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SPST499 - Senior Seminar in Space Studies

Course Details

Course Code: SPST499 Course ID: 4333 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

Analyses of specific issues will be conducted that will include a review of current and future space exploration goals and discoveries, space policy and law, aerospace engineering, and astronomical studies and discoveries. Students will review and analyze the problem solving process with consideration for the implications of these areas on national and global scales. This capstone course will provide students with the opportunity to complete an approved academic research exercise that demonstrates their knowledge of their selected field of study. (Prerequisite: Completion of a minimum of 105 hours towards your program)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/24/20 - 07/31/20 08/03/20 - 09/27/20 Summer 2020 Session I 8 Week session
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to

  • Discuss current and relevant space-related issues
  • Articulate reasoned positions on a specific chosen space topic
  • Produce a detailed report a specific chosen space topic
  • Draw relationships across disciplines involving space, including science, engineering, law and policy
  • Analyze current scientific literature
  • Demonstrate proficiency in conducting on-line research

Forums: there are multiple required Forums in this workshop. See the course outline below for the subject areas and due dates.

Research paper subject approval: the student will select one topic area from the list provided under Course Scope. The student will contact the instructor through the Sakai Message System not later than the end of Week 2 to submit his or her request, with rationale, for subject approval.

Research paper – draft outline: no later than the end of Week 3, the student will provide the following:

  • a draft outline of the paper, including the major topic areas to be discussed
  • any subtopics or issues identified at this time
  • the methodology to be used for completing the research
  • an initial bibliography

Research paper – final outline and draft: no later than the end of Week 6, the student will submit the following:

  • the final outline and first draft of the paper
  • draft analysis results and major findings
  • final bibliography

Research paper – final: not later than the end of the course (Week 8), the student will submit the final paper. The final paper must not be less than 20 pages in length, not including title page and bibliography/references. There must be a minimum of five published (not web site) references, such as textbooks or papers published in professional journals, and at least eight total sources, which may also include magazine or web articles.

Final paper grading: the research paper will be graded on the following criteria:

  • Research: did the student conduct important and relevant research in the area?
  • Analysis: did the student thoroughly analyze and evaluate the research and data?
  • Conclusions: did the student make original, logical, rational and convincing arguments based on the analysis?
  • Was the paper well-written in a clear, logical style using proper grammar? Was the paper properly formatted and referenced?
NameGrade %
Forums 20.00 %
Forum 1 2.50 %
Forum 2 2.50 %
Forum 3 2.50 %
Forum 4 2.50 %
Forum 5 2.50 %
Forum 6 2.50 %
Forum 7 2.50 %
Forum 8 2.50 %
Research Paper - Peer Review 5.00 %
Research Paper Peer Review (week 7) 5.00 %
Research Paper - topic proposal (week 1) 5.00 %
Research Paper - topic proposal (week 1) 5.00 %
Research Paper - draft abstract (week 2) 5.00 %
Research Paper - draft abstract (week 2) 5.00 %
Research Paper - draft outline & initial biblio. (week 3) 5.00 %
Research Paper - draft outline & initial bibliography (week 3) 5.00 %
Research Paper - final abstract & outline (week 4) 10.00 %
Research Paper - final abstract and outline (week 4) 10.00 %
Research Paper - draft and final bibliography (week 6) 25.00 %
Research Paper- draft paper and final bibliography (week 6) 25.00 %
Research Paper - Final (week 8) 25.00 %
Research Paper -- Final (week 8) 25.00 %

Required Text: None; however, it’s expected that the student will work with the APUS library to obtain materials required to complete their research and analysis. See Evaluation Procedures below.


Must be government or industry sites; e.g. NASA, NOAA, Boeing, Ball Aerospace, Digital Globe, etc.

Book Title:There are no required books for this course.
Author: No Author Specified

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.