The undergraduate curriculum in aerospace engineering sciences is designed to prepare students to advance to a distinguished professional career in the aerospace industry or for graduate school, consistent with our stated program educational objectives. In particular, this involves providing students with an interdisciplinary systems perspective of aerospace engineering. The curriculum accomplishes these goals by: 

  • providing a strong basis in mathematics, science and engineering fundamentals; 
  • extending these fundamentals to advanced topics in aerospace engineering; 
  • complementing the engineering education with sufficient exposure to the humanities and social sciences; and 
  • beginning and ending in major design experiences that stress an interdisciplinary systems perspective. 

AES students are also encouraged to consider a technical minor or double major in electrical engineering, computer science, applied math, engineering physics, astrophysical and planetary sciences, or atmospheric and oceanic sciences. In most cases, the junior- and senior-level courses required for the above-mentioned minors can be applied to the technical elective requirements. 

For students having sufficient ability and interest, planning for graduate study should begin by the start of the junior year. Such a plan should consider the foreign language requirements of appropriate graduate schools and an advanced mathematics program. Students who wish to combine the business and aerospace engineering sciences curricula are advised to consider obtaining the BS degree in aerospace and a master’s degree in business rather than a combined BS degree. 

For more information, visit the department's Prospective Students webpage.


The Bachelor of Science curriculum in Aerospace Engineering Sciences is revised annually to keep up with  advances in technology, to make use of new educational methodologies and to satisfy current program accreditation criteria. A minimum of 128 credit hours is required. For up-to-date program requirements, visit the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering Sciences web page.

Note: This major cannot be combined with a BS in Integrated Design Engineering with an aerospace engineering emphasis.

In addition, students must meet the general undergraduate degree requirements of the College of Engineering and Applied Science.

Required Courses and Credits

Required Courses
ASEN 1320Aerospace Computing and Engineering Applications4
or CHEN 1310 Introduction to Engineering Computing
or CSCI 1300 Computer Science 1: Starting Computing
or ECEN 1310 C Programming for ECE
or MCEN 1030 Introduction to Engineering Computing
ASEN 1400/ASTR 2500Gateway to Space3
or ASEN 1403 Introduction to Rocket Engineering
or GEEN 1400 Engineering Projects
or ECEN 1400 Introduction to Digital and Analog Electronics
ASEN 2401Statics3
or CVEN 2121 Analytical Mechanics 1
or GEEN 2851 Statics for Engineers
or MCEN 2023 Statics and Structures
ASEN 2402Thermodynamics3
or AREN 2110 Thermodynamics
or EVEN 3012 Thermodynamics for Environmental Science and Engineering
or GEEN 3852 Thermodynamics for Engineers
or MCEN 3012 Thermodynamics
ASEN 2403Dynamics3
or CVEN 3111 Analytical Mechanics 2
or MCEN 2043 Dynamics
ASEN 2501Introduction to Astronautics3
ASEN 2502Introduction to Aeronautics3
ASEN 3401Aerospace Structures3
ASEN 3402Aerospace Heat Transfer3
ASEN 3403Aerodynamics3
ASEN 3404Aerospace Dynamics and Control3
ASEN 3501Aerospace Experimental Methods3
ASEN 3502Aerospace Computational Methods3
ASEN 3503Aerospace Electronics3
ASEN 4013Foundations of Propulsion3
ASEN 4018Senior Projects 1: Design Synthesis4
ASEN 4028Senior Projects 2: Design Practicum4
Astronautics Focus: 16
Aerospace Communication Systems
Aeronautics Focus: 16
Aircraft Dynamics 
Aerospace Materials and Structural Analysis
Basic Engineering Electives
Required Math
APPM 1350Calculus 1 for Engineers4
or APPM 1345 Calculus 1 with Algebra, Part B
or MATH 1300 Calculus 1
APPM 1360Calculus 2 for Engineers4
or MATH 2300 Calculus 2
APPM 2350Calculus 3 for Engineers4
or MATH 2400 Calculus 3
APPM 2360Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra4
or MATH 2130
MATH 3430
Introduction to Linear Algebra for Non-Mathematics Majors
and Ordinary Differential Equations
or MATH 2135
MATH 3430
Introduction to Linear Algebra for Mathematics Majors
and Ordinary Differential Equations
Required Science
MCEN 1024Chemistry for Energy and Materials Science3
or CHEM 1113 General Chemistry 1
or CHEM 1400 Foundations of Chemistry
or CHEN 1201 General Chemistry for Engineers 1
or CHEN 1211 Accelerated Chemistry for Engineers
PHYS 1110General Physics 14
or PHYS 1115 General Physics 1 for Majors
PHYS 1120General Physics 24
or PHYS 1125 General Physics 2 for Majors
Required Humanities, Social Sciences and Writing
College-approved humanities & social sciences courses. At least 6 credits must be upper-division (3000 level or higher). 215
College-approved writing course. 23
Aerospace Engineering Elective 33
Math and Science Elective 43
Free Electives7
Technical Electives 510

Prerequisites and Passing Grades

The minimum passing grade for a course that is a prerequisite for another required course is C-. If a grade of D+ or lower is earned in a course which is a prerequisite to another, the student may not register for the subsequent course until the first grade has been raised to a C- or higher.

The minimum passing grade for a course that is not specifically a prerequisite for another required course is D-.

The Ann and HJ Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences (AES) reserves the right to drop students enrolled in ASEN courses who have not met the minimum prerequisite grade requirements. It is the student's responsibility to communicate with the department if summer coursework and/or transfer credit will be used to meet the prerequisite requirement.

