Master of Science in Astronautical Engineering

USC Viterbi School of Engineering

Astronautical Engineering encompasses the dynamic and cutting-edge fields of advanced science and space technology.

Space is increasingly important for our economy and national security as well as exploration. The United States depends on space assets more than any other nation on earth, and we lead the world in exploration and utilization of space. Space engineers design and build rockets and space launchers, communications and direct broadcasting satellites, space navigational systems, remote sensing satellites, manned space vehicles, and planetary probes. They operate complex earth-orbiting space systems and rovers on Mars from sophisticated ground control centers. There is no better academic major than Astronautical Engineering in which to obtain the education and to acquire the skills needed for space engineers.

Focused, intellectually fit, and blending the science and engineering fundamentals with specialized astronautics knowledge, Astronautical Engineering graduates are well prepared to join the space industry and government space research and development centers.

Career Options

A variety of career opportunities exist, but primarily in the areas of: Aerospace & Defense, Space Missions, Manufacturing, Warehouse and Distribution Facilities, Consulting Firms, Spacecraft Operations, Technicians, Technical Operations & Communications, Architectural Designers, Quality Control Inspection.

Courses of Interest – Across all Astronautical Engineering graduate degree programs*

ASTE 470 | Spacecraft Propulsion
ASTE 520 | Spacecraft System Design
ASTE 535 | Spacecraft Environments and Spacecraft Interaction
ASTE 580 | Orbital Mechanics I

Example Areas of Concentration
Spacecraft Propulsion

ASTE 501ab | Physical Gas Dynamics
ASTE 570 | Liquid Rocket Propulsion
ASTE 572 | Advanced Spacecraft Propulsion
ASTE 584 | Spacecraft Power Systems

Spacecraft Dynamics
ASTE 556 | Spacecraft Structural Dynamics
ASTE 581 | Orbital Mechanics II
ASTE 583 | Space Navigation: Principles and Practice
ASTE 585 | Spacecraft Attitude Control
ASTE 586 | Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics

Space System Design
ASTE 523 | Design of Low Cost Space Missions
ASTE 527 | Space Exploration Architectures Concept Synthesis Studio

Spacecraft Systems
ASTE 552 | Spacecraft Thermal Control
ASTE 553 | Systems for Remote Sensing from Space ASTE 554 | Spacecraft Sensors
ASTE 584 | Spacecraft Power Systems

Space Applications
ASTE 527 | Space Exploration Architectures Concept Synthesis Studio
ASTE 553 | Systems for Remote Sensing from Space
ASTE 554 | Spacecraft Sensors

*Click here for a complete list of program requirements.

DEN@Viterbi Student Services

Please visit How DEN@Viterbi Works for more information on our unique blended delivery model, allowing online students to fully engage with the on-campus classroom. Review how academic advisement, program orientations and course enrollment are facilitated for our DEN@Viterbi Students. Learn how lectures are viewed live or on-demand, and how our Instructional Support Center coordinates homework assignments and examinations.

Faculty Spotlight

Mike Gruntman, PhD