University of Southern California USC Department of Astronautical Engineering The USC Andrew and Erna Viterbi School of Engineering USC
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M.S. in Astronautical Engineering

The Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering is designed for those with B.S. degrees in science and engineering who desire to work in the space sector of the aerospace industry, government research and development centers, and laboratories. In some cases the applicant may be required to take 1 or 2 deficiency courses (upper-division undergraduate courses). The decision to require deficiency courses is made by the Astronautics program coordinators.

Most classes for the M.S. are available through the USC Distance Education Network (DEN).

Admission to the M.S. program requires the general portion of the Graduate Record Examinations (GRE) and two letters of recommendation.

Answers to frequently-asked questions are found here.

The M.S. degree requires completion of 27 units satisfying the requirements below. At least 21 units must be at the 500 or 600 level.

If the M.S. degree is earned as part of the Progressive Degree Program (PDP), only 21 units are required. All requirements below apply to the PDP degree except for the technical elective requirement.

CORE REQUIREMENT (12 UNITS)

UNITS

ASTE 470

Spacecraft Propulsion

3

ASTE 520

Spacecraft System Design

3

ASTE 535

Spacecraft Environments and Spacecraft Interaction

3

ASTE 580

Orbital Mechanics I

3

CORE ELECTIVE REQUIREMENT (9 UNITS — CHOOSE THREE COURSES)

UNITS

ASTE 501ab

Physical Gas Dynamics

3-3

ASTE 523

Design of Low Cost Space Missions

3

ASTE 527

Space Exploration Architectures Concept Synthesis Studio

3

ASTE 529

Safety of Space Systems and Space Missions

3

ASTE 552

Spacecraft Thermal Control

3

ASTE 553

Systems for Remote Sensing from Space

3

ASTE 554

Spacecraft Sensors

3

ASTE 556

Spacecraft Structural Dynamics

3

ASTE 557

Spacecraft Structural Strength and Materials

3

ASTE 570

Liquid Rocket Propulsion

3

ASTE 572

Advanced Spacecraft Propulsion

3

ASTE 581

Orbital Mechanics II

3

ASTE 583

Space Navigation: Principles and Practice

3

ASTE 584

Spacecraft Power Systems

3

ASTE 585

Spacecraft Attitude Control

3

ASTE 586

Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics

3

TECHNICAL ELECTIVE REQUIREMENT (6 UNITS)
Two 3-unit courses. Students are advised to select these two elective courses from the list of core electives or from other courses in astronautical engineering or from other science and engineering graduate courses, as approved by a faculty advisor. No more than 3 units of directed research (ASTE 590) can he applied to the 27-unit requirement. New courses on emerging space technologies are often offered; consult the current semester's course offerings, particularly for ASTE 599, Special Topics.

The 6 units of technical electives are not required if the degree is earned under the Progressive Degree Program.

 


 

Areas of Concentration

Students choose core elective and technical elective courses that best meet their educational objectives. Students can also concentrate their studies in the desired areas by selecting corresponding core elective courses. Presently, the ASTE faculty suggest the following areas of concentration:

Spacecraft Propulsion
Choose two core electives from

ASTE 501ab

Physical Gas Dynamics

3-3

ASTE 570

Liquid Rocket Propulsion

3

ASTE 572

Advanced Spacecraft Propulsion

3

ASTE 584

Spacecraft Power Systems

3

Spacecraft Dynamics
Choose two core electives from

ASTE 556

Spacecraft Structural Dynamics

3

ASTE 557

Spacecraft Structural Strength and Materials

3

ASTE 581

Orbital Mechanics II

3

ASTE 583

Space Navigation: Principles and Practice

3

ASTE 585

Spacecraft Attitude Control

3

ASTE 586

Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics

3

Space Systems Design
Choose two core electives from

ASTE 523

Design of Low Cost Space Missions

3

ASTE 527

Space Exploration Architectures Concept Synthesis Studio

3

ASTE 529

Safety of Space Systems and Space Missions

3

ASTE 557

Spacecraft Structural Strength and Materials

3

(SAE 549, Space System Architecting, is also suggested as a technical elective for this area of concentration.)

Spacecraft Systems
Choose two core electives from

ASTE 552

Spacecraft Thermal Control

3

ASTE 553

Systems for Remote Sensing from Space

3

ASTE 554

Spacecraft Sensors

3

ASTE 584

Spacecraft Power Systems

3

Space Applications
Choose two core electives from

ASTE 527

Space Exploration Architectures Concept Synthesis Studio

3

ASTE 553

Systems for Remote Sensing from Space

3

ASTE 554

Spacecraft Sensors

3