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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 national space organizations, objectives in past, current, and future aerospace exploration/exploitation, Space Law, government/military and commercial space industrial programs, and examine future trends in space operations. Students will review and analyze the problem solving process with consideration for the economic, social benefit, and security implications of these decisions 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 106 hours towards your program)

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
07/29/19 - 01/03/20 01/06/20 - 03/01/20 Winter 2020 Session B 8 Week session
09/30/19 - 02/28/20 03/02/20 - 04/26/20 Winter 2020 Session D 8 Week session
11/25/19 - 05/01/20 05/04/20 - 06/28/20 Spring 2020 Session I 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?

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.