Aeronautics and Astronautics

Only at MIT can you do an MBA and specialize in aerospace engineering at the same time. Students who complete the LGO program through MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics are uniquely prepared for a leadership career in the aerospace industries.

During their time at MIT, LGO Aero/Astro students are paired with a faculty advisor who helps them select courses, integrates them into the faculty’s research group, and oversees their LGO internship.

The MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department specializes in a variety of research areas, including:

  • Systems Engineering
  • Airline Management
  • Airplane Manufacturing
  • Space Systems and Satellites
  • Robotics and Automation (including unmanned aerial vehicles)

LGO students completing the SM in Aeronautics and Astronautics complete:

  • The LGO Engineering Core
  • Engineering electives (usually 3 to 4) in the Aero/Astro department. Each LGO Aero/Astro student works with a faculty advisor to select courses that fulfill academic and career goals.
  • LGO internship incorporating Aeronautics and Astronautics content, resulting in a dual-degree thesis overseen by the student’s faculty advisor.

Many LGO partner companies offer research projects that satisfy Aero/Astro thesis requirements. These projects often focus on airplane manufacturing, unmanned aerial vehicles, satellites and space systems, or defense systems.

A few recent Aero/Astro internships were:

  • AIP: Developing a new material for airplane manufacturing that is lighter and cheaper to use.
  • Boeing: Developing the launch system for Boeing’s project to send NASA astronauts to the International Space Station
  • Bell Helicopter: Optimizing the scheduling process for a helicopter manufacturing plant.
  • Raytheon: Developing metals additive manufacturing technology into the missile systems division.
  • National Grid: Integrating drones into utilities inspections operations.

The Aeronautics and Astronautics department looks for:

  • A bachelor’s degree in any science or engineering discipline. Previous LGO Aero/Astro students have degrees in mechanical engineering, physics, chemical engineering, aerospace engineering, and systems engineering.
  • Defined research interests in line with the Aero/Astro department’s research areas.
    • All LGOs are paired with an Aero/Astro faculty advisor during the admissions process. To help in pairing, we ask Aero/Astro applicants to choose up to three graduate fields of study while applying. The fields of study you select should match your learning goals for the program.
  • Previous project work in an Aero/Astro-related field is recommended. This does not need to be professional experience (successful candidates have cited undergraduate projects and internships, for example).
  • The MIT Aero/Astro department strongly recommends that a former professor write the applicant’s technical recommendation.

Applicants should have a strong interest in Aero/Astro topics. Previous work experience in an aero/astro industry is nice, but any work experience is acceptable. In the past, LGO has admitted licensed pilots and former employees of SpaceX and Virgin Galatic. We’ve also admitted applicants from the automotive, operations consulting, and IT services industries.

Of course, graduates from LGO finishing with a dual degree in Aero/Astro and management have interesting opportunities in the aerospace and satellites industries. Recent graduates work at Boeing and Raytheon, among other firms, and one even founded his own satellite company.

However, MIT “rocket scientists” have many career opportunities outside of aerospace. The robotics and systems optimization skills learned in Aero/Astro transfer to many industries. Recent graduates have also gone into electronics, renewable energies, healthcare services, and consulting.

Read more about LGO Careers >