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Entering aerospace

  1. Jun 2, 2014 #1
    Greetings PF. First off, I just discovered this site and I've already found it to be quite valuable. Cheers to the moderators!

    Now then, my inquiry. I have been accepted into an aerospace engineering program and have made plans to return to school full time this fall. I barely made the cut-off for minimum GPA and I got my B.A. in physics about ten years ago. For the past year, I've been taking math refresher courses (lin. alg., ODE, and calc III) to prepare for re-entry (pun intended). Important note, I've never actually taken an engineering course and my adviser has placed me in mid to upper level undergrad classes for my first semester (15 hrs). Although I'm very interested in the topic, I am a bit nervous about re-entering school as engineering grad student since I haven't even had CAD or any programming courses. I feel as though I'll need to learn things on the fly. Has anyone faced this issue before? If so, did you successfully navigate the program? I'd really like to hear from people who were in a similar situation.
    Also, I've long been curious about mech. vs. aero regarding my chosen path. From browsing online posts in recent days, I've read that the math associated with aero is much more difficult than mechanical. Is this true? I would appreciate honest and direct feedback. Thank you in advance.
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 19, 2014 #2
    CAD software usage depends which particular area you enter into for Aerospace, if you are designing sector, you would require skills of CAD to design. If you enter hands on field, like technicians then it is alright.

    Mechanical is more general part of engineering as compared to Aerospace, which specializes more one area more.. so yes, math and physics would be of a higher requirement.
  4. Oct 7, 2014 #3
    Aerospace grad here. First off, good choice! I can tell you from experience (my girlfriend got her bachelors in physics, we went to school together), that the math will not be as hard as what you had to do in physics (which I assume is a lot of derivations). In my experience, we derived things first, then used the resulting equation(s) the rest of the time (with the exception of rare cases where derivation was required every time). In general, nothing you should have a problem with.

    The CAD shouldn't be a huge issue, depending on where you are going to school. My program required one class to learn it, then it wasn't really ever required again. It was nice at times for projects, and it was usually always done by the person who was most familiar with it to save time (choose your friends wisely), but definitely not required. And outside of occasionally using Matlab, there was almost no programming.

    So, I guess what I'm trying to say is you will do absolutely fine. Especially with a background in physics. It might even frustrate you how simplified things can get. Looks like your semester already started, so good luck and keep it up!

    Welcome to the world of practicality and higher starting salaries :)
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