Graduate Certificates


Our online programs encompass focused Interdisciplinary Space Studies, graduates will join industry leaders to help guide the sustainable development of Space, and with the support of commercial and international partners will create employment opportunities and enhance the expertise of global citizens to benefit society.

To be awarded a Graduate Certificate, students must take four courses.  Three courses must be taken within the desired Graduate Certificate program.  The fourth course may be taken as an elective from any of the Graduate Studies Programs.

Human Factors for Space Settlement

Human Factors for Space Settlement

Students enrolled in this Graduate Certificate program will examine human factors for space settlement, take into consideration the unique challenges posed by long-term space travel and human habitability in the hazardous space environment. This program is designed to familiarize students with space settlement concepts, functions, and experiences focusing on application and development of systems improving safety and advancing the performance of equipment, spacecraft design, procedures, health and nutrition. An emphasize will be placed on human centered design systems, related to but not limited to: psychology, perception performance limitations and errors, the human experience and simulations in mixed reality environments, and the evolving impacts of anthropometrics, biomechanics and ergonomics of human effectiveness.

Human Factors for Space Settlement Choose any three of the courses listed below and one three-credit elective from any graduate program. 

HFS 500: Human Spaceflight and Performance (3 credits)

This course examines the effects of spaceflight on human health, productivity, and safety. Students will explore the impact of varying gravity fields, methods and technologies to address isolation/confinement, radiation, and living in closed environments, by assessing their effects on behavioral, psychological, physiological, and medical factors. Students shall investigate methodologies to mitigate overall risks of human spaceflight and to facilitate longer exploration missions to achieve space settlement. Topics may include achieving a safe spacecraft environment, air and water measuring and monitoring technologies, and quality assurance testing of critical life support systems.

HFS 501: Human System Integration (3 credits)

This course introduces the concepts and mechanisms wherein operators interact with computer systems and machines. Topics shall include human-machine interfaces onboard spacecraft (physical, cognitive, sensory, functional, informational, operational, social, and environmental); human information processing; the iterative process] usability principles; models of interaction; user interface paradigms; multi-modal interfaces; auditory displays; human cognition; vision science; visuomotor control; tele-robotics; virtual environments; ergonomics assessments and solution; system prototypes; and experimental methods, evaluation, and tools.

HFS 502: Arts and Recreation (3 credits)

This course examines the materialization of recreational and leisure services, and entertainment platforms on space settlements. Students shall investigate the intersection of science and arts to critically evaluate leisure in its diverse forms with the goal to enhancing the overall quality of individual and community life. Students will explore models, theories, tools and techniques required in the planning, delivery, and evaluation of recreation and leisure activities, the history of media, roles, responsibility, and impact of music, television, radio, print, film, internet, social media, mixed reality, on-demand and interactive technologies.

HFS 503: Culture, Faith and Psychology (3 credits)

This course examines the manifestation and applications of faith, spirituality and beliefs through a cultural and psychological perspective. Topics shall include origins of faiths, nature of religion, concept and beliefs of God, social identity (gender, race, sexuality, nationality), consciousness, doctrine, myth and symbols, ethics, impact on social and societal behaviors, influences on human health, and connections to death and bereavement.

Space Commercialization & Entrepreneurship

Space Commercialization & Entrepreneurship

Students enrolled in this Graduate Certificate program will study the economic drivers of sustainable space settlement and commercialization of space exploration addressing industry opportunities.

This program examines exploration enterprises in development, launch, operations and disposal to develop mechanisms to drive innovation through technological advances, facilitating social benefits, scientific progress, and breakthroughs in satellite applications.

Space Commercialization and Entrepreneurship 

Choose any three of the courses listed below and one three-credit elective from any graduate program. 

COM 500: Commercializing Advanced Technologies (3 credits)

This course examines methods, processes, and frameworks for commercializing nascent technologies that offer breakthrough value to the market and enable space settlement. Students will explore case studies that present real-world challenges faced by companies every day. They will have the opportunity to apply their knowledge and learn from their decisions. Through interactive sessions, students shall identify, validate, and refine their business models, and learn about intellectual property invention, acquisition, development, management, and the licensing process to create diverse revenue streams. Risk management, legal, and ethical consequences are considered.

