Is aerospace engineering rocket science? (solved)

In this post, we’re going to discover if aerospace engineering a rocket science or not?

also, know what is the difference between rocker science and aerospace engineering. and how an aerospace engineer can become a rocket scientist. So keep reading if you want more details.

Is aerospace engineering rocket science?

aerospace engineering is not rocket science, aerospace engineering is a field that rocket science can start from. That being said studying aerospace engineering, then pursuing studies by taking a master’s or even Ph.D. to reach this level. So if you think becoming a rocket science studying aerospace engineering can be a good beginning choice.

Normally rocket scientists are people who engage in rocket research, that being said making a lot of research by deploying their curriculum of studies and experience in a domain, especially aeronautics engineering which is a significant and famous road to follow if you want to become a rocket scientist.

Difference between rocket science and aerospace engineering

Rocketry is a much narrower field than aerospace engineering. In other words, is a specialty that belongs to aerospace engineering. while aerospace engineering has a lot of fields students minor in. The principal fields in aerospace engineering that students choose between in their careers are 2:

  • Aeronautical engineering
  • Astronautical engineering

If you major in aeronautical engineering you will be working in the artifact industry, designing aircraft, and propulsion systems. For instance, designing the aerodynamics and learning material science used in aircraft.

If you major in astronautical engineering which is working on space aircraft or army rockets, in this case, you will be eligible to work with the army or Mondial organizations and companies like space x or NASA.

But for people who want to seek rocket science they have to choose aeronautical engineering, then pursue their studies including masters and Ph.D. with preference.

So Rocket Science is a branch that relates to research and development not the engineering phase like aerospace engineering. Rocket-scientist spends their whole time in labs making tests and developing new solutions, that finally, engineers use in their designs. So being a rocket science is more complex than being an aerospace engineer.

1 – Becoming a rocket science from aerospace engineering

If you want to become a rocket scientist from aerospace engineering. As we said the best specialization to choose in aerospace engineering is aeronautics. then take a master’s in this field. But you have to know that getting a degree will not be easy, you will be studying the most difficult subjects like

1 – Math

The first thing that you have to focus on if you want to be a good rocket scientist from an aerospace engineering major is being good at math. Therefore you should understand and have solid basics in algebra,  by taking classes and exams in Algebra 1 and Algebra 2.

 If you succeed in these subjects then the next step is going to be beginning with calculus.  

Taking a Precalculus course will be a lot useful before joining a college. The main benefit is you will easily follow up with a professor a lot better than a new student who hasn’t started calculus in college for the first time.

Calculus is a crucial mathematics subject that you would need to use in aerospace engineering, that’s also what rocket scientists use and their jobs.

2 – physics “thermodynamics”

The second important part that aerospace engineers focus on is physics, you will study a lot of physics. Especially thermodynamics. if you don’t know about thermodynamics you can watch this video.

In general this domain focus on energy exchange, for example, how much of litters or gallons you need to put on a rocket tank to fly for a given distance.

Or how to design and find the right material that can resist high pressure and temperate. Thermodynamics uses a lot of calculus, especially derivatives.

3 – mechanics especially fluid dynamic

the second important subject is mechanics, in aerospace engineering, there is a high focus on fluid dynamics. Because all aerospace engines work with hydraulic systems like planes and rockets. So you will study a lot of fluid dynamic terms like:

  • pressure of fluid
  • debit or the speed of the fluid in tubes
  • calculate how much power a fluid train, etc

4 – aerodynamics

aerodynamics is an important part that aerospace engineers study. In other words, you will learn how to design systems or mechanical objects that flow in the air with minimal resistance.

in this field, you will learn a lot of physical courses related to:

  • forces
  • drag
  • trust
  • lift

theses 4 aspects are very important for a plane to keep it in the air and not fall to the ground. But the good thing is you won’t work only for planes or rockets. you can work also in-vehicle like cars or motors.

5 – Propulsion

propulsion is one of the most difficult subject student study in aerospace engineering, especially the ones who take specialization in rocket engineering. These subjects involve a lot of thermodynamics subjects that relate to gas and liquid compartments.

This subject is also heavier in math and requires one to be very good at calculus. So as we mentioned at the beginning of the article.

2 – Take a master’s in aeronautics engineering

after getting your bachelor’s in aeronautics engineering, now is the time for the second step to become a rocket scientist which is enrolling in some matter aeronautics programs.

At this moment you have to look for internships in some companies or corporations like Space X and others you can find in this link. This step is really important for two reasons:

  • getting some experience
  • networking

Getting experience

It will be your first step to discovering rocket science research, and how companies work in this domain. So it will be a fruitful and golden experience in your career before getting a job. You will discover and apply all the knowledge you have learned in school.


The second which is so interesting thing that you will benefit from in your career, networking. You’re going to build solid relationships with employers. But, you have to prove your diligence and talents to gain respect and maybe be employed immediately after your internships.


rocket science is not a domain meant for anyone it has many challenges, so the question is :

Are good enough in math and physics to bear the heavy load of this program?

you could read this related article: Is aerospace engineering a good major: 8 facts


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.