Space Studies

Space Studies
203 Keck Hall

David Alexander
Faculty Director

Patrick Rodi
Faculty Advisor

The professional master's degree in Space Studies is a collaboration between the Wiess School of Natural Sciences and the George R. Brown School of Engineering, and is geared to help individuals increase their knowledge of space engineering and related science, program management, and policy. The program includes advanced engineering, biological, and physical science classes and introduces students to economics, public policy, and management disciplines, which impact space commercialization and national policy. It focuses on training engineers and scientists interested in program management, providing them with the tools to face the complex challenges inherent in US space policy, human and robotic space exploration, science in space exploration, and technology development.

The MS in Space Studies (MSSpS) degree is part of the professional science master’s (PSM) program at Rice housed in the Wiess School of Natural Sciences. It focuses on training students in Space Engineering and Science with the intent of creating new opportunities for those students interested in working in the space technology industry or related government entities, e.g. NASA, as well as governmental relations positions in non-profit organizations, industry, and academic institutions. These master’s degrees are designed for students seeking to gain further technical core expertise coupled with enhanced management, communication, and leadership skills, instilling a level of scholastic proficiency that exceeds that of the bachelor’s level, and creating the cross-functional aptitudes needed in modern industry and government.  

A coordinated MBA/MSSpS degrees program is also offered in conjunction with the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business. 

Space Studies does not currently offer an academic program at the undergraduate level.


David Alexander


Patrick Rodi


Christopher M. Johns-Krull
Adrian Lenardic
Marcia K. O'Malley
Tayfun E. Tezduyar
Frank R. Toffoletto

Associate Professor

Stephen J. Bradshaw

Research Professor

Erzsébet Merényi

Adjunct Professors

Ramon Gonzalez
Hadley Wickham

For Rice University degree-granting programs:
To view the list of official course offerings, please see Rice’s Course Catalog
To view the most recent semester’s course schedule, please see Rice's Course Schedule

Description and Code Legend 

Note: Internally, the university uses the following descriptions, codes, and abbreviations for this academic program. The following is a quick reference: 

Course Catalog/Schedule 

  • Course offerings/subject codes: Courses from various subjects may apply towards this program

Department Description and Code

  • Physics and Astronomy: PHYS

Graduate Degree Description and Code

  • Master of Science in Space Studies degree: MSSpS

Graduate Degree Program Description and Code

  • Degree Program in Space Studies: SPST 

CIP Code and Description1

  • SPST Major/Program: CIP Code/Title: 14.0201 - Aerospace, Aeronautical and Astronautical/Space Engineering