Space Studies Coursework

This program will give students a deep background in science and engineering complemented by courses in economics, policy, and management to foster their understanding of how each of these areas contribute to the design and organization of space and related technology and engineering projects. Their coursework will provide them with research and study skills to enable them to develop strategies for managing complex engineering projects and to understand the connections between programmatic/scientific objectives and their implementation. This program requires 39 Credit Hours for completion.

NOTE: Rice University and NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) have strategic partnerships in many areas of mutual interest. Senior leadership from Rice and NASA JSC’s Mission Operations Directorate have developed a special curriculum enhancing educational experience of NASA scientists and engineers. For more information, please contact Dagmar Beck at dkbeck@rice.edu

Recommended Background

Applicants for the Professional Master’s in Space Studies must have:

  • B.A. or B.S. degree in a related science or engineering program that included course work in general physics, chemistry, calculus, linear algebra, and differential equations
  • Scores from the general Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
  • Strong quantitative abilities
  • Statistics, introductory economics and computer skills are preferred

Five Cohort Courses/Requirements (9 Hrs)

NSCI 501 PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S SEMINAR (1 credit hour)

NSCI 502 SPACE STUDIES SEMINAR (1 credit hour)

NSCI 511 SCIENCE POLICY, AND ETHICS

NSCI 512 PROFESSIONAL MASTER'S PROJECT (1 credit hour)

NSCI 610 / ENGI 610 MANAGEMENT FOR SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING

Five Science courses: (15 Hrs)

ASTR 570 SOLAR SYSTEM PHYSICS

STAT 605 R FOR DATA SCIENCE

MECH 578 ORBITAL MECHANICS AND MISSION DESIGN

With two courses to be chosen from the list below:

ASTR 554 ASTROPHYSICS OF THE SUN

BIOC 540 / CHBE 640 METABOLIC ENGINEERING

ESCI 540 EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE

ESCI 660 GEOLOGICAL AND GEOPHYSICAL FLUID DYNAMICS

MECH 554 / BIOE 554 / CEVE 554 COMPUTATIONAL FLUID MECHANICS

MECH 592 DESIGN FOR AEROSPACE ENVIRONMENTS

PHYS 517 COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS

Two Statistics/Computation Courses (6 credit hours): The analytical competency requirement provides career-enhancing, marketable skills in in finance, economics and computation. Students can choose courses as follows:

Choose two courses from:

CAAM 550 NUMERICAL ANALYSIS I

CEVE 528 / ENGI 528 ENGINEERING ECONOMICS

ESCI 571 DATA SCIENCE METHODS AND MANAGEMENT

MECH 554 / BIOE 554 / CEVE 554 COMPUTATIONAL FLUID MECHANICS

PHYS 517 COMPUTATIONAL PHYSICS

STAT 502 / COMP 502 / ELEC 502 NEURAL MACHINE LEARNING I

STAT 508 STATISTICS IN PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY

STAT 541 MULTIVARIATE ANALYSIS

STAT 615 REGRESSION AND LINEAR MODELS

Note: Depending on background, other courses can be chosen with permission of advisor.

3 Electives according to student’s interest: (9 Hrs) These course electives reflect individual academic interests and career goals.

Focus: Engineering

CEVE 504 ATOMSPHERIC PARTICULATE MATTER

CEVE 511 ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES

CEVE 576 / MECH 576 STRUCTURAL DYNAMIC SYSTEMS

MECH 598 INTRODUCTION TO ROBOTICS

ENGI 515 LEADING TEAMS AND INNOVATION

ENGI 614 LEARNING HOW TO INNOVATE

MECH 554 COMPUTATIONAL FLUID MECHANICS

MECH 574 TURBULENCE

MECH 579 LAUNCH VEHICLE AND SPACECRAFT DESIGN

MECH 590 AEROSPACE PROPULSION

MECH 591 GAS DYNAMICS

MECH 592 DESIGN FOR AEROSPACE ENVIRONMENTS

MECH 594 INTRODUCTION TO AERONAUTICS

MECH 596 INTRODUCTION TO FLIGHT MECHANICS

MECH 691 INTRODUCTION TO HYPERSONIC AERODYNAMICS

Focus: Sciences (Astro Science/Earth Science/Life Sciences)


ASTR 542 NEBULAR ASTROPHYSICS

ASTR 554 ASTROPHYSICS OF THE SUN

ASTR 555 PROTOSTARS AND PLANETS

ASTR 565 COMPACT OBJECTS

BIOS 524 MICROBIOLOGY & BIOTECHNOLOGY

BIOS 543 DEVELOPMENTAL NEUROBIOLOGY

BIOS 570 COMPUTATION WITH BIOLOGICAL DATA

ESCI 540 EARTH'S ATMOSPHERE

ESCI 581 TOPICS IN PLANETARY DYNAMICS AND MAGMATIC PROCESSES

ESCI 667 GEOMECHANICS

ESCI 672 EARTH SYSTEMS MODELING: NUMERICAL TECHNIQUES AND APPLICATIONS

MGMT 633 LIFE SCIENCE ENTREPRENEURSHIP & ROLES OF FOUNDERS & VENTURE CAPITAL IN HIGH-TECH STARTUPS

PHYS 510 MAGNETOSPHERIC PHYSICS

PHYS 541 RADIATIVE PROCESSES

PHYS 580 INTRODUCTION TO PLASMA PHYSICS

...and others

Focus: Management & Entrepreneurship

ENGI 515 LEADING TEAMS AND INNOVATION

ENGI 614 LEARNING HOW TO INNOVATE

MGMT 601 FINANCIAL STATEMENT ANALYSIS

MGMT 618 COMPLEXITIES OF PEOPLE AND ORGANIZATIONS

MGMT 619 CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

MGMT 629 BUSINESS PLAN DEVELOPMENT

MGMT 633 LIFE SCIENCE ENTREPRENEURSHIP & ROLES OF FOUNDERS & VENTURE CAPITAL IN HIGH-TECH STARTUPS

MGMT 658 APPLIED RISK MANAGEMENT

MGMT 734 TECHNOLOGY ENTREPRENEURSHIP

and others ...

NOTE: FOCUS AREAS IN EARTH SCIENCE, PHYSICS AND LIFE SCIENCES

can be chosen - depending on student’s background.

Students will consult with academic advisor about appropriate selection of their

elective science courses. 30 credit hours have to be in the 500-level and above. MGMT COURSES carry only 1.5 credits - plan to take 2 to receive a full 3 credit hours.

NOTE: This listing doesn’t reflect all courses available every year. Also note, not all courses are offered every year. Students are requested to consult with their academic advisors before enrolling.

A 3 – 6 months internship: Practical experience is offered via a 3 – 6 month work immersion. The internship will be under the guidance of a host company, government agency, or non-profit organization. A summary of the internship project is required in both oral and written form as part of the Professional Master’s Seminar.

The General Announcements (GA) is the official Rice curriculum. In the event that there is a discrepancy between the GA and any other websites or publications, the GA shall prevail as the authoritative source.

Visit the GA for Space Studies curriculum here

*Students enrolled in the Space Studies program can take advantage of the Inter-Institutional Graduate Program Agreement