get employed by major aerospace tech companies such as Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and SpaceX.

Can I get a PhD in
2

Aerospace Engineer

ing for free?

No, you cannot get a PhD in

2

Aerospace Engineer

ing for free. However, with funding opportunities like assistantships and fellowships, you can make getting your PhD quite affordable. Some programs even cover all of your costs with funding.

About us: Career Karma is a platform designed to help job seekers find, research, and connect with job training programs to advance their careers. Learn about the CK publication.

What's Next?

Sana Uqaili

About the author: Sana is a content writer who wants to use her work to spread knowledge and help others. She holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the Binary University of Management & Entrepreneurship.

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