Core Course Requirements

Please note: Some course numbers and suffix letters are subject to change. Please contact the Graduate Program Staff Assistant if you have questions about core course requirements.

Basic Field Theory

Complete one course in each of the following categories:

Fluid Mechanics:

  • AERSP 508* Foundations of Fluid Mechanics
  • AERSP 504 Aerodynamics of V/STOL Aircraft
  • AERSP 511 Aerodynamically Induced Noise
  • AERSP 524 Turbulence and Applications to CFD: DNS & LES/RANS
  • AERSP 525 Turbulence and Applications to CFD: RANS
  • AERSP 583 Wind turbine aerodynamics

Dynamics and control:

  • EMCH 520* Advanced Dynamics
  • AERSP 506 Rotorcraft Dynamics
  • AERSP 518 Dynamics and Control of Aerospace Vehicles
  • AERSP 550 Astrodynamics
  • AERSP 597 Autonomy

Solid Mechanics:

  • AERSP 470* Advanced Aerospace Structures
  • AERSP 571 Foundations of Structural Dynamics & Vibrations
  • AERSP 597 Multifunctional Structures
  • AERSP 597* Advanced Composites

Applied Mathematics

Complete one course:

  • EMch 524 * Mathematical Methods in Engineering
  • MATH 515 Classical mechanics and variational methods
  • STAT 500 Applied statistics

Teaching assistants and teaching aides who have classroom or laboratory instructional responsibilities must satisfactorily complete ENGR 888. Those with responsibilities limited to grading, holding office hours, and offering problem sessions must take ENGR 888 or a grading seminar.

Note: Classes with * are designated foundational classes in each core area. Students are recommended to take these classes if they have not covered the material being covered in these courses in their prior degree program.

Degrees and Requirements


The Penn State Department of Aerospace Engineering, established in 1961 and the only aerospace engineering department in Pennsylvania, is consistently recognized as one of the top aerospace engineering departments in the nation, and is also an international leader in aerospace education, research, and engagement. Our undergraduate program is ranked 15th and our graduate programs are ranked 15th nationally by U.S. News & World Report, while one in 25 holders of a B.S. degree in aerospace engineering in the U.S. earned it from Penn State. Our students are consistently among the most highly recruited by industry, government, and graduate schools nationwide.

The department is built upon the fundamentals of academic integrity, innovation in research, and commitment to the advancement of industry. Through an innovative curriculum and world-class instruction that reflects current industry practice and embraces future trends, Penn State Aerospace Engineering graduates emerge as broadly educated, technically sound aerospace engineers who will become future leaders in a critical industry

Department of Aerospace Engineering

229 Hammond Building

The Pennsylvania State University

University Park, PA 16802

Phone: 814-865-2569