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Aerospace Engineering Major Guide for 2009-2010

What is Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineering uses the basic sciences and mathematics to develop the foundation for the design, development, production, testing, and applied research associated with aerospace vehicles. These vehicles include aircraft, spacecraft, and missiles. Auxilliary and propulsion systems are also an integral part of this education. These include guidance, control, environmental, ramjet, rocket, turbo-jet, and piston engine systems. Emphasis in the senior year is directed toward these topics, and the program culminates in a major aerospace design project.

The educational objectives of the aerospace engineering program are

  • To provide students with a comprehensive education that includes in-depth instruction in aerodynamcis, structures, flight mechanics, orbital mechanics, flight propulsion, and the design of aerospace system.
  • To prepare students for professional careers in aerospace engineering by developing the skills pertinent to problem solving, analysis, design, and those personal skills required for teamwork and effective communication.
  • To provide opportunities to develop and cultivate life-long learning skills, individual professionalism and ethics.
  • To prepare some students for graduate study at major universities limited by student desire and their mental ability and agility.

Career Opportunities in Aerospace Engineering

In the twenty-first century, our renewed quest in space will accelerate as full realization is made of spin-off benefits to society. These endeavors will increase employment opportunities for aerospace engineers in the future. Graduates at UT are actively sought by industry and government aerospace organizations nationwide. Major employers such as Boeing, Pratt and Whitney, NASA, General Electric, Honeywell, Lockheed-Martin and Arnold Engineering Development Center (which houses the largest wind tunnel test facilities in the world, located in Tullahoma, (Tenn.) actively recruit our students. Many of our B.S. students chose to continue their education at graduate school.

High School Preparation

Core academic subjects required for admission:
• 4 units of English
• 2 units of algebra
• 1 unit of geometry, trigonometry,advanced math or calculus
• 2 units of natural science, including at least 1 unit of biology, chemistry
or physics
• 1 unit of American history
• 1 unit of European history, world history or world geography
• 2 units of a single foreign language
• 1 unit of visual or performing arts
Computer courses prior to the freshman year in engineering are also highly

Prospective students who want to enter the engineering program are also
required to meet the criteria of the “Success Prediction Index” (SPI). The formula
for SPI is 10 x high school core GPA + math ACT score. The college is gradually
increasing the required SPI score. Check the UT Admissions or College of Engineering web sites to determine the current SPI required. Students who are unable to meet this requirement may register as “university undecided”
students and complete appropriate mathematics, science and other courses
before applying for admission to the COE.

How to Major in Aerospace Engineering

The aerospace engineering degree program is administered by the UT
Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Biomedical Engineering (MABE).
Students applying to the university should specify aerospace engineering
as their chosen major when completing the admission form. Students transferring
from other departments within UT or from other educational institutions
should contact the department for more information regarding the appropriate
entry level and any additional required courses.

Requirements for Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace Engineering and the MABE department currently do not have any special requirements for
admission to the aerospace engineering program, other than the general admission
requirements for the university and the college. College of Engineering students
at the sophomore level and above are required to own laptop computers
for class work. For more information, please visit

Special Programs, Co-ops, and Internships

All UT freshman engineering students are automatically enrolled in the
innovative Engage Engineering Fundamentals Program, designed to help students
learn basic engineering concepts and teamwork skills through a series of
hands-on projects and activities:

The College of Engineering’s Office of Professional Practice (OPP) provides
income-generating opportunities for engineering students to experience realworld
engineering challenges through cooperative education (co-op) and internship
programs. Both programs offer structured learning environments where
students develop increasing responsibilities by holding full-time paid positions
in a professional environment related to their academic and career goals:

In addition to financial and scholarship programs available to all students,
the college also provides special scholarships and support programs to minority
students, including:
• Diversity Engineering Scholarship Program (DESP)

• Engineering Diversity Programs Office (EDP)

• The Pipeline Engineering Diversity Program

• Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP)

The College of Engineering also participates in the University Honors Program, which is designed to give academically outstanding students a unique undergraduate experience consisting of special courses, seminars, mentoring and
research projects.

Highlights of Aerospace Engineering

The aerospace engineering curriculum is designed to give students many
opportunities to participate in handson research activities. Recent projects
have included the design of both civil and military aircraft and the design
and construction of a working hybrid rocket engine. Students frequently
compete with their peers across the nation in judged design competitions.
AE students are also encouraged to participate in the student sections
of aerospace engineering professional societies, including the American Institute
of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and Sigma Gamma Tau, the
honor society established to recognize superior academic performance in
aerospace engineering.

Ready for the World logoReady for the World

Engineering students can take part in UT Study Abroad programs throughout the world. There are programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. You can take classes during one semester, mini-term, summer, or the whole academic year.  There are also opportunities for international internships and other work experiences.  See the websites at the Engineering Outreach Office and Programs Abroad Office for more information.

Learn more about UT's Ready for the World initiative to help students gain the international and intercultural knowledge they need to succeed in today's world.

Sample Curriculum

Freshman Year Credit Hours
ENGL 101 * or ENGL 118 *,  ENGL 102 6
CHEM 120 * or CHEM 128 * 4
MATH 141 * or MATH 147 *, MATH 142 * or MATH 148 * 8
EF 105 , EF 151  or EF 157 , EF 152  or EF 158 9
ME 202 2
Social Sciences Elective*

Sophomore Year Credit Hours
MATH 200 , MATH 231 , MATH 241  or MATH 247 8
AE 201 1
PHYS 231 *, PHYS 232 * 7
ME 231 , ME 321   6
MSE 201 3
EF 230 2
ECON 201 * or ECON 207 * 4
Arts and Humanities Elective* 3

Junior Year Credit Hours
AE 341 , AE 345 , AE 351 , AE 363 , AE 370 16
ME 331 , ME 344 , ME 363 9
ECE 301 3
PHIL 241 * 3
ME 391    3

Senior Year Credit Hours
AE 410 *, AE 422 , AE 424 , AE 425 , AE 426 , AE 429 , AE 449 21
EF 402 1
Cultures and Civilizations Electives* 6
* Meets General Education Requirements


For More Information



The information on this page should be considered general information only. For more specific information on this and other programs refer to the UT catalog or contact the department and/or college directly.