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Comparative analysis of top U.S. aviation courses, with extensive information about universities and their aviation degrees


This report takes an in-depth look at some of the top universities in the U.S. offering aviation and aeronautics courses, including a comparison of the cost, courses offered, course content and duration of study for each.



Summary of the top aviation courses at U.S. universities

        University        World ranking 2018Aviation programs offeredPilot training programs offered       Aviation facilities      
Cost per year of studiesCost of accommodation per yearCourse length

Purdue University

    60    

Aviation Management (BSc)

Aerospace Studies Minor

Airline Management and Operations (BSc)

Aerospace Financial Analysis (BSc)

Airport Management and Operations Management (BSc)

Professional Flight Technology (BSc)

Unmanned Aerial Systems (BSc)

Airframe & Powerplant


Aeronautical Engineering Technology (BSc)

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (BSc)

     Aviation electronics lab         

Aviation materials lab

Engine test cells

Hangar of the Future (HOF) lab

    Holleman - Niswonger Simulator Center (features several types of flight training devices for hands-on training)    

Operations control center

Polytech Institute for the 2018/19 academic year:

Resident: $10,564

Non-resident: $29,366

International non-resident: $31,366

Resident: $10,030

Non-resident: $10,030

International: $10,030

4 years full-time (undergrad)

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

5

Aerospace Engineering (BSc)

Engineering as Recommended by the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics (BSc)

Aerospace Engineering (BSc)

Aerospace computational design lab

Aerospace controls lab

Gas turbine lab

International Center for Air Transportation

Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment

Strategic engineering research group

System architecture lab

System engineering research lab

Technology Laboratory for Advanced Materials and Structures

Wright Brothers Wind Tunnel


$51,520 (grad and undergrad)

Residence Halls:

Single: $5,590

Double: $4,945

Triple: $4,420

Quad: $3,905

4 years full-time (undergrad)

Georgia Institute of Technology

35

Aerospace Engineering (BSc)

Aerospace Engineering (joint five-year BSc and MSc program)

Aerospace Engineering with Flight Mechanics and Controls research area (BSc or joint five-year BSc and MSc program)

Center for Advanced Machine Mobility (CAMM)

Indoor Flight Facility (IFF), a state-of-the-art motion capture lab

John J. Harper Wind Tunnel

300-feet-per second free-jet wind tunnel with anechoic chamber and engine jet acoustic test facility

Aerothermodynamics Research and Technology Lab (ARTLAB)


Georgia residents: $10,008 (tuition)

Non-Georgia residents: $30,604

Mandatory student fees: $2,416

Single apartment: $10,544

Two-person single split: $9,918

Shared apartment for more than two people: $9,562

4 years-full time

5 years part-time

University of North Dakota

431


Airport Management (BSc)

Aviation Management (BSc)

Air Traffic Management (BSc)

Aviation Technology Management (BSc)

Commercial Aviation (fixed wing) BSc

Commercial Aviation (Helicopter) BSc

Business Aviation Specialization (BSc)

Aviation (MSc)


Flight Education (BSc)

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operators (BSc)

Professional Flight Minor (BSc)
UND Aerospace Airport/Grand Forks International Airport

Fleet of 120 aircraft

11 Heated Hangars

Cessna C172 flight training device

Seminole flight training device

Canadair regional jet flight training device

Large maintenance center

Flight operations building

16 FAA flight training approved devices

North Dakota residents: $8,695 full-time enrollment

Minnesota residents: $9,562

Contiguous residents: $12,307

Non-residents: $20,759

Room and meal plan: $8,974

4 years (undergrad)

Ohio State University

70

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (BSc)

    Aviation (BA or BSc)    

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering (BSc)

Electronics lab

Computing labs

Machine shops

Aerospace research center

Air Force Research Lab

Aerospace Systems Directorate

Computational Sciences Centre

Air Force Research Lab Structural Sciences Center

Simulation Innovation and Modeling Center


Ohio residents: $10,726

Non-residents: $30,742

International: $33,670

Residents: $12,434

Non-residents: $12,434

International: $12,434

4 years full-time (undergrad)

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

601-800

Aeronautical Science (BSc)

Aeronautics (Bsc)

Aerospace and Occupational Safety (BSc)

Aerospace Engineering (BSc)

Aerospace Physiology (BSc)

Air Traffic Management (BSc)

Aviation Business Administration (BSc)

Aviation Maintenance (BSc)

Aviation Maintenance Science (BSc)

Aviation Security (BSc)

Global Conflict Studies (BSc)

Homeland Security (BSc)

Interdisciplinary Studies (BSc)

Meteorology/Applied Meteorology (BSc)

Safety Management (BSc)

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (BSc)

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science (BSc)

Unmanned Systems Applications (BSc)

Wildlife Science (BSc)


        Aeronautics (BSc)         

Aeronautical Science (BSc)

Aerospace and Occupational Safety (BSc)

Safety Management (BSc)

Aerospace Physiology (BSc)

Aerospace Engineering (BSc)

Unmanned aircraft lab

En route, terminal radar and control tower domains labs

Airframe and powerplant lab

Weather research center

Media broadcasting lab

Aircraft accident forensics lab

Industry-standard flight simulators and aircraft

Air traffic control lab

Meteorology suite

Prescott’s Aerospace Experimentation and Fabrication Building

Florida residents: $34,236

Non-residents: $35,964

Additional $205 per semester for College of Engineering Program students

Room and board: $11,438

4 years full-time (undergrad)

San José State University

440

Professional Flight (BSc)

Aviation Management (BSc)

Flight Operations (BSc)

Maintenance Management (BSc)

Aerospace Engineering (BSc) (MSc)

Aerospace Studies minor


Professional Flight (BSc)

Flight Operations (BSc)

