BS Earth and Space Exploration (Exploration Systems Design)


As an earth and space exploration major, you will be crossing the boundaries of science and engineering while preparing for a new era of exploration. In the exploration systems design concentration you can build space-flight hardware, engineer solutions to explore extreme environments and take a systems-based approach to scientific discovery.

Program Description

The BS program in earth and space exploration with a concentration in exploration systems design offers students a fundamental curriculum in geology, physics and astrophysics while providing tools that enable them to design and build hardware and software to explore Earth and the universe beyond.

The program has a rigorous and quantitative grounding in the fundamentals of physics, mathematics and chemistry. Upon that foundation, students learn how to design hardware and software for scientific exploration. Coursework focuses on conceiving the requirements needed for a mission or project destined for space or extreme environments on Earth.

Each student in this degree has the opportunity to learn how projects and missions are designed and planned, starting with the scientific drivers and then defining engineering specifications. All students are expected to complete a senior project that takes a desired scientific measurement and realizes the technological solution to achieve the observation.

Students currently enrolled in the Bachelor of Science in earth and space exploration (exploration systems design) may not pursue a concurrent degree with the BS in earth and space exploration, the BS in earth and space exploration (astrophysics), the BA in earth and environmental studies, the BS in earth and space exploration (astrobiology and biogesciences), or the BS in earth and space exploration (geological sciences) due to the high level of overlap in curriculum. Students should speak with their academic advisor for any further questions.


Required Courses (Major Map)

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What if: See how your courses can be applied to another major and find out how to change your major.


At a Glance: program details

  • Location: Tempe campus
  • Additional Program Fee: Yes
  • Second Language Requirement: No
  • First Required Math Course: MAT 265 - Calculus for Engineers I
  • Math Intensity: Substantial program math intensity substantial




Admission Requirements

All students are required to meet general university admission requirements.

Freshman Transfer International Readmission

Transfer Options

ASU is committed to helping students thrive by offering tools that allow personalization of the transfer path to ASU. Students may use the Transfer Map search to outline a list of recommended courses to take prior to transfer.

ASU has transfer partnerships in Arizona and across the country to create a simplified transfer experience for students. These pathway programs include exclusive benefits, tools and resources, and help students save time and money in their college journey. Students may learn more about these programs by visiting the admission site: https://admission.asu.edu/transfer/pathway-programs.



Change of Major Requirements

A current ASU student has no additional requirements for changing majors.

Students should refer to https://changingmajors.asu.edu/request for information about how to change a major to this program.





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Career Outlook

Career opportunities include:

  • astronomer
  • geoscientist
  • planetary scientist
  • science policy intern
  • science writer
  • scientific instrumentation specialist
  • space systems engineer
  • systems engineer

Sample career settings include:

  • aerospace industry
  • federal government
  • manufacturing
  • NASA centers
  • national laboratories
  • observatories
  • publishers
  • space industries
  • universities and colleges

Some of the listed careers may require advanced degrees or additional certifications. This program also provides suitable preparation for graduate study.

Example Careers

Students who complete this degree program may be prepared for the following careers. Advanced degrees or certifications may be required for academic or clinical positions. Career examples include but are not limited to:

Aerospace Engineer


  • Growth: 2.8%
  • Median Salary*: $118,610
Green Occupation

Computer Science Professor


  • Growth: 2.6%
  • Median Salary*: $85,540

Computer Software Quality Engineer


  • Growth: %
  • Median Salary*:
  Bright Outlook

Computer Systems Architect


  • Growth: 5.7%
  • Median Salary*: $92,870
  Bright Outlook

Electrical Engineering Professor


  • Growth: 8.6%
  • Median Salary*: $103,600
  Bright Outlook

Engineering Manager


  • Growth: 2.6%
  • Median Salary*: $149,530
Green Occupation

Supply Chain Engineer


  • Growth: 10.1%
  • Median Salary*: $88,950
  Bright Outlook

* Data obtained from the Occupational Information Network (O*NET) under sponsorship of the U.S. Department of Labor/Employment and Training Administration (USDOL/ETA).



Global Opportunities

Global Experience

With over 250 programs in more than 65 countries (ranging from one week to one year), study abroad is possible for all ASU students wishing to gain global skills and knowledge in preparation for a 21st-century career. Students earn ASU credit for completed courses, while staying on track for graduation, and may apply financial aid and scholarships toward program costs. https://mystudyabroad.asu.edu





Program Contact Information

If you have questions related to admission, please click here to request information and an admission specialist will contact you directly.