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COVID-19-Related Degree Requirement Changes

For information on how Aeronautics and Astronautics degree requirements have been affected by the pandemic, see the "COVID-19 Policies tab" in the "Aeronautics and Astronautics" of this bulletin. For University-wide policy changes related to the pandemic, see the "COVID-19 and Academic Continuity" section of this bulletin.

See the "Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics" section of this bulletin for additional information on the department, and its programs and faculty.

The department offers a B.S. as well as a minor in Aeronautics and Astronautics.

Aeronautics and Astronautics (AA)

Mission of the Undergraduate Program in Aeronautics and Astronautics

The mission of the undergraduate program in Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering is to provide students with the fundamental principles and techniques necessary for success and leadership in the conception, design, implementation, and operation of aerospace and related engineering systems. Courses in the major introduce students to engineering principles. Students learn to apply this fundamental knowledge to conduct laboratory experiments, and aerospace system design problems. Courses in the major include engineering fundamentals, mathematics, and the sciences, as well as in-depth courses in aeronautics and astronautics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, autonomous systems, computational engineering, embedded programming, fluids engineering, and heat transfer. The major prepares students for careers in aircraft and spacecraft engineering, autonomy, robotics, unmanned aerial vehicles, drones, space exploration, air and space-based telecommunication industries, computational engineering, teaching, research, military service, and other related technology-intensive fields.

Completion of the undergraduate program in Aeronautics and Astronautics leads to the conferral of the Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics.


24 units minimum
MATH 19Calculus (required ) 13
MATH 20Calculus (required) 13
MATH 21Calculus (required) 14
CME 100/ENGR 154Vector Calculus for Engineers (required) 25
or MATH 51 Linear Algebra, Multivariable Calculus, and Modern Applications
CME 102/ENGR 155AOrdinary Differential Equations for Engineers (required) 25
or MATH 53 Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
CME 106/ENGR 155CIntroduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineers (required)4-5
or STATS 110 Statistical Methods in Engineering and the Physical Sciences
or STATS 116 Theory of Probability
or CS 109 Introduction to Probability for Computer Scientists
CME 104Linear Algebra and Partial Differential Equations for Engineers (recommended) 25
or MATH 52 Integral Calculus of Several Variables
CME 108Introduction to Scientific Computing (recommended )3
20 units minimum
PHYSICS 41Mechanics (required) 34
or PHYSICS 41E Mechanics, Concepts, Calculations, and Context
PHYSICS 43Electricity and Magnetism (required) 34
PHYSICS 45Light and Heat (required)4
CHEM 31MChemical Principles: From Molecules to Solids (or CHEM 31A and CHEM 31B, or AP Chemistry) (required)5
ENGR 80Introduction to Bioengineering (Engineering Living Matter) (recommended)4
School of Engineering approved Science Electives: See Undergraduate Handbook, Figure 4-23-5
Technology in Society (one course required)
School of Engineering approved Technology in Society courses: See Undergraduate Handbook, Figure 4-3. The course must be on the School of Engineering approved list the year you take it.3-5
AA 252Techniques of Failure Analysis (recommended)3
Engineering Fundamentals (three courses required)
11 units minimum
ENGR 21Engineering of Systems (required)3
CS 106AProgramming Methodology3-5
ENGR 10Introduction to Engineering Analysis (recommended )4
ENGR 40MAn Intro to Making: What is EE (recommended )3-5
Fundamentals Elective; see list of Approved Courses in Undergraduate Engineering Handbook website at, Figure 4-43-5
Aero/Astro Depth Requirements
35 units minimum
ENGR 14Intro to Solid Mechanics (required)3
ENGR 15Dynamics (required)3
ENGR 105Feedback Control Design (required)3
ME 30Engineering Thermodynamics (required)3
ME 70Introductory Fluids Engineering (required)3
AA 100Introduction to Aeronautics and Astronautics (required)3
AA 131Space Flight (required)3
AA 141Atmospheric Flight (required)3
AA 151Lightweight Structures (required)3
AA 174APrinciples of Robot Autonomy I (required)5
AA 190Directed Research and Writing in Aero/Astro (required) satisfies the Writing in the Major requirement, (WIM)3-5
Aero/Astro Focus Electives
12 units minimum
AA 102Introduction to Applied Aerodynamics (recommended )3
AA 103Air and Space Propulsion3
AA 113Aerospace Computational Science3
AA 135Introduction to Space Policy3
AA 156Mechanics of Composite Materials3
AA 173Flight Mechanics & Controls3
CS 237BPrinciples of Robot Autonomy II (AA 174B )3-4
AA 199Independent Study in Aero/Astro1-5
AA 261Building an Aerospace Startup from the Ground Up3
AA 272Global Positioning Systems3
AA 279ASpace Mechanics3
MS&E 178The Spirit of Entrepreneurship2
Aero/Astro Suggested Courses (not required)
AA 149Operation of Aerospace Systems1
Aero/Astro Capstone Requirement
7 units minimum. Select either the Spacecraft or Aircraft course sequence
AA 136ASpacecraft Design3-5
AA 136BSpacecraft Design Laboratory3-5
AA 146AAircraft Design4
AA 146BAircraft Design Laboratory3

