Space Studies

Graduate Certificate

The graduate certificate in Space Studies explores critical space topics, including orbital mechanics, past and current space exploration endeavors, remote sensing, and the role of space in support of modern warfare. This certificate also teaches advanced laws of planetary motion and gravitation, and how to evaluate the political and commercial significance of national, international, and commercial space missions and joint operations. Instructors in this program include industry leaders in space and aerospace, including a former NASA astronaut.  

This online certificate is intended for graduate students who want to expand their knowledge of space studies without committing to a degree program.

Note: Completion of college algebra is highly recommended for coursework in this program.

Program Courses

The curriculum for this online certificate was originally designed by former NASA astronaut and Dean of Science and Technology Dr. James Reilly, veteran of three shuttle missions and five spacewalks. Course topics are regularly reviewed by an advisory council of industry experts for relevancy to today’s marketplace, and include:

  • Research methods in space studies
  • Space programs, operations, effects, and issues
  • Orbital mechanics history and development
  • Space chronology, including NASA’s structure, tasks, and goals
  • Remote sensing satellites
  • Space warfare, space’s military role, and potential conflicts

View all courses.

Program Objectives

In addition to the institutional and general learning objectives, graduates of this program are expected to achieve these learning outcomes:

  • Assess the laws of planetary motion and gravitation, illustrating the effects that gravity has on two-body mechanics.
  • Analyze spacecraft maneuvers including transfer orbits and rendezvous.
  • Distinguish organizations that are critical to the technological advance of the American space infrastructure.
  • Evaluate the political and commercial significance of major national and international space missions, projects, and operations.
  • Apply quantitative and qualitative research methods, and report such findings in a coherent manner (using both written text and graphics).
  • Appraise key factors and events that have shaped both the civilian and military exploration of space.
  • Explain various types of remote sensing applications and compare/contrast the capabilities and limitations of each.

Degree at a Glance

Admission Requirements

  • All graduate programs require you to have earned a minimum of a bachelor’s degree from an institution whose accreditation is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).
  • If you have a non-U.S. transcript, please view our International Admissions page for more information.
  • There is no fee to complete our admission application. View steps to apply.  

Need help?

Selecting the right program to meet your educational goals is a key step in ensuring a successful outcome. If you are unsure of which program to choose, or need more information, please contact an admission representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Graduate Tuition Rates  

Per credit hour: $350 | $325 with military grant*

View Tuition and Fee Details

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, we offer a tuition grant for U.S. active-duty servicemembers, Guard, Reserve, military spouses and dependents, and veterans. See all military-affiliated student benefits.

Paying for School

As an accredited university, we accept the following forms of financial aid and payments:

Ways to Save

Transfer Credits 

Accelerate your degree completion by taking full advantage of our transfer credit options, including credit for your previous college courses, military service schools, American Council on Education (ACE) and College Level Examination Program (CLEP) tests, and prior learning experiences.  

Employer Contributions

The university has educational partnerships with many employers and associations. Be sure to accurately enter your employer information when you complete our admissions application. Your employer might also offer a tuition reimbursement plan as one of your benefits.