alexa Advanced degrees in astronautical engineering for the space industry

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Advanced degrees in astronautical engineering for the space industry
Ten years ago in the summer of 2004, the University of Southern California established a new unique academic unit focused on space engineering. Initially known as the Astronautics and Space Technology Division, the unit operated from day one as an independent academic department, successfully introduced the full set of degrees in Astronautical Engineering, and was formally renamed the Department of Astronautical Engineering in 2010. The largest component of Department׳s educational programs has been and continues to be its flagship Master of Science program, specifically focused on meeting engineering workforce development needs of the space industry and government space research and development centers. The program successfully grew from a specialization in astronautics developed in mid-1990s and expanded into a large nationally-visible program. In addition to on-campus full-time students, it reaches many working students on-line through distance education. This article reviews the origins of the Master׳s degree program and its current status and accomplishments; outlines the program structure, academic focus, student composition, and enrollment dynamics; and discusses lessons learned and future challenges.
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