Central machine shop

Engineering computer services

Engineering buildings

Aviation electronics laboratories

State residents: $7,796

Non-residents: Additional $396 per unit

Resident campus housing: $16,442

Non-residents: Additional $396 per unit

4 years full-time(undergrad)

Florida Institute of Technology

5 (according to Times Higher Education 2019)

Aeronautical Science (BSc)

Aeronautical Science with Flight (BSc)

Aerospace Engineering (BSc)

Air Traffic Control Minor

Aircraft Dispatcher Minor

Aviation Human Factors & Safety (BSc)

Aviation Management (BSc, BA or MSA)

Aviation Sciences (PhD)

Aviation Airport

Development (MSA)


Aviation Management with Flight (BSc)

Aviation Meteorology (BSc)

Aviation Meteorology with Flight (BSc)

Aviation Human Factors & Safety with Flight (BSc)

Computer labs for airport design and planning

Basic aviation training device (BATD) lab (enables all students to fly desktop simulators under the supervision of a flight instructor)

52 new and refurbished aircraft, including Cessnas and Pipers

Human factors lab

FIT Aviation manages the flight training facilities, which are conveniently located at nearby Melbourne Airport

Engineering and Science Majors: $20,550

All other factors: $18,730

Tuition fees apply on a semester basis for spring and fall

Residence Halls Cost/Term:

Single occupant from $3,195

Double occupant from $2,210

Suites from $3,750

2 years minor

3 years undergrad

1 year postgrad

Western Michigan University

501-600

Aerospace Engineering (BSE)

Aviation Flight Science (BSc)

Aviation Management and Operations (BSc)

Aviation Technical Operations (BSc)

Mechanical Engineering (BSc)

Aviation Flight Science (BSc)

Aviation Flight Science (BSc)

College of Aviation - W.K. Kellogg Airport

Aviation simulator lab

200 flight training devices

Three Cirrus SR-20 advanced flight training devices

Redbird full motion multi-engines simulator

Automotive systems lab

Center for advanced vehicle design and simulation

Combustion and flow research lab

Applied aerodynamics lab

Fluid mechanics lab

Smart and advanced materials lab


Residents:

Undergraduate lower level: Up to 55 credit hours $11,560 + £464 for each credit hour over 15

Undergraduate upper level: 56 or more credit hours

Non-residents:

Undergraduate lower level: Up to 55 credit hours $14,450 + $579 for each credit hour over 15

Undergraduate upper level: 56 or more credit hours $15,953 + $640 for each credit hour over 15

Traditional Halls:

Double room and meal plan from $9,311

Single room and meal plan from $11,879

Room only $5,231

4 years full-time (undergrad)

Hallmark University

431

Airframe and Powerplant Technology (AAS)

Powerplant Technology (AAS)

Aviation Maintenance Management (BSc, online course)

Airframe Technology (AAS)


757 engine

Corporate jet

Airframe and powerplant lab

Machine shops

State residents/ non-residents: $38,210

Off-campus room and board $10,084

Airframe and Powerplant Technology (AAS): 15 months daytime or 21 months in the evening

Powerplant Technology (AAS): 10 months daytime or 13 months in the evening

Aviation Maintenance Management (BS, online course): 20 months

Airframe Technology (AAS): 10 months daytime or 13 months in the evening


Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

-

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Training Program

Aviation Maintenance Technology Hybrid Program (first half online)

Aviation Electronics Technology (Diploma or AAS)

Non-destructive Testing (NDT) (Diploma or AAS)

Quality Control Management (BSc)

Aviation Technology Management (17-month degree after AAS completion)

Pilot Training Program

Electronics lab

Training lab for building and programming instruction on unmanned aerial vehicles

Welding shop for aviation maintenance students

Speciality classrooms

Industry-current equipment for aviation maintenance and non-destructive testing

Aviation electronics communication shops

Boeing 727 and Boeing 727-100 training cockpit

Real-time weather information system provided in flight operations

Classrooms spread over two Tulsa airports


$27,550 - $84,825 depending on course

No onsite accommodation at Denver Campus.

Offsite accommodation is available through an EDUrent partnership; one-bedroom apartments start at $1,040p/m

Tulsa Campus offers limited accommodation in Spartan Residence Hall; prices available on request

Aviation Maintenance Technology: Diploma 15 months; AAS 18 months

Hybrid: Diploma 20 months; AAS 23 months

Aviation Flight: Diploma 12 months; AAS 17 months

Non-Destructive Testing: Diploma 16 months; AAS 11 months

The comparison table provides several key findings that are useful to students applying for aviation courses at top U.S. universities and colleges:

  • Of the universities surveyed, eight offer degrees at bachelor level, five offer graduate degree programs and four offer associate of applied science degrees. Two offer diplomas and certificates. The two-year associate degree allows students to get out of the classroom and into the workforce in half the time it would take to complete a bachelor degree, which relieves the financial burden of study.
  • Despite the differences between various universities’ aviation and aeronautical courses, all tend to offer students similar resources, from aircraft fleets and flying clubs to flight and engine simulators. This indicates that aviation schools recognize the increasing importance of meeting industry needs by equipping their labs with the latest technologies.
  • The comparisons suggest that aviation programs in community colleges like Western Michigan University allow students to embark on a career in aviation, even when funds for study are limited.

History of aviation education and aviation universities in the U.S.

