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Minor: Aerospace Engineering

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Offered by: Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Contact: MAE Undergraduate Coordinator, 108 Upson Hall, phone 255.3573,


All undergraduates. Pre-approval is required. Students intending to earn this minor should seek advice and pre-approval from the Associate Director for Undergraduate Affairs in MAE before taking courses toward the minor.

Educational Objectives

The Aerospace Engineering minor develops the engineering-analysis and design skills necessary for creating and understanding aerospace vehicles and their subsystems. The minor includes diverse topics relevant to applications both in the Earth’s atmosphere (e.g. aerodynamics) and in space (e.g. spacecraft thermal systems or orbital mechanics). Students in this minor will take at least four core aerospace courses, along with up to two supporting courses in engineering fundamentals or courses with applicability to aeronautics and spacecraft.


  1. Six courses from the lists below, each worth at least 3 credits. No substitutions accepted from other departments at Cornell or elsewhere.
  2. Rules for ME Majors:
    1. Select at least four courses from group A, of which you must choose MAE 3050 or MAE 3060 (or both).
    2. Select at most two courses from group B. No courses from group C may be used.
    3. Two courses must be selected from the Aerospace Engineering subject field from Mechanical Engineering Major approved electives in Mechanical Engineering (for a complete listing, consult These two courses may not be used towards fulfilling the B.S., Mechanical Engineering degree requirements.
  3. Rules for other Majors:
    1. Select at least four courses from group A, of which you must choose MAE 3050 or MAE 3060 (or both).
    2. Select a total of at most two courses from group B and group C.
    3. You may not use any courses to satisfy requirements of both the Mechanical Engineering minor and the Aerospace Engineering minor.

Group A: Core Aerospace Engineering

  • MAE 3050: Introduction to Aeronautics
  • MAE 3060: Spacecraft Engineering
  • MAE/ECE 4150: GPS: Theory and Design
  • MAE 4291a: Supervised Senior Design Experience (with Aerospace focus) or MAE 4900a: Individual and Group Projects in Mechanical Engineering (with Aerospace focus)
  • MAE 4230/5230: Intermediate Fluid Dynamics
  • MAE 5060: Aerospace Propulsion Systems
  • MAE 5070: Dynamics of Flight Vehicles

Group B: Courses Applicable to Aerospace Engineering

  • MAE 4020/5020: Wind Power
  • MAE 4130/5130: Mechanics of Composites
  • MAE 4140: Mechanics of Lightweight Vehicles
  • MAE 4180/5180: Autonomous Mobile Robots
  • MAE 4700/5700: Finite Element Analysis for Mechanical and Aerospace Design, or CEE 4720: Introduction to the Finite Element Method
  • MAE 4730/5730: Intermediate Dynamics and Vibrations
  • MAE 4780/5780/CHEME 4720/ECE 4720: Feedback Control Systems
  • MAE 5430: Combustion Processes

Group C: Fundamentals

  • ENGRD 2020: Statics and Mechanics of Solids
  • MAE 2030: Dynamics
  • ENGRD/MAE 2210: Thermodynamics
  • MAE 2120: Mechanical Properties and Selection of Engineering Materials
  • MAE 3230: Introductory Fluid Mechanics
  • MAE 3240: Heat Transfer
  • MAE 3250: Analysis of Mechanical and Aerospace Structures
  • MAE 3260: System Dynamics
  • MAE 3780: Mechatronics or ECE/ENGRD 2100: Introduction to Circuits for Electrical and Computer Engineers or PHYS 3360: Electronic Circuits

Academic Standards

At least C– in each course. In S/U only courses, S is acceptable


a. MAE 4291 and 4900 require a form signed by the project advisor, stating that the project focuses on Aerospace and is suitable as a core aerospace course for the minor. MAE 4291 or 4900 must be worth 3 credits or more. Students may count at most one MAE 4291 or one MAE 4900 toward the minor (i.e. they may not count both MAE 4291 and MAE 4900 toward the minor).