Aeronautics and Astronautics Program

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Program Requirements 2011-12

The principal purpose of the undergraduate interdisciplinary major in Aeronautics and Astronautics is to prepare students who are strongly interested in aerospace for subsequent graduate study in the field. In particular, it is expected that students completing this undergraduate curriculum can then satisfy the requirements for the degree of Master of Science in Aeronautics and Astronautics at Stanford University in one additional academic year or, alternatively, complete the B.S. in General Engineering and the M.S. in Aeronautics and Astronautics as a co-terminal program in five years.

Another objective of the program is to provide an opportunity for interested undergraduates to become acquainted with the challenges of the aerospace field, with aeronautical and astronautical principles, and with the faculty who teach and do research in aeronautics and astronautics.

Students interested in aerospace are also encouraged to consider the undergraduate minor in Aeronautics and Astronautics, which is described in the "Minors and Honors" section of this Handbook.

The departmental requirements of this major include a core set of courses required of every Aeronautics and Astronautics major; a set of depth areas from which two areas (four courses) must be chosen; and an engineering elective. Students are expected to consult closely with an advisor about how best to satisfy these and all other requirements of the major, to submit a program planning sheet when declaring the major, and to have a final plan (program sheet) approved by the advisor and department at least one quarter prior to graduation.


Mathematics: 24 units (Fr, So, Jr)
Mathematics through ordinary differential equations is a prerequisite to depth courses. Some statistics is mandatory, such as STATS 110, STATS 116, CME 106, or CS 109. For a list of acceptable courses, see the Mathematics Requirement section of this handbook. Required: Ordinary Differential Equations, satisfied by MATH 53 or CME 102 (same as ENGR 155A).
Science:18 units (Fr, So)
For a list of courses approved by the School, see the Science Requirement section of this handbook. Aero/Astro depth courses rely on a strong foundation in classical physics, particularly mechanics. Chemistry is needed for students without high school chemistry and is recommended for others. Required: Physics 41 and 43, plus one more advanced physics course.

Technology in Society: One course
See Chapter 3, Figure 3-3 for a list of courses that fulfill the Technology in Society requirement.

Engineering Fundamentals: Three courses minimum

  • ENGR 30. Engineering Thermodynamics (req'd), 3 units, A,W,Sum
  • CS 106A. Programming Methodology (recommended), 5 units, A,W,S,Sum
  • Fundamentals Elective ( may not use CS 106B or X if 106A is taken)

Departmental Requirements: 39 units

  • AA 100.  Introduction to Aeronautics & Astronautics, 3 units
  • ME 70.   Introductory Fluids Engineering, 4 units
  • ME 131A.  Heat Transfer, 3-4 units
  • ENGR 15. Dynamics 3 units
  • ME 161.  Dynamic Systems 3-4 units OR PHYSICS 110. Intermediate Mechanics, 4 units
  • CEE 101A. Mechanics of Materials, 4 units OR ME 80. Mechanics of Materials, 4 units
  • AA 190. Directed Research & Writing in Aero/Astro*, 3 units
  • Depth Area I: Two courses from a department Depth Area (see Depth Area lists below), 6 units
  • Depth Area II: Two courses from a second Depth Area, 6 units
  • Additional engineering elective, 3 units

*Students should discuss their AA190 (WIM) topic with their advisor & the Student Services Manager during their junior year.
-- Depth Areas: Four courses; two from each of two topic areas + one elective
Students should select four courses from the list below, two from each of two areas. One additional engineering elective (at least 3 units) should also be selected; this may be an additional course from any of the depth areas below, another course in Aeronautics and Astronautics, or an appropriate elective from another Engineering department. In any case, the choice of depth areas and engineering elective should be determined in consultation with the Aeronautics and Astronautics major advisor.
Dynamics and Controls
ENGR 105. Feedback Control Design, 3 units
ENGR 205. Intro to Control Design Techniques, 3 units
AA 242A. Classical Dynamics, 3 units
AA 271A. Dynamics and Control of Spacecraft and Aircraft, 3 units
AA 279. Spacecraft Mechanics, 3 units
Systems Design
AA 236A,B. Spacecraft Design, Spacecraft Design Laboratory, 3-5, 3 units
AA 241A,B. Introduction to Aircraft Design, Synthesis, and Analysis, 3, 3 units
Fluids and CFD
AA 200. Applied Aerodynamics, 3 units
AA 210A. Fundamentals of Compressible Flow, 3 units
AA 214A/CME 206. Introduction to Numerical Methods for Engineering, 3 units
AA 283. Aircraft & Rocket Propulsion, 3
ME 131B. Fluid Mechanics: Compressible Flow and Turbomachinery, 4 units
AA 240A. Analysis of Structures I, 3 units
AA 240B. Analysis of Structures II, 3 units
AA 256. Mechanics of Composites, 3 units

Plus free electives to bring total units to the 180 required for graduation.

For AA 4-year plans and program sheets, go to the Navigation bar. Select from any year you are enrolled at Stanford.


1. Print your Stanford unofficial transcript from Axess.
2. Download the AA Program Sheet from the Program Sheets page. Complete the Program Sheet indicating how you plan to fulfill the major requirements – or do this when you meet with your advisor. Your program proposal may change as you progress in the program: submit revisions in consultation with your advisor. Submit a final Program Sheet at least two quarters before you graduate.
3. Complete the form below and take it, along with your transcript and Program Sheet, to the Aero/Astro Student Services Manager (Durand Building, room 250) for an academic advisor assignment.
4. Make an appointment with your advisor to discuss your program. Have your advisor sign the Program Sheet and the declaration form.
5. Return the signed forms to the Aero/Astro Student Services Manager.
6. Declare the Aero/Astro major on Axess!

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