Air show of acrobatic fly team.
Air show of acrobatic fly team.
  • The first academic interest in human flight in the U.S. is recorded [2] in 1883, when Professor J.J. Montgomery of Santa Clara College carried out a series of glider tests.
  • Seven years later, Octave Chanute gave a number of lectures to students of the Sibley College, Cornell University entitled “Aerial Navigation”, which he followed with a book called Progress in Flying Machines in 1894.
  • The Aeronautics and Astronautics Department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) can be traced back to 1896, when student Albert J. Wells built a 30-square-inch wind tunnel as part of his mechanical engineering thesis.
  • Soon after the Wright brothers’ first successful flight at Kitty Hawk in 1903, universities around the world began offering aviation education and training programs.
  • One of the first aviation education initiatives in the U.S. took place in October 1909, when Wilbur Wright gave three hours of training to Lieutenants Frank P. Lahm and Frederic E. Humphreys on Signal Corps Airplane No. 1 (bought from the Wright brothers) before flying solo.
  • A year later in 1910, Lt. Benjamin D. Foulois taught himself how to fly in Signal Corps No. 1 at Fort Sam Houston, Texas.
  • Widespread aviation education and training in the U.S. was born out of a need to train a significant number of pilots in World War I and World War II, but it was only in January 1942 that the Air Education and Training Command (AETC) was established by the War Department.
  • The first American collegiate aeronautics program took off at the University of Michigan in 1914, followed in 1916 by the establishment of a department of aeronautical engineering and the first four-year program in aeronautical engineering.
  • The Daniel Guggenheim School of Aeronautics opened at New York University in 1925. The Daniel Guggenheim Fund for the Promotion of Aeronautics gave grants to MIT, University of Michigan, Stanford University and the California Institute of Technology and went on to play an important role in the expansion of aeronautical engineering programs across the country.

The Purdue Polytechnic Institute (PPI) is one of 10 academic colleges at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. Its School of Aviation and Transportation Technology offers seven undergraduate majors at bachelor’s degree level. [3]

  • Aeronautical Engineering Technology deals with the design, operation and maintenance of turbine and jet engines, wind tunnels and virtual computer simulators essential in aircraft manufacturing.
  • Aerospace Financial Analysis helps aerospace companies navigate complex data and agreements, allowing them to be financially sustainable.
  • Airline Management and Operations allows students to explore the complex airline system while learning about the variety of business decisions that can affect success.
  • Airport Management and Operations delves into the intricacies of operating an airport and the many business decisions that can affect success.
  • Aviation Management prepares students to one day manage an airport, lead a team of air traffic controllers and run a company; or help set aviation policy in the industry.
  • Professional Flight prepares students for a career as a commercial, corporate or private charter pilot, using a fleet of aircraft and training simulators.
  • Unmanned Aerial Systems examines the entire system surrounding the unmanned aerial industry, including design, operations, sensors, commerce and policy.

The focus of the graduate programs is to prepare graduates for a future in the aviation and aerospace industries, which are changing rapidly in response to technological advances. One of the ways this forward thinking is applied to the graduate program [4] at PPI is by offering the master’s degree on campus as well as online.

  • The MS in Aviation and Aerospace Management focuses on meeting the growing need for leaders with skills like operational analysis, safety systems development, project management, systems integration and environmental sustainability.
  • The MS in Aviation and Aerospace Management offered online is aimed at developing the skills necessary to become a leader in the aviation industry. Course subject matter applies to a wide range of careers that support aviation and aerospace endeavors.
  • The Ph.D. in Technology is an opportunity to develop expertise in a specific technological area and become an advanced leader, researcher, professor or supervisor in technology.

PPI’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology runs five additional research-purposed laboratories [5] led by faculty in the department. The research focus is on biofuels testing and development, gender issues in the aviation industry, evaluation of soy-diesel fuel blends, high performance turbine operations, and human factors and crew resource management.

  • The Aviation Electronics Lab introduces students to aircraft electronics and carries the aviation electronics theme through to research in complex aerospace digital circuits.
  • The Aviation Materials Lab tests and evaluates hardware and seals under exposure to next-generation aviation fuels. The lab also carries out off-site testing and data interpretation for companies, agencies and organizations.
  • The Hangar of the Future Research Laboratory is a research arm of the Aerospace & MRO Technology Innovation Center. Its focus is on finding innovative solutions to data and process visualization challenges in aerospace manufacturing and the air vehicle lifecycle management of today’s smart aircraft.
  • The Holleman-Niswonger Simulator Center provides hands-on training for students and graduates using a variety of devices and simulators.
  • The Operations Control Center gives students the opportunity to study and optimize over 100 flight operations per day – preparing students to work in airline network operations centers or in the FAA's command center. PPI’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology maintains strong partner ties to the aviation and aerospace industries. This includes taking into account the real-time issues affecting these industries when planning curriculum, as well as creating partnerships for students through internships and other projects.

PPI’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology maintains strong partner [6] ties to the aviation and aerospace industries. This includes taking into account the real-time issues affecting these industries when planning curriculum, as well as creating partnerships for students through internships and other projects.

PPI’s Office of Globalization [7] takes relationship-building a step farther by giving students global and cultural opportunities to continue to grow with faculty-led study trips and international experiences.

The university offers around $600,000 in scholarships [8] for study at the Purdue Polytechnic Institute, which are awarded based on merit and financial need. To be considered, students must submit a Purdue Supplemental Scholarship Application for each year they’d like to receive a scholarship.

Founded in 1869, Purdue University has more than 39,000 enrolled students from 50 states and 130 countries. The university is ranked #56 out of 312 national universities and #21 out of 60 schools for best undergraduate teaching. [9]

Of particular interest to students of aviation and aerospace disciplines is that Amelia Earhart joined Purdue in 1935 [10] as a visiting counselor for female students. It was here that she built what she called her "flying laboratory": a Lockheed Electra twin-engined airliner. In fact, PPI’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology has been nicknamed the "Cradle of Astronauts”,[11] with notable alumni including Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon. More recently, The United States Air Force partnered with PPI [12] to teach cadets in its Junior Reserve Officers’ Training Corps how to fly.

Student applications [13] to the university are reviewed based on how academically prepared a student is to succeed in their desired academic program and their competitiveness in comparison to the overall pool of applicants based on available space.

