What is the NASA Academy program?

The NASA Academy is an intensive 10-week summer program for highly motivated and successful undergraduate and graduate students. The program was founded in 1993 at the Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC) by Gerald Soffen, life-long pioneer and leader in space exploration, research, and education.

The program’s purpose is to bring together future leaders in space activity so that they learn at an early stage how NASA functions and become acquainted with each other personally and professionally. Each year, the Academy selects high-achieving students in a variety of academic disciplines from U.S. universities across the country.

Since its foundation, close to 1000 Research Associates have graduated from Academy programs at the Ames Research Center (ARC), Armstrong Flight Research Center (AFRC), Glenn Research Center (GRC), Goddard Space Flight Center (GSFC), Langley Research Center (LRC), and Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC).

Program Overview

The NASA Academy is not a 9-5 summer research internship program. It is a rigorous, immersive experience that will challenge the participants and push them outside their comfort zones. It offers interns an intense learning experience that is either space- or aeronautics-based. The objectives of the program are:

  • To support and enhance the general objectives and mission of NASA.
  • To make available to the selected students guided access to extensive resources at the participating NASA Research and Space Flight Centers and their infrastructure, science, technology, and organizational and managerial expertise.
  • To provide a unique, intensive, and rigorous educational and training curriculum related to the organization of NASA, its in-house science and technology projects, its collaboration with other National centers, industry, and academia, and its extensive technology transfer programs.
  • To facilitate access to, and dissemination of valuable information on career development paths, financial support, technical writing standards, intellectual property, etc.
  • To create an environment that fosters creativity, personal initiative, and leadership qualities, together with group mentality, teamwork, and professional ethics.

downloadNASA Academy represents an immersive and integrated multidisciplinary exposure and training, for students with various backgrounds and career aspirations of critical importance to the national aerospace program.

The academic curriculum balances opportunities for direct contact with advanced science and engineering R&D and an awareness of the complex managerial, political, financial, social, and human issues faced by the current and future aerospace programs.

Co-sponsorship of the Academy assures recruitment of meritorious students from previously under-represented areas of the country, into leadership positions for the aerospace programs of the future.

How to apply?

The NASA Academies at each NASA center will have different areas of focus: Space/Aerospace (NASA Academy), Robotics, Aeronautics, and Propulsion. Please visit NASA Education website for more information on the NASA Academy program.

In the spirit of a NASA Aeronautics Academy, the Multidisciplinary Aeronautics Research Team Initiative (MARTI) was offered to students from 2015-2016 but is now offered as the NASA Aeronautics Academy again. Please visit NASA Aeronautics Research Directorate for more information about Aeronautics Academy programs.

NASA Academy:

NASA Academy applications are available via NASA OSSI or check out the links for the Academy programs under the News section of our website. Applications are now open for the Summer 2018. Deadline: March 16, 2018