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How difficult is Aerospace Engineering

  1. Oct 18, 2011 #1
    I am considering going to graduate school for either ME or AERO. I know that I could handle ME considering it is what I got my degree in. I know that ME and AERO are similiar but how competitive is AERO and how difficult is the course work?

    I am a good student.

    3.11 from a tough school
    1230 gre, 740 Q 490 V
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 18, 2011 #2
    It's hard work just like any other Engineering course. Although I have HEARD it's a little more "rigorous". If you have a passion for aircrafts then you will get through it.
  4. Oct 18, 2011 #3
    I'd say aerospace is more competitive, but only because it's a more specialized discipline than mechanical (by far). You have to sell yourself as a mechanical engineer, and sometimes that can be a little difficult if you encounter that numbskull who doesn't realize how similar the two disciplines are.

    As for difficult, I guess it depends on what subjects you find challenging. I can't speak for mechanical, but aerospace certainly treats certain topics with greater depth (fluid mechanics, for instance, given how fundamental it is to the discipline). Whether that's balanced out by greater depth in other fields (for instance, thermodynamics) or whether mechanical is designed as a 'jack-of-all-trades' discipline is beyond my advice.

    That having been said... seriously, you're picking grad school fields based on your perceived ability to pass the class or not? That's it? Maybe you should reconsider grad school. And when I mean reconsider, I don't mean "get out now", I mean seriously just step back for a second and ask why you want to go, and how driven you are towards completing your grad school degree.
  5. Aug 25, 2012 #4
    hey guys..
    I am a mechanical engineer.I graduated 2 months ago and have been working since then.I took up mechanical because its diverse field though my interest was always aero.

    I am planning to do my masters in aero but i am skeptical about it as i have no background in CFD,Propulsion,MATLAB,etc. i have also heard that the course is very rigorous.I am not too sure about the scope of doing masters in aero too.

    Also, what sort of work would i have to do in the aero field? would it be design or maintenance?
  6. Aug 28, 2012 #5

    I have a Bachelor's in Mechanical and received a Master's in Aerospace in 2003. I was granted a Teaching Assistantship in grad school and had to teach an Aero Lab. It was funny because the kids in the class knew more about Aero than I did at the time. Pretty nerve racking!

    As far as the course work, I struggled at first with airfoil and wing theory, but in grad school, classes are more project based so you can get a lot of help. I had no background in CFD, Propulsion or MATLAB and I made it through. I think you'll be fine as long as you work hard. Also, be prepared to do a lot of programming. A lot of our projects were in Fortran and yours could too depending on where you go.

    As far as work, the sky is the limit. No pun intended. You can do all kinds of things, like work for Boeing designing helicopter blades or work for NASA supporting a satellite design . With the mech undergrad, you would be biased towards the structural or thermal side of the design process, but not necessarily.
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 31, 2012
  7. Aug 29, 2012 #6
    If it were easy it would not be so much fun.

    I've been working in aerospace since 1979. I have a ME, as do most my peers. Some have a degree in aerospace, and I've never noticed any difference in their performance. A few have degrees in physics, and they tend to handle the jobs that are more analytical in nature.

    The bottom line is that your formal education is nothing more than a license to continue to learn the rest of your life. The only reason they require a degree is because it proves that you are able to learn. You will come out of school understanding only a tiny fraction of what you will need to know.
  8. Aug 29, 2012 #7
    Thanks a lot guys.I'm quite relieved now :)

    I'm looking more at the maintenance aspect.For employment in the airline sector one is required to have a Maintenance License.How does one obtain that?
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