Keep in mind when applying to PPI [14] that there is a $60 application fee and the early action deadline is November 1. Scores for either the ACT or SAT test must be submitted by February 1. Purdue’s acceptance rate is 57%.

Are you a budding aviation professional? Speak to us about applying for a course and we’ll do our best to provide helpful advice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the U.S. and all around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) AeroAstro is America's oldest university aerospace program, whose community boasts an astronaut, Air Force secretary, NASA deputy administrators and chief technologist, Air Force chief scientist, aerospace executive, and corporate founder.

AeroAstro offers two Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering, and Engineering as Recommended by the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The AeroAstro graduate program gives students a wide range of opportunities for research and collaboration with some of the brightest and most motivated colleagues in academia and industry. The Master of Science is perfect for students who hold a bachelor’s degree and want a deeply-focused study of a particular disciplinary field.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) are for students already hold a master’s degree, and who would like to carry out original research in a focused field. AeroAstro offers doctoral degrees in these 12 fields :

  • Aerospace Computational Engineering
  • Aerospace, Energy and the Environment
  • Air-Breathing Propulsion
  • Air Transportation Systems
  • Aircraft Systems Engineering
  • Automation
  • Communications and Networks
  • Controls
  • Humans in Aerospace
  • Materials and Structures
  • Space Propulsion
  • Space Systems

Students can also pursue a number of interdisciplinary master's and doctoral degrees via affiliated MIT programs and departments.

AeroAstro’s areas of teaching and research range from autonomous systems to alternative jet fuels; to skin-tight space suits for hiking on planets and other bodies in space; to constellations of nano satellites that, in concert, far outperform single, large satellites; to the development of ultra-wide bandwidth communications. These projects, run in 25 AeroAstro labs , are aimed at making the environment cleaner and quieter, improving health and safety, increasing mobility, heightening efficiency, and enable us to explore frontiers far beyond our current limitations.

In addition, the MIT International Center for Air Transportation is on a mission to improve the safety, efficiency and capacity of domestic and international air transportation and its infrastructure by utilizing information technology and human centered systems analysis. Research areas include: Air Traffic Management, Air Transportation Infrastructure and Economics, Aviation Safety and Weather, Airline Management and Operations, Human Factors, Flight Instrumentation, and Environmental Impact of Aviation.

A smorgasbord of student groups, teams and clubs gives students opportunities to share and explore common interests with their peers outside the lecture hall.

If you’re thinking of applying to AeroAstro, keep in mind that MIT does not use The Common Application. Prospective undergraduates must apply through the university’s website. Ranked third in National Universities and first in Aerospace, Aeronautical, Astronautical Engineering Programs, MIT is a selective school with an acceptance rate for freshmen in the fall of 2016 of just 8%.

MIT’s aeronautics program has grown up right alongside the highlights and advances of United States aeronautics and astronautics history since the late nineteenth century . The university’s focus on strong scholarship and solving industrial-strength problems is born out of an appreciation of the many challenges of flight and how important it is to push the boundaries of technology. For more than a century, pioneering entrepreneurs, and explorers as well as gifted men and women in industry, government and academia, have found key sources of inspiration and innovation and learned crucial skills at MIT.

If you believe that you’re one of the aviation greats of tomorrow, then speak to us about applying for a course at the university of your choice, and we’ll do our best to provide some helpful advice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the US and around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) AeroAstro is America's oldest university aerospace program, whose community boasts an astronaut, Air Force secretary, NASA deputy administrators and chief technologist, Air Force chief scientist, aerospace executive, and corporate founder.

AeroAstro offers two Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering, and Engineering as Recommended by the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics.

The AeroAstro graduate program gives students a wide range of opportunities for research and collaboration with some of the brightest and most motivated colleagues in academia and industry. The Master of Science is perfect for students who hold a bachelor’s degree and want a deeply-focused study of a particular disciplinary field.

The Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) and Doctor of Science (Sc.D.) are for students already hold a master’s degree, and who would like to carry out original research in a focused field. AeroAstro offers doctoral degrees in these 12 fields :

  • Aerospace Computational Engineering
  • Aerospace, Energy and the Environment
  • Air-Breathing Propulsion
  • Air Transportation Systems
  • Aircraft Systems Engineering
  • Automation
  • Communications and Networks
  • Controls
  • Humans in Aerospace
  • Materials and Structures
  • Space Propulsion
  • Space Systems

Students can also pursue a number of interdisciplinary master's and doctoral degrees via affiliated MIT programs and departments.

AeroAstro’s areas of teaching and research range from autonomous systems to alternative jet fuels; to skin-tight space suits for hiking on planets and other bodies in space; to constellations of nano satellites that, in concert, far outperform single, large satellites; to the development of ultra-wide bandwidth communications. These projects, run in 25 AeroAstro labs , are aimed at making the environment cleaner and quieter, improving health and safety, increasing mobility, heightening efficiency, and enable us to explore frontiers far beyond our current limitations.

In addition, the MIT International Center for Air Transportation is on a mission to improve the safety, efficiency and capacity of domestic and international air transportation and its infrastructure by utilizing information technology and human centered systems analysis. Research areas include: Air Traffic Management, Air Transportation Infrastructure and Economics, Aviation Safety and Weather, Airline Management and Operations, Human Factors, Flight Instrumentation, and Environmental Impact of Aviation.

A smorgasbord of student groups, teams and clubs gives students opportunities to share and explore common interests with their peers outside the lecture hall.

If you’re thinking of applying to AeroAstro, keep in mind that MIT does not use The Common Application. Prospective undergraduates must apply through the university’s website. Ranked third in National Universities and first in Aerospace, Aeronautical, Astronautical Engineering Programs, MIT is a selective school with an acceptance rate for freshmen in the fall of 2016 of just 8%.

