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Engineering physics undergrad to Aerospace grad

  1. Jun 21, 2011 #1
    I am currently deciding between going for an aerospace degree or an engineering physics degree with concentrations in space topics (propulsion, system design, etc). I am interested in propulsion systems and possibly doing research and development in this this field. I think enjoy the science side of it more, but am thinking that I may be better off with an aerospace degree when applying to a graduate program in aerospace. Can anyone offer insight into this? Thanks
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 21, 2011 #2
    I would go for engineering physics. I've looked up some aero/astro programs and they seem pretty lax on their undergrad degree requirements. An EP program should give you enough of a technical background for grad study in AA. Also, if you're interested in propulsion systems, you'll need a lot more E&M than what you'd get in an aerospace undergrad program.
     
  4. Jun 23, 2011 #3
    OK, thanks. Do grad schools care much about ABET certification? I was under the impression that it is more imperative for those going straight to industry and not so much for those seeking graduate school, but I don't really have much knowledge on which to base that. I know that Stanford's undergrad aerospace isn't certified, and it seems like it hasn't hindered grad program acceptances. Any info/opinions on this or on the topic above is appreciated.
     
  5. Jun 23, 2011 #4

    cjl

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    Can it be done? Absolutely. If you want to go into propulsion, you'll probably need a bit of review of fluid dynamics (especially compressible flows), since aerospace programs usually cover that in the undergraduate level, while engineering physics does not. Other than that though, it should be OK. E&M usually isn't required for propulsion unless you're specifically looking at things such as ion engines, so I'm not quite sure what rhombusjr was getting at with that comment.

    (I assume you have some thermodynamics already?)
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2011
  6. Jun 23, 2011 #5
    Thanks for the response. If I decide to do the EP route, I would have quite a few free credits that would allow me to take coursed based on my interest/future plans. I actually do have quite a bit of interest in electric propulsion, one the reasons why I am strongly considering the engineering physics. My main concern is that grad programs may be more willing to accept a student with an aerospace degree because the inevitably had more exposure to aerospace studies.
     
  7. Jun 23, 2011 #6

    cjl

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    Ahh - I misread the first post. I assumed you'd already done an undergrad in engineering physics. I would say that either degree should work fine, honestly. If you decide to go aerospace undergrad, you'll probably want to take a bit more E&M than required by the curriculum (based on the interest in electric propulsion), and if you decide to go engineering physics, I'd make sure to take at least one semester of solid thermo (which is probably required anyways), as well as an aerodynamics course if possible (one that covers compressible flows if possible). It isn't absolutely necessary, but it would help once you get into an aerospace graduate program.
     
  8. Jun 27, 2011 #7
    Ok, thanks so much, that helps a lot.
     
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