Universities with Aircraft Engineering Bachelor's Programs: How to Choose
Though bachelor's degree programs in aircraft engineering do not exist by that name specifically, students can obtain the knowledge and qualifications they desire through a bachelor's degree in aeronautical or aerospace engineering. As part of the aerospace and engineering departments across the country, these degrees prepare students to design, maintain, manufacture and operate aircrafts.
How to Select an Aircraft Engineering Program
To become an aircraft engineer, students may obtain either a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Aerospace Engineering or a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautical Engineering. Both of these are commonly offered degrees that prepare students for entry-level positions in the field of engineering. However, students interested in gaining knowledge of or working with astronautical concepts should consider the more comprehensive aerospace degree, while students interested solely in aircraft that remains within the atmosphere should pursue the B.S. in Aeronautics. An aspiring aircraft engineer can look for programs that have been accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology.
Laboratory and hands-on experience with aircraft could give students an edge in the field upon graduation. Schools vary in what they offer to students outside of the classroom setting, and while some provide computer labs and moderate research facilities, others allow for access to nearby airport hangars where students can work with authentic machine tools, instrumentation and airplanes. More than 140 universities throughout the world have student chapters of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Similarly, some schools offer advanced internship programs while others do not require internships for graduation at all and therefore the emphasis on internship opportunities is not as great. Internships for students of aeronautical or aerospace programs could include a semester or summer with one of the major airlines, car manufacturers or even NASA.
Bachelor's Degree in Aircraft Engineering
Offered as a major in either aerospace or aeronautics, these programs qualify students for entry-level positions in aircraft engineering or further coursework at the graduate level. Curriculum includes calculus, thermodynamics, aerodynamics and electricity. Advanced topics include aircraft mechanics, structure, design and control systems, as well as advanced engineering concepts. A final project or internship may be required for graduation.
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