MIT’s aeronautics program has grown up right alongside the highlights and advances of United States aeronautics and astronautics history since the late nineteenth century . The university’s focus on strong scholarship and solving industrial-strength problems is born out of an appreciation of the many challenges of flight and how important it is to push the boundaries of technology. For more than a century, pioneering entrepreneurs, and explorers as well as gifted men and women in industry, government and academia, have found key sources of inspiration and innovation and learned crucial skills at MIT.

If you believe that you’re one of the aviation greats of tomorrow, then speak to us about applying for a course at the university of your choice, and we’ll do our best to provide some helpful advice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the US and around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



The University of North Dakota’s (UND) John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences trains students in eight undergraduate courses at bachelor’s degree level [15]. They are:

  • Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics with a Major in Air Traffic Management
  • Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics with a Major in Aviation Studies
  • Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics with a Major in Commercial Aviation
  • Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics with a Major in Flight Education
  • Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics with a Major in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations
  • Bachelor of Science in Business Aviation Specialization
  • Bachelor of Administration with Major in Airport Management
  • Bachelor of Administration with Major in Aviation Management

Students in the graduate program [16] are able to specialize in four areas: safety, unmanned aircraft systems, management and human factors. The Master of Science in Aviation offers study flexibility as an online course, while the Ph.D. in Aerospace Sciences can be achieved on-campus or online.

UND’s School of Aerospace Sciences has around 500 faculty and staff members, and more than 1,500 students [17] from around the world at any given time. Facilities and aviation resources [18] on West Campus and at the Grand Forks International Airport include:

  • 120 airplanes and helicopters housed in 10 heated hangars at the Grand Forks International Airport overnight and in inclement weather.
  • Line support staff who set aircraft on the ramp in the morning and return them to a hangar at night. They also refuel each aircraft after flight and provide pre-heats and jump starts when necessary.
  • Flight operations administration in the main headquarters for dispatching aircraft and pre-briefing students for their next flight.
  • Daily inspections of each aircraft are carried out at one of the largest maintenance facilities in the country.

The aviation school has a vibrant research program [19] offered as a service to, or in partnership with, private industry, government, unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) researchers and UND graduates. Areas of specialty are Unmanned Aircraft Systems Research and Education and Training. Current research projects include: Unmanned Traffic Management, Cooperative Airspace Techniques and Visualization; Enabling UAS BVLOS Operations through a Network Infrastructure; UAS Command and Control (C2) Systems for Beyond Visual Line of Sight Applications; and Inspection of Powerline Components using UAS.

Each year around $370,000 in UND Aerospace Scholarships[20] are awarded to students enrolled in aerospace majors. Applications are available to enrolled aviation students during the spring semester. They are awarded based on academic merit, leadership, flight achievement and any criteria specified by scholarship sponsors. Scholarship programs are available to currently enrolled aviation students – including freshmen and transfer students – majoring in professional flight and include: The Odegard Scholarships Program provided by the James Ray Foundation; the Joe Clark Scholarship in conjunction with the EAA Aviation Foundation; and the Clay Lacy Scholarship in conjunction with the EAA Aviation Foundation.

About 49% of full-time UND undergraduates receive need-based financial aid, with the average need-based scholarship or grant award being $5,366 [21].

The aviation and aeronautics program at UND began in 1968 [22] with the gift of two planes and a first intake of 12 students. Aviation enthusiast John Odegard was the aviation department’s founding chairman. By 1982, significant demand for UND’s atmospheric research and aviation education programs necessitated the establishment of a Center for Aerospace Sciences. Today, the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences is the second largest of UND’s degree-granting colleges and boasts one of North America’s largest fleets of civilian flight training.

If you believe you’re one of the aviation greats of tomorrow, then speak to us about applying for a course at the university of your choice and we’ll do our best to provide some helpful advice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the U.S. and all around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



Columbus-based Ohio State University’s (OSU) Center for Aviation Studies offers five bachelor degrees[23] in the areas of aeronautical engineering and aviation management, as well as a pilot specialization that can be combined with any degree. A Commercial Pilot’s Certificate can be earned before graduation and students can then go on to earn a Certified Flight Instructor License after graduating.

Undergraduate students can add a professional pilot specialization to any of these majors:
 
  • The Bachelor of Science in Aviation, College of Engineering, without Professional Pilot Specialization, produces well-rounded aviation professionals with a background in engineering systems and aviation coursework.
  • The Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences: Air Transportation, College of Arts and Sciences, without Professional Pilot Specialization, focuses on the global transportation system with a special emphasis on air transportation.
  • The aim of the Bachelor of Science in Business Administration: Specialization in Aviation Management, Fisher College of Business, is to produce well-rounded aviation managers with a background in business administration and analytics.
  • The Bachelor of Science in Aviation, College of Engineering, with Professional Pilot Specialization, results in professional pilots with a background in engineering and aviation coursework, culminating in an instrument rated Commercial Pilot Certification and either a multi-engine rating or Certified Flight Instructor certificate.
  • The Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences: Air Transportation, College of Arts and Sciences, with Professional Pilot Specialization, produces professional pilots with a background in the liberal arts and aviation coursework, culminating in an instrument rated Commercial Pilot Certification and either a multi-engine rating or Certified Flight Instructor certificate.

The university has a fleet of 17 aircraft and about 15 instructional staff at the Ohio State University Airport[24] – the third busiest airport in the state. Since 1942 the airport has been a learning lab for future professionals and a core facility for university research, while also providing services to industries in the Columbus area.

The Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS) [25] is the university’s Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Center of Excellence for General Aviation. Its mission is to improve general aviation safety, accessibility and sustainability. Research projects partner the FAA with world-class researchers, educators and industry leaders.

Recently, the university’s Center for Aviation Studies held the first annual meeting of PEGASAS, attended by representatives from several universities, the aviation industry and over a dozen high-level researchers from the FAA. Developing research projects discussed at the meeting included the evaluation of angle-of-attack indicators in aircraft and airfield pavements that heat themselves through nanotechnology.

