Graduate Certificate Program In Space Vehicle Design

Graduate Certificate Program In Space Vehicle Design

Program Description

For those students not enrolled in the Astronautical Engineering (GA) or Space Systems (GSS) Master of Science (MS) degree programs, AFIT now offers a Graduate Space Vehicle Design Certificate. This program consists of four courses that cover the areas of space systems requirements analysis, space system design and test, and forensic space system analysis. 

Admissions Requirements

Degree Required:  Bachelor's degree in any discipline that includes: calculus-based general physics, statics and dynamics, differential and integral calculus, differential equations and computer programming. (Typically engineering, physics, or mathematics majors, but other degrees may also meet criteria).*

Mathematics Required:  Calculus I, II, III

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 with a TS//SCI security clearance.**

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Outcomes & Objectives


The Graduate Space Vehicle Design Certificate program is designed for students with traditional engineering backgrounds (aerospace, mechanical, electrical, etc.), and produces graduates who can effectively approach and analyze complex space vehicle design problems, formulate feasible solutions to design requirements, and evaluate the design and functionality of existing space vehicle subsystems and components. 

Specific objectives are as follows: 

a. A graduate will have the skills to critically analyze space mission requirements, concepts of operations, space system architectures, and other system engineering process outputs. 

b. A graduate will have a thorough understanding of the basic theory of space vehicle system and mission analysis. 

c. A graduate will have a general understanding of the purpose and requirements for all space vehicle subsystems and how these subsystems relate to the space vehicle payload(s) and mission(s). Space Mission Analysis and Systems Design: Understand the application of space systems engineering processes throughout the life cycle with an emphasis on space mission analysis, systems design, and systems engineering management. Required course is ASYS 531. 


a. Space Mission Analysis & Systems Design. 

b. Space Systems Engineering: Be knowledgeable in the design of complex space systems. Understand the key elements and subsystems of several important classes of space systems, and apply a systematic approach to effectively design space systems. Required course is ASYS 631: Spacecraft Systems Engineering. 

c. Space System Design and Testing: Understand the design, manufacture, and testing of complex space systems, to include the key elements and subsystems components of several important classes of space systems. Apply a systematic approach to effectively design, build, test, and qualify space systems using satellite hardware and space testing facilities. Required course is ASYS 632: Satellite Design & Test. 

d. Spacecraft Systems Forensic Analysis: Apply the principles of reverse engineering principles to existing space systems and associated components. Utilize systems engineering principles associated with complex space systems to systematically analyze existing spacecraft design and performance. Required course is ASYS 629A: Spacecraft Systems Analysis & Design.

Degree Information

Degree Type: Certificate

Delivery Method: In-Residence

Degree Requirements

The courses required to earn the Graduate Certificate are: 

1. ASYS 531: Space Mission Analysis & Systems Design

 2. ASYS 631: Spacecraft Systems Engineering 

3. ASYS 632: Satellite Design & Test 

4. ASYS 629A: Spacecraft Systems Analysis & Design 

These courses provide the building blocks to meet the challenges of tomorrow by developing technical space cadre through world-class research and immersive, hands-on graduate education.

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