As an aerospace engineer, you are always looking up. You will work in all areas of aerospace systems and will be responsible for the design and performance of air and spacecraft and their propulsion systems. Aerospace engineering focuses on the research, development, integration, and production of aerospace systems. You'll gain experience in mechanical, electrical, computer, material, and aerospace applications. In this major you take classes in mechanics, materials, and physics. Once you graduate, you’ll be in good company. We have alumni employed with NASA, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, and GE Aviation.
Career options include aerospace, automotive work, defense, engines, government work, manufacturing, and security.
- Our aerospace engineering program is ranked #6 by U.S. News & World Report.
- 69% of students reported having an internship or co-op during their degree program.
- 93% of students reported securing their first choice destination upon graduation.
- The average starting salary for an aerospace engineering graduate is $83,188 with an average signing bonus of $4,375.
Discover your power. Become a Grainger Engineer.
Your path to Grainger Engineering starts with connecting your passion and interests with the opportunities available in one of our 19 top-ranked major programs. Explore your options and gather the information you need to take the next step and apply.
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What You'll Study
As an aerospace engineering student at Illinois, you will study mechanics, materials, and physics, and work in all areas of aerospace systems. You will also gain first-hand experience in the design and performance of air and spacecrafts and their propulsion systems. The aerospace engineering curriculum provides a strong fundamental background in engineering, mathematics, and science, along with the ability to apply this fundamental knowledge to the analysis and design of future aircraft and spacecraft. You will work in all areas of aerospace systems and will be responsible for the design and performance of air and spacecraft and their propulsion systems.
In this major you take classes in mechanics, materials, and physics. The concepts of system design are introduced early in the curriculum and culminate in the yearlong senior capstone design experience (AE 442, AE 443), in which students work in teams to respond to a design challenge from industry, government, or a professional engineering society. Aerospace engineering students may learn about aerodynamics, design, and performance of air and spacecraft and their propulsion systems.
Minor in Computer Science
The CS Minor is offered for students seeking significant knowledge of digital computing without the more complete treatment of a major in computer science. This minor may be taken by any student except majors in the Computer Science degree programs and in Computer Engineering.
Grainger Engineering's aerospace engineering curriculum will prepare you for a career in industry or with government institutions, to engage in entrepreneurship, and/or pursue graduate degrees. You could be among the 42% of our aerospace graduates who continue their education in graduate school, or join the other half who take industry positions.
Your career options as an aerospace graduate commonly include: aerospace, automotive work, defense, engines, government work, manufacturing, and security. You can expect an average starting salary of $83,188 with an average signing bonus of $4,375.
employed or continuing education*
employed after graduation
attending graduate school
average starting annual income*
Sample employer destinations: Boeing, Rockwell Collins, Northrop Grumman View All
Sample grad school destinations: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Georgia Institute of Technology, Stanford University View All
*Post-graduate data was collected through the Illini Success initiative, which primarily relies on self-reported survey data sources. Statistics reported are from 2021-2022. Please note that total compensation may be greater than annual salary as other forms of compensation (e.g., signing bonus, commission, benefits) are not included. For more information on Illini Success data and methods, please visit the Illini Success website.