A split image of a plane flying and a ship at sea with a rocket in the background


Virginia Tech’s Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering offers an unusual approach to understanding and exploiting the similarities between two seemingly disparate fields.

This perspective allows our researchers to forge new paths through aerospace and ocean engineering, and launches our graduates into careers that deepen our understanding and advance our technology.

Our most valuable asset, however, is our commitment and proven ability to teach students how to tackle complex systems.

This is what sets our program apart.

Students working on an underwater glider

Ready for the future

Through research, coursework, extra-curricular opportunities, and department culture, our students are equipped to answer technical challenges they will face in a future of many possibilities.

Students working on an unmanned aircraft

Going beyond

It is the ability to wrangle with and confront complex systems that disrupts the status quo in aerospace and ocean engineering, thrusts our engineers into higher gear, and pushes the limits of where people and our machines can travel and explore.


The Kevin T. Crofton Department of Aerospace and Ocean Engineering achieved the prestigious University Exemplary Department in 2015 and 1999 for "effectively linking research and scholarship with teaching, with particular concentration on innovative programs."


Aerospace engineering program globally

The Center for World University 2017 rankings


Aerospace engineering graduate program

U.S. News and World Report 2017 rankings


Aerospace engineering undergraduate program

U.S. News and World Report 2017 rankings


Aerospace engineering 

ShanghaiRanking's Global Ranking of Academic Subjects 2017


AOE strives to:

Students testing a hull design for a ship

EDUCATE FUTURE GENERATIONS of engineers through innovative, vibrant, diverse programs that are built upon technically rigorous engineering, hands-on experience, and a broad systems perspective.

INSPIRE OUR STUDENTS to become critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders with the curiosity and drive to solve real-world problems.

CONDUCT RESEARCH that generates new technologies to address aerospace and ocean engineering challenges and attracts outstanding graduate students, distinguished researchers, and international recognition.

PROVIDE LEADERSHIP to Virginia Tech, the Commonwealth of Virginia, the United States, and the world on the engineering of vehicles and systems that operate in the ocean, the atmosphere, and space.