SDSU aerospace program ranked on top

by Georgina Vargas, Staff Writer

San Diego State’s aerospace engineering and education graduate programs are among the top programs in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of best graduate schools.

The aerospace engineering program ranked 37in the nation and seventh in the state of California.

“We focus on a small number of things, but we do them very well,” said aerospace engineering graduate adviser Satchi Venkataraman.

The graduate program tied with Syracuse University, University at Buffalo, University of Kansas, University of Tennessee-Knoxville and Case Western Reserve University.

Some of the programs that aerospace engineering beat have double the number of faculty compared to the nine aerospace engineering professors at SDSU, Venkataraman said.

The aerospace engineering program features two fields, aerodynamics and structural mechanics.

Aerospace engineering graduate student Vigneshkumar Sudalaimuthu said he decided to go to SDSU after finding professors in the program that were interested in the same field of research as him.

Some factors taken into account by the U.S. News & World Report are graduation rates and student success.

“The amount of work that you want to do in the aerospace program is dependent on your motivation, so there is nothing here that limits you,” said aerospace engineering graduate student Daniel Silva.

Faculty work closely with students on research and have students and alumni who participate in the Aztec Mentor Program to help undergraduates and graduate students during the semester.

Venkataraman said he has been the graduate adviser for 15 years and has seen the number of students increase from eight graduate students in 2003 to 33 students this year.

The College of Education’s graduate program is 57th in the U.S. and 39th among public universities.

“I think SDSU has improved in so many ways in recent years and that is fundamentally due to working hard. It’s nice to see the work get acknowledged in a very public way,” said Dean of the College of Education Joseph Johnson said.

The education program has over 20 different master’s degrees in counseling, education, special education and rehabilitation.

The degrees also have different areas of focus such as mathematics, science and language arts.

Johnson said the goal of the College of Education is to provide meaningful research for students so the community can benefit from the projects and information.

Graduate students in both programs also have the opportunity to continue their education through Ph.D. programs at SDSU.

SDSU has moved up 37 spots in the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings since 2011.

“I’m excited that this just shows that our hard work and effort and the faculty’s sleepless nights they have is paying off,” aerospace engineering graduate student Lauren Parrett said.

The College of Education has received more grants compared to other higher education programs in California. In the fall, they received four grants to continue research and create more programs for students.

“We have great students, great faculty and staff and together we accomplish great things,” Johnson said.