Is Aerospace Engineering Hard To Get Into College?

A high-speed camera captures a rocket soaring through a starry sky.

Are you considering a career in aerospace engineering, but unsure about the challenges of getting into college for this major? Aerospace engineering, known for its rigor and emphasis on subjects like mathematics and physics, is indeed one of the more challenging fields of study.

It is difficult to get into an aerospace engineering program at college. You will need a high GPA and very strong math and science skills. Good computer skills as well are a plus. But the learning doesn’t stop after college, as you will continue to study for your FE and PE exams.

This article will provide an insightful overview to help you understand the hurdles and how to navigate them successfully. Let’s rocket toward fulfilling your dream!

Key Takeaways

  • Aerospace engineering is a challenging field of study, but with hard work and dedication, it is possible to get into college for this major.
  • To pursue a career in aerospace engineering, you need to finish high school with good grades in math and science and obtain a bachelor’s degree in aerospace engineering.
  • Skills such as math, science, computer programming, problem – solving, creativity, and teamwork are important for success in aerospace engineering.
  • Aerospace engineering programs may require licensing or certification exams after completing four years of work experience.
  • The field of aerospace engineering can be demanding and stressful at times due to the complex nature of the work, but proper time management and seeking support can help navigate the challenges.
  • Compared to other fields of engineering, aerospace engineering offers high earning potential along with strong job prospects and opportunities for growth.

Overview of Aerospace Engineering

An abstract view of a rocket launching into space from a launch pad.

Aerospace engineering involves designing, building, and testing aircraft, spacecraft, and related systems.

Education and qualifications

Let’s talk about the education and qualifications you need for aerospace engineering.

  1. Finish high school with good grades. You should have good grades in math and science.
  2. Get a bachelor’s degree. Most jobs want you to have a degree in aerospace engineering.
  3. Understand many subjects. You need to know about math, chemistry, physics, and computer programming.
  4. Study for four years. It usually takes four years to get your degree in aerospace engineering.
  5. Take the right classes in school. Classes like mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and materials science can help.
  6. Always keep learning. Even after school, keep learning about new things in aviation and space exploration.

Required skills

You need many skills to become an aerospace engineer. Here are some skills that most aerospace engineers need:

  1. Math Skills: You will use math a lot. It’s important in this job.
  2. Science Skills: Physics and chemistry come up often too.
  3. Computer Skills: You must be good with computers, since you will use them a lot for your work.
  4. Problem-Solving Skills: You should be good at finding answers to hard problems.
  5. Creativity: To design new planes and spacecraft, you have to think of new ideas.
  6. Teamwork Skills: Most times, you will work with other people on big projects.

Licensing and certification

You must earn your license to be a true aerospace engineer. It’s called the Professional Engineer (PE) license. To get it, you need four years of work in this field. Then, you take two exams.

The Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) comes first. The second one is the PE exam itself. Some may also seek a Certification in Aerospace and Propulsion (CAP). This shows that an engineer has top skills.

Getting these licenses shows you are ready to do great things in aerospace engineering!

The Challenges of Aerospace Engineering

A stunning photograph of a rocket soaring through a star-filled sky.

Aerospace engineering presents high levels of difficulty due to its complex nature and the demanding workload involved.

High level of difficulty

Aerospace engineering is known for being a challenging field of study. It requires a strong foundation in math, physics, and other related subjects. You’ll need to understand complex concepts and be able to apply them to designing aircraft and spacecraft.

The coursework can be demanding, but don’t let that discourage you! With hard work and dedication, you can overcome the challenges and succeed in this exciting field.

Stress and workload

Aerospace engineering can be challenging and demanding. The workload can be quite high, requiring you to put in a lot of time and effort into your studies. You will have to tackle complex engineering problems and work on projects that require attention to detail.

This may sometimes lead to stress, but it’s important to remember that stress is common in any field of study or work. It’s how you manage it that matters.

