Prepare for a career in space with a broad-based approach that links engineering,
science and policy.
Launch your successful career in space exploration with a multi-disciplinary program
that can expand your career path. You’ll gain a broad view of space with a program
that includes disciplines such as planetary science, space engineering, life support
systems, space policy and law, space history, and space-related aspects of business
On Campus or Online
Est. time to complete:
Why earn a degree in space studies?
Completed applications and all required materials must be received by above application
Space exploration has an all-encompassing nature, requiring a unique mix of experience
and expertise that can link policy, business, law, science and engineering. To be
successful in a rapidly evolving and expanding space industry, a holistic, graduate
degree education is needed.
This UND graduate program gives you that broad base of knowledge that can serve as
a perfect launch pad for you to thrive. Your specialized training can be achieved
through thesis or non-thesis options with an opportunity to focus in an area of faculty
research. Students have participated in vital NASA-funded research, such as design
and construction of a Lunar/Mars habitat prototype and pressurized electric rover.
In fact, UND was the first university with a NASA-funded laboratory dedicated to designing
and constructing space-exploration and planetary surface exploration suits. UND is
also the first university with two fully operational spaceflight simulators.
Space Studies at UND
Preparefor a future in the academic, commercial, and governmental sectors of the rapidly-growing
field of space exploration.
Unlike similar programs, UND students gain a broad-based understanding of the links
between engineering, space science and policy.
Gain access to advanced research and get real-world learning experiences in the UND
Human Spaceflight Laborator, the Spacecraft Simulator facility and the Space Studies
Teaching at a distance for more than 25 years, learn space studies online from faculty
who are experts in online learning.
Space Studies Careers
Median salary for atmospheric scientist or meteorologist
As the space industry evolves and progresses toward a combination of government and
privately funded space exploration and research efforts, the need for those with a
broad background in space sciences and related fields have opportunities in many areas.
The Space Studies M.S. program has recent graduates working at SpaceX, Blue Origin,
Paragon Space Technology, Boeing Space, Lockheed-Martin, and other commercial space
companies, as well as for NASA and NASA-contractors. The programs that these graduates
are working on include payload integration for Falcon rockets, development of the
Space Launch System, numerous graduates in Mission Control at various NASA Centers,
and researchers at several NASA Centers. This program offers diverse learning experiences
so you can progress or advance in professions such as:
Aerospace Business Creator
Aerospace & Systems Engineer
Aerospace Program Manager
Space Systems Operator
When You Earn a master's degree in Space Studies
A master's degree in Space Studies gives you the strategic skills you need, including:
Space Law and Policy
UND Space Studies Alumni
Space Studies alumni have gone on to a variety of successful careers with:
Space Exploration (SpaceX)
Paragon Space Technology
Space Studies Courses
SPST 500. Introduction to Orbital Mechanics. 3 Credits.
This course introduces students without much background in either mathematics or physics to the problems faced everyday by orbital analysts as they track the 7000 satellites which orbit the earth. The course gives the students an ability to converse, as managers and co-workers, with those individuals who are calculating these difficult orbits. This appreciation is important in both the civilian and military sides of the space program. On demand.
SPST 512. Human Performance in Extreme Environments. 3 Credits.
This course identifies the impact that the stressors of extreme environments have on human performance. The course objectives are to highlight the differences and similarities among extreme environments and to demonstrate that, despite the differences lessons learned from operations in a given extreme environment can be effectively applied to other environments. Although settings such as space, mountains, or deep sea exhibit unique characteristics, the human physiological and psychological reactions and adaptations to these extreme settings stay similar. On demand.
SPST 517. Human Spaceflight Systems. 3 Credits.
This course is designed to introduce students to human space systems. The course uses both an engineering and a historical approach to human spaceflight systems covering all manned spacecraft up to today, plus individual subsystems necessary for human occupation. By the end of the course, students will: 1. Understand the engineering and science concepts related to human spaceflight, 2. Understand the major technologies required for human spaceflight, 3. Apply the systems engineering process to a human spaceflight mission: a. Describe the interactions among the elements of a space mission, b. Describe the interactions among all spacecraft subsystems, c. Document design decisions and analysis in a clear and concise manner. F, even years.
SPST 527. Extraterrestrial Resources. 3 Credits.
This course focuses on the inventory, accessibility, acquisition, processing and utilization of extraterrestrial resources (space resources) from celestial bodies such as the Moon, Mars, asteroids and comets. Consideration will be given to extraterrestrial resources for in situ utilization (such as a Lunar or Martian base), for space operations (such as supporting large scale near-Earth activities or a human Mars mission), and for terrestrial markets. The course will focus on the interplay between the scientific, technical, and economic aspects of acquiring and utilizing such resources. The course will also explore some of the legal and political ramifications and limitations of claiming and recovering space resources. On demand.
SPST 565. Space Law. 3 Credits.
This course serves as a graduate-level introduction to the field of Law as applied to Space Law. The course examines the origins and evolution of the laws of outer space from the beginnings of the space age to the present. International laws governing access and use of space, and national laws regulating governmental and commercial activities in space are reviewed and analyzed. On demand.
SPST 520. Asteroids, Meteorites and Comets. 3 Credits.
The small bodies of the solar system provide clues to the origin and early history of the solar system. The planets and larger moons have all been chemically transformed erasing their records of their formation. By contrast, many asteroids, meteorites and comets are essentially unmodified from the time of their origin 4.5 billion years ago and thus preserve a record of the formation epoch. Each of these classes of objects is investigated separately, and relationships between them are examined. Implications for impact hazards and for extraterrestrial resources are also explored. The results of recent and current spacecraft missions to asteroids (e.g., Galileo, NEAR, DAWN, Hayabusa, Rosetta, OSIRIS-Rex, etc.) and to comets (e.g. Giotto, Vega 1, Stardust, Deep Impact, Rosetta, etc.) are reviewed. On demand.
Learn to Lead
UND graduate students gain hands-on experience inside an inflatable Lunar-Mars Habitat.
Explore More Options
Connect with the faculty you'll work with or discover additional majors at UND's world-renowned
center for aerospace learning.