Scholarships [26] available to UND aviation students include two $2,500 awards from the Ohio Regional Business Aviation Association (ORBAA) and the Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship, which to date has awarded 124 scholarships ranging from $1,000 to $5,000 each with a total of $245,000 in awarded scholarships.

Students at the Columbus campus may also be eligible for a paid fellowship and OSU also offers other types of financial aid. About 47% of full-time undergraduates receive need-based financial aid; the average need-based scholarship or grant award is $10,325 [27]. Keep in mind that OSU is a more selective school, with a fall 2017 acceptance rate of 48% [28].

OSU’s aviation and aeronautics program has been supplying the industry with professionals since May 1917, when the United States War Department sent the first squadron of 16 cadets for training [29]. Changing with the times, the original School of Aviation became the Department of Aviation in 1963 then the Center for Aviation Studies. In 2015, the Austin E. Knowlton Foundation donated $10 million to OSU to enhance its aviation, education and research facilities, as well as the terminal at the Ohio State University Airport.

If you dream of a career in aviation, why not speak to us about applying for a course at one of the universities on your shortlist. We’ll do our best to provide some helpful advice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the U.S. and all around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



Set in the California Bay Area and booming Silicon Valley, San José State University’s (SJSU) Department of Aviation and Technology educates and trains students [30] who are interested in technical, business and flying careers within the broad field of aviation and aerospace.

Two undergraduate degree programs are offered: a Bachelor of Science in Aviation and a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology. The BS Aviation program prepares students for a career in professional flying, airport and operations management, maintenance, air traffic control management or avionics. The BS Industrial Technology program sets students on a technical management career path, working with high tech systems, computers, networks, green technologies, electronic devices and manufacturing.

The graduate program offers an MS Quality Assurance degree to professionals who want a technical management graduate qualification. Working professionals drawn from a range of businesses and industries, such as product design, manufacturing, health technologies and electronics, are catered for with online and evening classes.

Flight training [31] is carried out at affiliated FAA-approved flight schools operating at Reid Hillview Airport in San José, California. The first, Trade Winds, is a Cessna dealership and conducts primary and instrument training in Cessna 172 aircraft; two of which are equipped with the Garmin G1000 cockpit. The second, Squadron 2, maintains a mixed fleet of Cessna, Piper and Beechcraft aircraft. Primary training is conducted in a Cessna 152 training aircraft or a Cessna 172 or Piper PA‐28‐161.

SJSU has a number of affiliations with student and professional organizations [32], including the American Association of Airport Executives, the American Helicopter Association International, the Women in Aviation Club and the Society of Manufacturing Engineers. Flying Twenty – a flying club open to all SJSU students, alumni, faculty, and staff – is based at Reid-Hillview Airport and gives members access to three general aviation aircraft at reasonable prices. Many aviation students begin their flying journey through Flying Twenty.

The university’s aeronautics program began in the 1936/37 academic year [33], when a group of students formed a flying club on the advice of mathematics professor Frank Petersen. Now ranked #33 in the Best Regional Universities West out of 140 schools [34] and the fourth Best Place to Study Aviation in the US [35], the university awards eight scholarships [36] to aviation and industrial technology majors to help them realize their aviation dreams.

If you dream of a dream in aviation, why not speak to us for helpful advice about applying for a course at the university of your choice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the U.S. and around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



Founded in the 1970s, the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Daytona Beach, Florida is the nation’s largest and oldest aeronautical university. Its 19 undergraduate and 13 graduate aviation and aeronautics programs [37] demonstrate forward thinking, with areas of focus such as Wildlife Science – a one-of-a-kind program focused on how wildlife management, behavior, ecology and population studies affect the aviation world and our urban environment.

The university also offers four certificate courses and four AAS degrees, allowing students to study online or take classes close to home at one of their many international campuses.

Undergraduate Bachelor of Science degrees on offer are: Aeronautical Science, Aeronautics, Aerospace and Occupational Safety, Aerospace Engineering, Aerospace Physiology, Air Traffic Management, Aviation Business Administration, Aviation Maintenance, Aviation Maintenance Science, Aviation Security, Global Conflict Studies, Homeland Security, Interdisciplinary Studies, Meteorology/Applied Meteorology, Safety Management, Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science, Unmanned Systems Applications, and Wildlife Science.

Graduate Master’s degrees include: Aeronautics, Aerospace Engineering, Aviation and Aerospace Sustainability, Aviation Maintenance, Business Administration in Aviation, Business Administration in Aviation Management, Entrepreneurship in Technology, Safety Science, Unmanned & Autonomous Systems Engineering, and Unmanned Systems.

Their doctorate program offers Ph.Ds in Aerospace Engineering, Aviation, and Aviation Business Administration.

Embry-Riddle’s aviation facilities [38] are extensive, with a number of state-of-the-art labs and advanced flight training devices – including industry-standard flight simulators like the full-motion, full-flight FAA Level D CRJ simulator. A large fleet of aircraft includes Cessna 172 Skyhawks, Piper Arrows, Diamond DA42 L-360s, American Champion Super Decathlon 8KCAB models and Robinson helicopters, such as R-22, R-44, R-66 and Bell 206 models. Students at the Daytona Beach campus can study ways of optimizing airspace for both manned and unmanned craft in one of the country’s only unmanned aircraft labs, while Air Traffic Control students develop their skills in labs that emulate the en route, terminal radar and control tower domains.

There are also eight dedicated labs for Aviation Maintenance students to learn through direct training that corresponds with the Airframe and Powerplant program, and the university also offers a weather research center, a media broadcasting lab and an expanding aircraft accident forensics lab known as the Crash Lab.

