Aerospace Engineering

Course Planning Specifics: Aerospace Engineering

Over the summer, your advisor will work with you to select course preferences for A and B terms and register you for classes before the semester begins. It is expected that you will take three classes in both terms in most cases. You will register for C and D term classes later in the fall semester.   

In addition to the course recommendations below that are specific to your major, each student must complete 4 Wellness and Physical Education courses in their four years at WPI. You are welcome to add a PE course to any term. PE courses are worth 1/12 unit, unlike major subjects discussed in course recommendations which are worth 1/3 unit, and can be taken in addition to the 3 courses recommended below. 

For more information on the degree requirements for your major click here.

A Term Recommendations

AE majors typically take Physics 1110 or PH 1111 as their first course. You must be starting with MA 1021 or higher to begin with Physics. If you are starting with MA 1020 you should start with CH 1010. If you have AP or transfer credit for PH 1110/1111 you can consider taking CH 1010 or a different Physics course on the tracking sheet which can be found above. 

PH 1110 and PH 1111 are two different versions of mechanics. PH 1111 is recommended for students beginning the calculus sequence in MA 1023 (Calc III) or higher and who have had a high school physics course (not physical science but physics).  For students who do not have high school physics, it is recommended that you select PH 1110.

The traditional PH 1110 is taught in three one-hour lectures, two one-hour conferences, and two hours of computerized labs per week. If you prefer more “seeing and doing,”  you may want to opt into the “studio style” version of the course in which class time will include a brief summary lecture, hands-on activities, and group problems. It will require more work outside of class to be ready for the activities in the classroom.  This version consists of two two-hour active learning sessions, a one-hour session for review problems or exams, and a two-hour session of computerized labs per week. The section numbers for this option are AS01 or AS02. Please keep in mind that you must select a matching Lecture, Discussion and Lab for PH1110 in Workday to register for the course. 

AE Majors are recommended to work through the Calculus series (MA 1021-1024) in their first year. To choose the calculus course that is right for you, please consider the following:

  1. Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
  2. Consider if you have AP Credit:
    Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the AB-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
    Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BC-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023 and could begin with MA 1024 in A-term then MA 2051 in B-term, OR MA 1033 in A-term followed by MA 1034 in B-term
  3. Students who received a 6 or 7 on the IB will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and should use the math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
  4. Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022.  In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you. 

The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023-MA 1024 sequence.

Your third course should be a Humanities and Arts or Social Science Course. More information is available about these courses below. 

Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:

  • Art (AR)
  • Music (MU)
  • Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
  • Foreign Language- Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
    • For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
    • For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
    • For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
    • For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Wen-Hua Du (wdu2@wpi.edu)
    • For English Language (International Students) Information, Please Email: Professor Althea Danielski (amdanielski@wpi.edu) and Professor Esther Boucher-Yip (efboucher@wpi.edu)
  • Literature (EN)
  • Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
  • International Student English (ISE)
  • History (HI)
  • International Studies (INTL)
  • Philosophy (PY)
  • Religion (RE)

You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it. 

You are required to take two Social Science Courses in your time at WPI. The subjects that are considered Social Science are:

  • Development (DEV)
  • Economics (ECON)
  • Environmental Studies (ENV)
  • Government, Political Science, and Law (GOV)
  • Psychology (PSY)
  • System Dynamics (SD)
  • Sociology (SOC)
  • Social Science (SS)
  • Society/Technology Studies (STS)

Note: ID 2050 is a course that is required before you go away for IQP and counts as one of your Social Science Courses. If you are planning on going away for IQP in your junior year, you may only want to take one social science course in your first year. 

B Term Recommendations

AE majors typically take Physics 1120 or PH 1121 in B term. You must be starting with MA 1021 or higher to begin with Physics. If you have AP credit for PH 1121/1120 you can consider taking an additional MA course such as Linear Algebra.

PH 1120 and PH 1121 are two different versions of Electricity and Magnetism. PH 1121 is recommended for students beginning the calculus sequence in MA 1023 (Calc III) or higher and who have had a high school physics course (not physical science but physics).  For students who do not have high school physics, it is recommended that you select PH 1120.

The traditional PH 1120 is taught in three one-hour lectures, two one-hour conferences, and two hours of computerized labs per week. If you prefer more “seeing and doing,”  you may want to opt into the “studio style” version of the course in which class time will include a brief summary lecture, hands-on activities, and group problems. It will require more work outside of class to be ready for the activities in the classroom.  This version consists of two two-hour active learning sessions, a one-hour session for review problems or exams, and a two-hour session of computerized labs per week. The section numbers for this option are BS01 or BS02. Please keep in mind that you must select a matching Lecture, Discussion and Lab for PH1120 in Workday to register for the course. 

