Prepare for a career in space with a broad-based approach that links engineering,
science and policy.
UND has the first space studies program of its kind in the world! Our master's in
Space Studies is designed for those seeking to enter the space field or are an aerospace
professional who wishes to expand your knowledge.
On Campus or Online
Est. time to complete:
Why earn a space studies degree?
Completed applications and all required materials must be received by above application
In the M.S. in Space Studies, you’ll gain a broad view of space with a program that
includes disciplines such as:
Life support systems
Space policy and law
Space-related aspects of business and management
Space Studies Graduate Programs
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 rovers. 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.
We've spent the last 30 years nurturing our students to success. We received the JSC
Certificate of Appreciation for 25 years of outstanding service in university education
in space studies from the NASA Johnson Space Center. You'll have the opportunity to
join students that produce publications in diverse fields of expertise and serve the
space community and nation.
Space Studies Master's Programs Online
If need the flexibility of schedule or location of study, we encourage you to look
at our online program option. Whether you're a working professional or deployed for
military duty, our faculty have 25+ years of experience supporting the needs of online
learners. We understand the unique challenges you may face.
UND's Space Studies Degree
UND is strategically focusing research on unmanned autonomous systems, big data, and building on our expertise in space research.
Unlike similar programs, UND students gain a broad-based understanding of the links
between engineering, space science and policy.
Gain access to advanced research. Get real-world learning experiences in the UND Human
Spaceflight Laboratory, the Spacecraft Simulator facility and the Space Studies Observatory.
Our graduates perform payload integration for Falcon rockets and work on the development of the Space Launch
System. They also work in Mission Control and are researchers at several NASA Centers.
UND is the first institution in the nation to become a part of U.S. Space Force’s
University Partnership Program.
With close ties to U.S. Space Force, U.S. Space Command, and NASA you'll have opportunities
to engage with the cutting edge of space industry.
The space industry is progressing toward a combination of government and privately
funded space exploration and research efforts. This is resulting in the need for professionals
with a broad background in space sciences and related fields. UND's space studies
program offers diverse learning experiences so you can advance in space careers such as:
Aerospace Business Creator
Aerospace and Systems Engineer
Aerospace Program Manager
Space Systems Operator
A master's degree in Space Studies gives you the strategic skills you need, including:
Space Law and Policy
Careers with a Space Studies Master's
As a graduate, you will be set up for professional success in the space industry.
Our alumni have gone on to a variety of successful careers with:
Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX)
Paragon Space Development Corporation
Science museums and planetariums
Space Studies Degree 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.
UND graduate students gain hands-on experience inside an inflatable Lunar-Mars Habitat.