With so many devices and facilities at their disposal, ERAU faculty and students contribute to a vibrant research program [39] in applied science, aviation, business, computers and technology, engineering, safety, security and space and many more. One recent project simulated extravehicular activity at the Mars Desert Research Station in the San Rafael Swell. The biometric protocols used to monitor an individual’s ability to move and work in a simulated spacesuit during extraterrestrial activities was developed in Embry-Riddle’s Spacesuit Utilization of Innovative Technology (S.U.I.T.) Laboratory [40] with the purpose of supporting NASA’s Human Research Program.

The university’s Office of Corporate Engagement and Office of Research work closely together to seek out industry partnerships [41] that provide ‘real-industry’ learning for students and ‘real-world’ solutions for business.

ERAU offers Embry-Riddle Donor Scholarships and a Worldwide Donor Scholarship fund [42], which awarded a total of $76,423 to 84 students in the 2017-2018 academic year. Embry-Riddle Worldwide students are also eligible for University Institutional Scholarship Opportunities. Students can apply from January through August each year.

ERAU began with the simple vision of two men – to teach the adventurous to fly [43]. In 1925, John Paul Riddle and entrepreneur T. Higbee Embry started the Embry-Riddle Company, which ran from a desk in a hotel lobby. To date, ERAU has educated and trained more than 130,000 alumni for careers in aviation, aerospace and their many related industries.

If you believe you have what it takes to study towards a degree in aviation, then speak to us about applying for a course at one of our featured universities and we’ll do our best to provide some helpful advice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the U.S. and around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



Western Michigan University’s (WMU) College of Aviation offers the only comprehensive aviation program at a public university in Michigan and one of the largest in the nation. Students have the choice [44] of three Bachelor of Science degrees: Aviation Flight Science, Aviation Technical Operations, and Aviation Management and Operations. They can also take part in three aviation minors: Aviation Science, Military Leadership and Aviation Studies, and Professional Aviation Preparation.

The Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (ROTC) program in collaboration with Michigan State University gives students the opportunity to train as Air Force officers while earning a degree. After successfully completing the program, students are commissioned as a second lieutenant able to serve as an officer in leadership roles. Similar programs are offered at about 1,000 institutions in the United States and Puerto Rico.

The College of Aviation offers several elective specialized training courses: Certified Flight Instructor, Jet Equivalency Training, and a Float Plane Rating, which can be added to any bachelor degree to help students stand out in the job market.

WMU’s flight department [45] is located at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek. The fleet includes 26 Cirrus SR20 aircraft, two Piper Arrows, six Piper Seminoles, an American Champion Super Decathlon, two Cessna 150 aircraft and a Piper Super Cub. A Level 5 CRJ-200 flight training device provides aviation students with jet equivalency training in a safe environment.

The College of Aviation has partnerships [46] with a number of regional aviation companies – including Duncan Aviation, the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport, and Northern Jet Management – to provide students with internship opportunities. Summer internships are also offered by commercial airlines like Delta, Southwest, American and CapeAir, as well as positions at the Chicago Executive Airport and UTFlight.

WMU students can also network with others in their field and participate in aviation-related events through student organizations like the Aviation Student Council, SkyBroncos, the Multicultural Association of Aviation Professionals and Women in Aviation. An annual Aviation Outlook Day [47] connects students with aviation organizations and professionals to talk about career options and learn about industry needs.

Twelve scholarships [48] are awarded to help finance students’ aviation studies; six to students enrolled in the aviation maintenance program and two to military students.

WMU was founded [49] in 1903 – the same year the Wright brothers completed their first successful flight. At the time, education and aviation seemed worlds apart, but by 1939 aviation maintenance was added to the curriculum at Western State Teachers College, which eventually became Western Michigan University.

Some 50 years later, the aviation program had grown to become a stand-alone college within WMU and was renamed the Western Michigan University College of Aviation. Today, the school enjoys a considerable industry reputation for providing quality aviation training to around 800 resident undergraduate students at any given time, the size of its fleet, and offering the only comprehensive aviation program at a public university in Michigan.

With an eye on the future, the fall of 2017 saw the partnership of WMU, Charlotte County, the Punta Gorda Airport, and Florida South Western State College, launch a new location in Punta Gorda Florida. This initiative will extend the College of Aviation's program in order to keep pace with the innovations that are positively impacting the future of aviation in the United States.

When applying [50] to WMU’s College of Aviation, keep in mind that scores for either the ACT or SAT test are due by September 1, and there is an application fee of $40. The school currently has an acceptance rate of 82%.

Are you one of the aviation greats of tomorrow? Speak to us about applying for a course at one of the above universities and we’ll do our best to provide some helpful advice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the US and all around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



Hallmark University’s (HU) College of Aeronautics in San Antonio, Texas, has been training aircraft technicians since 1969. The college is also the state’s #1 producer of aeronautics graduates passing their FAA aircraft technicians’ exams.

Degrees offered [51] are: Bachelor of Science in Aviation Maintenance Management and three shorter, two-year Associate of Applied Sciences degrees in Airframe Technology, Airframe and Powerplant Technology, and Powerplant Technology. Instead of the normal two-semester year, Hallmark students learn in six eight-week terms with minimal breaks.

HU’s Aeronautics Campus [52] is at San Antonio International Airport, giving students the opportunity to work in real hangars on real jet engines while earning their Airframe and Powerplant license. The university also prides itself on creating real-world settings [53] for its classrooms – so students learn by working on real servers, fixing jet [54] engines  and running real-time simulations in medical labs.

Early in 2018, HU’s College of Aeronautics launched a new training program in collaboration with Lockheed Martin [55]. The manufacturer has plans to increase production of the F-35 from 66 to 200 planes each year, which will put their training facilities at full capacity. As a result, they need to hire 1,800 new employees over the next 18 months, so HU students are being trained to assemble the new fighter planes and successful candidates will be offered employment at Lockheed Martin after completing their training.

