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Space Studies Showdown: ISU vs. UND

12/07/2008 12:01:00 AM

--> Please note that this comparison from 2008 is no longer currently applicable to the current programs offered by ISU and UND. An updated post comparing programs in 2014 is coming very soon!

I've been getting a lot of questions lately about the similarities and differences between the International Space University (ISU) and University of North Dakota (UND) space studies masters programs. As someone who has been a student in both universities (ISU SSP '05 and UND MS '10), I am in a good position to compare them. Note that although I was accepted into the ISU masters program, I decided to only attend their Summer Session Program (SSP) instead, so my firsthand ISU perspective is from the SSP rather than the masters. Over a year has passed since I blogged about my decision to join the UND Space Studies distance program. At the halfway point, I can report that I am overall quite happy with it so far. Before getting started, I'd like to thank the folks at UND and ISU who were gracious in providing information for this post.

First, what is space studies? While many universities offer degrees in space-related fields such as aeronautical engineering, planetary science, or space law, ISU and UND are the only schools with interdisciplinary space studies curricula*. Space studies spans many space-related fields including physical sciences, life sciences, engineering, applications, policy, law, business, management, and society/history. Space studies students gain broad backgrounds that allow them to understand the linkages among these fields and to become leaders in the space sector.

Let's see how ISU and UND stack up.

website http://www.isunet.edu http://www.space.edu
location Strasbourg, France and locations worldwide Grand Forks, North Dakota, USA and online
founded 1987 1987
distance learning option began 2009 (MBA only) 1996
degrees and programs MS, Space Studies (MSS, since '95)
MS, Space Management (MSM since '04)
Executive Space MBA (MBA, since '09)
Space Studies Program (SSP, since '88)
PhD (honorary only, since '05)
MS, Space Studies (campus or distance)
PhD (under review, may begin 2011)
MBA (under consideration)
number of graduates 350 (290 MSS, 60 MSM)
2700 (all programs)
601 (153 campus, 448 distance)
nationalities of graduates 100 26
average student age 27 (MSS/MSM), 29 (SSP) 35
minimum residence requirement 1 year full-time (MSS/MSM)
9 weeks over 18 months (MBA)
1 week for distance students
full time faculty 7 8
adjunct faculty 60+ 7
specialty areas:
    physical science
    life science
    engineering
    applications
    business/management
    policy/law
    society/history
    international focus
 
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
 
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
yes
no
workshops, field trips, symposia yes yes (limited for distance students)
individual project required yes yes
thesis required no optional
comprehensive exam required yes yes
team project required yes yes (distance students students only)
internship required yes (MSS/MSM) no
campus facilities
    satellite ground station
    satellite image lab
    astronomical observatory
    planetarium
    eng. design facility
    aviation training facilities
    human factors lab
    library
    job center
 
yes
no
yes (radio)
no
yes
no
yes (personal spaceflight lab)
yes
yes
 
yes
yes
yes (3 optical & 1 radio)
yes
yes
yes (100+ planes, flight simulators, ...)
yes (mock-ups, altitude chamber, ...)
yes
no
credits required N/A 33 (semester hours)
accreditation France USA
time to completion 1 year (MSS/MSM)
18 months (MBA)
10 weeks (SSP)
2 years (campus)
3-4 years (distance)
tuition (2009-10) € 25,000 (MSS/MSM)
€ 33,000 (MBA)
€ 17,500 (SSP)
$ 9,500 (ND resident)
$ 24,000 (non ND-resident)
funding source private public
scholarships available yes (MSS/MSM, SSP), no (MBA) yes (tuition waivers, research/teaching assistantships)


As the table illustrates, ISU and UND Space Studies share many common elements. For instance, they both have curricula that encompass an interdisciplinary set of fields related to space activities. Even though UND has more masters graduates than ISU, ISU has a much larger alumni network thanks largely to the SSP. Both schools attract students from all over the world, but ISU has attracted about four times as many nationalities compared to UND. The average student at ISU is younger than UND, which makes sense given the fact that most UND students are established in their careers already and studying part time. An ISU masters degree takes only one year, while the usual minimum time to complete one at UND is two years, with most distance students taking longer. While, both ISU and UND have a similar complement of full time faculty, ISU has a much larger network of adjunct faculty at its disposal (plus even more guest lecturers). In the past, ISU has lagged behind UND with access to hands-on learning and research facilities, but this is rapidly changing.

Twins Separated at Birth?

