20 Best Bachelor’s Degrees In Aeronautics/Aviation

Are you interested in becoming a professional or commercial pilot? Are you dreaming about being in the skies? Perhaps you want to stay grounded but you hope to design or maintain complex aircrafts. Or perhaps you envision yourself leading a team of researchers in a jet propulsion lab.

Updated August 26, 2022

20 Best Bachelor’s Degrees In Aeronautics/Aviation

Are you ready to find your fit?

Are you interested in becoming a professional or commercial pilot? Are you dreaming about being in the skies? Perhaps you want to stay grounded but you hope to design or maintain complex aircrafts. Or perhaps you envision yourself leading a team of researchers in a jet propulsion lab.

Whatever your aspirations, one of these elite degrees in aviation will help you get there.

What kind of aeronautics/aviation degree should you get?

Though all of these programs will ensure you graduate an expert in aeronautics, each program varies in its emphasis and requirements. For example, some programs are engineering based while others are career focused. Furthermore, within some schools you can specialize in hydrodynamics while others more broadly consider aeronautics.

Meaning, it’s important the school’s curriculum, as well as research and intern opportunities, reflect your passions and vocational goals. Here at College Choice we’ve made sure to highlight the unique differences among each degree.

And you may want to consider online learning too. Online education is not only a flexible way to advance your education and career, but it’s affordable too.

So, be sure to check out College Choice’s Most Affordable Online Aeronautics Degrees.

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How much money do people make with a aeronautics/aviation degree?

Take it from us, a degree in aeronautics will set you up for a lucrative, secure career. And if not us, then take it from Boeing, who predicts another half million jobs for pilots will spring up in the next few years. Those pilots make more than $111,000 annually, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Even if you don’t want to fly, the numbers still look good. Aerospace engineers make around $113,000 a year. Though with added experience and specialization, that average leaps above $133,00 annually, according to PayScale.

What are the requirements for an aeronautics/aviation Degree?

The requirements that go into earning an aeronautics degree really depend on the type of degree. But for starters, each program will require a couple years of general education core classes.

Once you’ve finished those, however, you will start in on your aviation-based course load. This includes classes on aerodynamics, electrical systems and signals, circuits, structural mechanics, and much more.

Depending on the degree you seek, you may find yourself during your final semesters taking advanced thermodynamics if you’re in engineering. Or you may may be elbow deep in engine grease, if you’re earning a mechanically based degree.

However you tailor your degree and whatever your specialization, all of these programs are the best in the nation.

What can you do with a degree aeronautics/aviation degree?

As we wrote above a degree in aeronautics and aviation will guarantee you entry into an array of industries. For those who graduate from an engineering-based program, you are prepared for careers as:

  • Aircraft and spacecraft designers
  • Military aerospace engineers
  • Inspector and compliance officers
  • Aerospace technicians

And for those who earn a degree in aviation and maintenance, you will be fully trained and equipped to become:

  • Private or commercial pilots
  • Flight controller
  • Avionics maintenance technician

What are the best aeronautics/aviation degrees?

Though some of these programs are housed within large research universities and others are offered through the US Naval and Air Force Academies, all ten share one thing in common: they offer the nation’s best aeronautical degrees.

To determine the best we first looked at every program across the nation offering such a program. From there we factored in additional concerns, such as academic reputation. We also looked at student retention, which is a sign of student satisfaction. Finally, we examined early salaries of graduates and tuition rates too. What we found after such comprehensive research are the nation’s top 10 Best Aeronautics programs.

Our figures and information come from the university and colleges’ websites, PayScale, and nationally recognized U.S. News & World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.

Rankings

See our rankings methodology page.

#1 20 Best Bachelor’s Degrees In Aeronautics/Aviation

The United States Naval Academy

  • Annapolis, MD
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The United States Naval Academy offers a total of 27 bachelor's programs, including a bachelor's in aerospace engineering. An aeronautics degree prepares students for careers in specialized fields. After completing a bachelor's degree, graduates also apply to master's programs to continue their education.

The bachelor's curriculum introduces key aeronautics topics and principles. Undergraduates also take general education courses, which strengthen communication, analytical, and critical thinking skills. Students can explore other academic and professional interests by declaring a minor or a second major.

The school's student services help incoming degree candidates make connections on campus and thrive in their program. For example, career counselors meet with learners to conduct career assessments and mock interviews.

