The biggest aerospace engineering program in the U.S. is now ranked higher than ever

Author: Alan Cesar
U.S. News and World Report announced in its undergraduate rankings that that Purdue's School of Aeronautics and Astronautics is up by two spots, to No. 3.

Undergraduate ranking #3

The secret’s out: Not only does Purdue’s School of Aeronautics and Astronautics grant more degrees than anyone else, our already-leading undergraduate program is now ranked third in the country.  

Today, U.S. News and World Report announced in its 2024 undergraduate rankings that that the Purdue AAE program is up by two spots, to No. 3. This is AAE’s highest in the publication’s 23-year history of tracking undergraduate aerospace engineering programs. Purdue University also reached its highest rank ever, rising to No. 43, and the College of Engineering rose to No. 8.

William Crossley, who has been the Uhrig and Vournas Head of Aeronautics and Astronautics since 2019, credits the department’s dedication and recent investments in instructional faculty for the improvement.  

“Our faculty have worked hard to maintain our educational quality as our undergraduate enrollment more than doubled over the last 10 years. We also hired 14 professors, professors of engineering practice, and lecturers since 2020, 10 of those in the last 18 months,” Crossley says. 

In addition, new and expanded instructional lab spaces help give each student enough hands-on time with the type of equipment they will use in industry, and the School is pursuing additional room that clubs need to prepare for national engineering competitions

These investments have been necessary to keep up with the influx of students and industry’s growing need for our graduates. Purdue AAE doubled the number of degrees granted in the last decade — 317 bachelor’s and 213 graduate degrees in 2023. 

“Our graduates are in high demand due to the unparalleled, hands-on experiences they get here. They engage in such a wide range of activities.  A few recent examples include students going on Mars simulations, showing their grit with liquid-fueled rockets, and conducting important research on space domain awareness. Our alumni design spacecraft and become astronauts themselves,” Crossley says. “We’ve shown that, with continued investment in our faculty, students, and staff, we can be the biggest and be the best.” 

Publish date: September 18, 2023
Author: Alan Cesar