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University of Colorado Boulder MS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences

Boulder, CO

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MS in Aerospace Engineering Sciences


Online Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder (CU Boulder) is the flagship campus of the University of Colorado system and is globally recognized for its world-class research and a faculty that includes numerous Nobel Prize laureates. An innovator and leader in the distance education field for more than 45 years, CU Boulder connects students to its campus from anywhere in the world anytime through its distance education delivery platform.

The distance education platform gives students access to a variety of graduate programs, including masters degrees, certificates, and individual courses, allowing CU Boulder online distance education students to earn the same degrees and have the same resources as on-campus students. 

Master of Science (MS) in Aerospace Engineering program overview

The National Research Council and "US News and World Report" rank the AES program at CU Boulder among the top 10 in the country. Internationally recognized for its distinguished faculty, research, and education leadership, the program spends more than $15 million each year on research in aerospace engineering, earth, and space sciences. AES is also home to four research centers and was named a program of excellence by the Colorado Commission on Higher Education.

The Master of Science (MS) in Aerospace Engineering Sciences degree program prepares graduates to meet 21st century aerospace challenges through the understanding, conception, design, and application of aerial and spacecraft systems. The program emphasizes hands-on, experiential learning, technical and organizational expertise, and end-to-end mission and systems perspectives. 

Focus areas, certificates, and dual degrees

Distance students are admitted into one of three focus areas: Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems; Bioastronautics; Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Science. The Professional Master's of Science Program (ProMS) provides an affordable course-work only option to students who desire a more flexible and customized degree.

Graduate certificate programs are offered in the following areas of study: Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems and Remote Sensing. Students interested in leadership and management have the option of pursuing a dual master's degree combining the MS in aerospace engineering with a Master of Engineering (ME) in Engineering Management. This option requires admission to both master's programs. Some course may count toward degree requirements in both programs.

Aerospace Curriculum

The MS degree program must be completed within four years of the date coursework began. Typically, distance students including working professionals complete the program in three years.

Students must complete a total of 30 credit hours. ProMS students do not have to follow a specific focus area curriculum and can customize their degrees based on their personal interests; however, 18 credits in aerospace engineering, including a math course from the list of approved math courses is required.

Courses in each focus area include: Attitude Dynamics and Control, Space Flight Dynamics, Intro to GNSS, Statistical Orbit Determination, Space Life Sciences, Space Habitat Design, Remote Sensing instrumentation Design, Radar/Remote Sensing, Lidar Remote Sensing, and numerous electives from Spacecraft Formation Flying to Interplanetary Mission Design.

Course delivery

All students have automatic access to online course lectures (streaming or downloading) beginning the first day until the last day of the semester. Recorded lectures are uploaded to the portal within 24 hours after the lecture has been taught on campus. Students have the option to participate live from a distance in the real-time classroom experience and/or view the lectures asynchronously as it fits their schedule.

Library Courses, those that have been recorded in previous semesters, are available to take for academic credit with the instructor's approval.

World-class faculty

CU Boulder faculty includes five Nobel laureates (four in physics and one in chemistry), eight MacArthur "Genius Grant" fellows, two US Professors of the Year and four National Medal of Science winners. CU Boulder faculty members contributed valuable data to the international climate change report that shared in the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Among the accomplished faculty in the Department of AES are Brian Argrow, whose research interests include unmanned aerospace vehicles (UAVs), high-speed and hypersonic aerodynamics, dense gas dynamics, and rarefied gas dynamics; Steven Nerem, whose interests encompass satellite altimetry, precision orbit determination, and planetary geodesy; and David Klaus who investigates the influence of weightlessness on biophysical interface phenomena associated with microbial metabolism, spaceflight biotechnology applications, astronaut biomedical issues, microgravity simulation techniques, spacesuits and spacecraft life support systems.

Financial assistance

CU Boulder offers a variety of financial assistance options for online distance graduate students. These include loans, grants, military and company tuition assistance programs.

Distance Education: Aerospace Engineering Sciences

"US News and World Report" ranks the graduate Aerospace Engineering Sciences program at CU Boulder among the best in the nation. Graduates of the program play key roles in the design of complex aerospace systems in both the public and private sectors. Students may take individual courses, pursue a graduate certificate, or earn a Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering degree (MS) available online and on campus. Areas of study include Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems; Remote Sensing, Earth, and Space Sciences and Bioastronautics. A dual degree of MS in Aerospace and Master of Engineering Management (ME) is also available.

School Accreditation North Central Association of Colleges and Schools
Program Accreditation ABET
Instructors & Students
Instructors Teach both online and on-campus
Students Students Worldwide


Minimum GPA
Standardized Tests Required for Admission
Transfer Credits Accepted

Location & Contact

Program Contact Carrie Simon
Phone: 303-492