Aerospace Science & Engineering, Bachelor of Science College of Engineering

Barbara S. Linke, Dr. –Ing. Habil, Vice Chairperson for Undergraduate Studies

Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Undergraduate Programs

The Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering administers two undergraduate programs in the College of Engineering (1) Mechanical Engineering, (2) Aerospace Science & Engineering

For more information about our programs, please see Undergraduate Majors.


The Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering is committed to educating future engineers so that they may contribute to the economic growth and well-being of the state, the nation, and the world, and to the advancement of knowledge in the mechanical and aerospace sciences.


The objectives of the Mechanical Engineering and Aerospace Science & Engineering programs are to produce graduates who do one or more of the following: a. Practice mechanical engineering and/or aerospace engineering in a broad range of agencies, industries, and institutes; b. Pursue graduate education; c. Participate in research and development, and other creative and innovative efforts in science, engineering, and technology; d. Pursue entrepreneurial endeavors.

Division of Aerospace Science & Engineering

The Division of Aerospace Science & Engineering administers the Aerospace Science & Engineering Program within the Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering.

Aerospace Science & Engineering Undergraduate Program

The Aerospace Science & Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Aerospace Science & Engineering majors learn to apply the principles of the physical sciences and engineering to the design of aerospace vehicles. Specific objectives include the design, development and manufacture of aerospace vehicles and other transportation systems through the integration of disciplines associated with aerodynamics, propulsion, structures and guidance/control.

Our Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Science & Engineering provides a broad background and fundamental education in mathematics, the physical sciences, and the engineering sciences. These fundamentals, when complemented by the required technical courses, prepare students for employment in government or industry, while simultaneously establishing an excellent foundation for graduate studies.

Aerodynamics & Fluid Mechanics

This field of study is based on the fundamentals of fluid mechanics and applied aircraft aerodynamics. Areas of current research include computational fluid dynamics, turbulent boundary layer flows, aeroacoustics, rotorcraft aerodynamics, wind turbine aerodynamics, active flow control, subsonic wind tunnel measurement, vortex generators, fixed-wing tip vortices, parachute drag prediction and aircraft design and optimization. Many of these projects are sponsored by government agencies and leading industrial companies, such as NASA, the U.S. Army, Sandia National Laboratory, the National Science Foundation and Boeing. Computational research is conducted using UC Davis High Performance Computing (HPC), NASA HPC, DoD HPC and DoE HPC. Experimental studies are conducted in the UC Davis Wind Tunnel Facility.

Relevant courses: EAE 126 & EAE 127.

Suggested Advisors

J. P. Delplanque, C. P. van Dam, M. Hafez, S. Lee, N. Sarigul-Klijn, S. K. Robinson

Aerospace Control

This field of study includes control theory and its application to aerospace systems. Areas of current research include adaptive control, networked system control, hybrid system control, and controller design for unmanned aerial systems, spacecraft, and other machines. Many of these projects are sponsored by government agencies and leading industrial companies, such as NASA Ames Research Center, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the National Science Foundation and Boeing.

Relevant course: EAE 129.

Suggested Advisors

S. Joshi, Z. Kong, N. Sarigul-Klijn

Aerospace Propulsion

This field of study involves air-breathing jet engines and rocket propulsion. Areas of current research include turbomachinery, computational fluid dynamics, open rotor, jet noise, turbine cooling, innovative gas-turbine cycles, rocket engine feed systems and cooling tubes, propeller design and centrifugal compressors. Many of these projects are sponsored by government agencies and leading industrial companies, such as The Wright-Patterson Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL), Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Aerojet Rocketdyne and the University of California. Computational research is conducted using UC Davis High Performance Computing (HPC), NASA HPC, DoD HPC and DoE HPC.

Relevant courses: EAE 138 & EAE 140.

Suggested Advisors

J. P. Delplanque, S. Lee, N. Sarigul-Klijn

Structures & Materials

This field of study analyzes the structures and materials used in aerospace engineering, expanding from traditional mechanics of materials in order to correctly understand the behavior of thin-walled structures under bending, torsion and axial loads. Composite materials are being used extensively in new airplanes and helicopters, space structures, as well as in wind energy, ships, transportation, infrastructure and biomedical joints. Current research in composite structures encompasses several areas of engineering, includes durability of composites due to in service load (for example, thermo-hygro-mechanical fatigue, impact, etc.) and structural health monitoring methods.

Relevant courses: EAE 133, EAE 135 & MAE 237 (graduate level/technical elective).

Suggested Advisors

V. La Saponara

Spacecraft Engineering

This field of study includes rocket propulsion, orbital mechanics, spacecraft design, human life-support in space, space environments, mission design and systems engineering. Current research in the MAE department includes spacecraft and habitat design, CubeSat design, human life-support systems and safety, space robotics, autonomous systems supported by machine learning, radiation protection, atmospheric entry and metallic additive manufacturing. A variety of federally-funded national laboratories fund this research, and research projects often result in internship and employment opportunities for students in organizations like NASA, Lawrence Livermore Lab, SpaceX, Blue Origin, Sierra Nevada, Lockheed Martin, Northrup Grumman, Aerospace Corp, Space Systems Loral and Boeing.