As an aerospace engineering student, you might find yourself juggling multiple assignments, labs, and projects at the same time. This can be overwhelming at times, but by staying organized, managing your time effectively, and seeking help when needed, you can overcome these challenges.

Remember that seeking support from professors or classmates is not a sign of weakness but rather a smart way to navigate through difficult times.

Despite the potential stress and workload involved in aerospace engineering, many students find this field incredibly rewarding because they get to work on cutting-edge technologies and contribute to the advancement of aviation and space exploration.

Emphasis on math skills

Aerospace engineering places a strong emphasis on math skills. As an aerospace engineer, you’ll need to have a solid understanding of mathematics and be comfortable working with complex equations and calculations.

This is because aerospace engineering involves designing and analyzing aircraft and spacecraft systems, which require advanced mathematical concepts. You’ll use math to solve problems, predict how different components will perform, and ensure the safety and efficiency of these vehicles.

So if you’re considering studying aerospace engineering, it’s important to be prepared for the challenges that come with this emphasis on math skills.

Comparison to other engineering disciplines

Aerospace engineering may be a challenging major, but it’s important to understand how it compares to other engineering disciplines. The following table provides a comparison between aerospace engineering and other popular engineering fields, highlighting key aspects such as difficulty, required skills, and potential salary.

Engineering DisciplineDifficultyRequired SkillsPotential Salary
Aerospace EngineeringHighMathematics, physics, computer programming, problem-solving, and teamwork.High
Mechanical EngineeringModerate to HighMathematics, mechanics, thermal dynamics, and design skills.High
Electrical EngineeringModerate to HighMathematics, circuits, programming, and electrical systems knowledge.High
Civil EngineeringModerateMathematics, physics, design, project management, and environmental awareness.Moderate to High
Software EngineeringModerateProgramming, problem-solving, algorithm design, and communication skills.High

From the table, you can see that while aerospace engineering may appear more challenging, it also offers high earning potential. The required skills are similar to other engineering fields, emphasizing a strong foundation in mathematics, physics, and problem-solving abilities. This comparison should give you a clearer idea of what to expect from different engineering disciplines, helping you make an informed decision about your future career path. Remember, regardless of the challenges, the key to success in any engineering discipline is passion, dedication, and hard work.

Is Aerospace Engineering a Good Major?

Aerospace engineering offers strong job prospects, high salary potential, and opportunities for growth and advancement in the industry.

Job prospects and demand

The job prospects for aerospace engineers are quite promising. As the aviation and space industries continue to expand, there is a growing demand for professionals with expertise in this field.

Aerospace engineers play a crucial role in designing, building, and testing aircraft and spacecraft, ensuring their safety and efficiency. They also work on developing new technologies and improving existing systems.

With advancements in technology and increased focus on space exploration, the demand for aerospace engineers is expected to remain strong in the coming years. This means that pursuing a career in aerospace engineering can provide you with excellent opportunities for growth and advancement.

With regards to salary potential, aerospace engineers tend to earn higher salaries compared to many other professions. The complexity of their work and the specialized knowledge they possess contribute to their earning potential.

Salary potential

Aerospace engineering offers strong salary potential for those who pursue this career path. As an aerospace engineer, you have the opportunity to earn a competitive income. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for aerospace engineers in May 2020 was $118,610.

However, it’s important to note that salaries can vary depending on your level of experience and qualifications. Entry-level positions may start with lower salaries but can increase significantly as you gain more experience and expertise in the field.

Additionally, factors such as location and industry can also impact your earning potential. Overall, a career in aerospace engineering has the potential to provide financial stability and growth opportunities over time.

Opportunities for growth and advancement

Aerospace engineering offers excellent opportunities for growth and advancement. As technology continues to advance, there is a growing demand for skilled aerospace engineers in the aviation and space industries.

With a degree in aerospace engineering, you can work on exciting projects such as designing new aircraft or spacecraft, improving existing systems, and developing cutting-edge technologies.

