Traditional MS and PhD students are admitted into a specific focus area that provides research advising, financial support, and sets specialized admission and program requirements and recommendations for course work within and outside the department.

Focus Areas

  • Astrodynamics and Satellite Navigation Systems - This focus area investigates orbital motion of spacecraft, interplanetary mission design, attitude control, as well as navigation utilizing GPS and advanced sensors.
  • Autonomous Systems - This focus area draws from a variety of disciplines including robotics, human-robot interaction, artificial intelligence, unmanned systems, formal methods, and estimation and control theory.
  • Bioastronautics - The study and support of human life in space.  Explores how to enable safe and efficient human space exploration.
  • Fluids, Structures and Materials - This focus area studies the solid and fluid mechanics behind high-performance aeronautical and aerospace systems.
  • Remote Sensing, Earth and Space Science - Bridges the gap between science and engineering by exploring Earth from space, and space from Earth.

Each focus area has defined the required characteristics of its successful graduates at the MS and PhD level, and defined the required and elective courses that support its educational program. Detailed program information is contained in the Graduate Handbook. Each of these focus areas offer distance learning MS degrees through Boulder Connect. The only exception is the Autonomous Systems focus, which does not offer a distance option.

Academic Program Options