Space Sciences, M.S.

Space Sciences, M.S.

Get a Master's in Space Sciences

Space Sciences MS

Space sciences at Florida Tech have set the standard since 1958, successfully preparing students for high-tech careers at top space agencies, research firms, and government organizations. Florida Tech’s master’s in space sciences program includes a wide range of space-related fields, including stellar and extragalactic astrophysics, cosmology and the origin and evolution of the universe, solar-terrestrial interrelation, cosmic ray physics, and exoplanets, to name a few.

Exceptional Learning Environment

The program gives global insight into the scientific community and enhances understanding of trending topics and technology. Small class sizes allow professors to mentor students in a close-knit one-on-one academic environment. Faculty members are active researchers in three primary areas: geospace physics, astronomy/astrophysics, and planetary sciences. They are also members of the CanariCam Science Team, giving students access to guaranteed time on the 10.4 m GTC, currently the largest ground-based Optical-IR telescope.

Why Pursue a Master's in Space Sciences at Florida Tech?

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Get the facts about graduate studies at Florida Tech

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

You have three graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. At an Education Center near you
  4. Get the Education Center Brochure

  5. 100% Online
  6. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. On Campus
  2. Download the Grad Guide!

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

You have two graduate study opportunities:

  1. At an Education Center near you
  2. Get the Education Center Brochure

  3. 100% Online
  4. Learn more about Florida Tech Online

When considering a university for a space science master’s degree, consider that Florida Tech has one of the most well-respected programs in the country. In fact, the university’s undergraduate astronomy and astrophysics program was the first such program in the world.

Florida Tech is the lead institution for the Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA), which operates automated one-meter-class telescopes at Kitt Peak National Observatory near Tucson, Arizona, and at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile.

Vast High-Tech Network

Florida Tech is strategically situated at the center of Florida’s high-tech corridor, home to over 5,000 technological companies, including NASA. There is no better place to study for a space science master’s degree than in one of the most diverse science and technology-oriented areas in the country.

Small Class Sizes and Intensive Faculty Interaction

At Florida Tech, student’s study with internationally recognized faculty members who have experience in various fields including extrasolar planets, stellar astrophysics, and active galactic nuclei. Small class sizes with a low student-to-faculty ratio provide an atmosphere of mentorship that students will not often find at larger universities.

Hands-On, Real-World Research Opportunities

This intimate learning environment is heightened by large-university quality internship and research opportunities. Students can align research with their career goals, and study advanced topics ranging from cosmology, high-energy astrophysics, and solar energetic particles to thunderstorm and lightning physics, black holes, and exoplanets. With access to a variety of laboratories, and thousands of high-tech and space-related companies, research at Florida Tech is like no other.

Cutting-Edge Laboratory Facilities

Facilities and resources are an important aspect to science and technology students and Florida Tech boasts some of the best. Not only do students in the space science master’s program have access the Olin Physical Sciences Center featuring the Olin Observatory, which houses the Ortega 0.8-meter telescope (the largest research-grade telescope in the state of Florida), but they also have access to the Geospace Physics Laboratory, the Astronomy/Astrophysics Laboratory, and the International Center for Lightning Research and Testing.

What Space Sciences Research or Other Opportunities Can I Expect?

Because of Florida Tech’s location at the heart of the Space Coast, close to a wide range of high-tech and space-related companies, including NASA, many opportunities exist for space sciences research in three primary research groups: geospace physics, astronomy/astrophysics, and planetary sciences.

Advanced research topics include:

  • Cosmology and high-energy astrophysics
  • Cosmic-ray astrophysics
  • Solar energetic particles
  • Thunderstorm and lightning physics
  • High-energy atmospheric physics
  • Stellar astronomy
  • Black holes and active galactic nuclei
  • Galactic jets
  • Solar physics
  • Astroinformatics
  • Planetary surfaces
  • Exoplanets
  • Human space exploration
  • Energetic radiation

Organizations that provide internships and space sciences research opportunities include NASA, DRS Optronics, Lockheed-Martin, Harris Corp., Northrop Grumman and more. Graduates are expected to publish research results in high-impact peer-reviewed journals, such as:

  • Journal of Geophysical Research
  • Geophysical Research Letters
  • Astrophysical Journal
  • Astrophysical Journal Letters

TERA, the Thunderstorm Energetic Radiation Array, is also part of the department offering space sciences research opportunities. TERA is an experiment designed to measure energetic radiation (X-rays and gamma rays) from thunderclouds and lightning. TERA is also part of an experiment called the MSE (Multiple Station Experiment), which is used to study the electric and magnetic fields from rocket-triggered lightning and nearby natural lightning.

Southeastern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA)

Founded by Florida Tech, SARA is an association of 12 different colleges that work together to run one-meter class automated telescopes both in Arizona at the Kitt Peak National Observatory and at Cerro Tololo Interamerican Observatory in Chile. Additional telescopes have recently been added to the Canary Islands off the coast of Morocco to help aid in the research of galaxies.

Build Lasting Professional Relationships and Enhance Your Space Sciences Degree through Campus Organizations

The Florida Tech chapter of Students for the Exploration and Development of Space is an active organization that meets to discuss space news, and takes part in events with other space organizations around the southeast.

The Society of Physics Students is a professional organization that focuses on education and enrichment, and holds a variety of regular activities for students across campus. Students can also join the Sigma Pi Sigma national honor society and the student Astronomical Society. These clubs and organizations are the perfect way to network for space sciences research opportunities, internships, and potential jobs.

How Will a Master's Degree Benefit My Space Sciences Career?

Careers in space science include teaching, conducting advanced research in academic institutions and research laboratories, and positions in high-tech industry and government. 

Jobs are also found in meteorology, astronomy, and astrophysics where graduates develop new technologies, methods or theories based on the results of research into how things work and contribute to innovative, real-world applications. These careers in space science can include:

  • Atmospheric scientists who forecast weather and study the earth’s changing temperatures to determine how it affects changing environmental conditions
  • Climatologists who analyze data to help create building designs that will withstand extreme weather conditions
  • Physical meteorologists that study the chemical and physical properties of the atmosphere
  • Aerospace scientists who focus on the issues relating to space travel and exploration
  • Astrophysicists who study the planets, starts, moon to better understand the universe and make new discoveries in science, medicine, and engineering.

Career Outlook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides information about specific jobs including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.  

According to the bureau, careers in space science (such as physics and astronomy) are expected to increase by 10% through 2022. This growth is expected in research laboratories as well as information technology, medicine, and other applied research and development fields. Check the handbook for more information.

Career Options

  • Physicist and biophysicist
  • Astronomer
  • Aerospace scientist
  • Remote sensing scientist
  • Medical researcher
  • Materials scientist
  • Astrophysicist
  • Postsecondary education

Doctoral Program

Florida Tech’s doctorate in space sciences increases a student’s earning potential over the course of their career, enabling them to conduct advanced research and prepare for jobs in academia. For full-time doctoral graduate research assistants, full-pay tuition scholarships are available for highly qualified candidates.

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