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Aerospace engineers working together

Aerospace Engineering, MS

Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences
Overview

The Professional Master of Science (ProMS) in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Colorado is designed for working engineers and people who want to pursue a career in the aerospace industry. Our fully online master’s program is housed within the globally-recognized Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences — a hub for our nation’s aerospace education and research efforts.

Throughout your degree, you will learn from award-winning faculty, tackle real-world problems for industry leaders, and graduate ready to lead the future of space discovery. From designing autonomous systems to expanding humanity’s presence into deep space, you’ll be empowered to build your technical expertise and develop creative solutions for tomorrow’s challenges.


Program Details

Ranked among the top four graduate programs in the country by the National Research Council, the University of Colorado Boulder’s Smead Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences is internationally recognized for its research and education leadership in aerospace engineering. Our students, graduates, and faculty are advancing the frontiers of aerospace engineering and space science. Together, we are tackling the biggest challenges in the field, including improving how we study the Earth and orbital debris, how humans can sustainably expand deeper into space, and how we can design the next generation of vehicles for transportation on Earth and exploration throughout our solar system.

Our professional master’s degree was designed in partnership with industry leaders to ensure that you’re learning cutting-edge technologies and gaining the real-world experience you need to launch your career. We apply a collaborative approach to both research and education, emphasizing experiential learning, teamwork, technical expertise, and system-level multidisciplinary thinking. With former NASA astronauts and industry-experienced faculty leading the way, our program is unmatched in its rigor and fidelity to how private industry and federal agencies operate. Whether you’re interested in joining a government agency, leading a research laboratory and teaching the next generation, starting your own company, or becoming an astronaut, the ProMS in Aerospace Engineering will help you reach your unique career goals.

#6

Ranked public
aerospace graduate program

#1

Public university
in NASA
research funding

100%

of students have job or research offers within six months of graduating

19

Alumni and faculty have flown to space as NASA astronauts


Curriculum

As a professional master's student, you’ll earn the same Master of Science degree as a traditional master's student but will benefit from an affordable, coursework-only option designed for working professionals who desire a more flexible and customized degree. With a professional master's program:

  • Many students already have experience as an engineer in industry or the military.
  • The program is flexible — a focus area is not required.
  • You can take 100% of classes online.
  • You don't have to write a thesis.

A huge benefit of the program is that classes from across the Department of Aerospace Engineering Sciences and the entire college of engineering can count toward your degree. You can choose to pursue your degree within one of our five research focus areas, or mix together classes from multiple focus areas in order to meet your unique career goals. Thirty credits are required for your professional master's, but only 18 of those credits have to be in aerospace.

Our five focus areas include:

  • Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems — Investigate the orbital motion of spacecraft, interplanetary mission design, attitude control, as well as navigation utilizing GPS and advanced sensors.
  • Autonomous Systems — Study a variety of future-focused disciplines including robotics, human-robot interaction, artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, and estimation and control theory.
  • Bioastronautics — Learn how to design and enable safe and efficient human space exploration.
  • Fluids, Structures, and Materials — Study the solid and fluid mechanics behind high-performance aeronautical and aerospace systems.
  • Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Science — Bridge the gap between science and engineering by exploring Earth from space and space from Earth.
In Colorado, we have the nation’s second-largest concentration of space activity (the highest per capita) and one of the country’s strongest space economies. Home to some 500 aerospace companies and suppliers, including the headquarters for Ball Aerospace, Lockheed Martin Space, and United Launch Alliance, Colorado’s space ecosystem makes us a leader in both commercial and national security realms.

University of Colorado President Mark R. Kennedy for the Washington Examiner.

Image
University of Colorado President Mark Kennedy

Timeline

The professional master's degree requires a total of 30 credit hours and is typically completed within 18 to 30 months.


Tuition and Fees

Investing in your future is a big decision. However, becoming a fully online student at the University of Colorado is a high-quality and affordable option for learners of all types. Tuition and fees are based largely on the degree program you enroll in.

The tuition amount assessed is determined based on which University of Colorado campus, school, or college is offering your degree program, as well as if it is at the undergrad or graduate level, and finally your resident status. Visit our tuition and financial aid page for more information.

Financial aid and scholarships are available for those who qualify.


Career Outlook

The career opportunities for graduates of the Professional MS in Aerospace Engineering program are countless, as the spectrum of careers for our graduates ranges from becoming astronauts and designing next-gen air- and spacecraft to inventing new materials and developing new energy and transportation systems.

During this program, you’ll interact with aerospace leaders across academia, industry, and government, even working on industry and agency-sponsored research projects that often lead directly to post-graduate employment. Nearby government labs and private companies provide our students and graduates with ample opportunities for research, enrichment, and employment.

Graduates of our program are working with leading aerospace firms and research labs, including:

  • NASA
  • Lockheed Martin
  • Northrop Grumman
  • Raytheon
  • Sierra Nevada Corp.
  • NIST
  • NCAR