Note that both programs were founded in 1987. This is not a coincidence. In the early 1980s, UND asked Dr. Buzz Aldrin to help organize a space education program within their Center (now School) for Aerospace Sciences. He helped structure the early concept for the Space Studies Department and recommended that Dr. David Webb, a member of the Presidential Commission on Space, serve as its first Chair. While Dr. Webb was founding the UND Space Studies program, he also served as the first Chairman of ISU's Board of Trustees. He worked very closely with ISU's founders Dr. Peter Diamandis, Todd Hawley, and Bob Richards in molding ISU, SEDS, and Space Generation into the enduring organizations they are today. ISU also enjoyed support from a number of important personalities including Dr. Harrison Schmitt, Dr. Gerard K. O'Neill, and Arthur C. Clarke, who served as ISU's first Chancellor. Thus, the early evolution of UND and ISU in the mid- to late-1980s benefited from the guidance of Apollo astronauts and other space notables and cross-pollination due to Dr. Webb's involvement in both organizations. Their paths then diverged as ISU became a more externally-focused organization in order to survive in the competitive world, and UND Space Studies had the luxury of being more internally-focused due to its relative position of security within an established university.

More UND Details

The UND Department of Space Studies (SpSt) lies within the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences at the University of North Dakota. The Odegard School is world-renowned as a top center for aerospace learning with over 500 faculty and staff members teaching in the Departments of Aviation, Atmospheric Sciences, Computer Science, Earth Systems Science & Policy, and Space Studies.

At any given time, UND SpSt sustains about 15 campus and over 100 distance students. It is essentially a distance program that also has an on campus option, although the faculty try very hard to attract and retain more campus students by continually improving the academic and research offerings in the program. By 1998 the UND Space Studies Department had become the largest graduate program in the university (and remains so today) thanks to the popularity of its distance program. Both on- and off-campus students enjoy access to state-of-the-art distance learning tools (course websites, lecture videos, chat rooms, etc.) that make the educational experience of distance students as close to the campus experience as possible. Students even have access to the online astronomical observatory to do research. Historically, the department has had some difficulty retaining its faculty, but this is starting to change since it now has more tenured faculty on staff than ever before.

The UND SpSt Department funds its campus students through tuition waivers and graduate research/teaching assistantships. Although these types of aid from the university are intended for campus students, tuition waivers may also be available for distance students if campus students do not claim all of them. That is how I have funded my UND education so far. Although student loans are, of course, always an option, the other common way students finance their UND Space Studies education is via employer benefits (since some employers will pay to send employees for higher education). The figure below shows how the curriculum works with a combination of required and elective courses for the three different UND MS options. You can read some FAQs about the program or browse its course descriptions on the space.edu website.



More ISU Details

My ISU SSP05 experience at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver opened my eyes to many facets of the space industry for which I had little or no previous exposure, including project management, systems engineering, international/intercultural relations, and space policy/law. I chose the Space Policy and Law Department for my area of specialty since, with my heavy science background, I had no previous experience in that area. Among our activities was a UNCOPUOS simulation dealing with space debris and commercial exploitation of space resources issues, in which I represented France and India’s points of view. I served as policy and law chapter editor for my team project’s report titled Fire Logistics and Management Approach (FLAMA), which dealt with wildfire mitigation using space technologies. I ended up co-presenting my team’s work at the 2006 UNCOPUOS S&T Subcommittee meeting in Vienna.

A number of organizations offer competitive scholarships to ISU students (MSS/MSM, SSP). While some of them do cover full tuition, most are partial tuition scholarships. Making up the shortfall can be a burden to some students, especially considering the travel and living expenses associated with moving to another country. ISU caters really well to younger students who are not yet married or have children. While older students do attend the 10-week SSP, often they do not consider the masters programs due to the complexity of moving away for a year with a family. I know these were big factors for me; I'm glad I did the SSP when I did because it would be nearly impossible now that I have a child.

Both ISU masters degrees (space studies and space management) share a curriculum that is similar to the SSP but with more time to study topics in greater detail. The modular structure of this curriculum is shown in the figure below. The MSS and MSM curricula overlap but have separate focuses on either space science/applications or business/management. Similarly at UND, students can choose their electives to have either a technical or non-technical focus (or both). Usually, students complete all modules sequentially over one year, but one is allowed to space them apart as long as they are completed within a 7-year period. UND has a similar 7-year cap on its program. Students completing the SSP are exempt from having to take Module 1 since the SSP covers the same material.



