Mars Studies Program

The Mars Studies Program (MSP) is a six-week in-person certificate Program that explores the science, engineering, technology, and math involved in sustaining systems and life on planet Mars. Students are immersed in a project-based curriculum and hands on activities, analog missions, labs, and makerspaces with researchers and faculty to develop the skills and mindset to advance the field and live on planet Mars.


Hands on, Project-based

Learn through applied R&D at local makerspaces and analog research stations


The first in-person academic Program dedicated to making life multiplanetary


12+ Faculty/staff

Learn from leading faculty pioneering the research and development

About the Program

Application Window

Nov 15 - Jan 15, 2022,

rolling admissions thereafter as space permits

Program Duration

June 6 - Jul 15, 2022

Course requirements
4-5 Courses


~$7,500 USD for Program

(Excluding scholarships)


In-person, Hands-on Project based

Time Commitment​

30+ hours per week


The Mars Studies Program (MSP) is an intense six-week certificate-based program that provides a detailed technical overview of the science, technologies, and post-arrival activities on the Martian surface. Students develop the skills and mindset on topics related to space settlement systems, engineering, manufacturing, 3D printing, Agriculture, Human Factors, Geology, life support, and more. Get certified in 3D Printing and laser cutting with UA Catalyst Studios.

We plan to cohost the in-person Summer Program with the University of Arizona (UA), local makerspaces, and Biosphere 2 for undergraduates, graduates, and young professionals to make an impact on becoming multiplanetary. The Program hosts around five courses provided by MarsU that are geared toward young professionals with a science or engineering background. MSE Program is open to humans from any background, major, and age intended for people with a bachelor's or undergraduate degree from a higher education institution. 

MSP22 Webinar.JPG
Host Partner Locations.JPG
Host Partner Locations.JPG
Jekan Thanga, PhD Headshot.jpg
Kole Lutz.jpeg

Daniel Tompkins, DPM

Associate Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering,

Head of SpaceTREx, University of Arizona

Faculty, Mars Agriculture


Co-founder and MSP Program Co-Director, MarsU

MSP22 schedulee.JPG

Up to five courses will be held throughout the Program in June 2022. Each Course offers around 20-30 hours of in-class in-person and online instruction from Monday to Friday. All classes and guest lectures take place mostly in-person with some online instruction. Class times are coordinated in advance with individual faculty and will be friendly to Mountain Standard Timezone (MST or UTC−07:00). Enrolled students are recommended to attend in-person given the project-based hands on environment, however, exceptions may be coordinated to participate remotely live online.

Call for Research Experiments and Team Projects

Before and during the 6-week MSP Program, participants develop R&D projects with on-site equipment, materials, and resources. Participants will have access to up to 25-50kg of Mars Regolith Simulant and we are discussing providing access to a Mars Environment Chamber, thermal vacuum chamber, microscopes, 3D printers,  photobioreactors, PEMF Generators/Helmholtz Coils, and more to test and develop research, biology, systems, and mindset.  Participants submit a Formal Application in Spring 2022 and in April they choose one or a few R&D projects they plan to develop or collaborate on before and during the in-person Program.


With equipment, workspace, and fabrication tools at local Maker Spaces to design and manufacture systems, students are immersed in teams of three to five people or can lead individual project to advance the learning and retainment of the preferred area of interest, student's passions, and course material. Project Advisors from industry, lecturers, and staff contribute and advise the project development. Each group is expected to develop Final Project Report, to present present during the final weeks with intentions to eventually submit a full manuscript to a conference paper or journal. 

Tuition and Financial Aid

Financial aid opportunities and scholarships can be arranged with MarsU and potential partners or sponsors. With the support from our partners and sponsors, we are actively looking to develop partnerships to cover tuition costs for instruction, wages, and administration.


MarsU is not a Title IV institution recognised by the Department of Education and is currently not eligible to support Student Loans. Payment plans can be arranged on a case-by-case basis. We recommend that applicants undertake their own fundraising efforts and coordinate with to increase their chances to receive a scholarship. 

MarsU Logo