This field also provides chances to collaborate with experts from different disciplines like mechanical or electrical engineering, allowing you to broaden your knowledge and expand your skill set.

Tips for Getting Into Aerospace Engineering Programs

Prepare in high school by taking advanced math and science courses. Seek out internships and research opportunities to gain practical experience. Build a strong academic record with a focus on engineering-related coursework.

Lastly, prepare for the competitive application process by showcasing your passion for aerospace engineering through extracurricular activities and personal statements.

Prepare in high school by taking relevant courses

To increase your chances of getting into an aerospace engineering program, it’s important to start preparing in high school by taking relevant courses. This will give you a strong foundation and help you develop the necessary skills for this field.

Focus on subjects like math, physics, chemistry, and computer science as they are essential in aerospace engineering. These courses will introduce you to key concepts and principles that you’ll encounter later on in college.

By building a solid understanding of these subjects early on, you’ll be better equipped to handle the challenges of aerospace engineering at the university level.

In addition to taking relevant courses, try to seek out extra opportunities such as internships or research projects related to aerospace engineering. These experiences can provide hands-on learning and give you a taste of what it’s like to work in the field.

They also demonstrate your dedication and passion for aerospace engineering when applying for college programs.

Seek out internships and research opportunities

To enhance your chances of getting into an aerospace engineering program, it’s important to seek out internships and research opportunities. These experiences provide valuable hands-on learning and practical skills that can make you stand out from other applicants.

By participating in internships, you’ll get a chance to apply what you’ve learned in the classroom to real-world situations. This can give you a deeper understanding of aerospace engineering and demonstrate your commitment to the field.

Research opportunities allow you to work on cutting-edge projects alongside experienced professionals, which can further strengthen your knowledge and expertise. Additionally, internships and research experience can help you build a network of industry contacts who may be able to offer recommendations or job leads in the future.

Build a strong academic record

To increase your chances of getting into an aerospace engineering program, it’s important to build a strong academic record. This means excelling in your high school classes and taking challenging courses in math, science, and technology.

Aim for a high GPA and take advanced placement or honors classes if possible. Additionally, participating in extracurricular activities related to engineering can demonstrate your passion and commitment to the field.

Don’t forget that good grades are not the only factor considered during the application process, so make sure to also gain practical experience through internships or research opportunities.

Prepare for the application process

To increase your chances of getting into an aerospace engineering program, it’s important to be well-prepared for the application process. Start by taking relevant courses in high school, such as math and physics, to build a strong foundation.

Seek out internships or research opportunities in the field to gain hands-on experience and show your commitment. Focus on maintaining a good academic record with a solid GPA. When applying, make sure to carefully follow all instructions and submit all required documents on time.

And finally, don’t forget to highlight any extracurricular activities or projects that demonstrate your interest in aerospace engineering. With careful preparation and dedication, you can improve your chances of being accepted into an aerospace engineering program.


In conclusion, getting into an aerospace engineering program can be challenging, but it is not impossible. With hard work and dedication, you can overcome the difficulties and succeed in this field.

Remember to prepare well in high school, build a strong academic record, and take advantage of internships and research opportunities to increase your chances of getting accepted into a college program.

So don’t let the difficulty discourage you – pursue your passion for aerospace engineering and reach for the stars!


1. Is it tough to get into an aerospace engineering program?

Yes, getting into an aerospace engineering program can be hard as it often needs a high GPA and strong math and science skills.

2. What GPA do you need for aerospace college programs?

Most top-notch colleges with aerospace majors ask for a GPA of at least 3.5 on a scale of 4.0.

3. Is Aerospace the hardest major in college?

While difficulty varies from person to person, many agree that Aerospace Engineering is one of the most challenging majors because it deals with complex subjects like physics and calculus.

4. How tough is it to work at NASA as an aerospace engineer?

Getting a job at NASA as an aerospace engineer could be tough due to the high competition and need for advanced skills in problem-solving, teamwork, and technical knowledge.

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