Best Online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering: Students Before Profits Award 2017

BEST ONLINE MASTER’S IN AEROSPACE ENGINEERING - STUDENTS BEFORE PROFITS AWARD 2017The Students Before Profits Awards were created to recognize nonprofit colleges and universities offering degrees that put students before profits and education before the bottom-line.  For our ranking of the 2017 Online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering winners, we chose online Aerospace Engineering degree programs from nonprofit colleges and universities, accredited by independent and trusted accreditation boards, with lower than average tuition costs, and have ranked them by affordability.

Earning a graduate degree can prove to be quite lucrative for students looking to up their value on the job market.  However, due to the many constraints of everyday life some students may find it hard to find the time or the money to pursue a graduate degree.  As college costs continue to rise and programs become more demanding, students have started to look for alternate options when it comes to education.  Many students have begun to look towards online degree programs.  Online degree programs tend to be more flexible when it comes to scheduling and are typically less expensive.  This is great for the modern student as it allows them to learn at their own pace, even going so far as to allow students to continue full-time jobs.  By having the flexibility in their scheduling, students can continue to work in their field while pursuing a degree that will make them more valuable in their field.  Taking classes online are a great way to keep costs down as well.

In order to enter into the field of Aerospace Engineering, students with Master’s degrees in the subject tend to be more competitive in the job market when looking for work.  The field of aerospace engineering is very lucrative if a job is secured.  By studying for a Master’s degree in Aerospace Engineering, students are helping to ensure that they will be ahead of the competition when it comes to education, resulting in a higher likelihood and potential for hire.  Students in the field of Aerospace Engineering can expect to find jobs working in aeronautical or astronautical engineering.  Aeronautical engineering jobs typically find students studying flight technology designed for flight within Earth’s atmosphere, while astronautical engineering typically concerns space flight.  By completing a Master’s degree in Astronautical Engineering, students can ensure that they will receive an education that will make them highly competitive in the job market.  While the initial investment in a Master’s degree might be high, students can expect to gain a large return on investment as starting salaries in the field of aerospace engineering start at over $100,000.

Note that tuition rates listed below are based on cost per credit and individual programs may have additional fees.

 #1. University of Alabama

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The oldest public university in the state of Alabama, the University of Alabama began accepting students in 1820.  The University of Alabama was established by the General Assembly of Alabama after the state had been admitted into the Union.  Located in the city of Tuscaloosa, the original capital of Alabama, the University of Alabama borrowed heavily from Thomas Jefferson’s designs for the University of Virginia. Having grown immensely over the years, the University of Alabama is now the flagship school at the center of state of Alabama’s public higher education system.  Known for its research programs, the school boasts a student body of nearly 37,000 students.  The University of Alabama is a public institution. 

Program Overview

Students at the University of Alabama are able to enroll in the school’s Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics degree.  This program of study has students preparing to enter the highly competitive job market for aerospace engineering jobs.  After completing this course of study, students will have the necessary competencies to succeed out in the field.  This program is available entirely online and does not require students to visit the University of Alabama to complete their studies.  A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Alabama’s Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $11,010

#2. University of Florida

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Made up of three different schools, the oldest part of the University of Florida dates all the way back to 1853 in its history as the East Florida Seminary located in Ocala, Florida.  While being its oldest component, the East Florida Seminary didn’t quite resemble the University of Florida of today. The University of Florida started taking shape once the East Florida Seminary merged with two other neighboring schools.  Officially named the University of the State of Florida in 1905, the school was originally founded in the town of Gainesville, Florida.  Located in central Florida, Gainesville has grown around the university to become a college town.  Home to 53,000 students, the University of Florida is the eighth-largest campus in the nation.  The University of Florida is a public institution.  

Program Overview

By enrolling at the University of Florida, students are able to study a Master of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering degree.  Students in this program will study how to design, construct test, and operate airplanes and spacecraft.  In this program, students will be asked to specialize in either aeronautical engineering or astronautical engineering.  This program of study is entirely online and does not require any visits to the University of Florida campus.  A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Florida’s Master of Science in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $17,550

#3. Capitol Technology University

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Founded on one of the oldest types of distance education, Capitol Technology University was originally a correspondence school.  Established in 1927, Capital Technology University was originally named the Capitol Radio Engineering Institute.  Veteran Radioman of the United States Navy, Eugene H. Rietzke, created the school in order to provide students with a place to receive an education in radio communication.  Just a correspondence program in the beginning, the school began to offer a residential program in 1932.  By 1950 the school was offering students educational experiences beyond radio communication.  This change in educational scope resulted in the school being renamed to Capitol Institute of Technology.  The school was renamed once again in 2010 to Capitol Technology University after it began to offer doctorate degrees.  Home to 850 students, Capitol Technology University is located in Laurel, Maryland.