For additional information and sample programs see the Handbook for Undergraduate Engineering and the Aeronautics and Astronautics Undergraduate Program Sheet .

All courses taken for the major must be taken for a letter grade if that option is offered by the instructor.

Minimum Combined GPA for all courses in Engineering Topics (Engineering Fundamentals and Depth courses) is 2.0.

Transfer and AP credits in Math, Science, Fundamentals, and the Technology in Society course must be approved by the School of Engineering Dean's office.

Honors Program

The Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics honors program has been designed to allow undergraduates with strong records and enthusiasm for independent research to engage in a significant project leading to a degree with departmental honors. 

Students who meet the eligibility criteria and wish to be considered for the honors program should apply to the program by the end of the junior year. All applications are subject to the review and final approval by the Aero/Astro Undergraduate Curriculum Committee.

Application Requirements:

  • One-page written statement describing the research topic and signed adviser form
  • GPA of 3.5 or higher in the major
  • Unofficial Stanford transcript (from Axess)
  • Signature of thesis adviser

Honors criteria:

  • Maintain the 3.5 GPA required for admissions to the honors program.
  • Arrangement with an Aero/Astro faculty member who agrees to serve as the thesis adviser. The adviser must be a member of the Academic Council.
  • Under the direction of the thesis adviser, complete at least two quarters of research with a minimum of 9 units of independent research; 3 of these units may be used towards a student’s Aero/Astro Focus Elective requirement.
  • Submit an honors thesis (20-30 pages). Thesis is due by April 30th of senior year in order to be eligible for University prizes. 
  • Attend Research Experience for Undergraduates Poster Session or present in another suitable forum approved by the faculty adviser.

Aeronautics and Astronautics (AA) Minor

The Aero/Astro minor introduces undergraduates to the key elements of modern aerospace systems. Within the minor, students may focus on aircraft, spacecraft, or disciplines relevant to both. The course requirements for the minor are described in detail below. If any core classes (aside from ENGR 21; see footnote) are part of student's major or other degree program, the Aero/Astro adviser can help select substitute courses to fulfill the Aero/Astro minor requirements; no double counting allowed.  All courses taken for the minor must be taken for a letter grade if that option is offered by the instructor. Minimum GPA for all minor courses combined is 2.0.

The following core courses fulfill the minor requirements:

AA Core
12 Core Units, 24 Total Program Units
ENGR 21Engineering of Systems 13
AA 100Introduction to Aeronautics and Astronautics3
AA 131Space Flight3
AA 141Atmospheric Flight3
AA Electives
Choose 4 courses
ENGR 105Feedback Control Design3
ME 70Introductory Fluids Engineering3
AA 102Introduction to Applied Aerodynamics3
AA 103Air and Space Propulsion3
AA 113Aerospace Computational Science3
AA 135Introduction to Space Policy3
AA 151Lightweight Structures3
AA 156Mechanics of Composite Materials3
AA 173Flight Mechanics & Controls3
AA 174APrinciples of Robot Autonomy I5
AA 261Building an Aerospace Startup from the Ground Up3
AA 272Global Positioning Systems3
AA 279ASpace Mechanics3