A graduate program in space studies requires broad studies across a range of topics and prepares students for a variety of roles in the private, public, and military sector. Students can anticipate coursework dealing heavily in advanced technology but also focusing on the human role in the space program.
Graduate Programs in Space Studies
Coursework in a graduate program for space studies revolves around studying the humans involved in rocket flight and the technology that is part of that flight. The program typically terminates with the awarding of a master's degree; though a few Ph.D. programs are available. Master's degree programs can be completed in about two years, and some programs may allow you to specialize in an area like astronomy or space policy. The following are some of the courses you might expect to see in as master's degree program in space studies:
Foundations of Space Studies
One of the fundamental courses of this program is this introductory course that gives students a firm foundation of the history of space programs. Additional topics may include space systems parts and engineering, military space applications, and common technical issues in space.
Physiology in Space
Physiology courses within a space studies program go in-depth into discussions regarding the human body and the stresses it can take in space. Astronauts have limitations, and to better understand those limitations, students are afforded an opportunity to review data from various space flights. Students also examine the proposed solutions currently being offered to dealing with these stressors.
Every spacecraft needs to get off the ground before it can get into space, which means that students in this program often need to study the design and development of propulsion systems. Propulsion courses typically cover a range of topics that include the basic principles of rocket propulsion as well as fuel, thrusters, and other components of a propulsion system.
Remote Sensing Systems
Remote sensing coursework can specifically study satellites or more general spacecraft. In either case, the course is focused on what remote sensing is, the principles behind it, and how it is applied from space. A course in this area revolves around imaging systems, data handling, and modern applications and processes. It can also examine how remote sensing is handled differently in different systems.
Space Studies Capstone Project
A capstone project is a common requirement in a master's degree program in space studies. This project can vary in its nature, but typically requires extensive research on the part of the student. Students may even get a chance to design competitive projects in various fields ranging from robotic exploration human space missions.
Although each university may have its own specifics standards, graduate studies in space often require students to have a bachelor's degree from an accredited university. Some schools may prefer this degree to be in a related-science or engineering field and include undergraduate coursework in general physics, calculus, and algebra. GRE test scores may also be required.
Students entering a graduate program in space studies may study a wide range of topics, from human physiological stress tolerances to the technical propulsion systems of spacecraft. Graduates may have the skills for a wide range of technical and managerial positions in aerospace operations or engineering.