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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.

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.

Students working on an unmanned aircraft


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 2018 rankings


Aerospace engineering graduate program

U.S. News and World Report 2023 rankings


Aerospace engineering undergraduate program

U.S. News and World Report 2024 rankings


Aerospace engineering online master's

Guide to Online Schools 2020 rankings


Top ranked aerospace & aeronautical engineering program

College Factual 2019 rankings


Best value aerospace & aeronautical engineering program

College Factual 2019 rankings

Our Mission

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.

Students working on composite model

Push Boundaries

Inspire Our Students become critical thinkers, innovators, and leaders with the curiosity and drive to solve real-world problems.

Wind Tunnel Research


Conduct Research

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

Our Role in the World

Provide Leadership 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.