Best Online Master’s in Space Studies

Are you fascinated with all things space and science? Check out these 10 best online master’s in space studies and open the door to opportunities in space travel, history, and laws and ethics.  

Best Online Masters in Space Studies

The emerging field of space travel, coupled with the escalating demand for sustainable methods of transportation and exploration, is creating an increasing need for professionals with advanced technical skills in aerospace engineering and similar fields. If you possess a bachelor’s degree in a technical engineering field and are interested in spacecraft design, satellites, space exploration, and space transportation, then you’re on the right track to earning a master’s degree in space studies.

What Is an Online Master’s in Space Studies?

The growing importance of space exploration to science, our economy, and national security elevates the need for skilled, trained specialists in space technology. A master’s in space studies offers students an opportunity to train in space technology and expand their potential into managerial, leadership, or systems engineering positions. Students focused on government research work, space industry occupations, or managerial positions with key development centers will have a leg up on the competition. Some of the central concentration areas for study include space dynamics, spacecraft propulsion, space system safety, and space applications. 

How Much Can You Earn with an Online Master’s in Space Studies?

With a master’s degree in space studies, a professional can seek employment in both the private and government sectors as an aerospace engineering manager, spacecraft designer, operations engineer, or architectural designer, or they can hold a crucial position in the aerospace and defense industry. In 2019, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported that aerospace engineers holding only a bachelor’s degree saw annual salaries of $116,500. In aerospace research and development, professionals with the same level of education pulled in around $123,600 each year. Master’s holders in the managerial sectors of scientific research and development, on the other hand, saw significantly higher salaries, at $167,290 per year.

What Is Required for an Online Master’s in Space Studies?

To earn an online master’s degree in space studies, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree in physics, engineering, astronomy, or a similar technical specialty field. Two or three letters of recommendation from current professions or instructors, or from a job manager, are typically expected, and in some cases, an interview is required. A minimum bachelor’s degree GPA of 2.5 or greater is standard, but a 3.0 average is required for many programs. GRE exams may be required, and transfer credits must be pre-approved by admissions advisors. Because of the highly emerging nature of space travel and science, interactive project work and real-life problem-solving strategies are key components of the program coursework.

What Are the Best Online Master’s in Space Studies?

OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program-specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.

The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.

  1. Stevens Institute of Technology

    20-Year ROI
    $1,773,636
    Stevens Institute of Technology

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $48,784(in state) / $48,784(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours for completion
    • Two letters of recommendation required with application
    • GRE test score submission required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction71%
    Admission Rate44%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$19,500
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School68.92%
    100%
    OSR Score

    Earn a Master’s in Space Studies from Stevens Institute of Technology and open the door to an engineering career in flight dynamics, satellite systems, avionics, space systems, or aerospace. Professional experience, as well as a bachelor’s degree in a related field, are suggested. Without career experience, students will be required to take the Introduction to Systems Engineering course.

  2. University of Southern California

    20-Year ROI
    $1,470,424
    USC

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $53,448(in state) / $53,448(out of state)
    • Minimum cumulative 3.0 GPA required for graduation
    • Total of 27 credit hours
    • Bachelor’s in Engineering or engineering-related discipline required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate16%
    Programs offered onlineNot Reported

    Program Level

    Median Debt$49,083
    Programs in Department12
    Popularity at School10.80%
    88%
    OSR Score

    For a dynamic and cutting-edge study of advanced space technology that focuses on spacecraft engineering, consider the University of Southern California’s online Master’s in Astronautical Engineering program. The program offers a variety of concentrations, including Space Applications, Spacecraft Dynamics, Safety of Space Systems, Spacecraft Propulsion, and Spacecraft Operations. 

  3. University of Central Florida

    University of Central Florida

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $4,478(in state) / $19,810(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours for completion 
    • Bachelor’s in Engineering or a similar field required
    • 3.0 GPA in last 60 hours of bachelor’s coursework required  

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction75%
    Admission Rate50%
    Programs offered online93

    Program Level

    Median Debt$18,130
    Programs in Department4
    Popularity at School7.30%
    80%
    OSR Score

    The University of Central Florida offers an online Master’s in Aerospace Engineering program that gives students an opportunity to focus on advancing and influencing the design and implementation of spacecraft, aircraft, and satellites in today’s modern space age. Classes focus on thermal analysis and design, structures and materials, space environment, and space communication and instrumentation.

  4. American Public University System

    20-Year ROI
    $1,257,003
    American Public University System

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,480(in state) / $6,480(out of state)
    • No GRE/GMAT exam required 
    • Transfers welcomed, and credits are evaluated for free
    • Total of 36 credit hours for graduation

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online45

    Program Level

    Median Debt$20,165
    Programs in DepartmentNot Reported
    Popularity at School< 1%
    78%
    OSR Score

    The Master of Science in Space Studies offered by American Public University was designed by a NASA astronaut and built to address the ongoing political, commercial, scientific, legal, economic, and technical challenges that space exploration faces. APUS has an active, robust research program which provides many opportunities for Space Studies students.  These programs are open to all Space Studies Master’s students in the program (all concentrations are welcome to participate).  Their current initiatives include a Supernova Search program utilizing the APUS optical telescope, Exoplanet Transit Photometry and Bioluminescent algae and bacteria.