COM 501: Energy, Civilization, and Economy (3 credits)

This course addresses the theoretical and empirical energy requirements of a sustainable settlement. Using analog studies and historical perspectives of energy consumption and production, students shall examine the underlying science and technology of energy sources and solutions, including conventional, alternative, and exotic resources in the context of their advantages and limitations with respect to technological, social, environmental, and economic considerations to supporting the collective activities of a settlement over multiple time periods.

COM 502: Impact and Disruptive Innovation (3 credits)

This course focuses on new models to stimulate innovation and accelerate the development of the start-of-the-art technologies that will enable future space settlements. Topics include, but not limited to, artificial intelligence, autonomy, robotics, energy production and storage, economical space access, regenerative medicine, materials and nanotechnology, additive manufacturing, asteroid mining technologies, and in-space fabrication and servicing.

COM 503: Technology Management and Entrepreneurship (3 credits)

This class will examine some of the best-known tools and methods for technology management that are important for both entrepreneurship in small firms and within large organizations. Particular topics for discussion will include technology readiness levels (TRLs) and their application in conducting technology readiness and risk assessments (TRRA) in evaluating new concepts and new ventures, mission and system project design, and innovation portfolio development and management.

COM 504: Case Studies in Changing the Future: Deep Dives into Space Commercialization (3 Credits)

This course will contribute to understanding better how new and existing technologies have been and may in future be commercialized in new space ventures can benefit from being explored in some depth. 3-4 case studies will be examined; candidates include space solar power (SSP), in situ resource utilization (ISRU) and space transportation.

COM 505: Framework for Space Entrepreneurship: Legal, Regulatory and Policy (3 Credits)

Entrepreneurial space commercialization occurs within the framework of legal, regulatory and policy decisions in the US and internationally, including the Outer Space Treaty, bilateral agreements (such as the International Space Station bilateral agreements), the recently announced Artemis Accords proposed by NASA, the rules of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) regarding spectrum management and orbital slot allocations, and other terms for international cooperation.

Leadership, Policy & Governance

Leadership, Policy & Governance

Students enrolled in this Graduate Certificate program will study and analyze evolving challenges in the private/public space programs and policy perspectives, social structures, and governance models. Students will survey existing international legal and regulatory frameworks for space activities and establish new models and frameworks for the effective performance of stakeholders for long-term sustainable use of space.

Leadership, Policy, & Governance

Choose any three of the courses listed below and one three-credit elective from any graduate program.

GOV 500: Leadership – Theory and Practice (3 credits)

This course introduces and reinforces concepts and skills to engage and lead a team. Through self- assessments, simulations and experiential exercises, students shall gain a deeper understanding of leadership styles and their impact. Students will apply new competencies to address change and conflict, through strategic communication and influence, critical thinking, and effective decision- making processes. The course challenges students to identify and create a collaborative, resilient, and robust organization that meets ongoing demands of dynamic environments.

GOV 501: Policy Development and Analysis (3 credits)

This course explores the policy cycle – from problem identification, policy formulation and strategy development, through to support for implementation, evaluation, and impact assessment. Students shall be exposed to topics and policies related to space exploration and development, including trends, models, and best practices in a diverse range of policy fields. They will be asked to address pressing challenges facing governments today and prospective issues in future space settlements through an interactive setting simulating the policy development process.

GOV 502: Governance and Institutions (3 credits)

This course is intended to examine key governance structures and institutions in a comparative perspective. Students shall consider the viewpoints of global governance on Earth to facilitate cooperation, governance of space settlements, and the nature and extent of relations of the governance of Earth via outer-space and vice-versa. Students will explore emerging challenges to existing frameworks, propose models to address the relative roles of public and private systems and the procedural issues in a variety of policy areas such as trade, security, health care, environment, infrastructure, and transportation.