ISU-UND Curriculum Comparison

ISU UND
ISU Module 1 MSS/MSM Core Curriculum or SSP 501 & 502 (Intro. to Space Studies I & II)
ISU Modules 2 & 3 MSS and MSM Specialized Curricula electives & required courses
ISU Module 4 Team Project 595 (Capstone)
ISU Module 5 Internship and Individual Project 997 (Individual Project) or 593+998 (Thesis)


The table above shows elements of each school's curriculum that are similar or equivalent. UND's first two required courses are Introduction to Space Studies I and II (501 and 502). These two courses cover the gamut of space studies disciplines and are team taught by all department faculty members. 501 assignments are individual, while 502 focuses on two team projects. Combined, 501 and 502 are quite similar to Module 1 of the ISU MSS/MSM curriculum or the SSP. However, UND has arguably more rigorous academic standards when it comes to assignments, exams, etc.

The bulk of both programs span what ISU calls Modules 2 and 3. While ISU requires a specific specialized curriculum for all students (different for the MSS and MSM), UND allows students great flexibility in choosing which courses to take. This means that a UND student could craft a personalized curriculum similar to ISU's MSS, MSM, or somewhere in between. Both cover a wide range of interdisciplinary space studies topics, but UND tends to compartmentalize these a little more than ISU, meaning ISU is more effective from an interdisciplinary viewpoint, but UND offers greater depth of study within the disciplines.

The ISU team project (Module 4) is roughly equivalent to the UND Capstone experience (595), which is only required for distance rather than campus students. Both involve a substantial team effort over a long time period to produce a lengthy interdisciplinary document on a specific space studies topic. The difference is that ISU focuses on producing highly polished final report and executive summary documents meant for external audiences, while UND's reports are mainly intended for the educational experience itself and aren't circulated much outside the department. Both ISU and UND include a 1-week presentation of the work as the culmination of the team project experience. For UND, that week is the sole residence requirement for the distance masters program.

While UND has no equivalent of ISU's internship, it does require an individual research project (997) similar to ISU's. UND also has the option of a thesis (593+998), which ISU does not. Until recently, only UND campus students could choose to do a thesis, but now motivated distance students also have that option. The distinction between an individual research project and a thesis at UND is that a thesis creates new knowledge in publishable scholarly research while an individual research project may not. Often the required ISU internship can lead to post-graduation employment opportunities for ISU students, and UND does not have such a dimension in its program.

Reuniting ISU and UND

I would really like to see more collaboration between the two schools since they are the only universities currently offering truly interdisciplinary space studies degrees*. ISU is accredited in Europe (but not the US), and UND is accredited in the US (but not Europe). It seems there is an opportunity for a natural synergy between the two universities to provide the same service to their respective constituencies with some kind of reciprocal agreement whereby credit earned at one school would be transferable to the other. For example, maybe the ISU SSP could count as transfer credit for UND's 501 and 502 courses.

ISU already boasts 23 affiliate campuses in 13 countries, so maybe UND could become another one. Perhaps the two programs could agree upon common curricular elements and work towards a more uniform space studies teaching approach to help develop the field further. An ISU-UND faculty and/or student exchange program could help bring in fresh ideas and faces to each program. Maybe over time, the two programs could borrow elements from the other and become more similar with UND primarily serving US-based students and ISU EU-based students.

My Take

Who wins the showdown? That's up to you. Both programs offer good but different educational experiences. ISU is more international and professional in scope with excellent networking opportunities, but it can present some geographic and financial barriers to some students. UND is more flexible and academically rigorous but has a relatively weak network. If you live in a country other than the US, I think ISU may be your best bet as long as you can find a source of funding. Otherwise, UND's distance program might be more affordable and beneficial. The new ISU Executive MBA is an exciting development offering people an opportunity to earn a space-focused MBA while continuing to work; however, its 9-week residence requirement is still higher than I would prefer. If I had to break it down to simple pro's and con's of ISU and UND, this is what I would say:

ISU Pros:
  • very modern, dynamic, and relevant to today's space industry
  • focus on international relations and professional development
  • vibrant alumni network and social scene
  • can be a good fast track to "new space" jobs, especially in Europe
ISU Cons:
  • can be very expensive, especially considering living and travel expenses
  • no US course credit available
  • sometimes not perceived as "real" university


