Complete Guide to an Online Aerospace Engineering Degree
Online aerospace engineering degrees are offered at a variety of accredited online colleges and universities. Our list of popular accredited schools highlights great options for students looking for an online bachelor's in aerospace engineering. Graduate-level students can browse our list of the best online master's in aerospace engineering schools. Aerospace engineering is the field of study focused on designing and manufacturing aircraft and spacecraft. Individuals who earn degrees in this field can work for the government or the private sector, in manufacturing and research positions.
When choosing an online aerospace engineering degree program, students should look for both regional and programmatic accreditation. Regional accreditation ensures that a college's degree programs meet certain quality standards. In addition to regional accreditation, students should look for degree programs that have been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc., or ABET, the predominant body for the accreditation of engineering programs. ABET-accredited programs meet rigorous academic standards and are more likely to provide educations that help prepare students for future careers in the field.
Most Popular Accredited Online Schools for Aerospace Engineering Bachelor's Degrees
|Rank||School||Annual Tuition||Recommend Rate|
|# 1||Florida Tech-Online||$12,240||65% (78 reviews)|
|# 2||University of North Dakota||$15,895||67% (3 reviews)|
|# 3||Calvary University||$11,164||Add Review|
|# 4||American Public University System||$7,324||70% (171 reviews)|
|# 5||Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide||$9,912||36% (11 reviews)|
|# 6||Rogers State University||$15,810||Add Review|
Overview of Online Aerospace Engineering Degrees
This guide to earning an online aerospace engineering degree covers degree requirements, career information, and a guide to accreditation. A bachelor's program in aerospace engineering is the minimum requirement needed to get started in the field. It is rare to find fully online aerospace engineering degrees at the bachelor's degree level.
Masters-level programs in aerospace engineering are more commonly available in the online format. This type of program may be appropriate for people who have backgrounds in similar fields and want to shift their career focus to aerospace engineering. Those already working in the field who want to broaden their career options may also benefit from earning a master's degree in aerospace engineering. Doctoral degrees in aerospace engineering are available, though they are also rare in the online format. An online doctoral degree may be a good option for someone who wants to engage in research or teaching at the university level. Individuals looking to earn an online certificate in the field of aerospace engineering can do so as well. Online certificate programs are offered at the graduate level and are available in subjects closely related to aerospace engineering.
Online Bachelor's Degrees in Aerospace Engineering
Fully online bachelor's degree programs in aerospace engineering are rare. More often, this type of program is offered in an in-person format. A bachelor's degree is required to get an entry-level job in the field. Students enrolled in aerospace engineering programs spend four years gaining a fundamental knowledge in general education courses, as well as the advanced coursework they need to succeed in their field. Topics of study covered include aerodynamics, electromechanical systems, computation, thermodynamics, and space mechanics. Students take part in lab classes and hands-on learning opportunities.
Upon earning their degrees, graduates may find entry-level positions working on the design of different types of aircraft. Such entry-level job experiences also provide the background necessary to succeed in graduate school. To be admitted to an online bachelor's degree program. an applicant must have a high school diploma or GED. Depending on the college or university, additional requirements may include letters of recommendation, an admissions essay, AP test scores, or SAT or ACT scores.
The Importance of an Accredited Online Aerospace Engineering Degree
Prospective online aerospace engineering students should keep accreditation in mind when deciding on a degree program. Regional accreditation is important because it means that an independent organization has evaluated a school as a whole and determined that it meets certain educational standards. Regional accreditation is also crucial because it helps to ensure that students qualify for federal financial aid, such as student loans and the Pell Grant, and that the credits they earn are transferable to other regionally accredited aerospace engineering programs.
Another important type of accreditation is programmatic accreditation. Different independent organizations specialize in accrediting certain types of programs. For example, ABET is the primary organization that accredits engineering programs, as well as other computer and applied science programs. Students should strive to attend an ABET-accredited program, as this will help to ensure that the program meets a rigorous set of standards, and that they are learning the skills they will need to succeed in their career. Additionally, employers may prefer to hire individuals from ABET-accredited programs, and graduate programs may require applicants to have an ABET-accredited bachelor's degree.
Careers in Aerospace Engineering
People with online degrees in aerospace engineering who pursue careers in the field may seek jobs at companies specializing in design and manufacture of aircraft and space craft. They are likely to specialize in either astronautical or aeronautical engineering. Astronautical engineers work on spacecraft while aeronautical engineers work with traditional aircraft. Aerospace engineers can find work in government and private-sector businesses. While the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports a 2% decrease in aerospace engineering jobs between 2014 and 2024, those who do find work in the industry can expect to enjoy high salaries.
Aerospace engineers spend their days evaluating aircraft designs, working with existing technologies and creating new ones, and making sure that aircraft projects meet certain safety and quality standards. Most of their work is performed in laboratory environments. As members of large teams, they also spend time building the aircraft they help design, which may or may not include the task of assembling aircraft. Aerospace engineers specialize in certain areas based on their expertise, such as structural design, propulsion and combustion, or fluid flow.