Space Education

Space Education

Students enrolled in this Graduate Certificate program will study the evolving contemporary issues in education that impacts research, policy, and practice.

This program takes an interdisciplinary approach and emphasizes collaboration, investigation of novel educational systems and capacity building in space settlements. In addition to gaining a core foundational knowledge in theory, methods and research in education, students will address a range of domains including: human development, equity, learning and teaching, equality and justice, communities, institutions and societies on Earth and settlements in Space.

Space Education – Choose any three of the courses listed below and one three-credit elective from any graduate program. 

EDU 500: Foundations of Quality Education (3 credits)

This course examines historical and contemporary contexts of education systems through a multitude of perspectives, including philosophical, political, social, legal, and economic. This course is designed to develop an understanding of the professional standards in education based on the principles and practice of quality sciences and management to achieve quality education.

EDU 501: Learning and Development: Theory and Practice (3 credits)

This course provides an evaluation of theoretical principles of learning, with a focus towards education for children, adolescents, and adults. Current trends and approaches on differentiated instruction, understanding of learners with exceptionalities (behavioral, communication, intellectual, physical, and/or multiple combinations), and implications of learning and assessment in diverse and inclusive environments are considered in the context of relevant applications.

EDU 502: Novel Approaches to Education (3 credits)

This course surveys practices of traditional education schooling systems, examines models of curriculum design, and the implications of information and communication technologies in the teaching and learning process. An emphasis is placed on integrating current theories and available tools, as well as the promotion of self-directed, holistic, and experiential learning in alternative settings.

Space Philosophy & Theory

Space Philosophy & Theory

Students enrolled in this Graduate Certificate program will study and explore such questions as: What should be the philosophical foundation for the future of humans in space? What beliefs and values will drive humans in space settlements? What are the possible futures for humankind if it remains on Cradle Earth and the implications of human settlement beyond? Students will be exposed to historical perspectives of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, andepistemology, as well as other topics central to understanding humankind’s journey to living andworking in space.

Space Philosophy & Theory – Choose any three of the courses listed below and one three-credit elective from any graduate program.


PHI 500: Philosophical Foundations

This course is an introduction to space philosophy through the study of the most important and influential writings in its history. Study of the major figures and movements in philosophy will range from the ancient to modern philosophy, including methods, positions, and themes of humanity’s fascination with space exploration and development, and traces their transition to space settlement. 

PHI 501: Ethics, Values and Society

This course examines fundamental questions of moral philosophy, the nature of judgements about moral and/or non-moral values, and the justification of institutions in societies. Questions that arise in this course include What are our basic values?What are the ethical principles?, and How should we judge our actions, ourselves, and our lives aboard a space settlement? The topics discussed to help answer these questions and others like them include moral and political rights, democratic theory, political obligation and liberty, virtues and vices, equality, marriage and family, responsibilities, criteria of a just society, human rights and civil disobedience, ethical obligations, and public policy. 

PHI 502: Strategic Foresight and Alternative Futures

This course examines the change that drives the scientific, technological, environmental, economic, political, and societal domains that lead to transforming every aspect of daily life. Students learn to anticipate, create, and manage change to enable new opportunities and provide a chance to influence the future to come. Topics shall include future trends, forecasting and modelling/simulation, emerging technology analysis, learning curves, roadmaps and roadmapping methodologies, systems thinking, and scenario planning and development. 

PHI 503: The Human Centered Paradigm

This course offers discussions concerning the nature of human beings.  Students shall examine how humans adapt, learn and develop over a lifespan through empirical, theoretical and philosophical investigations.  Topics may include techniques of sentential and predicate logic, a formal study of systems of reasoning, set theory, modal logic, theory of knowledge, space and time, causation, death and dying, the relationship between the mind and the brain, and various philosophical and psychological approaches to language and meaning.