Recommended Four-Year Plan of Study

Plan of Study Grid
Year One
Fall SemesterCredit Hours
APPM 1350
Calculus 1 for Engineers
or Calculus 1
GEEN 1400
Engineering Projects
or Introduction to Rocket Engineering
PHYS 1110 General Physics 1 4
COEN 1830 Special Topics (Engineering First-Year Seminar) 2 1
Humanities/Social Science Elective 1 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
APPM 1360
Calculus 2 for Engineers
or Calculus 2
ASEN 1320
Aerospace Computing and Engineering Applications
or Computer Science 1: Starting Computing
MCEN 1024 Chemistry for Energy and Materials Science 3
Humanities/Social Science Elective 1 6
 Credit Hours17
Year Two
Fall Semester
APPM 2360
Introduction to Differential Equations with Linear Algebra
or Introduction to Linear Algebra for Non-Mathematics Majors and Ordinary Differential Equations
ASEN 2401 Statics 3
ASEN 2402 Thermodynamics 3
ASEN 2501 Introduction to Astronautics 3
Free Elective 3
 Credit Hours16
Spring Semester
APPM 2350
Calculus 3 for Engineers
or Calculus 3
ASEN 2403 Dynamics 3
ASEN 2502 Introduction to Aeronautics 3
PHYS 1120 General Physics 2 4
Free Elective 3
 Credit Hours17
Year Three
Fall Semester
ASEN 3401 Aerospace Structures 3
ASEN 3402 Aerospace Heat Transfer 3
ASEN 3404 Aerospace Dynamics and Control 3
ASEN 3501 Aerospace Experimental Methods 3
Math and Science Elective 3 3
 Credit Hours15
Spring Semester
ASEN 3403 Aerodynamics 3
ASEN 3405
or Aircraft Dynamics 
ASEN 3502 Aerospace Computational Methods 3
ASEN 3503 Aerospace Electronics 3
Humanities/Social Science Elective 1 3
 Credit Hours15
Year Four
Fall Semester
ASEN 4013 Foundations of Propulsion 3
ASEN 4018 Senior Projects 1: Design Synthesis 4
Aerospace Engineering Elective 4 3
College-Approved Writing Course 1 3
Technical Elective 5 4
 Credit Hours17
Spring Semester
ASEN 4028 Senior Projects 2: Design Practicum 4
ASEN 4401
Aerospace Communication Systems
or Aerospace Materials and Structural Analysis
Humanities/Social Science Elective 1 3
Technical Elective 5 6
 Credit Hours16
 Total Credit Hours128

Learning Outcomes

Upon completing the program, students are expected to be able to:

  • Establish themselves in professional careers or receive a graduate degree.
  • Demonstrate ethical leadership, project management and/or innovation.
  • Play significant roles in the research and development of engineering systems and products.
  • Identify, formulate and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science and mathematics.
  • Apply engineering design principles to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental and economic factors.
  • Communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  • Recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts.
  • Function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks and meet objectives.
  • Develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  • Acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
  • Knowledgeable in the professional context of the practice of aerospace engineering and the expectations of new graduates in aerospace engineering organizations, including an awareness of ethics issues, economics and the business environment.
  • Knowledgeable in the history of aerospace engineering, providing a perspective on current events.
  • Knowledgeable in aerospace engineering as a highly multidisciplinary endeavor, requiring a systems perspective to integrate technologies and manage complexity.
  • Knowledgeable in major principles and scientific methods underlying the technologies comprising aerospace vehicles and systems.

Bachelor's–Accelerated Master's Degree Program(s)

The bachelor's–accelerated master's (BAM) degree program options offer currently enrolled CU Boulder undergraduate students the opportunity to receive a bachelor's and master's degree in a shorter period of time. Students receive the bachelor's degree first but begin taking graduate coursework as undergraduates (typically in their senior year).

Because some courses are allowed to double count for both the bachelor's and the master's degrees, students receive a master's degree in less time and at a lower cost than if they were to enroll in a stand-alone master's degree program after completion of their baccalaureate degree. In addition, staying at CU Boulder to pursue a bachelor's–accelerated master's program enables students to continue working with their established faculty mentors.

Admission Requirements

BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences

In order to gain admission to the BAM program named above, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a CU cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher.
  • Have a minimum Major GPA (in sophomore level/2000+ coursework and above) of 3.50.
  • Have at least junior class standing; enrolled in ASEN 3000-level courses.
  • Completion of all MAPS requirements and no deficiencies remaining (students admitted to CU Boulder prior to Summer 2023 only).
  • Transfer students must have completed a minimum of 24 credit hours at CU Boulder.

BS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences, Professional ME in Engineering Management

In order to gain admission to the BAM program named above, a student must meet the following criteria:

  • Have a CU cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.
  • Have at least junior class standing.
  • Completion of all MAPS requirements and no deficiencies remaining (students admitted to CU Boulder prior to Summer 2023 only).

Program Requirements

For both programs named above, students may take up to and including 12 hours while in the undergraduate program which can later be used toward the master's degree. However, only 6 credits may be double counted toward the bachelor's degree and the master's degree. Students must apply to graduate with the bachelor's degree, and apply to continue with the master's degree, early in the semester in which the undergraduate requirements will be completed.

Please see the Aerospace Engineering Sciences BAM program webpage for more information on the BS and MS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences BAM program. 

Please see the Lockheed Martin Engineering Management Program webpage for more information on the BS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences and a Professional ME in Engineering Management BAM program.