The United States Naval Academy at a Glance:

Location: Annapolis, Maryland

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 8%

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
97%
Admission Rate
8%
Students Enrolled
4,538
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
No

#2 20 Best Bachelor’s Degrees In Aeronautics/Aviation

The United States Air Force Academy

  • USAF Academy, CO
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The aeronautical engineering bachelor's program at the United States Air Force Academy, a public institution, enrolls degree-seekers with flexible options. From its Colorado campus, the school runs in-person and online programs. The school's flexible course options and comprehensive support services appeal to many undergraduates.

Students take courses in the aeronautical engineering program and meet general education requirements to complete their degree. Participants meet general education requirements by taking classes in the humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Within the program, learners gain a theoretical and practical understanding of aeronautical engineering, preparing graduates for the workforce.

The United States Air Force Academy at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 11%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 7-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 39

Graduation Rate: 85%

Average Tuition
In-state
Not provided
Out-of-state
Not provided
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
11%
Students Enrolled
4,304
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#3 20 Best Bachelor’s Degrees In Aeronautics/Aviation

Purdue University-Main Campus

  • West Lafayette, IN
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

Purdue University offers 145 bachelor's degrees, including its bachelor of science in aeronautics and astronautics engineering program. The aeronautics degree prepares students for entry-level roles in specialized fields. A bachelor's degree also prepares graduates for master's and doctoral programs.

The bachelor's curriculum covers foundational and advanced aeronautics topics. Undergraduates also complete general education requirements, which strengthen analytical and critical thinking skills. Learners complement their major by selecting a minor or double majoring.

The school's student services help incoming degree candidates transition into a bachelor's program. For example, career counselors review job opportunities and connect enrollees with employment opportunities.

Purdue University at a Glance:

Location: West Lafayette, Indiana

Type of School: Public

Admissions Rate: 60%

Undergrad Tuition In State: $9,208

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $28,010

Average Tuition
In-state
$9,208
Out-of-state
$28,010
Retention Rate
91%
Admission Rate
60%
Students Enrolled
45,500
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
22% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

#4 20 Best Bachelor’s Degrees In Aeronautics/Aviation

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

  • Troy, NY
  • 4 years
  • Campus

The bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, a private institution, ranks high for academic quality. Degree-seekers enroll in online classes and take in-person courses on the Troy, New York, campus. The school sets high academic standards while offering flexible course options.

The bachelor of science in aeronautical engineering program incorporates general education and major courses to build in-demand knowledge and skills. Students take humanities, math, and communication classes as part of the general education curriculum. Graduates prepare for the workforce or for a further degree by taking advanced courses that cover theoretical and practical topics.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 47%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 12-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 50

Undergrad Tuition In State: $54,000

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $54,000

Graduation Rate: 85%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $66,700

Average Tuition
In-state
$54,000
Out-of-state
$54,000
Retention Rate
92%
Admission Rate
47%
Students Enrolled
7,528
Institution Type
Private
Percent Online Enrollment
Not provided
Accreditation
Yes Middle States Commission on Higher Education

#5 20 Best Bachelor’s Degrees In Aeronautics/Aviation

The Ohio State University-Main Campus

  • Columbus, OH
  • 4 years
  • Online + Campus

The bachelor's in aviation program at The Ohio State University, a public institution, prepares graduates for the workforce. Degree-seekers choose from in-person and online enrollment options at the school, located in Columbus, Ohio. Undergraduates benefit from strong student support services and rigorous academics.

The bachelor of science in aviation builds comprehensive skills and knowledge through both general education and major courses. The general education requirements introduce major academic subjects like math, humanities, and the natural sciences. The major curriculum covers theoretical and practical approaches to the field, preparing graduates for entry-level roles in the industry.

The Ohio State University at a Glance:

Admissions Rate: 54%

Student-Faculty Ratio: 19-to-1

Total Bachelor's Programs: 155

Total Online Bachelor's Programs: 2

Undergrad Tuition In State: $10,197

Undergrad Tuition Out of State: $31,174

Average Amount of Aid Awarded: $8,176

Graduation Rate: 86%

Average Graduate Earnings After Six Years: $41,500

Average Tuition
In-state
$10,197
Out-of-state
$31,174
Retention Rate
94%
Admission Rate
54%
Students Enrolled
61,391
Institution Type
Public
Percent Online Enrollment
34% Percentage of all students who are enrolled online.
Accreditation
Yes Higher Learning Commission

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