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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. The curriculum for this online program was originally designed by former NASA astronaut and Dean of Science and Technology Dr. James Reilly, veteran of three shuttle missions and five spacewalks. You will have the opportunity to learn from industry leaders in space and aerospace in this 6-course space studies program.

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

Program Courses

The curriculum for this program follows industry trends to help ensure relevancy to today's marketplace. 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

Please be prepared to submit a legible copy of your valid government-issued photo ID (civilian students) or government issued JST or CCAF transcript (military students) upon request.

An APU admissions representative will contact you with further details about how to submit the required documentation after you complete the enrollment application.

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 APU admissions representative at 877-777-9081 or info@apus.edu.


Graduate Tuition Rates 

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

View Tuition and Fees Details  

*To help minimize out-of-pocket costs, APU offers 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

Because our university is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC), (the same as the Ohio State University, Univ. of Chicago, and U.S. Air Force Academy, to name a few), we can 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

APU 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.

School of Science, Education and Math


School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Math

This program resides in the School of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) where more than 57 degree and certificate programs are available for students to find their area of interest ranging from space studies to environmental studies to IT and cybersecurity. American Public University is one of the few online colleges where you can work fully online to earn science and math bachelor’s degrees. Two of our bachelor’s programs (Natural Science and BSEE) are set up with full lab kits that are mailed to you to use at home. You won’t sacrifice hands-on experience with our online science programs! In addition, many of our STEM professors work to innovate their classroom, including Danny Welsch who uses video for you to learn from his virtual field trips.

The APU STEM program directors work with industry advisory councils to ensure that our students are prepared for the real world. APU also works with industry certifying bodies to ensure that our courseware meets the requirements of agencies such as the National Security Agency (NSA) Information Assurance Courseware Evaluation (IACE) and the DoD Directive 8570.1M Information Assurance Management (IAM).

At APU, we understand your need for flexibility because most of our students are working adult learners who balance school around work and other life commitments. This is why we offer 8-week or 16-week online courses that start monthly. Through an online virtual classroom, you’ll communicate with students and professors in forum communities as you work to complete your weekly written assignments on your own schedule from anywhere in the world. And with our mobile application, you can even work offline and upload your assignments when you reconnect.

We encourage you to browse the School of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math webpage to learn more about our what’s happening in the school and to find a program that’s right for you