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. Auxiliary 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 aerodynamics, 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. A good resource to explore is the U.S. Department of Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos027.htm
High School Preparation
The College of Engineering has established admissions criteria for incoming freshmen based on several performance criteria, including completion of core academic subjects, GPA scores on these subjects and standardized test (SAT or ACT) scores. A Success Prediction Indicator (SPI) number of 60 and a math ACT of 25 or a math SAT of 570 are minimum standards used for admission to the College of Engineering. The admitted class may also be limited by space available in the College. The SPI is calculated by adding an individual’s ACT mathematics score to 10 times their core high school GPA (based on a 4.0 scale). For information on what constitutes core high school courses, please consult admission website http://admissions.utk.edu/undergraduate/apply/requirements.shtml.
SPI EXAMPLE: A student with a high school core GPA of 3.5 and an ACT mathematics score of 28 would have an SPI of 63 using the formula (3.5 X 10) + 28 = 63. SAT scores are converted to an equivalent ACT score to perform this calculation.
Students who wish to pursue a degree in the College of Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, but do not meet the college admission criterion may enroll as Arts and Sciences Exploratory students and complete appropriate mathematics, science, and other courses before applying for admission to the College of Engineering as an internal transfer student.
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 are required to own laptop computers for class work. For more information, please visit http://www.engr.utk.edu/futurestudents/computers.html.
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: www.ef.engr.utk.edu/efd
The College of Engineering’s Office of Professional Practice (EPP) provides income-generating opportunities for engineering students to experience real-world 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: www.coop.utk.edu
In addition to financial and scholarship programs available to all students, the college also provides special scholarships and support programs to minority students, including:
- Engineering Diversity Programs Office (EDP) www.engr.utk.edu/diversity/
- Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (TLSAMP) www.engr.utk.edu/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. http://www.utk.edu/honors/ In addition to the University Honors Program, the College of Engineering Honors Program information can be found online at http://www.engr.utk.edu/academics/honors.html.
Highlights of Aerospace Engineering
The aerospace engineering curriculum is designed to give students many opportunities to participate in hands-on 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.
The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, offers study abroad programs in Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, South America, and North America. Program lengths vary from mini-term trips to the entire academic year, and students may choose to fulfill general education requirements, study a foreign language, or take courses within their majors. In addition, UTK offers students opportunities for international internships.
Students are highly encouraged to begin planning early in their academic career and to consult with an academic advisor about the best time to study abroad as well as what courses to take abroad. For more information about program options, the application process, and how to finance study abroad, please visit the Programs Abroad Office website.
For more information about opportunities for majors in the College of Engineering, please see the section of the Engineering Outreach Office website which highlights study abroad programs for engineering students.
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.
Academic Plan and Milestones
Following an academic plan will help students stay on track to graduate in four years. Beginning with first-time, first-year, full-time, degree-seeking students entering in the Fall 2013 semester, UT has implemented Universal Tracking (uTrack), an academic monitoring system designed to help students stay on track for timely graduation. In order to remain on track, students must complete the minimum requirements for each tracking semester, known as milestones. Milestones may include successful completion of specified courses and/or attainment of a minimum GPA.
To see a sample academic plan and milestones for this major, go to Aerospace Engineering in the Undergraduate Catalog (catalog.utk.edu).
Honors Aerospace Engineering Concentration
In addition to satisfying the requirements for the aerospace engineering major, candidates for the honors aerospace engineering concentration must also complete the following requirements.
- First-year courses for honors concentrations in the engineering majors. (Note: Most of the honors requirements are course substitutions for the aerospace engineering major.)
- Two upper-division honors courses in aerospace engineering (AE 347 , AE 377 ).
- A minimum of 3-credit hours of an honors senior design course. This requirement is normally satisfied as part of the senior capstone design course (AE 429 ).
The department offers a 5 year BS-MS program for qualified students. The primary component of the program is that qualified students may take up to 9 hours of approved graduate courses for their senior undergraduate electives and have them count toward both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Tennessee. This program is designed for students attending the University of Tennessee for their Master of Science degree because other universities may not accept these courses for graduate credit since they were used to satisfy requirements for the Bachelor of Science degree. Significant components of the program are:
- Students must have an overall GPA of at least 3.4 to be admitted to the program. Conditional admission may be granted after completing 64 hours of required course work while full admission is granted after completing 96 hours of required course work with a minimum overall GPA of 3.4 in required course work.
- Students must at least have conditional admission before taking graduate courses for both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. All courses taken for graduate credit must be approved by the departmental chair of the program. Students admitted to the program must request permission from the Graduate School to take approved courses for graduate credit. Students admitted to the program must also follow the normal procedure for admission to the Graduate School.
- Admission of students into this program must be approved by the department and the Graduate School.
- Students will not be eligible for graduate assistantships until they are enrolled as graduate-level students in the Graduate School.