Program Overview

Students at Capitol Technology University are able to enroll in the school’s Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering degree.  In this program of study, students will study to work within the space industry by developing a mastery of astronautical engineering topics.  Students are able to specialize in concentrations including Project Management, Satellite Operations and Mission Planning, and Remote Sensing and Systems Engineering.  This program is offered entirely online and students are not required to visit the Capitol Technology University campus.  A minimum of 33 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Capitol Technology University’s Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering degree is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education (MSCHE).

Tuition: $19,305

#4. Florida Institute of Technology

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Opened to its first class of students in 1958, the Florida Institute of Technology is more commonly known as Florida Tech or FIT to its students and alumni.  Founder Dr. Jerome P. Keuper founded the school originally at the Melbourne Municipal Airport under the original name of Brevard Engineering College.  In buildings originally used as a Naval Air Station, Brevard Engineering College quickly grew to large for the available buildings and construction began to increase the size of the campus by adding dormitories and more buildings for classes.  After operating as the Brevard Engineering College for eight years, the school’s name was changed to Florida Institute of Technology.  Enrolling 6,600 students, Florida Institute of Technology is still located in Melbourne, Florida.  Florida Institute of Technology is a private institution. 

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Space Systems Management degree is offered to students at the Florida Institute of Technology.  Students in this program will focus on the technical and managerial facets of working within a space program whether that be in private, government, or military related industries.  This program is available entirely online and does not require students to visit the Florida Institute of Technology campus to complete their studies. A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Florida Institute of Technology’s Master of Science in Space Systems Management degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $21,600

#5. Mississippi State University

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One of the state’s earliest recipients of government funding through the Morill Act, Mississippi State University was originally named The Agricultural and Mechanical College of the State of Mississippi, while commonly referred to as just Mississippi A&M.  The original mission of the school was to teach students “agriculture, horticulture, and the mechanical arts…without excluding other scientific and classical studies, including military tactics”.  In 1932, it was decide that the name of the school would be simplified to Mississippi State College.  Located mostly in Starkville, Mississippi, the school has grown to become the largest public university in the state.  Currently, Mississippi State University enrolls nearly 3,400 students.  Mississippi State University is a public institution. 

Program Overview

Students at Mississippi State University are able to enroll in the school’s Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree.  Through this program students will focus on several objectives related to their success as an aerospace engineer.  Students will learn how to solve unstructured engineering problems, develop a lifelong appreciation for professional development, learn professional and ethical responsibilities of the industry, and learn how to collaborate and communicate effectively.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Mississippi State University campus. A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Mississippi State University’s Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $21,870

#6. Missouri University of Science and Technology

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The Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy opened in 1870 and would eventually become the Missouri University of Science and Technology of today.  Located just outside of the neighboring town of Rolla, the school was dedicated to the study of metallurgy and mining and sent most of its graduates to Rolla to work at the zinc and lead mines that supplied most of the United States.  Training these students for work as mining engineers, the school eventually shifted its focus to a wider array of educational opportunities.  After receiving money through the Morill Act, the school began to include mechanic arts within its curriculum.  Renamed in 2008 to the Missouri University of Science and Technology, the school is now home to nearly 9,000 students.  Missouri University of Science and Technology is a public institution.   

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree is offered to students at Missouri University of Science and Technology.  Students in this program will learn a broad overview of Aerospace Engineering while studying topics including design optimization, aircraft structures, composite materials, guidance and stability control systems, and more.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the Missouri University of Science and Technology campus.  A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Missouri University of Science and Technology’s Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $24,218

#7. University of Washington

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Governor of the Washington Territory, Isaac Stevens, convinced the legislature that they needed to establish a university within the territory in 1854.  Over the coming years, it was argued where the best place to locate the university would be.  Many argued for Seattle as it was quickly becoming one of the most prominent cities within the territory, and others argued for Lewis County.  However, a site for the university didn’t materialize within Lewis County and plans went ahead to establish the school in the city of Seattle.  In 1861, construction had been completed on the site of the new university and the Territorial University of Washington opened its doors to its first class of students.  Now known as the University of Washington, the school still remains in Seattle and is home to over 46,000 students.  University of Washington is a public institution.  

