Aero. Sci. or Aero. Engineering?


New Member
Hi, this is my first post here, very nice website
Anyways, my dilema is between the majors of aeronautical science and aerospcae engineering. I want to fly as an airline pilot for my career, but what also like the option to apply to the astronaut program later on years down the road (yeah i know the odds but its my dream :S).

Both of these majors really interest me. Aeronautical science gives you all your ratings up to cpl ifr/multi, and aerospace eng. is about design and spaceflight. The astronaut program accepts aerospace engineering as one of its approved majors and I am really interested in it. However, this major is really difficult and would also mean that I would have to get all my ratings on the side while up to my neck studying calculus. The aeronautical science major is perfect in that it would give me all my ratings, a college degree, and a pretty good aviation education. Only bad thing is that its not an approved major for the space program.

I like both of these majors but i will have to make a trade of somewhere and pick one. I recently came up with the idea of getting a BS in aeronautical science and a MS in aerospace engineering, but I don't know how hard it would be to transition to an engineering program at the graduate level. Any advice would be great. Thanks in advance

Do the engin program, you don't want to have to fly at Riddle anyways. It costs WAY too much, you can do it a lot cheaper on the side. Beyond that, you'll have a lot better fallback if the airlines/NASA don't work out. The hard work will be worth it.


John Herreshoff
Thanks for the reply. Yeah, I think I will give aero engineering a shot. Gonna be hard but maybe I can get in a few study groups or something like that. I agree, it is a better fallback than aero science if airlines or something were to go under again. Thanks
I did my Aero Engineering at Riddle while most of my friends and fraternity buddies were in Aero Science. You can still obtain your flight ratings outside Riddle which will be cheaper and just as good instructions. Florida is inundated with many flight schools so there is competition for your business. Engineering is hard but not impossible. As long as you have a clear understanding of the math and sciences, you will not have any problems. Be prepared to study quite a bit. Riddle has about a 20% freshman dropout rate in Engineering but mostly because the students didn't know what they were getting into or didn't have the devotion.

I went after the astronaut program but after 5 years of engineering (4 years bachelor and 1 year masters which I didn't finish) I decided I wanted to pursue other endeavors. Keep in mind you will need at minimum a Phd in some hard science to be competitive with others for the program. Only ones I know who didn't have a Phd and was accepted into the astronaut were military and medical personnels.

Good Luck
Thank you wizard, thats just what I needed to hear. I think I cna pull it off. I'm pretty good at math, but will have to study it a lot. Doing AP chem this year so we'll see how that goes. I really want this, so I'll stick with it. Thanks for the reply

Here is a link below that you can review the biographies of all current and past astronauts. This gives you a perspective of their backgrounds. Since your still in schooll you have plenty of opportunity in achieving your goal. Also you live in FL. I would suggest you start networking by contacting respective people and get involved with the space community. Once your a sophmore or junior in engineering apply to become a counselor at Space Camp. I was offered this after I graduated but turned it down in favor of a real and higher paying job. Good Luck.
Hey another thing to look into if you want to fly on the side during summer or whatever else is ATP. You would really have to study but atleast you could get it done during the summers in Jacksonville.
Geeze, those astronauts have awsome biographies. Most of them have aerospace engineering degrees and there are indeed a lot of Ph.D.s in there. Yeah, ATP would probably be the way to go for me in order to get my ratings. How are their prices? Thanks for the help all