Graduate Certificate in Astronautical Engineering

Application Deadlines

Spring: October 1

Fall: January 15

The graduate certificate in Astronautical Engineering is designed for practicing engineers and scientists who are entering space-related fields and/or who want to obtain additional training in specific space-related areas. Students who begin the certificate as Limited must apply and be Admitted to the program prior to enrolling in their third 3-unit course. A special Graduate Certificate is issued upon completion of the coursework.

Please Note: Requirements for graduation, course offerings, course availability, track offerings, and any other degree requirements are subject to change. Students should consult with an academic advisor prior to registering for any classes.

  • A minimum of 12 units is required to earn the Graduate Certificate in Astronautical Engineering
  • 4 Required Courses: 12 units
  • A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation
  • Courses taken for the Graduate Certificate may be applied to the M.S. or Ph.D. in Astronautical Engineering Programs if the student is admitted into the M.S. or Ph.D. program
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes

Fall 2019 (Scholarship Consideration Deadline)December 15, 2018
Fall 2019 (Final Deadline)January 15, 2019*
Spring 2019 (Scholarship Consideration Deadline)August 31, 2018
Spring 2019 (Final Deadline)September 15, 2018
*Applicants Interested in Online Delivery: Please contact to request an application extension for Fall 2018.
NOTE: For Astronautical Engineering, the Spring Final Deadline is October 1, not September 15.

Visit our Application Deadlines page for more information.


  • An undergraduate degree in engineering, math or hard science from a regionally-accredited university.
  • Satisfactory cumulative undergraduate GPA (grade point average)


Transcripts: Official transcripts from all colleges and universities attended.

GRE General Test: Satisfactory and valid test scores. Valid GRE scores must be dated within five years of the start of the intended application semester. The fall semester starts in August, and the spring semester starts in January. Official scores must be reported from ETS directly to USC using ETS school code 4852. A department code is not required.

Letters of Recommendation (2 Required): Letters of recommendation should be from faculty or others (supervisors, professional colleagues, etc.) qualified to evaluate your potential for graduate study.

Statement of Purpose (Optional): The statement of purpose should succinctly describe your reasons for applying to the proposed program at the Viterbi School of Engineering, your preparation for this field of study, study interests, future career plans, and other aspects of your background and interests which may aid the admissions committee in evaluating your aptitude and motivation for graduate study.


English Language Proficiency: In addition to the general admission criteria listed above, international students whose first language is not English are required to take the TOEFL or IELTS examination to be considered a candidate for admission. There is no minimum TOEFL or IELTS score required for admission to the Viterbi School. For possible exemption from additional language requirements, you must achieve an Internet Based TOEFL (iBT) score of 90, with no less than 20 on each section or an IELTS score of 6.5, with no less than 6 on each band score. For more details on English Proficiency Criteria for the University of Southern California, please visit USC Graduate Admission – Proficiency in English.

The following is an overview of the tuition & fees for graduate engineering students. Both on-campus and DEN@Viterbi students pay the same tuition.


Academic Year
Per Unit Rate
3-unit Course
4-unit Course
Fall 2017 - Summer 2018
Fall 2018 - Summer 2019


Fee Description
Fee Amount
Mandatory Fees (approximate)
Fall 2017: $450
Spring 2018: $400
Health Insurance
Fall 2017: $646
Spring 2018: $1,170
Norman Topping Student Aid Fee
ENGR Computing Access Fee (On-Campus students)
ENGR Computing Access Fee (DEN@Viterbi students)
Exam Proctoring
$40 - $100 per course
Detailed Information on Tuition & Fees
This program is also available online to professional engineers through DEN@Viterbi. Because the DEN@Viterbi program provides a fully equivalent academic experience, the degree a USC engineering student earns is the same whether they are on-campus or online.

If you are interested in beginning classes as a DEN@Viterbi student next semester, explore the requirements and steps to enrolling as a Limited Status Student.

Learn More About DEN@Viterbi
Detailed Program Curriculum and RequirementsSchedule of Classes


The following courses and program requirements serve as program planning for DEN@Viterbi students. Course offerings and availability are subject to change. Please consult with advisor if you have any questions.

Core Requirements
Four courses are required – 12 units total.
ASTE 520 | Spacecraft System Design (3 units)
ASTE 523 | Design of Low Cost Space Missions (3 units)
ASTE 527 | Space Studio Architecting (3 units)
ASTE 529 | Safety of Space Systems and Space Missions (3 units)
ASTE 535 | Spacecraft Environments and Spacecraft Interaction (3 units)
ASTE 552 | Spacecraft Thermal Control (3 units)
ASTE 553 | Systems for Remote Sensing from Space (3 units)
ASTE 554 | Spacecraft Sensors (3 units)
ASTE 556 | Spacecraft Structural Dynamics (3 units)
ASTE 557 | Spacecraft Structural Strength and Materials (3 units)
ASTE 570 | Liquid Rocket Propulsion (3 units)
ASTE 572 | Advanced Spacecraft Propulsion (3 units)
ASTE 580 | Orbital Mechanics I (3 units)
ASTE 581 | Orbital Mechanics II  (3 units)
ASTE 583 | Space Navigation: Principles and Practice (3 units)
ASTE 584 | Spacecraft Power Systems (3 units)
ASTE 585 | Spacecraft Attitude Control (3 units)
ASTE 586 | Spacecraft Attitude Dynamics (3 units)
Please complete the following form for more information.