Space Infrastructure & Sustainable Exploration

Space Infrastructure & Sustainable Exploration

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EXP 500: Space Technology and Resources (3 credits)

This course surveys the resources available in asteroids and other planets and considers the technologies required to identify and mine material for space exploration. Topics shall include autonomous technology, robotics, material sciences, prospecting and target selection, extraction techniques, processing materials, additive manufacturing, nanotechnology, miniaturization, regulations, and safety.

EXP 501: Transportation and Infrastructure Development (3 credits)

This course provides an integrated view of space transportation systems and developing systems to plan and manage infrastructure in space throughout its lifecycle. Students shall examine launch and transportation systems design, development, testing, and manufacturing; creating operations concepts; remote sensing; types and functions of infrastructures; infrastructure design, development, and refurbishment; performance modelling; failure analysis and reliability engineering; inspection and monitoring; maintenance and rehabilitation strategies; and lifecycle costs and applicable business cases.

EXP 502: Advanced Exploration Systems (3 credits)

This course examines the exploration of outer space and technologies that enable humans to settle the space frontier. Topics shall include advanced mission analysis; air-breathing; electromagnetic, fission, fusion, and antimatter propulsion; breakthrough propulsion physics; faster-than-light travel; non-rocket and hybrid launch systems; reusable spacecraft technology; satellites; telescopes; space habitats; space stations; rovers; drones; and applications using artificial intelligence.

Space Technology & Engineering


Space Infrastructure & Sustainable Exploration

Students enrolled in this Graduate Certificate program will investigate technologies to develop space infrastructure and sustainable exploration of the solar system and beyond.

This program is designed to guide students through methodologies of building space infrastructure, remote sensing, space science, space management and operations. In addition to exploring the development of a broad set of space systems, students will delve into surveying supporting systems for space settlement and roadmaps for technological growth and expansion.

Space Infrastructure and Sustainable Exploration – Choose any three of the courses listed below and one three-credit elective from any certificate program. 

STE 500: Properties of Settlement Environments (3 credits)

This course focuses on the physics and chemistry of potential space settlement locations. Topics shall include origin and fate of the universe, solar system formation and evolution, the space radiation environment, absorption and emission by the sun and stars, plasma physics applied to the interplanetary medium and planetary magnetospheres, stellar structures and winds, interstellar medium, dynamics of stars, galactic nuclei and quasars, gas and dark matter, black holes and physical cosmology.

STE 501: Space Systems and Design Requirements (3 credits)

This course examines the physiological, environmental design, and organizational criteria requirements for space settlements. Students will explore architectural design including, but not limited to, the following considerations: population size, agriculture, lighting industry, transportation terminals for arrivals and departures access, differentiated gravity areas, weather conditions, radiation shielding, energy generation, life support systems, waste processing, research and development facilities, textiles, and recreational areas.

STE 502: Settlement Construction and Configurations (3 credits)

This course examines how space settlements can be constructed and considers various arrangements of space habitats. Students shall evaluate and analyze design methodologies, process of in-situ resource utilization for extracting, harvesting, and processing materials for components of space infrastructure, including propellants, tankage, thermal management, radiation shielding, and additive manufacturing facilities in space. Students will explore the fundamental configurations of spheres, cylinders, tori, dumbbells, rings, and shapes that enable optimal build and assembly to withstand the space environment.

Space Architectural Technology

Space Architectural Technology

Students enrolled in this Certificate Program will study the theory and practice of designing and building inhabited environments in outer space. This program is designed to guide students through architectural design of humans living and working environments in space. Students will gain an understanding about designing these forms of architecture and the challenges to ensure and support safety, sustainability, habitability, reliability and crew efficiency, productivity and comfort in the context of extreme environments.

Space Architectural Technology – Choose any three of the courses listed below and one three-credit elective from any graduate program. 

ARC 500: Mission Planning and Operations (3 credits)

This course will introduce students to the fundamental concepts of mission planning for various mission types and their impact on logistics and operations. Students examine drivers of habitat mass and volume requirements such as crew size, mission objectives and duration. They also consider evolutionary and adaptive planning for long term viability of space settlements, the effects of environmental factors with respect to safety, location, gravity and radiation, and explore active and passive methods of control and autonomy.

