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Aerospace engineering: strong colleges? is it a good major for me?

  1. Sep 2, 2010 #1
    Hi, I'm a senior attending an international school and am thinking of pursuing an Aerospace engineering major. I think I am passionate enough for the major, but my problem is that I cannot find a great college that also will hopefully offer financial aid to me as an international applicant.
    So far I've considered:
    - Florida Institute of Technology
    - Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    - Texas A&M University
    - McGill Univeristy
    - University of Maryland, College Park
    - University of Southern California

    but I lack the resources to actually see if they offer good aid for internationals.
    Colleges offering scholarships are fine too, I am just not sure if I am applicable for them.
    My current GPA is 3.61 out of 4, am taking the full International Baccalaureate diploma with Standard Level Physics (Average grade=B+), Math (average grade=A), and AP Calculus. My SAT score is 1830, with reading 550, Math 660, writing 620.

    I'd like to know:
    1)Do the colleges I listed have a strong aerospace engineering program? Are there any others that you would recommend I look at?

    2) Do any colleges give need-based aid to international students? scholarships? Am I applicable at my current state or do I need to improve?

    3) Is aerospace engineering a good major if I am interested in flight and space (would love to be part of NASA or companies really into outer space development)? Does it give good chances for high salary jobs? Is it possible for me to learn about nuclear engineering while doing this major?

    I would appreciate any and all help for any of these questions. Thank you in advance!
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 3, 2010 #2
    Texas A&M definitely does. It's consistently ranked in the top fifteen in the country.

    It's absolutely a great major, and aerospace jobs are among the highest paying jobs out there for entry level positions (and the salary essentially doubles after ten years). You can go to NASA if you'd like. A&M offers a lot of space-focused courses in its aerospace track.

    If I were you, though, I wouldn't touch a second engineering discipline. You need to pick between nuclear and aerospace. If you're interested in working on nuclear power generation for space flight, I suspect just nuclear engineering would be able to land a job in the field.

    Sorry I can't give any more help. Good luck!
  4. Sep 5, 2010 #3
    Thank you Angry Citizen :)

    Texas A&M is absolutely in my list.
    Although money isn't my first priority, it is one of the reasons why I looked at aerospace engineering (or engineering itself).

    The thing is, now I am interested in astrophysics too.. actually it may be what I would like to do more than aerospace engineering. Is it possible I could major and minor in either of them? Is there a difference in terms of competition, jobs etc?
  5. Sep 5, 2010 #4
    Minors traditionally are not very marketable, unless you take a foreign language minor or something. Astrophysics and aerospace engineering are very different fields. Aerospace is much more focused on design. Astrophysics, I presume, is centered more on orbital mechanics and other things involving the motions and behaviors of celestial objects. You could probably land a job in NASA or the commercial space industry, but don't quote me -- I'm not that familiar with the career.
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