UND Pros:
  • well-developed distance option makes it accessible to part-time students in any part of the world
  • US course credit from a "real" university
  • greater opportunities for space science and engineering research
  • can be very affordable thanks to assistantships, tuition waivers, or employer educational benefits
UND Cons:
  • less emphasis on networking and international dimensions of space
  • historical difficulty attracting and retaining professors and on campus students
  • isolation of distance program means one has to be a very motivated self-starter


But don't take my word for it. Here is what three other ISU-UND alumni have to say:

"UND can give you a space job if you are US citizen ... while ISU is focused way more on international cooperation issues and aspects, eventually providing its best students with access to space-related jobs but mostly in Europe. ISU is a much more entertaining, stimulating, and social experience than the daily life of the introvert [in the] tundra of the [North Dakota] Grand Forks area. ... UND will open you [a] few doors; ISU can open many more, although in a fuzzier fashion." -- Fabio Sau (ISU MSS '04, UND MS '06)

"Although ISU has an established Masters program, its perception is more of a networking, opportunity institution [versus a] hard-core academic standing. ... Also, pride in attending between ISU and UND is different: some liken ISU to Hogwarts - a group of space specialists in a unique "clique" of sorts. ... I don't get the same comradery with UND alumni. This is likely due to the distance students and importance on individual performance [at UND]. I also think both ISU and UND have had issues attracting and retaining the right professors. [UND has] had a huge turnaround that affected the academics taught there. Bottom line, I don't believe ISU and UND provide the same product at all. Their methods are worlds away and subjects can be quite different as well." -- Charity Weeden (UND MS '03, ISU SSP '07)

"The [ISU] summer session is definitely not as academically rigorous as the UND program. But, the intercultural and international aspects of the summer session greatly outweigh anything UND has to offer in those areas. The turnover of staff, especially with UND, does seem to be a concern. Almost all of the professors that I took classes from at UND have moved on to other institutions and programs. ... The UND masters and ISU summer session are complementary programs that really do build on each other's strengths." -- Brian Weeden (UND MS '06, ISU SSP '07)


If the perception is that ISU is more about style than substance, then perhaps the opposite holds true for UND. Like most stereotypes, these are rooted in some basic truths. However, if one looks past the first impressions and actually compares the two programs side-by-side, it becomes clear that they share more similarities than differences. This gives me hope that someday the two estranged siblings can come together as a strong force to bolster the stature of space studies as a field of study. UND could take a lesson from ISU by improving its public face and shedding some of its intellectual vibe. ISU, in turn, should work more within existing educational systems to insure its program is academically compatible and respected.

What do you think? Sound off and let me know!

Update: 23 January 2009
Listen to me talk about ISU and UND on The Space Show.

Update: 4 December 2009
Breaking News: UND now accepts 6 units of transfer credit from the ISU Summer Session. Read all about it.


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20 comments:

Robert Peckyno said...

Thanks for putting this together Brian, you have no idea how many times I have heard that question...

There is a history of attempts to get the two institutions working together - from both faculty and students - often less than successful.

Through SpaceGen, however, there has been some great student interaction from both campuses. It was part of our hope with the Moon/Mars Workshop to engender some collaborative research leading to conference and full publications. If the students take it that far (ie. co-authored publications in serious journals), I suspect the institutional inertia might start to give...

One thing I would like to see is a full alumni where are they now from both schools to see who ended up employed in the space sector and at what level.

Anyway, kudos again and good luck up there!

Axel said...

Thank you for this, Brian.
I'm currently at ISU and had never heard of UND's program until now. You're collaboration idea makes so much sense, especially since we have to do an internship..why not do it at UND, for the academically inclined. From your description both program do seem comparable, but Strasbourg is such a cute town!
best regards
axel

brian said...

Robert, there used to be a social network called spacealumni.com that tried to bring together alumni from several space education programs such as ISU, UND, NASA coops, etc. It existed from around 2005-2007, but I guess it wasn't utilized enough to warrant a longer life.

Axel, I agree that an ISU internship at UND makes perfect sense for the student wanting to do a collaborative research project with a UND professor. You're probably right that Strasbourg is a nicer town than Grand Forks (caveat: I've never been to either place.).

Joern A. Jernsletten ["Dr. Edge"] said...

Brian (et al.),

When shopping for a space studies master's, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (Daytona Beach) is also an option;

http://www.db.erau.edu/campus/departments/aas/space/space_masters.html

I got my space studies master's there, under Dr. Lance K. Erickson, RS, space ops, human physiology in space, all that good jazz.

