Johns Hopkins launches master's degree program in space systems engineering

Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals, which administers part-time graduate studies for the university's Whiting School of Engineering, has launched a new master's degree program in space systems engineering.

Practicing engineers and scientists have been increasingly interested in pursuing advanced degrees in space systems engineering. According to the American Society for Engineering Education, the number of aerospace-related master's degrees awarded in the United States increased 46 percent from 2004 to 2012.

"Until now, students interested in space systems engineering had been studying in our systems engineering program," said Dexter G. Smith, associate dean of Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals. "While that program continues to serve students well, we wanted to address increasing demand and provide a program that more specifically meets the needs of those looking to excel in the space industry."

Students will have access to state-of-the-art technologies and will work alongside leading scientists and engineers from the university's Department of Physics and Astronomy and the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory. They will gain a deep understanding of space systems quality assurance and its implementation while developing spacecraft and space-borne sensors. The program's capstone project will enable students to design and build a "table-top" functional spacecraft model.

"We know firsthand what skills are required to pursue management and technical leadership roles in the space systems industry," said Joseph Suter, chair of the new part-time Space Systems Engineering program. "This newly developed curriculum features systems engineering courses covering conceptual design, systems testing, and integration, as well as hands-on leadership exercises, including an actual spacecraft design course."

Applications are currently being accepted for the fall 2014 term. By fall 2015, all of the courses will be available online or through the virtual live classroom model, with the exception of two laboratory courses that will be held on the Homewood campus on designated weekends. To be considered for the program, applicants must have earned a previous degree in a science or engineering field and have at least two years of experience in space technology or space science.