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Master’s Degree Programs in Space Studies Overview

Majors Overview February 3, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in space studies and their education requirements, coursework, career choices, and continuing education choices.

Information on Master’s Degree Program in Space Studies

Both online and on-campus master’s degree programs in space studies are available through several schools. The online programs incorporate recorded lectures that can be viewed by students at their convenience; however, the programs include special projects that necessitate visits to campus. Applicants to the programs must be holders of bachelor’s degrees, with their undergraduate coursework involving a heavy emphasis on subject areas such as calculus, statistics, the physical sciences, and engineering.

The connection between every aspect of space exploration is a topic in the program; these include history, technology, legal issues, politics, and science. Enrollees in most space studies programs have to complete 33-36 credit hours. Students may be able to choose from specializations in topics areas such as planetary science or aerospace science. Coursework may cover topic areas such as the psychology of space, space law, and orbital mechanics. Students learn about research methodology, and a final project or thesis is necessary for most programs. Few schools, if any, offer master’s degree programs in space studies. Students keen on a career in this area may choose from related-interest programs such as:

•Bachelor’s programs in aeronautical engineering
•Master’s programs in astronomy
•Bachelor’s or master’s programs in aerospace engineering

Master’s Programs in Space Studies

Enrollees in a master’s degree program in space studies learn engineering, space policy and law, and planetary science and can avail opportunities to concentrate their coursework on numerous research areas. Program graduates may choose from numerous career options, or may continue their education by earning a doctoral degree.

Education Requirements

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree. Applicants may also be required to have completed several courses in subject areas such as engineering, calculus, physical sciences or life sciences at the undergraduate level, in addition to meeting a grade point average standard.


Students can seek careers in many areas of space studies, such as habitat, astronomy, physics, policy, or planetary space suits. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Military programs
•Visiting space centers
•Politics and Policy
•Space economics
•Space law
•Public Administration

Career Choices

Program graduates may choose from several entry-level career options. Job opportunities are available through the federal government; additional opportunities are available through private sector companies related to global positioning system technologies and satellite communications. Career opportunities in planetary science, astronomy, astrophysics, or physics may also be available to many program graduates. They may choose from possible career fields such as:

•Research and development
•Atmospheric science
•Space science

Continuing Education Choices

Program graduates may pursue continuing education by earning a Ph.D that could lead to careers as researchers at government agencies or in the private sector; alternatively, doctoral degrees could lead to university-level teaching jobs. Those seeking careers as professional astronomers are required to hold a Ph.D. in a related subject area, such as physics or astronomy. In doctoral programs, further focus is provided through dissertation coursework.

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