As the top public university for NASA research funding, CU Boulder is famous for aerospace. But students pursuing nonscience majors had trouble participating—until now. In 2016, the university established a space minor to bring artists, historians and others into the fold.
“We have a burgeoning aerospace industry, and some may assume there is no role for them in it. There can be,” says Steve Nerem, faculty director of the new minor. An English major could become a tech writer for an aerospace company, he explains, or an artist could do graphic design for NASA.
The minor kicks off with Pathway to Space, a series of guest lectures covering space exploration. Other new electives delve into relationships between the arts, history, computer technology and space. “A lot of things we don’t understand yet lie at the intersections between different disciplines,” Nerem says. “Having this minor can really improve a student’s employability.”