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Bachelor of Science in Commercial Space Operations



The Bachelor of Science in Commercial Space Operations (CSO) degree is offered through the College of Aviation, Department of Applied Aviation Sciences. This degree is one of the newest and most innovative in the non-engineering fields of the aerospace industry. The program will provide commercial space industry companies and regulators with skilled graduates in areas specific to commercial and private space flight operations. These include:

  • space flight policy
  • regulation
  • training
  • safety
  • management
  • planning
  • operation

With this innovative program comes an important link between the needs of the commercial space and aerospace industries and related agencies, as well as Embry-Riddle’s well-established expertise in aerospace education.

Structure of the Commercial Space Operations degree lies in the basic core, a choice of two specialization areas and elective credits that allow room for an optional minor. Makeup of the interdisciplinary elements of the CSO degree helps to integrate the varied disciplines that make up the operations focus of the degree. These include:

  • human factors
  • safety and security
  • regulation and certification
  • training
  • policy and law
  • commercial space transportation launchers and flight vehicles
  • spacecraft systems

Students can choose one of two specializations to broaden their educational background, either in Space Policy and Operations or in Operations Science and Technology.

Focus of the Space Policy and Operations specialization is in policy, law, regulation and program operations, while the Operations Science and Technology specialization concentrates more on the simulation, life science and production operations of the commercial space industry.

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Rapid growth in the commercial space industry and supporting segments will result in an increased need by these companies to hire employees for positions closely related to the expertise of graduates of this program. The Commercial Space Operations (CSO) program's broad interdisciplinary foundation offers students a diverse background to meet those industry and agency needs.

A program requirement for a student co-op, internship or research project provides important practical experience that is beneficial for both the graduate and employer. Visiting lecturers and facility tours in the Space Coast area add valuable exposure to industry operations and needs.


View requirements for the B.S. in Commercial Space Operations degree on the Catalog site.


Project/Program Planning

  • Program production and planning
  • Project/program operations management

Project/Program Certification

  • Mission planning and assurance
  • Procedures and application planning for permits and licenses
  • Working with FAA, AST, NASA and Air Force to ensure project/product requirements met

Risk and Reliability

  • Mission assurance and risk reduction
  • Development of risk analysis models
  • Statistical application to systems
  • Project proposal development


  • Flight operations training coordination
  • Operations training certification
  • Participant qualification and training
  • Systems training
  • Contingency planning and training
  • Flight crew training
  • Training documentation
  • International team conformance and agreements

Safety Operations

  • Quality assurance and mission assurance
  • Insurance — regulation and certification
  • Safety program development & training
  • Flight operations planning and contingency planning
  • Airspace operations and airspace integration planning
  • Re-entry and suborbital flight planning

Range Safety

  • Launch operations
  • Communications operations
  • Range safety coordination and planning
  • Emergency management and contingency operations
  • Range scheduling and pad integration
  • Logistics and pad operations

Program Forecasting

  • Business and finance forecasts
  • Customer relations
  • Strategic planning
  • Contract evolution and management

Product Development

  • Contract proposal and regulation
  • Flight program and customer projections
  • Space tourism projections
  • Suborbital
  • Orbital
  • Logistical operations

Space Policy

  • Program/project development
  • Regulation, certification and standards
  • Testing and evaluation
  • International program enterprise
  • Military applications

Space Program Outreach and Education

  • Industry and agency marketing and recruiting
  • Workforce education and outreach
  • Training program development

View more career opportunities through the Career Services website.