With an MIT aerospace engineering degree, you can seek career opportunities in such fields as commercial and military aircraft and spacecraft engineering, space exploration, air and space telecommunications, academia, research and military service.
The MIT AeroAstro (or Course 16 as we’re known at MIT) undergraduate program prepares you for entry-level positions in aerospace and related engineering fields, and for continuing on to graduate school. Employers place a premium on MIT graduates knowing that they are the best-prepared new aerospace engineers in the world. Our demanding technical education emphasizing the understanding of complex systems is also excellent preparation for careers in business, law, medicine, and public service.
Sophomores start with Unified Engineering, which offers a sound understanding of aerospace engineering’s fundamental disciplines: statics, materials and structures, thermodynamics and propulsion, fluid mechanics, and signals and systems. Laboratory experiments are also performed in Unified Engineering. Our majors also complete Differential Equations.
To complete the core requirements, students pursuing the Course 16 degree take additional core subjects in dynamics, principles of automatic control, statistics and probability, and in computer programming. Students matriculating in the Course 16-ENG program also take computer programming and either dynamics or principles of automatic control; they are not required to take statistics and probability.
In addition to the above, Course 16 degree candidates complete a minimum of four subjects (48 units) from among a group of professional area subjects, with subjects in at least three areas. As stated earlier, these areas include fluid mechanics, materials and structures, propulsion, computational tools, estimation and control, computer systems, communication systems, and humans and automation. Students may choose to complete an "option" in Aerospace Information Technology by taking a minimum of 36 units (out of the 48 units required) from a designated group of subjects specified in the Course 16 degree chart.
Students pursuing the 16-ENG degree take six additional subjects (72 units) from among the subjects in the student’s chosen concentration, i.e. aerospace software engineering; autonomous systems; communications, embedded systems and networks; computational engineering, computational sustainability; energy; engineering management, environment; space exploration; transportation; or in a self-defined concentration proposed by the student and approved by a concentration advisor.
To fulfill the capstone requirement, students work with a partner and a faculty advisor in either their junior or senior year to propose and perform an original experiment during a two-semester experimental research project. Students can also team up to apply their undergraduate knowledge and skills to the design of an aircraft or spacecraft system. In the past, these projects have included a space-based telescope, a climate-monitoring satellite, and a walking planetary rover. Students must complete a minimum of two professional area or concentration subjects before enrolling in the flight design (16.82) or the space design (16.83) capstone.
In addition to the formal subjects, students study written and oral communication skills and teamwork; the social, economic, and political context in which engineering is practiced; and professional responsibility.
Students also must satisfy MIT's General Institute Requirements and take four elective subjects in disciplines of their choice.
Please see degree charts below. For a more detailed look at the AeroAstro undergraduate program, visit the Curriculum page.
Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering/Course 16
General Institute Requirements (GIRs)
Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences Requirement
Total GIR Subjects Required for SB Degree
The program includes a Communication Requirement of 4 subjects:
PLUS Departmental Program
Subject names below are followed by credit units, and by prerequisites, if any
Departmental Core (Required for students in both degree programs)
6.0001 Introduction to Computer Programming in Python, 6; 1/2 REST
6.041A Introduction to Probability I, 6; Calculus II (GIR);
Professional Area Subjects
at least 48
|All students must take at least 48 units from among the subjects designated by the department as Professional Area Subjects. The program must include subjects from at least three (3) professional areas. Students who wish to complete an option in aerospace information technology, 36 of the 48 units must come from subjects other than 16.100, 16.20, 16.50, and 16.90.|
Laboratory and Capstone Subjects
One of the following two subjects:
Plus one of the following three sequences:
Departmental Program Units That Also Satisfy the GIRs
Total Units Beyond the GIRs Required for SB Degree
Note: No subject can be counted both as part of the 17-subject GIRs and as part of the 198 units required beyond the GIRs. Every subject in the student's departmental program will count toward one or the other, but not both. For an explanation of credit units or hours, please refer to the online help of the MIT Subject Listings & Schedules, http://student.mit.edu/catalog/index.cgi.
* Alternate prerequisites and corequisites are listed in the subject description.
Bachelor of Science in Engineering/Course 16-ENG