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Aeronautics and Astronautics Program

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Stanford's Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics undergraduate major program 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.

Gateway to AA

Freshmen and sophomores interested in Aeronautics and Astronautics should consider taking one of our freshmen or sophomore seminars to get an early introduction to the major. These courses can be taken freshmen or sophomore year and do not have any prerequisites. COVID19 Year: Frosh or sophs are encouraged to take AA 118N in-person Summer 21.

Course Title Units
AA 115N The Global Positioning System: Where on Earth are We, and What Time is It? 3
AA 118N How to Design a Space Mission: from Concept to Execution 3
AA 120Q Building Trust in Autonomy 3
AA 121Q It IS Rocket Science! 3


PROGRAM SHEETS: Excel or pdf versions for 2020-21 are now posted, as are 4-Year and Flex Quarter Plans

Program Requirements 2020-21

(Major, Minor and upcoming Honors degree programs also listed in ExploreDegrees)



24 units minimum



Calculus (required ) 2



Calculus (required) 2



Calculus (required) 2


CME 100/ENGR 154

Vector Calculus for Engineers (required) 3


or MATH 51

Linear Algebra and Differential Calculus of Several Variables

CME 102/ENGR 155A

Ordinary Differential Equations for Engineers (required) 3


or MATH 53

Ordinary Differential Equations with Linear Algebra

CME 106/ENGR 155C

Introduction to Probability and Statistics for Engineers (required)


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 104

Linear Algebra and Partial Differential Equations for Engineers (recommended) 3


or MATH 52

Integral Calculus of Several Variables

CME 108

Introduction to Scientific Computing (recommended )




20 units minimum



Mechanics (required) (or AP credit and Physics Diagnostic placement)



Mechanics, Concepts, Calculations, and Context (not offered 2020-21)


Electricity and Magnetism (required) (or AP credit and Physics Diagnostic placement)



Light and Heat (required)


CHEM 31M (formerly 31X)

Chemical Principles Accelerated ( or CHEM 31A and CHEM 31B, or AP Chemistry and placement via the Chemistry Diagnostic) (required)



Introduction to Bioengineering (Engineering Living Matter) (recommended)


School of Engineering approved Science Electives: See Undergraduate Handbook, Figure 4-2


Technology in Society (one course required)


See School of Engineering approved Technology in Society Course List. The course must be on the School of Engineering approved list the year you take it.


AA 252

Techniques of Failure Analysis (recommended)



Engineering Fundamentals (three courses required)


11 units minimum



Engineering of Systems (required)


CS 106A

Programming Methodology (required)



Introduction to Engineering Analysis (recommended )



An Intro to Making: What is EE (recommended )


or alternative Fundamentals Elective options: see list of Approved Courses in Undergraduate Engineering Handbook website at


Aero/Astro Depth Requirements


35 units minimum



Intro to Solid Mechanics (required)



Dynamics (required)


ENGR 105

Feedback Control Design (required)


ME 30

Engineering Thermodynamics (required)


ME 70 Introductory Fluids Engineering (required) 3

AA 100

Introduction to Aeronautics and Astronautics (required)


AA 131

Space Flight (required)


AA 141

Atmospheric Flight (required)


AA 151 Lightweight Structures (required) 3
AA 174A Principles of Robot Autonomy (required) 5

AA 190

Directed Research and Writing in Aero/Astro (WIM: required)


Aero/Astro Focus Electives (12 units minimum)

AA 102 Introduction to Applied Aerodynamics (recommended )    3
AA 103 Air and Space Propulsion    3
AA 135 Introduction to Space Policy    3
AA 149 Operation of Aerospace Systems    1

AA 156

Mechanics of Composite Materials


AA 173 Flight Mechanics and Controls 1

AA 174B Principles of Robot Autonomy II 3-4
AA 190 Directed Research and Writing in Aero/Astro (satisfies the Writing in the Major requirement, (WIM) 3-5
AA 199 Independent Study in Aero/Astro 1-5
AA 261 Building an Aerospace Startup from the Ground Up    3

AA 272

Global Positioning Systems


AA 279A

Space Mechanics


MS&E 178

The Spirit of Entrepreneurship


Aero/Astro Capstone Requirement (7 units minimum. Select either the Spacecraft of Aircraft course sequence)

AA 136A             Spacecraft Design 3-5
AA 136B             Spacecraft Design Laboratory 3-5
AA 146A            Aircraft Design    3
AA 146B            Aircraft Design Laboratory    4

Engineering Fundamentals and AA Depth Course List

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.


A score of 4 on the Calculus BC test or 5 on the AB test only gives students 8 units, not 10 units, so is equal to MATH 19 + MATH 20, but not MATH 21. The Math Placement Exam determines what math course the student starts with. 


It is recommended that the CME series (100, 102, 104) be taken rather than the MATH series (51, 52, 53). It is recommended that students taking the MATH series also take CME 192 Introduction to MATLAB.


AA Coterm Application Deadlines:

10/20/20 for Win 20-21

01/26/21 for Spr 20-21

04/27/21 for Aut 21-22

Informational Website


Instructions for Declaring Major in Aeronautics & Astronautics

1. Download the Aero/Astro Program Sheet from the School of Engineering web site. Complete the Program Sheet indicating how you plan to fulfill the major requirements. (Your program proposal may change as you progress in the program: Submit revisions in consultation with your faculty advisor. Submit a final Program Sheet to your major department student services office at least two quarters before you graduate.)

2. Complete the program sheet, and email Aero/Astro Student Services Specialist Jenny Scholes at to assign you an Aero/Astro faculty member to be your advisor.

3. Meet with your faculty advisor over zoom to go over your program sheet. Have your Aero/Astro faculty advisor electronically sign your program sheet.

4. Email the signed program sheet to Aero/Astro Student Services Specialist Jenny Scholes at
5. Declare the Aero/Astro major on Axess!

6. Email Aero/Astro Student Services Specialist Jenny Scholes if you have any questions at