The Bachelor of Science in Space Studies is a unique blend of the study of space science, management, operations, economy, and national security. You will be given additional flexibility to focus with a choice of one of three concentrations: aerospace science, astronomy, or space policy.

This online bachelor’s degree also examines the significance of planetary and space explorations, space weapons, space weather, and astronomy. Very few space studies academic programs match the breadth and scope of this innovative online program, which prepares you for a wide variety careers in the space field -- including the aerospace industry, planetarium / science center, observatory telescope operator, science educator, space industry management, military space officer.

The curriculum for this online space studies program was originally designed by former NASA astronaut and Dean of Science and Technology, Dr. James Reilly, veteran of three shuttle missions and five spacewalks. Many of our faculty are leaders in the field, including scientists and engineers currently working for NASA, the space industry, and national astronomical observatories. You’ll also have the opportunity to use the university’s recently commissioned a state of the art remote controlled observatory, with a fully online 24-inch aperture telescope.

Degree Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and degree level learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of basic mathematics (algebra / trigonometry) and fundamental classical physics.

  • Analyze the possibility of life in the universe while at the same time assessing astronomical objects – including planets, stars, and galaxies.

  • Critique the status of technology in modern aeronautics and unmanned / manned spaceflight

  • Synthesize the history of space exploration, from early rocketry efforts to the International Space Station and beyond.

Degree at a Glance

General Education Requirements30
Major Required28
Select one of the following concentrations:15
Concentration in Aerospace Science
Concentration in Astronomy
Concentration in Space Policy
Final Program Requirements3
Elective Requirements44
Total Semester Hours120

Degree Program Requirements

General Education Requirements (30 semester hours)

Arts and Humanities (6 semester hours) 1
PHIL202Philosophy of Science3
Select 1 course from the following:3
Art Appreciation
Film and Literature
Image Enhancement using Adobe Photoshop
World Literature through the Renaissance
World Literature since the Renaissance
English Literature: Beowulf to18th Century
English Literature: 18th Century to Present
American Literature before The Civil War
American Literature from The Civil War to Present
Arabic I
Arabic II
French I
French II
German I
German II
Introduction to Japanese
Music Appreciation
Introduction to Philosophy
Critical Thinking
Introduction to Brazilian Portuguese
Introduction to World Religions
Russian I
Spanish I
Spanish II
Civics, Political and Social Sciences (6 semester hours) 1
Select 2 courses from the following:6
Introduction to Anthropology
Introduction to Cultural Anthropology
Human Sexuality
Social Media and Society
Intercultural Communication
Humane Education: A Global Interdisciplinary Perspective
Introduction to Geography
Practical Food Safety and Awareness
International Relations I
Contemporary World Culture Through Literature
Cultural Diversity in Contemporary American Literature
American Government I
Introduction to Psychology
Introduction to Sociology
Social Problems
American Popular Culture
Communication: Writing, Oral, and Multimedia (9 semester hours)
COMM120Information and Digital Literacy3
ENGL110Making Writing Relevant3
ENGL221Scientific Writing3
History (3 semester hours)
HIST270History of Science3
Mathematics and Applied Reasoning (3 semester hours)
MATH110College Algebra3
Natural Sciences (3 semester hours)
ERSC181Introduction to Geology3
Total Semester Hours30

Major Required (28 semester hours)

MATH111College Trigonometry3
CHEM133General Chemistry I with Lab4
SCIN133Introduction to Physics with Lab4
SCIN134Introduction to Astronomy with Lab4
SCIN261Introduction to Planetary Science with Lab4
SPST200Introduction to Space Studies3
SPST201Introduction to Space Flight3
SPST203History of Space Flight3
Total Semester Hours28

You must choose a concentration for this degree program and may select from the Aerospace Science, Astronomy, or Space Policy concentrations.

Concentration in Aerospace Science (15 semester hours)

The aerospace science concentration provides an in-depth study of space transportation systems. You take courses with comprehensive overviews of such topics as rocket propulsion, orbital mechanics, launch / reentry systems, and spacecraft design.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Solve the laws of orbital mechanics, including spacecraft maneuvers such as transfer orbits and rendezvous.

  • Analyze liquid and solid rocket propulsion fundamentals including propellants, combustion principles, components, and general turbo-pump, and motor design.

  • Assess the technology related to various launch and reentry systems.

  • Synthesize the fundamentals of modern space transportation systems, from Apollo to NASA’s new Space Launch System.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

SPST305Introduction to Orbital Mechanics3
SPST310Rocket Propulsion3
SPST330Launch and Reentry Systems3
SPST425Satellite and Spacecraft Systems3
SPST445Space Transportation Systems3
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in Astronomy (15 semester hours)

The astronomy concentration is designed to prepare you for employment in the observatory, planetarium, or science center environment. A range of courses are offered that prepare you for graduate work in the space studies field. You’ll acquire experience with the university’s new 24-inch robotic telescope.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of operation of the modern observatory and planetarium.

  • Analyze the celestial objects found within our Solar System and their study by space probe.

  • Evaluate the importance of space weather and its potential harmful effects on our technological society.

  • Synthesize celestial objects found beyond the Solar System, including stars, exoplanets, and galaxies.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

SPST340Tools of the Observatory3
SPST341Tools of the Planetarium3
SPST435Planetary and Space Exploration3
SPST440Stars and Galaxies3
SPST465Space Weather3
Total Semester Hours15

Concentration in Space Policy (15 semester hours)

Space policy is designed to cultivate leaders in the space industry – both in NASA as well as the commercial space operations industry. This concentration is ideal if you have an administrative / business interest. Coursework considers space diplomacy, with extensive emphasis on space operations and organizations.


Upon successful completion of this concentration, the student will be able to:

  • Examine the political and commercial significance of major national and international space missions, projects, and operations.

  • Evaluate organizations that are critical to the success of the technological advance of space infrastructure in the United States.

  • Synthesize the status of space cooperation and diplomacy between various space faring nations.

  • Synthesize space laws and how the governing institutions affect applications such as remote sensing, communications, navigation, launch services, satellite exports, and arms control.

Concentration Requirements (15 semester hours)

SPST304National Space Organization3
SPST306Human Space Flight3
SPST307Space Policy3
SPST415Space Station Systems and Operations3
SPST485Space Wargaming3
Total Semester Hours15

Final Program Requirements (3 semester hours)

SPST499Senior Seminar in Space Studies (to be taken as the last course before graduation) 13
Total Semester Hours3

Elective Requirements (44 semester hours)

Select any courses that have not been used to fulfill major requirements. Credits applied toward a minor or certificate in an unrelated field may be used to fulfill elective credit for the major.