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College of Engineering | UTEP Communications | May 18, 2021

UTEP Degree in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering Approved by UT System Regents

UTEP Degree in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering Approved by UT System Regents


The University of Texas System Board of Regents approved a new degree proposal by The University of Texas at El Paso to establish a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering. This degree is designed to prepare students for careers in aerospace, aeronautical and defense systems engineering and related disciplines. The program will have a unique set of focuses including defense, small satellite, propulsion systems, exploration vehicles, autonomous systems and hypersonics.

The Regents approved the degree during their board meeting May 6, 2021.

“We are excited to provide students with more options to pursue careers in engineering and healthcare,” said UTEP President Heather Wilson. The new Bachelor of Science in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering will expose students to emerging specialized jobs expected to be in high demand over the next decade.

The aerospace and aeronautical engineering program’s curriculum will be offered through UTEP’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, further solidifying the department’s strong emphasis in that field. Typically, 30% to 40% of UTEP mechanical engineering graduates are placed in the aerospace industry.

“It is truly exciting to open a new degree program for our students. The curriculum, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, allows for the focus on skills required for the aerospace industry, that have been informed by many years of research accomplishments in this field”, said Patricia Nava, Ph.D., College of Engineering interim dean. Courses in this area will be offered beginning Fall 2021, and we look forward to having our first graduates soon, continuing the College of Engineering tradition of providing diverse engineering talent to industry, in this case, aerospace industry.

The proposed degree will consist of an initial two years of study identical to the current B.S. in Mechanical Engineering degree program, plus offer experiences in aerodynamics, propulsion, aerostructures, aerospace dynamics and controls, and aerospace systems engineering.

“Our students graduating from the mechanical engineering program have always been widely sought after by employers, companies and national labs in the aerospace and defense sector which has opened many doors of opportunity for them,” said Jack Chessa, chair of UTEP’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “With the addition of the Bachelor of Science in Aerospace and Aeronautical Engineering this will redouble these career opportunities for our students, current and future, in the aerospace industry and help the U.S. remain competitive in this sector.”

The new degree program will require approval by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges before they are implemented.

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