Program Overview

Students at the University of Washington are able to enroll in a Master of Aerospace Engineering degree.  Through this course of study students will study in order to enter the industry of either aerospace engineering or astronautic engineering.  Students in the program are asked to specialize in either Controls, Fluids, Structures, or Composites.  This program is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the University of Washington campus.  A minimum of 45 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Washington’s Master of Aerospace Engineering degree is accredited by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities (NWCCU).

Tuition: $25,014

#8. Lewis University

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The Archdiocese of Chicago and Bishop Bernard J. Scheil worked together to found the Holy Name Technical School in 1932 laying the foundation for what would eventually become Lewis University.  While under construction, the school’s name was changed to the Lewis Holy Name Technical School in honor of Frank J. Lewis, a philanthropist who had donated a large sum of money to go towards the construction of the campus.  Once the school was completed, classes began.  The school focused heavily on aviation studies, so much so that during World War II all other classes were suspended so the US Air Force could use the facilities to train and teach pilots.  The name of school was shortened over the years eventually becoming Lewis University in 1973.  Home to 4,600 students, Lewis University is located in Romeoville, Illinois.  Lewis University is a private institution. 

Program Overview

Lewis University offers students a Master of Science in Aviation & Transportation degree.  Students in this program will gain knowledge of the aviation industry.  This program is available entirely online and does not require students to visit the Lewis University campus at any point during their studies.  A minimum of 36 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Lewis University’s Master of Science in Aviation & Transportation degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $27,900

#9. Auburn University

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The Alabama Legislature worked to charter the East Alabama Male College in 1856.  Operated by the Methodist Church, the East Alabama Male College changed drastically over the years to become the Auburn University of today.  Auburn University played a crucial role during the Civil War having actually suspended classes in order to serve as a training ground of soldiers in the Confederate army.  At the end of the Civil War, the Methodist Church transferred control of the school over to the State of Alabama.  The school soon started receiving federal funding under the Morill Act, and was subsequently renamed the Agricultural and Mechanical College of Alabama.  By the 1960s, the school was renamed once more to Auburn University.  Home to almost 30,000 students, Auburn University is located in Auburn, Alabama.  Alabama University is a public institution. 

Program Overview

Students at Auburn University are able to enroll in a Master of Aerospace Engineering degree.  This program has students studying topics including Rocket Propulsion, Dynamic of Flight, Applied Orbital Mechanics, Orbit Determination, and much more.  This program is available entirely online and does not require students to visit the Auburn University campus to complete their studies.  A minimum of 33 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Auburn University’s Master of Aerospace Engineering degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $28,050

#10. North Carolina State University

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The General Assembly of North Carolina established the North Carolina College of Agriculture and Mechanics in March of 1887.  At the time, the school only enrolled white males and taught just agriculture, mechanical arts, and military tactics.  Classical studies were integrated into the curriculum as well in order to ensure that students received a well-rounded education.  After just over thirty years, the school was renamed to North Carolina State College of Agriculture and Engineering to account for its expanded scope of educational opportunities.  At this time, students began to referring to the school as just NC State.  The school was renamed to North Carolina State University in 1962 after being added to the University of North Carolina system.  Located in Raleigh, North Carolina, North Carolina State University is home to 34,000 students.  North Carolina State University is a public institution. 

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree is offered to students at North Carolina State University.  Through this course of study students will study topics including Airfoil Theory, Fracture Mechanics, Foundations of Fluid Dynamics, Principles of Structural Vibration, Heat Transfer Theory, and more.  This program is available entirely online and does not require students to visit the North Carolina State University campus to complete their studies. A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: North Carolina State University’s Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $32,230

#11. Georgia Institute of Technology

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At the end of the Civil War and as the Industrial Revolution continued to propel the North forward, Major John Fletcher Hanson and Nathaniel Edwin Harris of the Confederate Army believed that the South needed to leverage new and improved technologies in order make their economy competitive.  In order to do so, the two planned to start a school in the South that taught these new trades and subjects.  After touring the Northeast to visit schools, the two returned to Georgia and established the Georgia School of Technology.  This school would eventually evolve to become the Georgia Institute of Technology of modern day.  Located in the city of Atlanta, Georgia, the Georgia Institute of Technology boasts a student body of almost 27,000 students.  Georgia Institute of Technology is a public institution. 

