Jul 15, 2024  
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog 
2016-2017 Graduate Catalog [Not Current Academic Year. Consult with Your Academic Advisor for Your Catalog Year]

Human Space Exploration Sciences, MS

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College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences  > Department of Health and Human Performance  > Human Space Exploration Sciences, MS

The graduate program in Human Space Exploration Sciences focuses on developing individuals with the necessary skills and understanding to allow them to enter the space exploration workforce with ease. This will be achieved by providing both academic and practical training to our students that will not only provide a solid foundation in the academy but also sensitize them to the unique challenges faced when working in the human space flight environment.

Our graduates will be a significant asset to any organization in the space industry that hires them due to their unique perspective of the field normally only acquired from several years of service within the space industry. In addition, graduates from the program will also be qualified for positions within the medical and health-related fields due to the unique blend of interdisciplinary skills mastered during their graduate education.

The degree plan is designed to provide a course of study at the graduate level which provides a broad human physiology background with a strong specialization in those areas focusing on human physiological adaptation to space flight and the area known in the space industry as “man-in-the-loop”, a central concept/component of the manned space flight program.

Graduates will not only receive training in normal/space physiology, but will also complete an integrated academic program that blends bioengineering, space architecture/habitat development and advanced technologies as they apply to the unique challenges of extended human habitation and exploration of space.


HHP and NASA share a special relationship; many of our faculty are drawn from the ranks of former NASA scientists who currently maintain research relationships with NASA.  Many of our graduate students have conducted research in NASA laboratories, while others have held summer appointments or completed internships at JSC.  Several of our graduates are now successful employees in the space industry at JSC.  HHP researchers are also involved in a large number of space life sciences related projects which complement the activities of the Space Life Sciences curriculum at the NASA/Johnson Space Center. 

NASA Space Life Sciences

Space Life Sciences is an organization at Johnson Space Center focusing on medical, health, biology, and biotechnology related aspects of manned spaceflight.  Their activities enable mission success, optimizing human health and productivity in space before, during, and after the actual space flight experience of flight crews, and include support for ground-based functions.

Its mission is:  “To optimize human health and productivity for space exploration.”  All Space Life Sciences human health and countermeasures research, medical operations, habitability and environmental factors activities, and directorate support functions are ultimately aimed at achieving this mission.

Visit the website of the Space Life Sciences Group at NASA.

Visit HHP’s Doctoral Curriculum in Space Life Sciences Program.

Visit the NASA website.

Current Admission Requirements:

  1. Cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
    • Conditional admission is not available for this program.
  2. Acceptable scores on the GRE submitted to Institution Code 6870.
    • Typically expected scores are above the 35th percentile on the quantitative and verbal sections with at least a 3.5 on the analytical writing section.
    • GRE scores more than 5 years old are not valid.
  3. Three academic/professional letters of reference.
  4. Current resume.
  5. Statement of professional goals and interests.

International Students

International students who do not hold a bachelor’s or master’s degree from a United States college must also submit scores on the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL). Citizens of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom need not submit TOEFL scores.

Degree Requirements

The following represents minimal expectations regarding the completion of the M.S. in Human Space Exploration Sciences in the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. 

A minimum of 36 semester credit hours is required, however, some students will complete more hours will preparing their thesis research.  Transfer students must complete at least 27 semester credit hours at the University of Houston after admission to the graduate program.

  1. Students must earn all semester hours, including thesis, within the five years prior to graduation.
  2. With the approval of the advisor, up to nine semester hours of transfer credit may be accepted.
  3. A minimum 3.00 grade point average (A=4.00) is required in all transfer and subsequent work.  
  4. A common core of twelve semester hours is required of all students.  This requirement normally is fulfilled during the first 18 semester hours taken at the university.
  5. A thesis, for which students receive six semester hours of credit, is a requirement for this program.


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