Relevant courses: EAE 140, EAE 142EAE 143A, EAE 143B.

Suggested Advisors

S. Joshi, N. Sarigul-Klijn, S. K. Robinson

Aeroelasticity & Vibrations

This field of study looks at aircraft structural dynamics and aeroelasticity. Areas of current research include aerospace structures, aeroelasticity, biomechanics, flow-induced vibrations, vibroacoustics and minimum weight design with aeroelastic and acoustic constraints. Research is also done on landing recovery systems, including winged, rotor, or parachute recovery system trades and scaled flight testing and the long-duration effects of space flight on the human spine. Aerospace engineers in this research area also work to develop advanced finite element methods to solve steep gradient problems of high temperature due to aerodynamic heating or shock loading, innovative power generation systems and environmental noise control methods. Many of these projects are sponsored by government agencies and leading industrial companies.

Relevant course: EAE 133, EAE 135.

Suggested Advisors

V. La Saponara, N. Sarigul-Klijn

Students are encouraged to adhere carefully to all prerequisite requirements. The instructor is authorized to drop students from a course for which stated prerequisites have not been completed.

Exclusive of General Education units, the minimum number of units required for the Aerospace Science & Engineering major is 160.

Lower Division Required Courses
MAT 021ACalculus4
MAT 021BCalculus4
MAT 021CCalculus4
MAT 021DVector Analysis4
MAT 022ALinear Algebra3
MAT 022BDifferential Equations3
PHY 009AClassical Physics5
PHY 009BClassical Physics5
PHY 009CClassical Physics5
CHE 002AGeneral Chemistry5
or CHE 002AH Honors General Chemistry
CHE 002BGeneral Chemistry5
or CHE 002BH Honors General Chemistry
ENG 004Engineering Graphics in Design3
ENG 017Circuits I4
ENG 035Statics4
ENG 045Properties of Materials4
or ENG 045Y Properties of Materials
ENG 006Engineering Problem Solving4
or EME 005 Computer Programming for Engineering Applications
Choose one; a grade of C- or better is required:4
Introduction to Literature
Introduction to Academic Literacies
Introduction to Academic Literacies: Online
Introduction to Academic Literacies
Major Works of the Ancient World
Major Works of the Medieval & Early Modern World
Major Works of the Modern World
Major Works of the Contemporary World
Introduction to Native American Literature
Choose one:4
Introduction to Public Speaking
Introduction to Engineering Design
Lower Division Required Courses Subtotal74
Upper Division Required Courses
Aerospace Science & Engineering28
Required Aerospace Courses
Stability & Control of Aerospace Vehicles
Finite Element Methods in Structures
Aerospace Structures
Aircraft Propulsion
Aerodynamics Elective, choose one:
Theoretical & Computational Aerodynamics
Applied Aircraft Aerodynamics
Senior Design Capstone, choose one series:
Aircraft Performance & Design
and Aircraft Performance & Design (taken in consecutive quarters)
EAE 143A
& EAE 143B
Space Vehicle Design
and (EAE 143B Pending Approval; taken in consecutive quarters)
Electronic Circuits & Systems
Fluid Mechanics
Mechanics of Materials
Professional Responsibilities of Engineers
Mechanical Engineering20
Thermo-Fluid Dynamics
Measurement Systems
Experimental Methods for Thermal Fluids
Heat Transfer
Automatic Control of Engineering Systems
Applied Mathematics Elective4
Choose one:
Engineering Analysis
Introduction to Numerical Analysis & Methods
Numerical Analysis
Numerical Analysis in Differential Equations
Scientific Computation
Technical Electives12
Astronautics Electives; choose one:
Rocket Propulsion
Orbital Mechanics
Space Vehicle Design
EAE 143B
(Pending Approval)
Aeronautics Elective; choose one:
Theoretical & Computational Aerodynamics
Stability of Flexible Dynamic Systems
From the above Astronautics Elective list if not used in satisfaction of other degree requirements.
Technical Elective; choose one:
From the above Aeronautics Elective list if not used in satisfaction of other degree requirements.
Up to 4 units may be selected from any upper division engineering course including any engineering 192 or 199 not used in satisfaction of other degree requirements. 1
Upper Division Composition Requirement0-4
Choose one; grade of C- or better is required:
Advanced Composition
Writing in the Disciplines: Engineering
Writing in the Professions: Business Writing
Writing in the Professions: Science 3
Writing in the Professions: Technical Writing
Passing the Upper Division Composition Exam
Upper Division Required Courses Subtotal86-90
Total Units160-164

Courses that cannot be used are BIM 110L, ENG 160, ECS 188 or any 197T course.