Academic Courses

The mission of the BU Center for Space Physics (CSP) is to bring together faculty, graduate students, and research staff from ENG and CAS to pursue new and innovative approaches to space research.

While the CSP does not formally administer degrees, several options exist for students who wish to pursue a concentration in space physics. Boston University, through the College of Arts and Sciences (CAS), offers an undergraduate program with concentrations in Astronomy, Physics and Astronomy, and Planetary and Space Science. CAS also offers a graduate program for an MA or a PhD in Astronomy. In the College of Engineering (ENG) an Aerospace Concentration is offered for undergraduates as well as an MS or PhD in Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Graduate students in the CSP can take courses across a range of departments to fulfill degree requirements.

The following are space physics related courses offered by the Astronomy Department and taught by faculty from both the Department and the Center:

GRS AS 701 Introduction to Astrophysics
GRS AS 703 Introduction to Space Physics
GRS AS 726 Cosmic Gas Dynamics
GRS AS 727 Cosmic Plasma Physics
GRS AS 761 Interstellar Chemistry
GRS AS 781 Planetary Atmospheres
GRS AS 783 Ionosphere
GRS AS 785 Magnestosphere
GRS AS 793 Special Topics in Space Physics
GRS AS 850,851 Astrophysics Seminar
GRS AS 865,866 Space Physics Seminar


Historically, ECE students in the CSP have pursued research on one of two broad tracks:
1) remote sensing of the Earth’s atmosphere and space environment, primarily with radar, optical, or magnetic sensors
2) development and deployment of space-flight instrumentation. The following graduate courses are offered by the ECE department to support these tracks:

ECE Track 1: Radio science and remote sensing

EC505 Stochastic Processes*
EC565 Electromagnetic energy transmission
EC566 The atmosphere and space environment*
EC702 Recursive estimation and optimal filtering
EC707 Radar Remote Sensing*
EC716 Advanced DSP
EC717 Image reconstruction and restoration
EC731 Applied plasma physics*
AS727 Cosmic Plasma Physics
AS783 Ionospheric Physics (possible cross-list with ECE?)

ECE Track 2: Space Instrumentation and measurement
EC515 Digital communication
EC575 Semiconductor devices
EC580 Modern Active circuit design
EC582 RF/Analog IC design fundamentals*
EC731 Applied plasma physics*
EC751 Design of asynchronous circuits and systems


The Mechanical Engineering department offers the following courses frequently taken by CSP graduate students.

ENG ME 515: Vibration of Complex Mechanical Systems
ENG ME 518: Product Quality
ENG ME 519: Theory of Heat Transfer
ENG ME 526: Simulation of Physical Processes
ENG ME538: Introduction to Finite Element Methods and Analysis
ENG ME542: Advanced Fluid Mechanics
ENG ME557: Additive Manufacturing
ENG ME560: Precision Machine Design and Instrumentation
ENG ME714: Advanced Stochastic Modeling and Simulation
ENG ME785: Computer-Integrated Manufacturing