Aerospace Engineering

Curriculum and Requirements

Curriculum and Requirements

The aerospace engineering curriculum (ARO) consists of different categories of courses that are briefly explained on this page. All ARO students must complete the 127 units of courses listed in the curriculum flowcharts and roadmaps for this program. See the advising page for more information. 

ARO Core Curriculum:

The core curriculum includes fundamental technical courses such as math, physics, and chemistry as well as ARO core courses. The technical course in the ARO core curriculum introduces students to the fundamental disciplines of aerospace engineering. These courses cover topics in aerospace structures, aerothermofluiddynamics, flight dynamics and controls, astronautics, systems engineering, and aerospace design. See the aerospace portion of the University catalog here for information about all ARO courses.

The aerospace curriculum includes ten required lab courses. These courses begin with introductory labs during the freshman year and continue throughout the senior year. See the aerospace portion of the University catalog here for information about all ARO courses.

The students must choose between Aeronautics or Astronautics emphasis area during the junior year. The differences between the two emphasis areas are in two ARO core courses, senior design sequence, and ARO electives courses.

Senior Design:

Senior Design is one of the two required ARO capstone experiences. During the last year of the program, students should tackle a challenging design project for two semesters during the Senior Design classes. Students choose between Air Vehicle Design, Space Vehicle Design, or Launch Vehicle Design sequences. Each class begins in Fall offering a few design challenges for the year. The students form teams and respond to the design challenge during the Fall and Spring semester, and present their work to judges from the local aerospace industry.

Senior Project:

Senior Project is the second required ARO capstone experience. During the last of the program, all students must choose a topic for their senior project and work with an advisor for one year. The projects are team activities and should present an innovative idea. The senior project results in a final report and presentation at Cal Poly Pomona Project Show Case in spring and often technical papers in aerospace conferences and journals.

ARO Technical Elective:

The Departments offers 5-6 technical elective courses each year. These courses are selected based on the popular demand of students or the relevance to a particular significant activity in the program. See the list of ARO technical elective courses under the Documents section on this page.

General Education (GE):

All students must complete the GE (or IGE) requirements. Several courses in the ARO curriculum are double-counted as GE units. These courses cover the requirements for GE area B1, GE area B3, GE area B4, GE area B5, and GE area C3. Also, ARO students are exempted from taking GE area A2. To view the courses that are double-counted as GE see the curriculum documents at the bottom of this page.


The curriculum documents include the flowcharts, curriculum sheets, roadmaps. These documents are available for students to download and must be used to plan your education at Cal Poly Pomona.