The Master of Engineering Degree in Space Engineering

Program Overview

The successful integration of the scientific, engineering, and management principles used in space systems requires highly capable professionals. In particular, to be able to understand complete space systems, managers must have a broad multidisciplinary background. The MEng program in Space Engineering develops both the theoretical and applied aspects of space engineering, while providing opportunities for hands-on experience at various levels via joint projects with government laboratories and industry.

The program is designed to provide a broad interdisciplinary education in the scientific, engineering and management aspects of complex space systems, while developing specific disciplinary skills of your choosing and systems engineering management. If you are interested in studying the scientific, engineering and management aspects of space engineering, this joint Aerospace Engineering/Climate & Space Department program allows you to structure it to your specific area of interest.

Program Objectives

  1. To provide a comprehensive knowledge of space science and engineering and their interrelationship.
  2. To increase your knowledge depth in a space-related discipline beyond the baccalaureate level.
  3. To develop the systems skills necessary for conceiving, designing, manufacturing, managing, and operating complex space systems.
  4. To provide practical hands-on experience in space system design, project development and project management.
Program Advisor

Professor Nilton Renno
Email: [email protected]

Student Projects
  • S3FL – The Student Space Systems Fabrication Laboratory (S3FL) is an organization dedicated to providing students with practical space systems design and fabrication experience not readily available through the academic curriculum.
MEng Program Concentrations

While your specific curriculum will be developed through discussion with program advisors, curriculum templates have been developed. You will need a minimum of 31 credits for graduation.

  1. Space Science Concentration Program
  2. Propulsion Concentration Program
  3. Plasma Electrodynamics & Sensors
  4. Instrumentation & Sensor Payloads
  5. Launch Vehicles
  6. Telemetry & Spacecraft Communication
  7. Astrodynamics
  8. Computer Control & Data Handling

Space Engineering Course Categories

Core Courses (20 credit hours)

The five core courses and seminar course required of all program students cover aspects of space engineering that are considered fundamental and necessary parts of MEng educational program. Relevant aspects of underlying physical phenomena such as gaskinetic theory, space plasma physics, and magnetospheric physics are covered in these courses. Engineering courses offer hands-on projects focusing on technology development and space systems design. These projects are developed in partnership with the Space Physics Research Laboratory (SPRL), industry and government laboratories. The purpose of the projects is to provide practical experience in application of the concepts developed in class to a real-life space system projects. Space policy and management classes teach the systems approach to conceiving, designing, manufacturing, managing, and operating complex space systems. The purpose of these classes is to expose students to some of the common space systems problems and the management methods used mitigate them. These classes are developed and taught with help from visitors from industry and government laboratories.

  1. 478 (Space Environment)
  2. 581 (Space Systems Management)
  3. 582 (Spacecraft Technology)
  4. AERO 583 (Space Systems Design)
  5. 590 or AERO 590 (Space Systems Projects)
  6. Climate/Space 749 or Aero 585 Seminar
Concentration Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

Students select two courses from a limited number of space engineering-specific courses. These courses allow students to tailor the program to their individual interests while maintaining a focus on key aspects of space engineering.

  1. AERO 535 (Space Propulsion)
  2. AERO 548 (Astrodynamics)
  3. AERO 575 (Flight and Trajectory Optimization)
  4. 584 (Space Instrumentation)
  5. 585 (Introduction to Remote Sensing and Inversion Theory)
  6. ENGR 520 (Entrepreneurial Business Fundamentals for Scientists & Engineers)
  7. ENGR 599 (Design for Safety and Reliability).
Breadth Elective Courses (6 credit hours)

Students select two courses from a large list of technical courses with topics related to the needs of space engineering and space science. These courses allow students acquire advanced graduate level knowledge in areas relevant to space engineering.

Visit the Courses section for a complete list of Climate & Space course descriptions. Courses are subject to change, so please see your advisor.

MEng Space Engineering Ambassadors

MEng Space Engineering Ambassadors act as contacts for prospective students interested in learning about the program from a peer perspective. Ambassadors can be either a current student in the MEng program or an Alumni of the program.

Become an Ambassador!

If you are interested in becoming an ambassador, please contact Program Advisor Professor Nilton Renno.

Current Ambassadors:
  • Emanuela Della Bosca: Emanuela received two degrees from U-M: a BSE in Aerospace Engineering  in 2016; and a MEng in Space Engineering in 2017.  She is currently working as the Technical Assistant to the Airbus Chief Technical Officer, in France.
    Contact: [email protected]
  • Tony Franklin: Tony received three degrees from U-M: a BSE in Mechanical Engineering in 2014; a MS in Mechanical Engineering in 2015; and a MEng in Space Engineering in 2016. He is currently working at NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as a Mechanical Engineer.
    Contact: [email protected]
  • Rob Gitten: Rob received two degrees from U-M: a BSE in Aerospace Engineering in 2017; and a MEng in Space Engineering in 2018. Rob is currently working as  a Systems Engineer at Blue Origin.
    Contact: [email protected]
  • Rory Hourihan: Rory received his BS in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from the University of Missouri in 2016; and a MEng degree in Space Engineering from U-M in 2018. He is currently working as a Mechanical Engineer at SpaceX.
    Contact: [email protected]
  • Anny Lin: Anny received a BS in Aerospace Engineering from UCLA in 2016; and a MEng in Space Engineering from U-M in 2018. Anny is currently working as a Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman.
    Contact: [email protected]
  • Ezekiel Willett: Ezekiel received a BS in Engineering from MIT; a MEng degree in Space Engineering from U-M in 2015; and a MS degree in Aerospace Engineering from U-M in 2016. Ezekiel is currently working as a Senior Systems Engineer at Northrop Grumman.
    Contact: [email protected]
General Admission Information

The deadline for the MEng student cohort (Program Code 01866) for Winter is October 1.  The deadline for the Fall MEng student cohort (Program Code 01866) is March 5. It is recommended that you submit your application early to ensure that it is ready for evaluation by the deadline. If your application will be delayed significantly, please contact  our Student Services Office to discuss your situation. Information about the cost of attending the University of Michigan is available at The Office of Registrar.

All MEng students are admitted to the program through the College of Engineering. A minimum undergraduate GPA of 3.2 on a 4.0 scale is required. All international students need to provide TOEFL, MELAB, or IELTS scores. However, if you’ve graduated from an undergraduate program where the language of instruction is exclusively English, then the TOEFL requirement is waived.


Need-based funding may be available, usually in the form of a student loan, through the University’s Office of Financial Aid, (734) 763-6600. There are application materials required to complete this process.