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 - Feb 13, 2022,

rolling admissions thereafter as space permits


MSP Host Partner

University of Arizona

Program Duration

June 6 - Jul 15, 2022

Course requirements
4+ Courses


~$7,500 USD for Program

(Excluding scholarships)


In-person, Hands-on Project based

Time Commitment​

20-30+ 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. 

We plan to cohost the in-person Summer Program with the University of Arizona (UA), local makerspace UA Catalyst Studios, and Biosphere 2 for undergraduates, graduates, and young professionals. Get certified in 3D Printing and laser cutting with UA Catalyst Studios. MSP hosts 4+ courses provided by MarsU with an emphasis on science and engineering. The Program is open to humans from any background, major, and age intended for people with a bachelor's or enrolled in a B.S. degree from a higher education institution. 

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Host Partner Locations.JPG
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Associate Professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering,

Head of SpaceTREx, University of Arizona


Daniel Tompkins, DPM

Faculty, Mars Agriculture


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Co-founder and MSP Program Co-Director, MarsU

Guest Lecturers

Co-Founder of the KSC Swamp Works & Lunabotics RMC.


Grant Anderson

President and Co-founder, Paragon Space Development Corporation


President and Founder,

Mars Society

Owner, Pioneer Astronautics

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Co-Founder, Space4All, Aerospace Scientist


Up to 4+ 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.MSP is a jam packed Program with weekend field excursions, labs, Mars Trivia, Jeopardy, participant talks, and many more cultural activities.

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 conduct experiments with Mars Regolith Simulant and we are discussing providing access to a Mars Environment Chamber, thermal vacuum chamber, microscopes, 3D printers,  photobioreactors, electromagnetic helmholtz coils, and more to test and develop research, biology, systems, and mindset.  Enrolled participants choose one or a few R&D projects they plan to develop or collaborate on before and during the 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. The team with the winning design or system that holds the most potential to make life multiplanetary receives a small grant

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. 

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