    “Access to a research-grade optical telescope and the opportunity to gain valuable leadership experience in a scientific research setting make the APUS Space Studies Master’s program a very strong choice,” says Kristen Miller, Ph.D., Associate Professor, Department of Space and Earth Studies.

    In addition, APUS has two active space-related student organizations that have active research opportunities for graduate students: SEDS (students for the exploration and development of space) and AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics). AIAA has two exciting research programs for Space Studies graduates and undergraduates: APUS Analog Research Group (AARG) and Near Earth Object Orbital Analysis Group (NEO orbits).
  5. University of New Mexico-Main Campus

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $5,961(in state) / $20,550(out of state)
    • No GRE/GMAT exam required 
    • Transfers welcomed, and credits are evaluated for free
    • Total of 36 credit hours for graduation

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction76%
    Admission Rate67%
    Programs offered online2

    Program Level

    Median Debt$19,203
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    78%
    OSR Score

    The Master of Science in Space Studies offered by American Public University was designed by a NASA astronaut and built to address the ongoing political, commercial, scientific, legal, economic, and technical challenges that space exploration faces. The study is interdisciplinary and addresses both the history of space travel and exploration, as well as project-based learning that stresses both the psychological and physiological elements of exploring our space environment. 

  6. University of Maryland Global Campus

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,936(in state) / $11,976(out of state)
    • Total of 36 credit hours for completion
    • Program must be completed within a five consecutive year window
    • 3.0 GPA must be maintained until graduation

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission RateNot Reported
    Programs offered online31

    Program Level

    Median Debt$18,215
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    75%
    OSR Score

    The University of Maryland Global Campus offers a Master’s in Management with an Air and Space Strategic Studies specialization that is geared toward building expertise in managing operations. This program combines theory with practical applications and real-world skills-building to prepare students for job environments in which they can immediately apply their education. 

  7. Johns Hopkins University

    20-Year ROI
    $1,457,997
    Johns Hopkins

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $52,170(in state) / $52,170(out of state)
    • Total of ten courses required for the degree 
    • Requires prior undergraduate or graduate degree in a quantitative discipline
    • Only one “C-range” grade allowed before graduation

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission Rate13%
    Programs offered online6

    Program Level

    Median Debt$13,500
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    75%
    OSR Score

    At Johns Hopkins University, you can earn a Master’s in Space Systems Engineering. This unique program lets students study directly with mentors and professors associated with the Dragonfly mission and the New Horizon’s Pluto mission. Coursework covers current topics and case studies from real-world applications that allow students to examine and evaluate the design, usage, and function of existing and emerging space technology.

  8. University of North Dakota

    UND

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $6,946(in state) / $18,546(out of state)
    • Two-to-four-year program completion timeframe
    • Total of 33 credit hours required
    • Two fully operational space flight simulators available to program participants

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction73%
    Admission Rate83%
    Programs offered online13

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,489
    Programs in Department5
    Popularity at School12.39%
    73%
    OSR Score

    The Master’s of Space Study at the University of North Dakota allows students to participate in essential NASA-funded research projects. Some of those projects have already included pressurized electronic roves and the construction of the Lunar/Mars habitat prototype. With a thesis and non-thesis option, students will choose a focus of training that may include space engineering, planetary space, space history, space policy and law, or even life support systems.

  9. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide

    20-Year ROI
    $1,325,236

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $9,000(in state) / $9,000(out of state)
    • Total of 30 credit hours required
    • GRE exam required
    • Three letters of recommendation, including two from recent instructors, required

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction70%
    Admission Rate63%
    Programs offered online16

    Program Level

    Median Debt$24,250
    Programs in Department2
    Popularity at School< 1%
    69%
    OSR Score

    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University offers a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering. This program is designed for students who already hold a Bachelor’s in Aerospace Engineering or a related engineering field. This master’s is uniquely crafted to prepare students for a career in engineering education or in aerospace research and development. 

  10. Webster University

    20-Year ROI
    $835,493

    Quick Facts

    • Tuition: $26,900(in state) / $26,900(out of state)
    • Total of 39 hours of coursework required
    • Transfer-friendly program 
    • Roleplaying practice incorporated in program instruction

    School Wide

    Student Satisfaction72%
    Admission Rate54%
    Programs offered online17

    Program Level

    Median Debt$23,226
    Programs in Department1
    Popularity at School< 1%
    68%
    OSR Score

    To earn a Master’s in Space Systems Operations Management degree online, students can apply to Webster University. Options for concentrating your studies are available in Engineering and Technical Management or Acquisitions and Program Management. Graduates will be skilled at integrating facts, principles, and theories to develop solutions to multi-level, space systems operations management problems.