The AAE undergraduate program normally begins in the second year, after completion of the common freshman engineering curriculum.
The sophomore year sets the foundation of basic engineering, including statics, dynamics, elementary structures, thermodynamics, and a broad introduction to the design of both aircraft and spacecraft.
In the junior year, students learn about aerodynamics, propulsion, structures, dynamics, and control systems. Some courses in the third year are available in both aeronautical and astronautical versions, and students choose the version of primary interest.
In the senior year, students pursue, in consultation with their academic advisor, two areas of concentration called their "major" and "minor". These are most commonly chosen from the disciplines of Aerodynamics, Structures & Materials, Propulsion, Dynamics & Control, and Aerospace Systems Design.
All students must complete a team-based senior design project, which integrates the technical disciplines and leads to a preliminary design of an aerospace system. Students may elect either aircraft or spacecraft versions of the senior design project.
Students successfully completing the curriculum will be awarded the B.S.AAE degree.
The curriculum is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.
The objective of the undergraduate aeronautical and astronautical engineering program is to prepare students for careers in aerospace engineering and related disciplines.
We consider this objective to be achieved if:
- All graduates are meaningfully employed in industry or government or are pursuing graduate studies within one year of graduation
- Most of our graduates take jobs in the aerospace industry or pursue graduate work in aerospace engineering
- After five years, most graduates are working in engineering
- After five years most graduates have advanced their careers by, for example, promotion or pursuit of an advanced degree
and, most importantly,
- All of our alumni feel that their education at Purdue was valuable preparation for their careers, whatever their field of endeavor.
Through the course of their studies, students shall gain:
(a) an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
(b) an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
(c) an ability to design an aerospace system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic
constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and
(d) an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
(e) an ability to identify, formulate, and solve aerospace engineering problems
(f) an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
(g) an ability to communicate effectively
(h) an understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic,
environmental, and societal context
(i) a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
(j) a knowledge of contemporary issues in aerospace engineering
(k) an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for aerospace engineering