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Aerospace Engineering at MIT – Admission, Requirements & Scope

Updated on 15 April, 2024

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is a private university located in Massachusetts, United States of America (USA). Founded in 1861, MIT has come a long way from building its first wind tunnel to holding #1 position in aerospace engineering programs. Its intention of creating a diverse community within the aerospace field is what brought AeroAstro into existence. 

The research hub and academic department of MIT offer graduate and undergraduate aerospace engineering programs. With renowned faculty, the oldest academic program, and substantial scholarships, the university has successfully achieved #1 rank in QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022: Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering.

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If you are keen to study the intricacies of how spacecraft and aircraft are developed, you should aim to study aerospace engineering at MIT. Read on to learn all about MIT’s aerospace engineering program. 

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About Aerospace Engineering at MIT

MIT, through AeroAstro, offers an excellent academic program – Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. This course degree is designed to provide students with a strong foundation for aerospace systems and vehicles. 

Additionally, the course covers topics like fluid mechanics, aerodynamics, structural design and analysis, propulsion, dynamics, and advanced materials. Students pursuing this program will also learn about digital systems, feedback, aerospace communications, control, human systems engineering, estimation, software engineering, and control of flight vehicles. Completing this course will take four years of rigorous study and research.

Modules of Aerospace Engineering at MIT

The departmental program has divided the subjects into core courses, professional subjects, and laboratory subjects. Before that, students must fulfill the General Institute Requirements (GIRS). GIRS comprises math, physics, biology, chemistry, arts, humanities, and social sciences. Now, let’s look at the main blocks of this degree course.

Core Curriculum

The core curriculum offers a basic understanding of the primary fundamentals of aerospace engineering. The following courses are covered under this curriculum that students have to undertake:

  • Unified Engineering
  • Dynamics
  • Principles of Automatic Control
  • Differential Equations
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Computer Programming

These courses are usually offered during the sophomore year. 

Professional Area Subjects

Students pursuing aerospace engineering at MIT need to take at least four subjects from three professional areas such as

  • Materials and Structures (Structural Mechanics)
  • Estimation and Control (Feedback Control Systems)
  • Computer Systems (Digital Systems Laboratory; Real-Time Systems and Software)
  • Communication Systems (Communication Systems and Networks)
  • Propulsion (Aerospace Propulsion)
  • Computational Tools (Computational Modeling and Data Analysis in Aerospace Engineering)
  • Humans and Automation (Human Systems Engineering; Principles of Autonomy and Decision Making)
  • Fluid Mechanics (Aerodynamics)

Capstone and Laboratory Subjects

Every student is supposed to select one of the following subjects:

  • Space Systems Engineering
  • Flight Vehicle Engineering

In addition to the above two subjects, students must choose one sequence from the following subjects:

  • Robotics: Science and Systems
  • Experimental Projects
  • Flight Vehicle Development
  • Space Systems Development


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Academic Cycle

The aerospace engineering degree comprises eight semesters spread across four years. For students to successfully achieve their graduation degree, fulfilling the required number of credits is essential.

The general requirements – Science, HASS, Institute lab, and REST – make up 17 units. Additionally, students must take unrestricted electives of a minimum of 42 units. 

Beyond the general requirements, there are specific special departmental requirements too. The core subjects make up 108 credit units, professional area subjects account for 48 units, and the capstone subjects are 24-30 units. 

Therefore, a student needs to complete 17 GIRs credits and around 192-198 departmental subject credits to get the degree in aerospace engineering at MIT.


MIT has a transparent admission process and eligibility requirements for international students.


The university will consider the applications if the following academic requirements are fulfilled:

  • SAT and ACT scores (SAT essay and ACT writing are not required)
  • Display of minimum competence in the field the student chooses to pursue at MIT
  • List of four prominent activities in the application form

English Language Proficiency

Non-native English speaker students need to submit English proficiency test scores. The university accepts the following tests.

IELTSMinimum 7Recommended 7.5
TOEFLMinimum 90Recommended 100
Duolingo English Test (DET)Minimum 120Recommended 125
Pearson Test of English (PTE) AcademicMinimum 65Recommended 70
Cambridge English Qualifications (C1 Advanced or C2 Proficiency)Minimum 185Maximum 190

Admissions for Aerospace Engineering at MIT

Eager to start applying to one of the most excellent universities in the USA? Let’s quickly look into the admission process so you can soon start studying aerospace engineering.

Admission Cycle

MIT has two admission cycles – Early Action (EA) and Regular Action (RA). The only difference between both is the application deadlines.

The early action application closes on November 1. The regular action concludes on January 5. In the former case, the students will receive the decision sometime in mid-December. In the latter, the admission decision comes by mid-March. 

Admission Process for Aerospace Engineering at MIT

To apply to MIT, students need to apply through the Office of Undergraduate admissions and submit an application fee of $75. Once the application form is filled and the required documents are provided, students will have to click the submit button.

Once an application is submitted, it first undergoes the scrutiny of a senior admissions officer. Compelling applications are then evaluated and processed by the additional admissions officers. They will summarize the application for the admissions committee. 

The selection committee will observe both the summary and the application and then approve or reject it. 

Documents Required for Admission

The following documents are required for your admission application to receive consideration by the selection committee:

  • Official transcripts sent by a school representative or counsellor – both for high school and college
  • Different kinds of creative portfolios like research, visual art, music, theatre art, etc., are encouraged
  • Short answer essay questions 
  • Self-reported coursework form
  • Letters of recommendation from two academic teachers – one from a science/math teacher and the other from a language/social science/humanities teacher
  • School profile, and letter of recommendation from a school counsellor

Cost of Attendance

Studying aerospace engineering at MIT can be a costly affair. Preparing and undertaking proper financial measures can be helpful. For that, it’s important to be apprised of the MIT aerospace engineering fees in advance.


MIT aerospace engineering fees for the academic year 2022-2023 are $57,590. The student life fee costs around $396.

Living Costs

Here’s a breakdown of the living costs at MIT:

Books and supplies$850
Personal expenses$2,224


Placements for Aerospace Engineering at MIT

Employment of aerospace engineers is projected to grow 8% from 2020 to 2030. Aerospace engineers are employed in manufacturing, analyzing and designing aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles. The median annual wage for aerospace engineers was $122,270 in May 2021, as per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Some of the most well-renowned companies from the USA and internationally come to MIT for placements. Following the conclusion of your degree in aerospace engineering at MIT, you can go on to receive placement in companies like:

  • Google
  • Tesla
  • Amazon
  • NASA
  • Government organizations

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Frequently Asked Questions

Is MIT best for aerospace engineering?

The bachelor’s and master’s program in aerospace engineering at MIT has consistently ranked #1 by US News and World Report. It is indeed a top-notch university to pursue an aerospace engineering degree.


Is aerospace engineering challenging?

The aerospace engineering course is tricky, but it offers many opportunities after completion of the degree. Aerospace engineers are immensely technical, logical, and accurate, yet also quick on their feet and creative while problem-solving.

What’s the expected rate of growth in aerospace engineering?

The employment rate of aerospace engineers is expected to grow 8% from 2020 to 2030. It’s projected that there will be about 4,000 job openings for aerospace engineers every year for over a decade.

upGrad Abroad Team

upGrad abroad Editorial Team

We are a dedicated team of study-abroad experts, ensuring intensive research and comprehensive information in each of our blogs. With every piece written, we aim at simplifying the overseas education process for all. Our diverse experience as journalists, content writers, editors, content strategists, and marketers helps create the most relevant and authentic blogs for our readers.

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