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Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Space Operations

Pending MHEC Approval

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Earn a doctorate degree in Space Operations and meet the increasing need for civilian and military leaders involved in the advancement, expansion, and support of the aerospace workforce on an international and national level.

Interest in space operations is at an all-time high as technological advancements have made it possible to better explore the aerospace environment. Protecting and surveilling the policies, communications, equipment, and operations of our space systems are key to the development and effectiveness of our nation’s global defenses and the safety of our extraterrestrial missions. Government and private sector growth in this field is creating a need for more hired personnel, as many companies are reporting significant workforce shortages of trained technical and management employees with a doctoral degree and experience in leading space operations initiatives. With Capitol Tech’s unique resources, partnerships, and proximity to the nation’s space technology hub of Washington, D.C., just minutes from NASA and other leading space organizations, prospective students will find themselves positioned for success with internship and job opportunities available to them. The PhD in Space Operations is for those who desire to advance in their careers by gaining leadership skills in the industries related directly and indirectly to space operations.

The PhD in Space Operations is for new graduates and current professionals in the field, such as experienced military, civilian members, aerospace and Space Operations personnel, who seek to advance their career, skillset, and leadership positions. Students will pursue a deep proficiency in this area using interdisciplinary methodologies, cutting-edge courses, and dynamic faculty. Graduates will contribute significantly to the Space Operations field through the application of new knowledge, ideas, and research. 

As your PhD progresses, you will move through a series of progression points and review stages by your academic supervisor. This ensures that you are engaged in a process of research that will lead to the production of a high-quality Thesis and/or publications and that you are on track to complete this in the time available. Following submission of your PhD Thesis or accepted three academic journal articles, you will have an oral presentation assessed by an external expert in your field. 


Expert guidance in doctoral research

Capitol’s doctoral programs are supervised by faculty with extensive experience in chairing doctoral dissertations and mentoring students as they launch their academic careers. You’ll receive the guidance you need to successfully complete your doctoral research project and build credentials in the field.  


Proven academic excellence

Study at a university that specializes in industry-focused education in technology fields, nationally recognized for our academic excellence in our programs.

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Program is 100% online

Our Ph.D. programs are offered 100% online.


Key Faculty

Ian McAndrew

Dr. Ian McAndrew

Dean of Doctoral Programs

An internationally recognized leader in research and expert on low-speed flight, Dr. McAndrew has five degrees: a PhD, two master’s degrees and two bachelor’s degrees. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society. Dr. McAndrew chairs several international conferences and journals and is invited to give keynote speeches all over the world. He started his career in the automotive industry as an engine designer, and has worked at several universities across the globe. Dr. McAndrew is Dean of doctoral programs at Capitol Technology University. An external examiner on the world wide stage (UK USA, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Japan, Australia, Greece and Kenya) his experience includes over 115 successful Doctorate successes.

Contact Dr. Ian McAndrew
Richard Baker

Dr. Richard Baker

Associate Dean of Graduate Programs

Dr. Richard Baker is Associate Dean of Graduate Programs at Capitol Technology University. He previously served as associate professor in Indiana State University’s Department of Aviation Technology, and as executive director of the Center for Unmanned Systems and Human Capital Development.  Richard holds a BS in mathematics and an MS in computer science from Indiana State University. He received his doctorate in information systems from Nova Southeastern University.  

Dr. Chuck Connor

Dr. Charles Conner

Chair of Engineering

Dr. Charles Conner has worked in industry and academia since 1980.  His specialty is digital signal and image processing and has worked with Catholic University as well as many government agencies.  He started teaching (part-time) in 1984.

Dr. William Butler

Dr. William Butler

Vice President of Academic Affairs

Dr. William (Bill) Butler is currently the Vice President of Academic Affairs at Capitol Technology University. Prior to this appointment in 2021, Dr. Butler served as Cybersecurity Chair for 8 years at Capitol Tech. Earlier in his career, he worked in the networking and IT industries as a network engineer and consultant for over 20 years. He also served as a joint qualified communications information systems officer in the U.S. Marine Corps and retired as a Colonel with 30 years of service (active and reserve). Dr. Butler holds a Doctorate in cybersecurity earned from Capitol focusing on preserving cellphone privacy and countering illegal cell towers (IMSI catchers).

Dr. Bharat Rawal

Dr. Bharat Rawal

Chair and Professor, Computer and Data Science

Dr Bharat S. Rawal is full  Professor & Chair Computer and Data Science at Capitol Technology  University, USA. His research focuses on network security, cloud computing and security, blockchain, Big Data and analytical modeling, smart grid and health informatics for the development of next-generation cyber defense and operation technologies. He has published  about hundreds of  peer-reviewed conference proceedings, and journal publications, and has two patents. He is a member of (ACM, IEEE, IET, etc.). He received his D.Sc degree IT from Towson University Maryland.

Career Opportunities

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Market demand for space operations personnel

Get the necessary credentials to take on a leadership role; become a researcher, speaker, author, or trusted expert; or enter higher education as a teaching professional. 

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A degree that creates opportunities

Graduates will contribute significantly to the space operations field through the creation of new knowledge and ideas.

Degree Details

The PhD program offers 2-degree completion requirement options:  

  1. Dissertation Option: the student will produce, present, and defend a doctoral dissertation after receiving the required approvals from the student’s Committee and the PhD Review Boards. 

  1. Publication Option: the student will publish three works of original research in a scholarly peer-reviewed journal(s) of high stature. Two of the three published works may be in a peer reviewed conference proceeding if the conference is international and approved by the Dean. The student will produce an exegesis culminating the work for their defense. Students must receive the required approvals from the student’s Committee and the PhD Review Board prior to publication. 


Prior Achieved Credits May Be Accepted 

Tuition & Fees

Tuition rates are subject to change.

The following rates are in effect for the 2022-2023 academic year, beginning in Fall 2022 and continuing through Summer 2023:

  • The application fee is $100
  • The per-credit charge for doctorate courses is $933. This is the same for in-state and out-of-state students.
  • Retired military receive a $50 per credit hour tuition discount
  • Active duty military receive a $100 per credit hour tuition discount for doctorate level coursework.
  • High School and Community College full-time faculty and full-time staff receive a 20% discount on tuition for PhD or DSc programs.

For 2022-2023 doctorate tuition and fees, click here.

Next Steps

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