It was also a good stepping stone to my geophysics / planetary science doctorate, and on down the road to this point.

brian said...

J√łern,

Yes, I do know about the Embry-Riddle program. Thanks for sharing. In fact, I included it in last year's blog post comparing the different online space degrees. Technically, the Embry-Riddle degree is a Master of Aeronautical Science with a specialty in Space Studies option. You are the only person I know who's done that program, so please share your impressions and how you think it might compare to ISU and UND.

Other programs (non aeronautical or astronautical engineering) that share some "space studies" aspects include:

Master of Engineering with focus in Space Operations at University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

MS in Space Systems Operations Management at Webster University

Space Science at the Royal Military College of Canada

Space Systems Certificate at the Naval Postgraduate School

Air Force Institute of Technology

Space Policy Institute at George Washington University

Institute of Air and Space Law at McGill University

Center for Remote Sensing, Air and Space Law at University of Mississippi

and more space law-related options here

Stacy said...

I was searching in Google for Space Studies distance Master's programs and came upon American Public University. I have never heard of this one - is anyone familiar with their program? http://www.apu.apus.edu/Catalog/08/graduate/degree/master/space-studies/space-studies.htm

brian said...

Stacy, I don't know anything about that program, but it certainly looks similar to the others mentioned in this blog post. At only $825/course, it might take the ribbon as the cheapest option, although others could potentially be cheaper with scholarships or tuition waivers. If you restrict yourself to only distance space studies programs, I guess they are UND, Embry-Riddle, and American Public University.

katherine said...

Hi!
I am attending ISU SSP this year (09) and look forward to it! I too was originally accepted into the Master, but chose to do the Erasmus Mundus 'SpaceMaster' (Joint European Master in Space Science and Technology) program in Europe - as it is more academic and into the 'hard disciplines' a little more.
Basically it's two years in 2-4 countries culminating in the awarding of 2 master degrees - MSc Space Science and Technology and MSc xxx depending on your elected final year university.

It doesn't cover things such as space law/policy, but rather focuses both on the science and engineering aspects.
Perhaps an alternative to the others in the list?

PS I would love to do some of the rocketry/propulsion based courses in the US, but funding there for non- US citizens is seriously lacking. Europe is a far better option for non- US citizens - this course offers a full scholarship including living costs!

k

brian said...

Thanks for sharing, Katherine. Two masters degrees in two years sounds really intense!

Kieran Griffith said...

I took the Minor in Space Studies at Embry Riddle as one of the three parts of Aerospace Studies (other two I took were Psychology and Humanities which have proved very useful in finding a space tourism career). I highly recommend that and I highly recommend the professors Lance Erickson and Esther Beltran. If you take this minor and then top it off with a Masters at ISU then you should have everything you need for a career in space exploration and development. I am still waiting for a promised job with a space tourism company so I am thinking of taking the Masters at UND as a backup plan if my promised job doesn't start on time. Do you think taking both a space science master at ISU plus a space studies master at UND would be complementary or repetitive?

brian said...

Kieran,

Thanks for the comment. I think a earning masters at both UND and ISU would be redundant, although both do offer you different networking opportunities. As far as I know, only one person has gotten a masters at both schools (Fabio Sau); see his quote at the bottom of the blog post above. There is currently a UND masters student who previously earned a MSS at ISU, so when he finishes, he'll be the second person to go through both programs. Many people, however, have done the ISU summer program and the UND masters.

Chad said...

Brian:

I stumbled across your blog and thought I'd chime in. I started my MS in Space Studies through American Public University earlier this month, and though I know it's early to weigh in, I've got to say I've got a really good feeling about the program and the professors involved. So far it's been a great experience.

Looking over the list of faculty, though, it seems a number of professors got the MS in Space Studies from UND. So, I'm hopeful that they'll be able to help the program grow and gain recognition while also bringing the things they learned at UND. Though it's my first semester as a space-studies grad student, it's my second semester at the university, and it's been a great experience so far.

My thought at a later date is to perhaps take some courses through UND or perhaps another of the many program options out there that have space-studies components. It never hurts to gain education and perspectives from more than one source, I figure!

Jodi Lock said...

I know that American Military University (regionally accredited) has a space studies Bachelor's and Master's program. It seems to be pretty interdisciplinary. Is there a reason that this program was not included? I'm seriously considering the Bachelor's degree (I'm prior military) and would love to know our opinion. It's pretty inexpensive as far as distance ed goes (250 per credit hour and books are free for Bachelor's). It's a pretty sweet deal and I would hate to give it up, lol. As I said, I would love to know your opinion because you did an outstanding job on reviewing the two schools in this blog.

brian said...

