Pigman College of Engineering

Aerospace Engineering


Only Aerospace Engineering program in Ky.


Projected growth for aerospace engineers through 2028


Aerospace-related employers in Kentucky

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Michael Seigler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Pigman College of Engineering

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

151 Ralph G. Anderson Building

Lexington, KY 40506-0503

Program website

(859) 218-0664

  • BS

Aerospace engineers are employed to design or build aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, missiles and supporting aerospace systems. Aerospace engineers are employed by industry, academia and government labs for manufacturing, analysis and design and research and development. 

Design Your Future

The University of Kentucky is proud to offer the only undergraduate degree in Aerospace Engineering in the state of Kentucky. New graduates are needed to meet industry demand in Kentucky, the Southeast region and the country. The Aerospace Engineering program is led by numerous faculty members with highly reputable research and expertise in a broad range of aerospace applications including controls, propulsion and hypersonics. 

Industries Looking for You 

  • Aviation
  • National defense
  • Government labs
  • Space and spacecraft
  • Manufacturing
  • Uncrewed aerial vehicles (drones)
“Working at NASA means collaborating with people with different backgrounds, and projects like the 2017 Solar Eclipse Ballooning Project taught me a lot about working with people in different majors and fields of engineering."

Emily Essex

UK graduate and former intern at NASA Johnson Space Center

Admission Requirements

The Pigman College of Engineering offers multiple pathways to undergraduate admission -- both as an incoming freshman or transfer student.

Admission requirements for incoming freshmen can be accessed here.

Admission requirements for transfer students can be accessed here.

Engineering Standing

All incoming freshmen and transfer students admitted to the Pigman College of Engineering have their major listed as "Pre-Aerospace Engineering", "Pre-Biomedical Engineering", etc. on their admission letter and in our academic system, myUK. Engineering Standing will be achieved, and the pre- designation will be dropped from the major name, once the student achieves a minimum cumulative GPA and a minimum GPA in select courses. You may view the select courses in the University Bulletin.

First-Year Engineering Program

The smartest, most talented engineers around the world are devoting themselves to tackling immense global challenges. As a student in the UK Pigman College of Engineering, you get to join them!

In 2008, the National Academy of Engineering identified 14 “Grand Challenges for Engineering in the 21st Century”—opportunities to greatly increase humanity’s sustainability, health, security and joy of living. Themes include making solar energy economical, enhancing virtual reality, reverse-engineering the brain, securing cyberspace, providing access to clean water and more.

These ambitious goals demand engineers roll up their sleeves and get to work, which is why we put them front and center during your first year as an engineering student. We have designed the First-Year Engineering (FYE) program to inspire you. We want you to discover your passion. We want you to explore where you might make your unique contribution. We want you to get your hands dirty and make stuff that might, one day, lead to a breakthrough.

Why wait until you’re taking upper-level classes to figure out what interests you? Through real engineering classes taught by top faculty and exposure to engineering’s greatest challenges, the FYE program gets you into the game from day one.

Degree Requirements

The following curriculum meets the requirements for a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering, provided the student satisfies the graduation requirements of the Pigman College of Engineering.


2022-23 Major Sheet 2022-23 Curriculum






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Student Involvement

Student organizations are an outgrowth of student interest and serve the needs of a variety of students. Many provide programs that supplement the classroom experience and extend into areas of service for the community. All provide learning and leadership training for participating students. Student organizations that are typical of interest to Aerospace Engineering students include the student chapter of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, which focuses on promoting aerospace involvement on campus, preparing for a career in aerospace and collaborating on projects that build hands-on skills while reinforcing classroom education; and SpaceLex, which builds large sounding rockets from scratch that compete internationally at the annual Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition. Significant participation also occurs regionally and nationally with the professional societies through attendance and active participation at professional meetings that are held across the United States.


The aerospace engineering program offers numerous opportunities to obtain hands-on experience through summer internships and co-operative education programs with aerospace companies that have operations throughout the U.S. These experiences often lead to full-time engineering professional positions upon graduation. For those interested in research, the program offers numerous undergraduate research opportunities in each of the specialized areas of aerospace engineering. 

The Engineering Career and Co-op Center is a valuable resource for assisting you with developing job and co-op search skills; participating in education-abroad programs and participating in research endeavors and career network development so you can secure a rewarding career in your chosen field of study.

Career Prospects in Aerospace Engineering

Aerospace plays a significant role in Kentucky’s economy. Kentucky’s aerospace exports are the top export in the state and number three in the United States, behind only California and Washington. According to the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development, Kentucky exported more than $14.6 billion in aerospace products and parts in 2019. Kentucky is home to 79 aerospace-related facilities that employ over 19,000 people, including General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Belcan Corp., Raytheon, General Dynamics Group, and Sikorsky Aircraft Corp.  The aerospace program will support Kentucky’s aerospace industry and promote economic development by training proficient aerospace engineers. 

At the national level, aerospace is one of the healthiest industrial segments of the US economy. The US accounts for approximately half of the world’s global aerospace production. Aerospace & Defense is the largest US deficit-reducing industry, effectively cutting the federal trade deficit by 10% (“2019 Facts & Figures: U.S. Aerospace & Defense”, Aerospace Industries Association). Employment of aerospace engineers in the US is projected to grow 6% from 2018 to 2028, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are also many emerging aerospace employment opportunities. The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) market is projected to grow at a rate of 10% from 2016 to 2024. Investment in space companies (e.g., SpaceX, OneWeb, and Telesat) reached a record high in 2018; and Morgan Stanley projects that the global space industry could generate revenue of more than $1 trillion by 2040, up from $350 billion currently.

Imagine Your Future

Aerospace Engineers

Aerospace engineers design primarily aircraft, spacecraft, satellites, and missiles.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics | Click the link for more info.

Median Salary


per year in 2021

Number of Jobs


in 2021

10 Year Job Outlook


new jobs (average)

Work Environment

Aerospace engineers are employed in industries whose workers design or build aircraft, missiles, systems for national defense, or spacecraft. Aerospace engineers are employed primarily in manufacturing, analysis and design, research and development, and the federal government. 

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Michael Seigler, Ph.D.

Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Pigman College of Engineering

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

151 Ralph G. Anderson Building

Lexington, KY 40506-0503

(859) 218-0664