But what if they’re more interested in engineering? A 2013 Forbes magazine survey of college engineering students found NASA to be the number one dream job for this group. Let’s look at where some of their engineers attended college.

NASA’s Engineering and Safety Center consists of the folks who evaluate whether projects NASA is working on meet the strict safety standards necessary for very challenging missions. Here’s where the top engineers in that important office studied as undergrads.

NASA Engineering and Safety Center Leadership

Office of the Director

US Air Force Academy

New Mexico State

Cal State Fullerton

Tennessee Tech

Principal Engineers

US Naval Academy


U Florida

U Colorado–Boulder

Integration Office


Chief Engineers

Iowa State

U Arizona

U Akron

Penn State

Virginia Tech

Cal Poly–Pomona

U Alabama

North Carolina State

U New Mexico

Technical Fellows

Cal State Northridge

U Puerto Rico

U Alabama

St. Louis U

U Illinois

Virginia Tech

William and Mary

Texas A+M

U Massachusetts

Southern Massachusetts U

U Central Florida


Western State Colorado U

Albion College

U Cincinnati

U Illinois

U Cincinnnati

Source: nasa.gov

And while we’re at it, let’s look at where NASA’s currently active astronauts studied, too.

Currently active NASA astronauts

US Military Academy (5)

US Air Force Academy (3)

Frostburg State

UC Santa Barbara

Washington U in St. Louis

Albion College

LeMoyne College

Cal Poly San Luis Obispo




Oregon State

St. John’s U (MN)


Southeastern Massachusetts U

US Naval Academy (4)


George Washinton

U Washington

The Citadel

CSU Fullerton


U Illinois

North Carolina State


U North Dakota

UC San Diego



Tennessee Tech

Source: nasa.gov

So, as with students who are interested in business, those headed for careers as rocket scientists—and rocket operators—also seem more likely to find success based on who they are than on where they’ve done their studies.