Undergraduate Education

The ASE undergraduate program at MSU offers two concentrations:

  • aeronautics: the study, design, and manufacturing of air vehicles, and the techniques of operating aircraft and rockets within the Earth's atmosphere
  • astronautics: the science and technology of human space travel and exploration beyond Earth's atmosphere

One of the major strengths of the Department of Aerospace Engineering is the exposure undergraduate students have to current aerospace engineering practices. The aerospace engineering academic experience is centered on student involvement. The department strives to provide qualified students with a nationally competitive aerospace education recognized by industry, government, and academic leaders.

ASE's Bachelor's of Science in Aerospace Engineering primarily focuses on the analysis, design, testing, and prediction of performance of aircraft, missiles, and spacecraft which operate in the atmosphere, outer space, or in a fluid medium. The objectives of the curriculum are to provide the student with a fundamental engineering education based on a strong foundation in mathematics and the physical and engineering sciences, and to apply engineering fundamentals specifically to the field of aerospace engineering.

The major areas of study include

  • aerodynamics
  • propulsion
  • flight mechanics
  • structures
  • stability and control
  • astrodynamics
  • composite materials
  • multidisciplinary design

Why Aerospace Engineering?

Aerospace engineering is both the most specialized and the most diversified of fields. Products and spin-offs from aerospace projects are now used in many households, such as non-stick cookware coatings and freeze-dried foods. Aerospace professionals apply their knowledge to design better aircraft, send a spacecraft to Mars, or design a satellite to predict the weather. The same aerospace professionals may also apply their knowledge to study wind stress on new buildings, to eliminate energy waste in skyscrapers, to design automobiles, high-speed trains and ships, or to aid in artificial heart research. The future of aerospace engineering is as exciting and challenging as its history.

Engineering graduates are qualified to assume entry level positions in industry or government, or to continue formal education at the graduate level. An undergraduate engineering student, regardless of the declared major, is provided a core of basic technical knowledge, a broad exposure to the social sciences and humanities, and a special sequence of engineering-like experiences.

This provides the student with an opportunity to develop the ability to

  • formulate problems based on perceived needs in the world around them
  • develop methods to provide solutions to these problems
  • understand the basic sciences that provide our fundamental understanding of the physical laws of nature
  • understand the basic engineering sciences so as to apply them to the solution of practical problems
  • adapt to new knowledge and new technology
  • effectively communicate ideas and solutions

The aerospace engineering student has a special learning opportunity within the aerospace curriculum — the flight-vehicle system.

Coursework is taken in the areas of

  • vehicle design
  • flight mechanics
  • structural analysis
  • aerodynamics
  • propulsion
  • stability and control
  • test engineering

The student often is able to develop the insight necessary to understand the interactions that occur among the various components and subsystems within the total system. The aerospace engineering curriculum produces versatile graduates who have the ability to adapt their skills to new areas.

Career Opportunities

Careers for the aerospace engineering graduate cover a diverse range of job opportunities. Well-educated engineers, such as those produced by the aerospace engineering program at MSU, have the capability of working on large projects, inside and outside the traditional aerospace industry. Aerospace engineers have the expertise and training sought by industries nationwide to provide guidance on systems and approaches to completing various tasks.

Graduates may work in a variety of specialties such as

  • aerodynamics research
  • applied aerodynamics
  • wind tunnel testing
  • structural analysis
  • propulsion engineering
  • systems analysis
  • flight testing
  • astrodynamics
  • aircraft or spacecraft design
  • flight safety
  • guidance and control
  • automatic control development
  • manufacturing liaison
  • sales & marketing

For more information:
Machaunda Bush
Academic Coordinator
310 Walker Hall