ARC 501: Advanced Habitat Design I (3 credits)

This course surveys the most advanced space architecture designs. Topics include, but not limited to: space vehicles, stations, habitats and lunar, planetary bases and manufacturing of infrastructure; free space structures, and space based and earth based control, experiment, launch, logistics, payload, and test facilities.

ARC 502: Advanced Habitat Design II (3 credits)

This course examines the principles and concepts of designing an analog on Earth. Students will incorporate the challenges faced by unique locations in space, and evaluate structures that replicate those environments, these may include extreme destinations such as: polar regions, airborne, desert, rugged terrain, high altitude, underground, undersea environments and closed ecological systems.

ARC 503: Independent Study – Space Architecture (3 credits)

Independent study courses are student initiated projects, open to Kepler Space University students, which allow students to work one-on-one with a faculty member. The student and supervising faculty member will develop a learning plan for the semester within the first week of term. Enrollment is limited.

For more information or any further assistance regarding graduate programs or admissions, visit our contact us page or explore options below.

Graduate Studies

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Graduate Studies



Entry Requirements:

An applicant must have the following:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree from a college or university accredited by the appropriate regional association with a minimum grade point average of 2.5 on a 4.0 scale or equivalent work experience in professional academic and/or government or private industry positions and achievements. Each applicant’s specific experience will be evaluated by the KSU Admissions Committee.
  • A Graduate Record Examination (GRE) revised General Test score or a Miller’s Analogy Test(MAT) score at or above the 50th percentile. The GRE or MAT requirement will be waived if an applicant has completed a Master’s degree or twelve or more credits of post- baccalaureate upper division or graduate coursework with a minimum grade point average of 3.0 on a 4.0 scale.
  • Completion of application
  • Application fee
  • Official transcripts from all previous universities or colleges attended or proof of work equivalent
  • Three completed recommendation letters
  • Additionally, all international applicants whose native language is not English are required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and submit a combined score of 550 or better (new scoring of 213 or better) or the Internet based test scoring of 80 or better. International transcripts are required to be translated if the grading and evaluation system used differs from those used by the United States education system. Official translation and a course- by-course evaluation from all prior institutions and grade-point average computation must be provided to the Office of Admissions. Please use one of the following services for evaluation.

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KSU reserves the right to deny admissions to any prospective student for any reason/cause as determined by KSU. In the event of a denial of a request for admission a student may appeal to the admissions committee.

Transform Your Orbit

Graduate Certificate Programs

The Graduate Certificate programs offer focused and specialized learning opportunities within the field of human space exploration. Programs are designed for professionals seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills in specific areas of interest. These programs provide a convenient and flexible option for individuals looking to expand their understanding of the intricacies of human space exploration. With industry-relevant curriculum, expert faculty, and a supportive learning environment, the Graduate Certificate programs offer a valuable credential that demonstrates your commitment to professional growth and excellence in the field of space exploration.

Experiential Learning

Graduation Requirements

To successfully complete the program and earn the Graduate Certificate, students must fulfill all credit hour requirements, maintain a minimum GPA (as specified by the program), successfully complete the project, report, and/or thesis, and meet any additional criteria set by the university or department.

Elective Courses

Depending on the program’s requirements, students may have the flexibility to choose elective courses from a pre-approved list to fulfill the remaining credit hours. These elective courses can be selected based on individual interests and career goals.

Faculty Mentorship

Students are required to undertake independent research under the guidance of a faculty advisor. This allows students to contribute to the existing body of knowledge in their field of study and demonstrate their ability to conduct scholarly research.

Professional Experience

The M.S. program is designed for professionals who have prior experience working in government, industry, or private practice. The program recognizes the value of practical experience and aims to enhance and specialize the knowledge and skills of working professionals.

Experimental Work

Engage in experimental work, computational analysis, or other relevant investigations to explore the chosen research topic. This may involve designing and conducting experiments, analyzing data, developing models, or utilizing advanced computational techniques.