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School of Natural Sciences
P.O. Box 1892, MS 103
P.O. Box 1892
Houston, TX 77252
Professional Master's Degree in Space Studies
The Space Studies track gives students the opportunity to deepen their technical and engineering knowledge and fulfills the critical need in the space industry for well-qualified professionals interested in the new paradigm for space exploration and utilization. Recent changes in the Space Policy of the United States have significantly affected the space enterprise. With an increased emphasis on the commercialization of space exploration there is a greater need for the broad education and expertise afforded by the Rice PSM program.
Over the course of the next few years the NASA Johnson Space Center and the associated aerospace industries will be changing the way they do business with a larger focus on translating space technologies to other sectors (e.g. energy, medicine) and a stronger emphasis on research and development, working more closely with universities, strengthening their entrepreneurial activities, and partnering more broadly.
The Space Studies track provides a strong foundation in these activities. It is geared to help individuals increase their knowledge of space engineering, science, program management, and policy. The program includes advanced engineering, biological, and physical science classes and introduces students to finance, public policy, and management disciplines, all of which impact space commercialization and national policy.
Our program focuses on training engineers interested in program management providing them with the tools to face the complex challenges inherent in US space policy, human and robotic space exploration, and the role of science in space exploration and technology development.
This degree equips students with the skills needed to connect advanced scientific concepts in a business or governmental setting. Students are educated in the scientific approach to problems, while simultaneously being trained in vital business concepts, policy and ethics issues, verbal and written communication, and rounding out their education with advanced practical training in the field of their interest.
This unique combination of an interdisciplinary curriculum and hands-on experience enables students to move seamlessly into the scientific/technical workforce. Through the development of their writing, research, and analytical and communication skills, graduates of this program can have a profound impact on policies, regulations, and laws governing the space industry within the United States, especially in the new age of increased commercialization and government-industry partnerships in space business.
The suite of courses that make up this program, required and elective, provide the students with a robust framework of technical skills relevant to space-related science, engineering and technology. For example, the space science, earth science, solar physics and astrophysics courses give the students an understanding of the phenomena in the universe that are the observational targets of many space missions and that drive the engineering design of these missions. In addition, the solar and space science courses provide the scientific background needed to understand the space environment that provides severe engineering challenges for the development of orbiting hardware. The engineering courses have been selected for their relevance to the development of space hardware and space instrumentation. Some of these courses are of direct relevance, e.g. Aerospace Engineering, while the remaining ones are focused on general principles that have a direct bearing on space hardware development. The life science courses are particularly relevant to the Human Space Flight program, the focus of NASA in Houston, and provide the scientific background in systems biology that have applications both in long-duration human spaceflight and in biological experimentation, a mainstay of science on the International Space Station. The computational courses are included to provide the students with the necessary skills to complement the science and engineering expertise and to introduce them to the economics of engineering management, a key component of the PSM program.
Through the development of their writing, research, and analytical and communication skills, graduates of this program can have a profound impact on policies, regulations, and laws governing the space industry within the United States, especially in the new age of increased commercialization of and government-industry partnerships in space.
Financial Aid: No
International Financial Aid: No
# of Credits Required: 40
Average Cost per Credit (Graduate): 1400 USD
In State Tuition (per year): 28000 USD
Out State Tuition (per year): 28000 USD
Classification: Doctoral/Research University—Extensive
Locale: Large City
Size & Settings: 3,000-5,999