AE Majors are recommended to work through the Calculus series (MA 1021-1024) in their first year. In B Term you should take the next course in the Calculus series beyond your A term course. The following is the typical MA sequence for WPI Students.

MA 1021

MA 1022

MA 1023/1033

MA 1024/1034

MA 2051

To choose the calculus course that is right for you, please consider the following:

  1. Complete the Math Placement Exam. The Math Placement Exam will tell you which Calculus course you should start in based on your current knowledge. If you are recommended to start in MA 1020, this will be your math course for both terms.
  2. Consider if you have AP Credit:
    Students who obtain a score of “4” or “5” on the AB-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022 and should begin with MA 1023/1033 in A term followed by MA 1024/1034 in B term.
    Students who obtain a grade of “4” or “5” on the BC-level Exam will receive credit for MA 1021, MA 1022 and MA 1023 and could begin with MA 1024 in A-term then MA 2051 in B-term, OR MA 1033 in A-term followed by MA 1034 in B-term.
  3. Students who received a 6 or 7 on the IB will receive 2/3 credit of MA 1000, and should use the math placement exam results to decide which math class to take.
  4. Consider the possibility of retroactive credit. If the Math Placement Exam recommends that you start in MA 1022 or MA 1023/1033 but you do not have AP credit, this could be a great option for you. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1022 and MA 1023/1033 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021. If, in your first year, you complete MA 1023/1033 and MA 1024/1034 on your first attempt you will receive credit for MA 1021 and MA 1022.  In determining if this is the right path for you, we strongly recommend completing the Math Placement exam and following the suggestion given to you. 

The sequence MA 1033 Theoretical Calculus III and MA 1034 Theoretical Calculus IV is an alternative to the MA 1023, MA 1024 sequence in A and B terms. The sequence is designed to give a deeper and more mathematically rigorous presentation of the relevant calculus topics. If you really enjoy math and have credit for Calculus I and II already, you should consider this sequence instead of the MA 1023-MA 1024 sequence.

Your third course should be a Humanities and Arts or Social Science Course. More information is available about these courses below. 

Every student at WPI must complete the Humanities and Arts (HUA) Requirement. This consists of 6 courses in HUA subjects. The subjects available for HUA are:

  • Art (AR)
  • Music (MU)
  • Drama/Theatre (EN/TH)
  • Foreign Language- Spanish (SP), German (GN), Arabic (AB), Chinese (CN)
    • For Spanish Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Angel Rivera (arivera@wpi.edu)
    • For German Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Daniel DiMassa (ddimassa@wpi.edu)
    • For Arabic Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Mohammed El Hamzaoui (melhamzaoui@wpi.edu)
    • For Chinese Placement Information, Please Email: Professor Wen-Hua Du (wdu2@wpi.edu)
    • For English Language (International Students) Information, Please Email: Professor Althea Danielski (amdanielski@wpi.edu) and Professor Esther Boucher-Yip (efboucher@wpi.edu)
  • Literature (EN)
  • Writing/Rhetoric (WR, RH)
  • International Student English (ISE)
  • History (HI)
  • International Studies (INTL)
  • Philosophy (PY)
  • Religion (RE)

You should pick courses in subjects you are interested in. When you come to campus you will learn more about the HUA requirement and how you will complete it. 

You are required to take two Social Science Courses in your time at WPI. The subjects that are considered Social Science are:

  • Development (DEV)
  • Economics (ECON)
  • Environmental Studies (ENV)
  • Government, Political Science, and Law (GOV)
  • Psychology (PSY)
  • System Dynamics (SD)
  • Sociology (SOC)
  • Social Science (SS)
  • Society/Technology Studies (STS)

Note: ID 2050 is a course that is required before you go away for IQP and counts as one of your Social Science Courses. If you are planning on going away for IQP in your junior year, you may only want to take one social science course in your first year. 

Once you go through the above recommendations, please be sure to review Registration Information below regarding searching for courses.

Registration Information

As you begin to plan your course preferences, consider using one of the following methods: 

  • Visit the Course Listings page. On this page, you can search for courses you are interested in and filter your search by subject, term, keyword, etc. 
  • Log into Workday. Once you log onto Workday, click on the Academics worklet. From there, click on Find Course Sections. Navigate to the appropriate term and filter your search by several fields such as subject, meeting pattern and open sections, all found on the left-hand side. If you know a specific course you are looking for, type in the course's name in the search bar to be brought directly to those offerings. 

Please note: As you begin to search for courses, it is helpful to review the recommended or suggested background included in the course descriptions. Recommended background is coursework or information that has been identified as important for you to have or understand before taking that course. Suggested background is helpful information to have but may not be absolutely necessary in order to excel in the course. 

Your Academic Support Advisor is available to assist you with questions. You will have an opportunity to connect with them during your First Year Welcome Experience, or you may reach out via email.