Jodi,

Thanks for your comment. I am aware of the American Military University program, but I didn't include it in the comparison because I know very little about it. I don't know anyone who has gone through that program, but that doesn't mean it's not a good program. I don't have a lot of interaction with the military community. Thanks for bringing this up, as it and the others mentioned in these comments help add more information to the original post.

Holly said...

Hi guys,

I graduate with my MS in Space Studies from American Military U last spring. It was an excellent program and I enjoyed it thoroughly. However, one huge drawback – no real networking opportunities. This has proved difficult in finding a job especially because the degree itself is not that well known. Most perspective employers either seem to think I’m an astrophysicist or astronomer of which neither perception is accurate. I also often feel like a ‘jack of all trades – master of none’ because I’ve had a few courses in remote sensing, a few in orbital mechanics, a few in rocket propulsion – but not enough in any one field to dub me an expert.

Another difficulty I have found is applying to PhD programs. I would like to transfer over to the field of astrophysics, which although closely related, it is nowhere near enough to make for an easy transition.

I loved studying Space Studies, but now I’m starting to think I should have kept it as just a hobby. Suggestions?

SH said...

I have almost finished my MS Space Studies program at American Public University System (formerly, American Military University & American Public University) and it took me a while but finally got permission to do a MS Capstone Thesis. I gather the Capstone Thesis option is now a regular feature for all new (2009+) graduate students in the MS Space Program. There is a new "Planetary Science" focus as well in addition to the general Space Studies program. I agree with [Holly] that the Space Studies course is very broad, but it is good in a way that I believe gives me better skills than just a concentration in a particular subject. That said, I know realise that a BS and a MS is not sufficient, I am actively for my own career prospect seeking to take additional math courses and physics courses at a local college to become current before applying for another MS program or Ph.D program which will require both current knowledge and higher levels of math.

However, if someone were to have a current BS degree (with at least two years of physics and math) in sequence, they wouldn't have the difficulty that I have faced due to the fact there is a long gap between my BS and MS degrees.

News for all: UND's Ph.D program application is being reviewed this year in the next couple of months, and it is a distance+residency combined program in Space Studies! Dr. Whalen is pushing the academic frontier a lot in this regard.

Note: The basic makeup of the APUS MS Space Studies course is similar to the UND MS Space Studies course, albeit there is no real physical faculty, but I am hoping in the future adjunct faculty would agree to allow qualified student interns and research assistantships with their original institutions (cross-academic programs). I believe the US space industry needs these cross academic programs unlike the USRA specific discipline approach if we are to catch up to the rest of the world faster.

Anonymous said...

Good discussion. for anyone interested, there is a und/isu alumni and current student discussion 'group' at the PlanetSpace.com website.

POO!\!@M JO$@!\! said...

i am currently in pre-fianl year of my BE aerospace engg. degree in india. i am planning to go for MS Space Science in UND. but being a non-US resident, it might be risky to hunt a job after my graduation due to space program security policy of US govt., which poses a threat to my career. but considering that i am really interested in space exploration, this is a wonderfull program i would like to take up. i have been searching and comparing ISU and UND program for 6 months.and i found UND my list topper. so now, the question is will i be accepted in space sector after attending UND as a potential employee?

brian said...

It's difficult to predict what employment opportunities will come out of any educational experience. In general, UND has a less successful track record than ISU in that regard, I think. However, since you have a bachelor's in engineering, that will make you attractive to aerospace firms. By getting a space studies degree, you'll round out your capabilities beyond engineering, which I think makes you a strong competitor for jobs.

Shawn S said...

Hey Brian, great article.

I've gone through the entire process of trying to decide between ISU and UND, but I recently discovered a Masters in Human Space Exploration Sciences at the University of Houston in Texas. The program's URL is :

http://www.uh.edu/class/hhp/graduate-programs/ms-human-space-exploration/index.php

It's more life science focused as oppose to UND and ISU which are more interdisciplnary. However, the University of Houston is located near NASA Johnson Space Center, and lots of NASA Employees are guest lectures for the Program.

I'm 23 and did my undergrad in Biology, so I dont have much experience in Engineering or astrophysics, but I want to learn all aspects of space exploration. It's a fascinating field, and unfortunately there aren't many graduate programs out there!

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