Doctor of Philosophy in Aerospace Sciences

Admission Requirements

The applicant must meet The School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission requirements as published in the graduate catalog. All elements must be complete by the published application date. The additional requirements for admission to the Aerospace Sciences Ph.D. program are as follows:

  1. A Master’s or graduate degree from an accredited institution with a GPA of at least 3.25/4.0
  2. Submission of a statement of personal goals
  3. Professional resume
  4. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
  5. The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) General Exam (Due to COVID-19 the GRE requirement is waived for all 2020-2021 Ph.D applicants)
  6. Industry experience preferred

Financial Assistance

Financial aid in the form of teaching, research or service assistantships and tuition waivers are available from a variety of internal and external sources and are awarded on a competitive basis. These appointments are renewable if students are making satisfactory progress toward the degree and their work is satisfactory. Applications for funding opportunities should coincide with the program application date.

Degree Requirements

  • Ninety credits beyond a baccalaureate degree. With approval of the Aerospace Sciences Ph.D. Program and the UND School of Graduate Studies, up to thirty credits from a master’s degree from an accredited institution can be applied toward the requirements of the doctoral degree.
  • Successful completion of sixty semester credits beyond the master’s degree
  • Successful completion of qualifying exam prior to advancement to candidacy
  • Twelve to eighteen semester credits of dissertation (AVIT 999 Dissertation or SPST 999 Dissertation) and successful defense of the dissertation
  • Required core courses
    AVIT 501General Issues in Aviation/Aerospace3
    SPST 501Survey of Space Studies I3
    AVIT 521Ethics in Aerospace3
    AVIT 590
    SPST 590
    Aviation Seminar
    and Space Studies Colloquium
  • Six to twelve semester credits of Scholarly Tools beyond the Master’s degree requirements
  • Remaining coursework from Aviation/Space Studies or other UND approved Graduate Courses
  • Residency requirement: as determined by student’s advisor and/or committee, at a minimum the student will be required to be on campus for one week per year.

There are four required core courses, in addition to the Scholarly Tools component. These courses may have been part of the student’s MS program and cannot be counted twice.

AVIT 501General Issues in Aviation/Aerospace3
SPST 501Survey of Space Studies I3
AVIT 521Ethics in Aerospace3
AVIT 590
SPST 590
Aviation Seminar
and Space Studies Colloquium (2 semesters, 2-4 credits total)

The Scholarly Tools requirement is 6 to 12 semester credits, to be determined by the student’s advisor and/or committee, from the courses listed below. These courses are in addition to what may transfer as part of the student’s Master’s degree program. Therefore, a minimum of six credits will be required as part of the PhD program.

AVIT 503Statistics (or equivalent)3
AVIT 504Research Methods3
SPST 504Research Methods in Space Studies3
AVIT 505Qualitative and Mixed Methods Research Design3
AVIT 506Quantitative Research Methods3
AVIT 507Advanced Research Methods3

Course Designations (SPST)

Social area courses
SPST 450International Space Programs3
SPST 540Space Economics and Commerce3
SPST 541Management of Space Enterprises3
SPST 545Space and the Environment3
SPST 551History of the Space Age3
SPST 552History of Astronomy and Cosmology3
SPST 555Military Space Programs3
SPST 560Space Politics and Policy3
SPST 561Public Administration of Space Technology3
SPST 565Space Law3
SPST 574Remote Sensing in Developing Countries3
SPST 575Remote Sensing Law and Policy3
SPST 581Field Visit to Space Centers1-3
Technical area courses
SPST 405Space Mission Design3
SPST 410Life Support Systems3
SPST 425Observational Astronomy3
SPST 4303
SPST 4353
SPST 460Life in the Universe3
SPST 500Introduction to Orbital Mechanics3
SPST 505Spacecraft Systems Engineering3
SPST 506Advanced Orbital Mechanics3
SPST 512Human Performance in Extreme Environments3
SPST 515Human Factors in Space3
SPST 519Closed Ecological Systems for Life Support3
SPST 520Asteroids, Meteorites and Comets3
SPST 521The Planet Mars3
SPST 5223
SPST 5233
SPST 524Current Topics in Astrobiology3
SPST 525Technical Issues in Space1-3
SPST 526Advanced Observational Astronomy3
SPST 527Extraterrestrial Resources3
SPST 528Space Environment and the Sun3
SPST 570Advanced Topics in Space Studies (may count towards either social or technical area depending on the contents.)1-3