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2eme année : Space Sciences and Applications SSA

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One-year intensive training in space sciences !

International Master in Space Sciences and Applications (SSA)


The international master in Space Sciences and Applications at the University of Orléans (France) offers a one-year intensive training in space sciences. The programme targets students who have a solid background in physics (at a Masters 1 level) and wish to carry out high level research in space agencies, in research bodies, and in government agencies. 

For detailed information, with programme, syllabus and admission, see SSA student guide.

The programme covers a wide range of space-related fields including radioastronomy, heliospheric physics, solar-terrestrial science and space weather, satellite propulsion, nanosatelites and space-based systems engineering. The courses are exclusively taught in English and the total number of credits (ECTS) is 60. The programme includes an internship of at least 4 months in a research institute. Students can also follow courses in data science from the new Graduate School in Numerical Science (GSON).

SSA Students will be in contact with scientists from several laboratories and facilities that carry out cutting-edge research in space science (LPC2E), in plasma propulsion (ICARE), in radioastronomy (Nançay radio-observatory) to name a few. Students will learn about and understand our space environment. They will also be involved in the exploitation of data from major space missions and from radioastronomy facilities. Most research teams are actively involved in space missions such as ESA’s Solar Orbiter and BepiColombo, NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, CNES’ Taranis, and more. All teams have strong connections with space agencies and with industrial partners in spacecraft operation and exploitation, such as Airbus, Thales, SAFRAN and Exotrail.


The programme covers the following topics (for more details see the SSA student guide):

  • Space exploration and space systems
  • Astrophysics and radioastronomy 
  • Space plasma physics
  • Space environment
  • Plasma propulsion for spacecraft
  • Computational space science
  • Project approach and quality
  • Seminars
  • Internship (minimum 5 months)



Enrollment in SSA is possible for students who have obtained their Bachelor's degree in Physics and have successfully completed at least one year in a Master in Physics (or equivalent, e.g. engineering school) with excellent academic results. The dedicated teaching programme  aims to bridge the gap between different students' backgrounds. It does not matter whether your initial training had a stronger focus on one particular field of Physics as long as you have a solid training that covers all the major fields of modern Physics, including Computational Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Statistical Physics, etc. Plasma physics and Astrophysics are an asset but are not mandatory. In addition, a proficiency in English (B2 level) is required.

There are different registration procedures, depending on your country of citizenship or residence:

  • If you are a citizen or permanent resident of one of the 28 EU countries, including Norway, Iceland, Lichtenstein, Switzerland, Andorra or Monaco: apply directly via the e-candidat portal at the University of Orléans between April 1st and the end of June.
  • If you have the nationality of: Algeria, Argentina, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Chad, Chile, China, Colombia, Comoros, Congo, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Japan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Russia, Senegal, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United States, Vietnam, register via Campus France. The application process starts early February and ends early March.
  • If your country is not in the list above, contact us directly, see below.


After this master

Most students with a Master's degree in space sciences pursue their career with a PhD in Space Physics, in France or abroad. Indeed, a PhD is mandatory for most scientific careers such as scientist in academic research, R&D engineer in research centres and in space agencies, data scientist in the industry, etc. Typical positions are researcher, project scientist and consultant. In all these positions your main asset is your ability to run projects and to solve complex problems requiring physical, mathematical (and often computational) skills, rather than being the expert in one narrow field.


Living in Orléans

Orléans is a medium-size city (by French standards) that is located in the heart of the Loire valley.  The city is located approximately 140 kms south of Paris and can be easily reached by train from Paris Austerlitz station (65-minute journey).

For more detailed information on Orléans, the university campus and living conditions, see the SSA student guide.


Important dates

  • Early February till early March: registration for non-EU citizens
  • Early April till mid June: registration for EU citizens
  • Mid September till the end of February: regular courses.
  • End of February: Physics colloquium together with 1st year Master students
  • Early March till end of August: internship (5 months minimum)
  • First week of September: project defence



For information regarding SSA, write to :

For information regarding the admission procedure, contact

Secrétariat du Pôle de Physique
1, rue de Chartres, BP 6759
45067 ORLEANS cedex
Tel : (+33) 2 38 41 70 19
Email :

Coordinator of SSA:  Prof. Sebastien CELESTIN