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    Syracuse University
  Feb 19, 2018
2015-2016 Undergraduate Course Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

Aerospace Engineering, BS

Department Chair:

Dr. H. Ezzat Khalifa, 263 Link Hall,, 315-443-1286

Program Director:

Dr. John Dannenhoffer, 245 Link Hall,, 315-443-3340


Jeongmin Ahn, Michelle Blum, Thong Dang, John F. Dannenhoffer, Barry D. Davidson, Mark N. Glauser, Melissa Green, Vadrevu R. Murthy, Jianshun S. Zhang

The mission of the aerospace engineering program at Syracuse University is to educate and to promote learning and discovery in aerospace engineering and to prepare students for a career of technical excellence and professional growth and leadership in a complex and competitive technological environment.

The program educational objectives of the aerospace engineering curriculum are to enable graduates of the program to do the following:

  • apply the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences to professional practice or to advanced study in aerospace engineering or related fields;
  • be cognizant of societal context and ethical responsibility in professional practice;
  • function productively on teams and communicate ideas to both technical and non-technical audiences; and
  • be agile, innovative, and adaptable in an increasingly diverse and global environment.

Opportunities for aerospace engineers will continue to expand within the military, civilian, and general aviation sectors spurred on by the development of new aircraft that extends to civilian supersonic aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles. This growth in aircraft demand (as well as the need for higher efficiencies, longer ranges, and lower cost aircraft) is being fueled by the increasing global demand for air travel in the international marketplace. Space exploration has also entered a period of increased activity that includes an increased exploitation of satellites to service the demand for global communication, the need for low-cost assured access to space, the international space station, and planetary missions.

We prepare our students for this changing environment by providing an opportunity to gain marketable and relevant skills that can lead to success in a wide range of careers. The distinctive signature of undergraduate aerospace engineering at Syracuse University is the ability to fit a minor into the curriculum. Students explore the breadth of Syracuse University by complementing their aerospace engineering degree with a minor in business, public policy, fine arts, public communications, and many more.

The technical focus of the B.S. program in aerospace engineering (AEE) is to develop a sound educational basis for the analysis and design of aerospace systems, with emphasis on the structure, aerodynamics, flight/orbital mechanics, and propulsion of aircraft and spacecraft systems. Aerospace engineering is a field constantly pushing the limits of technology. The B.S. AEE program stresses the fundamental physical, mathematical, and engineering principles that form the broadest base for future work in a fast-changing field.

The B.S. AEE program is designed to prepare graduates for either immediate employment or for continuing studies at the graduate level. One distinguishing feature of the program is the opportunity for undergraduate students to participate in current research projects, which provide first-hand exposure both to advanced topics of current interest and to challenges typical of graduate school or industrial research. Research experiences for undergraduates are available in many areas, including fluid dynamics, aerodynamics, solid mechanics, and applications of high-performance computers.

Requirements for the B.S. AEE program appear below. For the first five semesters the recommended sequence of courses for the B.S. AEE program is nearly identical to the recommended program for the B.S. degree in mechanical engineering (MEE), which demonstrates the similarity and complementary nature of the two disciplines. Courses carrying the prefix MAE indicate class material and assignments are drawn from both aerospace and mechanical engineering applications. Beginning in the sixth semester, students in the B.S. AEE program begin taking courses addressing topics unique to aerospace engineering, including aerodynamics, aircraft structures, propulsion systems, and the dynamics of aerospace vehicles.

Experience with open-ended design problems is obtained in a sequence of courses that span the entire curriculum. The sequence begins with introductory design experience in the first-year courses ECS 101  and MAE 184 . Upper-division courses involving design content include classes on the mechanics of solids and structures, aerospace structures, aerospace vehicle dynamics, aerodynamics, dynamics and controls, and propulsion. The design sequence culminates with the cap-stone design experience (AEE 472 ) that requires students to integrate knowledge from all areas in the design of a complete aircraft or spacecraft system.

Topics relevant to the analysis and design of space vehicles are included in AEE 446 , AEE 471 , and AEE 577 .

The B.S. AEE curriculum allows for programs of study that can be tailored by students to take advantage of the diversity of strengths across both ECS and all of Syracuse University. We provide engineering students with opportunities to complete minors in areas that can complement technical knowledge-such as international affairs, business, and public policy-thus enhancing the value and attractiveness of a Syracuse engineering education. Students can also elect to pursue a technical minor or take a distribution of electives, which will include liberal arts classes, free electives, and additional depth in aerospace engineering.

Students are encouraged to develop a plan for elective selection during their first year. The planning process should include discussions with the student’s academic advisor, other faculty members, and peer advisors. The MAE Department offers most undergraduate technical elective courses on a two-year cycle. It may be necessary for a student to modify the sequence of courses to accommodate a technical elective course of personal interest.

In addition to successfully completing the requirements for the aerospace program, graduates from this program must also achieve the following student outcomes:

  • an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  • an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  • an ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs, including the integration of multiple aeronautical topics
  • an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  • an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  • an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  • an ability to communicate effectively
  • the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in global and societal contexts
  • a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  • a knowledge of contemporary issues
  • an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
  • an ability to apply knowledge of aerodynamics, structures, propulsion, flight mechanics and orbital mechanics in the analysis of aerospace vehicles.

This program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,

Aerospace Engineering Requirements

Total 17

Total 17

Total 17

Total 17

Total 17

Total 16

Total 14

Fourth Year, Spring Semester

Total 13

Program Total 128

B.S. AEE Program

There are a total of 24 elective credits in the B.S. AEE program. These credits may be distributed in one of the following two ways:

  1. A student may complete any University minor that requires at least 12 credit hours beyond the core AEE curriculum. In addition to, or as part of, this minor, at least 9 credit hours must be taken from the social sciences or humanities (SS/H). Excluding those courses that count towards the minor, a maximum of 6 credit hours that are neither SS/H nor technical electives may be taken as part of the 24 elective credits.
  2. A student who does not complete a University minor must take at least 9 credits from the social sciences or humanities (SS/H), at least 6 credits of technical electives, and a maximum of 6 credit hours that are neither SS/H nor technical electives.

Technical electives consist of all 300 level and above courses offered by any department within the college of engineering and computer science or by the math or physics departments, except for ECS 391 , ECS 392  and any course numbered 300, 400 or 500 that is offered outside of the MAE Department.

However, in some instances these courses may be approved by petition. In addition, no more than 3 credit hours of technical electives may be taken outside of the MAE department.


GPA: 2.0 (All students must earn a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.00 and at least 2.00 GPA in all math, science and engineering courses in order to be awarded an SU degree.)


Do not repeat prerequisites for admission into the major.