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Could I move into an MS in Aerospace engineering?

  1. Dec 29, 2016 #1
    If I have a BS on Physics, could I move and pursue into a MS in Aerospace engineering without having a BS on Aerospace E.? Would be easier if I had a BS in Astrophysics?
  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 29, 2016 #2
    Different MS programs have different requirements.

    In most cases in the US, a BS in Physics would be OK to pursue an MS in Aero Eng. I would tend to recommend a BS in Mechanical Engineering more.
  4. Dec 30, 2016 #3
    Going into a MS in Aerospace engineering without having a BS on it may not be the best choice. You can do what you are asking, but it may cause some trouble if you really want to be an engineer. I think you should do that in case you want to pursue a PhD.

    If you want to pursue into a PhD in Aerospace engineering, a BS in Physics may be useful to some areas like Astrodynamics, but for the rest of the cases, it wont be useful at all. If you want to pursue a PhD in Physics, it may be useful if you are doing it in Astrophysics, since you would have a greater insight in how telescopes in space work after a MS in Aerospace Engineering.
  5. Dec 30, 2016 #4
    I think I can be a bit more supportive than Wastrophysicist. I think the best degree for preparation to a graduate degree in aero is an undergraduate aero degree, but physics is probably a strong second (or maybe third behind mechanical which in some schools encompasses aero).

    I am a physicist who worked(s) among many aero grads. I would try to take more than one undergraduate classical mechanics course as preparation (assuming an advanced classical course is offered). My aero colleagues and advisors appreciated physicists who were well versed in the physics of rotation, euler angles, orbital mechanics and the rudiments of control theory.

    I know many physicists that quickly came up to speed in control theory they encountered in Aero. They had strong backgrounds in mathematics and dynamics.

    I do not think astrophysics would have and advantage over physics save for the fact that astrophysics majors at my university 40 years ago were required to take two courses Classical Mechanics and Advanced Classical Mechanics both at the Junior-Senior level. Unfortunately, most physics programs these days no longer offer two Semesters in Junior/Senior Classical mechanics.

    A good friend of mine (Aero PhD ) told me he wanted to pursue physics, but moved to aero because of better prospects. I think you may run into many aeros who enjoy the mind expanding ideas they see in physics, but directed themselves and motivated towards applications and practices that were more immediate.
  6. Dec 31, 2016 #5
    Hahah sure :biggrin:

    Indeed, having backgrounds both in Physics and Aerospace Engineering is a good option. But Gjmdp was asking about moving into a MS without having a BS in Aerospace E., which may not be the best option. There is a big lack of knowledge (4 years of college!), but a Physics background is useful to minimize this.

    Jeffrey A. Hoffman is a professor of Aerospace Engineering at MIT, having just a PhD in Astrophysics, so I think there must be some overlap in Astronautics & Astrophysics. It is true than in no Astrophysics' course you are going to find any engineering content (well, at least in most of the cases), but in places like ESA, there are many astrophysicists working as engineers.
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2016
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