Graduate Certificate Program in Space Systems

Graduate Certificate Program in Space Systems

Program Description

For those students not enrolled in the Space Systems (GSS), or Astronautical Engineering (GA) Master of Science (MS) degree programs, AFIT now offers a Graduate Space Systems Certificate Program. This program consists of four courses, three core and one elective. The core courses cover the areas of spacecraft dynamics, space environment, and spacecraft design. The elective course may be in the area of space communications or remote sensing fundamentals.

Admissions Requirements

Degree Required: Any accredited B.S. degree, but courses are designed for students with a science or engineering undergraduate degree. A calculus-based physics course and a course in dynamical systems (circuits or engineering dynamics) is also required.

Mathematics Required: Ordinary Differential Equations

Test Required: None

GPA Required: Overall - 3.0; Mathematics - 3.0; Major - 3.0

*Waivers to the above criteria are sometimes granted, and are evaluated on a case-by-case basis.  Individuals whose academic credentials fall below any of the above criteria but feel they should be given additional consideration due to other potential qualifying factors are encouraged to apply.  Please contact the Center at 937-255-6565 x4753 for additional information.

*Military personnel, international officers, and civilians who apply to AFIT for full-time graduate study under the sponsorship (full pay and allowances) of a military service or Government organization, but fail to meet the criteria above may be admitted by the faculty in the appropriate department.  Please refer to AFIT’s Master’s Degree Eligibility for additional information.

**Note: All students must be U.S. citizens/U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) employees.**

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Outcomes & Objectives


The Graduate Space Systems Certificate Program is designed for students with traditional engineering backgrounds (mechanical, electrical, aerospace, etc.) and produces graduates who can effectively approach and analyze complex space-related problems, design feasible solutions and select an appropriate solution.

Specific objectives are as follows:

  • A graduate will have a general understanding of the purpose and requirements for all spacecraft subsystems and how these subsystems relate to the spacecraft payload and mission

  • A graduate will have a thorough understanding of orbital mechanics and the space environment and how these might affect the spacecraft mission

  • A graduate will have an understanding of a specific application of space vehicles

Program Chair

Dr. Richard G. Cobb

Degree Information

Degree Type: Certificate

Delivery Method: In-Residence and Distance Learning

Degree Requirements

The courses required to earn the Graduate Certificate are:

MECH 532—Introductory Space Flight Dynamics 

PHYS 519—The Space Environment 

ASYS 631—Spacecraft Systems Engineering 

An applications course [choose one of the following]:

  • EENG 571 Satellite Communications
  • OENG 530 Fundamentals of IR and MASINT Technology
  • PHYS 521 Space Surveillance
  • MENG 530 Chemical Rocket Propulsion
  • MENG 531 Space Propulsion and Power Systems or SS3616 Military Satellite Communications (offered via NPS DL)

These courses provide a common breadth of knowledge and the basic building blocks for all U.S. Air Force, U.S. Space Force and DoD Space Systems Engineers. 

Graduate School Catalog
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Air Force Institute of Technology
2950 Hobson Way
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, OH 45433-7765
Commercial: 937-255-6565 | DSN: 785-6565