Program Overview

Students at Georgia Institute of Technology are able to enroll in a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics degree.  Through this course of study, students will study topics including Advanced Aerodynamics, Viscous Fluid Flow, Dynamics of Turbulence, Computational Mechanics, Aero Structural Elements, and much more.  This program is offered entirely online and does not require students to visit the Georgia Institute of Technology to complete their studies. A minimum of 33 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Georgia Institute of Technology’s Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering & Mechanics degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $32,760

#12. Purdue University

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In 1862, after hearing about the type of federal funding being offered by the Morill Land-Grant Act, the Indiana General Assembly voted to establish a university within the state.  After a vote of the General Assembly, it was determined that the school would focus primarily on teaching engineering and agriculture.  The state of Indiana asked the cities to offer proposals to the state as to why they’d be the best fit for the new school, but it was John Purdue who managed to convince the state to establish the school within Tippecanoe County.  As the primary benefactor the school, the state named the school Purdue University in his honor.  Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue University enrolls over 40,000 students.  Purdue University is a public institution.

Program Overview

The Master of Aeronautics & Astronautics Engineering degree is offered to students at Purdue University.  Students in this program will study topics including Aerodynamics, Structures & Materials, Aerospace Systems, Dynamics and Control, Computational Engineering, Biomechanics, and much more.  Purdue University offers this program entirely online and does not require students to visit their campus to complete their studies. A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: Purdue University’s Master of Aeronautics & Astronautics Engineering degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $38,850

#13. University of Virginia

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President Thomas Jefferson frequently wrote to his friend, artist Charles Wilson Peale, of his desire to start a new type of university within the state.  His ambition was to create a university that would be “extensive and liberal” at a scale that had never been matched within the United States.  The President wanted to found the school in the state of Virginia as an alternative to the College of William and Mary, a school he was no longer confident in due to its close affiliation with the church.  Named the University of Virginia, it would feature revolutionary changes including a campus with the library at its center.  Now, the University of Virginia is home to over 22,000 students at its campus in Charlottesville, Virginia.  University of Virginia is a public institution. 

Program Overview

Students at the University of Virginia are able to enroll in the school’s Master of Engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering degree.  In this program of study, students will not only learn the engineering and technical skills needed to succeed as an aerospace engineer, but also the managerial and leadership skills needed to succeed as leaders in their field.  This program of study is available entirely online and does not require any visits to the University of Virginia campus.  A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Virginia’s Master of Engineering in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering degree is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACSCOC).

Tuition: $41,730

#14. University of Colorado Boulder

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In the early 1870s, the Colorado Territorial Legislature amended their state constitution in order to free up funding for the establishment of a series of state-funded schools.  Those schools included the Colorado School of Mines, the Colorado Agricultural College, and the University of Colorado.  Eyeing both Boulder and Cañon City as the site for the University of Colorado, the state of Colorado had the two cities compete for the school.  Ultimately, it was decided that the University of Colorado would be located in Boulder and that Cañon City would get the State Prison.  Construction on the University of Colorado Boulder began in 1875 and its first class of students were accepted in September of 1877.  Now, the flagship of the University of Colorado system, the University of Colorado Boulder is home to 32,000 students.  University of Colorado Boulder is a public institution. 

Program Overview

The Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree is offered to students at the University of Colorado Boulder.  Students in this program of study will receive a broad understanding of Aerospace Engineering while being asked to specialized in either Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems, Bioastronautics, Remote Sensing, or Aerospace Engineering Systems.  This program is made available entirely online and does not require any visits to the University of Colorado Boulder campus.  A minimum of 30 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Colorado Boulder’s Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC).

Tuition: $44,280

#15. University of Southern California

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When planning to open a school in southern California, Judge Robert M. Widney realized that he was going to need to raise a large amount of money in order to fund the construction and initial opening.  Judge Robert M. Widney began petitioning people throughout Los Angeles and eventually received backing from some of the cities most powerful and influential leaders.  After receiving enough seed money and a tract of land for the university to be located, construction began on the University of Southern California and it began accepting its first class of students in 1880.  The school has grown a lot over the years.  Currently, the University of Southern California is home to 42,000 students on its campus in the University Park district of Los Angeles.  University of Southern California is a private institution. 

Program Overview

Students at the University of Southern California are able to enroll in a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree.  Through this course of study students will receive a general understanding of concepts and skills needed to become an aerospace engineer while specializing in Aerodynamics / Fluid Dynamics, Aerospace Control, Aerospace Design, Aerospace Structures, or Computational Fluid Dynamics.  This program is offered entirely online and does not require any visits to the University of Southern California campus.  A minimum of 27 credits are required to complete this degree.

Accreditation: University of Southern California’s Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC).

Tuition: $49,815