Aerospace engineering is the primary field of engineering concerned with the development of aircraft and spacecraft. It has two major and overlapping branches: Aeronautical engineering and Astronautical Engineering. Avionics engineering is similar, but deals with the electronics side of aerospace engineering. Aeronautical engineering was the original term for the field. As flight technology advanced to include craft operating in outer space, the broader term “aerospace engineering” has come into common use.
Aerospace engineering may be studied at the advanced diploma, bachelor’s, master’s and a Ph. D. levels in aerospace engineering departments at many universities, and in mechanical engineering departments at others. A few departments offer degrees in space-focused astronautical engineering. Some institutions differentiate between aeronautical and astronautical engineering. Graduate degrees are offered in advanced or specialty areas for the aerospace industry. A background in chemistry, physics, computer science and mathematics is important for students pursuing an aerospace engineering degree.
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