HU encourages aviation students in financial need to apply for financial aid or seek out industry-funded scholarships. [56]

If you dream of becoming one of the aviation greats of tomorrow, speak to us about applying for a course at one of the above universities and we’ll do our best to offer helpful advice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the U.S. and all around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology (SC) in Tulsa, Oklahoma offers eight Associate of Applied Science degrees and six diploma qualifications [57] in the areas of Aviation Maintenance, Aviation Electronics, Nondestructive testing/QC, HVAC, Pilot Training, and Aviation Management.

The eight two-year Associate of Applied Science degrees are aimed at getting students out of the classroom and into the workplace within two years. Subjects offered are Aviation Flight, Aviation Maintenance Technology, Aviation Electronics Technology, Quality Control Management, Occupational Studies in Aviation Maintenance Technology, Occupational Studies in Airframe and Powerplant, Occupational Studies in Aviation Electronics Technology, and Occupational Studies in Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC).

The six diplomas on offer are CFI I & CFI II Aviation Flight (Professional Pilot), Aviation Maintenance Technology, Aviation Electronics Technology, Nondestructive Testing, Airframe and Powerplant, and Heating/Ventilation/Air Conditioning (HVAC).

In addition, students can take part in the Aviation Maintenance Technology Hybrid Program (with the first half offered online) and can complete their Bachelor of Science in Aviation Technology Management at the college.

The focus at Spartan is to give each student a broad set of general job skill competencies and hands-on learning experiences with industry-current equipment. To this end, each of the college’s five campuses are located at, or near, an airport: the Tulsa Flight Campus is at Richard L. Jones Airport in South Tulsa, the Tulsa Main Campus is located near Tulsa International Airport, the Los Angeles Campus is near Los Angeles International Airport, the Inland Empire Campus is located at Flabob Airport in Riverside California, and Denver’s Broomfield Campus is near Rocky Mountain Metropolitan Airport.

The college has 19 aircraft at the disposal of aviation maintenance and airplane electronics students, plus two flight simulators (a RedBird full-motion simulator and Frasca Level 5 Flight Training Device) for flight training. Their fleet of 45 aircraft include Cessna 152s and 172s, a Peper Arrow for advanced complex training and Piper Seminoles for multi-engine training.

Spartan has built an impressive number of relationships with public and private partners through the customized and contract training programs [58] they offers to governments, schools and private organizations and institutions in the U.S. and across the globe.

Aviation training can be costly, so SC has a financial aid team who can guide students through their various study funding options, as well as offering financial resources such as the Cal Grant Program. [59]

In 2018, the college celebrated its 90th anniversary [60] as a pioneer in aeronautics education and training. Since its founding in 1928 by oil magnate W.G. Skelly, the college has continued its mission of meeting the national need for skilled aircraft technicians, with more than 140,000 technicians and pilots now engaged in rewarding careers in the aeronautics industry.

Are you one of the aviation greats of tomorrow? Speak to us for helpful advice on applying for a course at one of the above universities. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the US and all around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



Rio Salado College (RSC) is a community college in Tempe, Arizona that offers one aviation degree [61] – an Associate of Applied Science in Airline Operations – and three certificates of completion in Ground Operations, Passenger Services, and Reservations and Ticketing.

In essence, RSC provides advanced training through employee development partnership programs [62]. This means that in order to enroll, students must already be employed with an RSC partner working in the airline industry, corporation or government agency.

The RSC education model allows employers to attract the best talent by offering further training as a benefit during the recruitment process; while employees can engage in college-level coursework while adding value to their existing training. Online training with a 24/7 technical support desk is available, allowing them to complete training while away on business or from multiple sites throughout the U.S.

Students who would like to fund additional studies at RSC can approach the Arizona Foundation [63], which offers a number of private donor opportunities.

RSC opened [64] its doors in 1978, offering remote classrooms in 180 facilities throughout the Valley of the Sun. The college began offering online classes 18 years later and had moved most of its courses to an online format by 2006.

One of RSC’s education innovations is the Early College [65], which gives high school students the opportunity to get a jump on their college education by earning college credits, saving on college tuition and textbooks, accessing scholarships based on financial need. RSC was recognized by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for innovative delivery of post-secondary education in the HCM Strategists report, "Beating the Odds: What It Means and Why It's important", as well as being lauded by Forbes magazine as a "Visionary Higher-Education Leader” [66].

If you believe you have what it takes to pursue a career in aviation, then speak to us for advice on applying for the course of your choice. ACS also provides aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the U.S. and around the world. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



Florida Institute of Technology (FIT) is perfectly placed on Florida’s Space Coast to offer study in four key areas at its College of Aeronautics [67] : Aviation Human Factors and Safety, Aviation Sciences, Aviation management and Development, and Air Traffic Control and Dispatch.

Its undergraduate program [68] offers eight Bachelor of Science degrees in Aeronautical Science, Aeronautical Science – Flight, Aviation Management, Aviation Management – Flight, Aviation Meteorology, Aviation Meteorology – Flight, Human Factors and Safety, and Human Factors & Safety – Flight; plus an online Bachelor of Arts degree in Aviation Management. Associate of Applied Science degrees include Air Traffic Control, Aviation Management (online), and Flight Operations and Dispatch.

The university’s graduate program includes three Masters of Science degrees in Aviation Human Factors, Human Factors in Aeronautics (online), and Human-Centered Design. Additionally, four Master of Science courses are available in Administration in Airport Development and Management, Applied Aviation Safety, Aviation Management (online), and Aviation Safety (online). Students can also choose from two doctorates: Aviation Sciences, and a Doctor of Aviation (online).

In response to the looming pilot shortage, FIT has launched a Pathway Programs initiative, whereby it partners with eight airlines to screen and develop pilots during their college careers with a “flow-through” approach to placing students on career paths with major airlines in their sophomore year.

The College of Aeronautics’ facilities [69] in Melbourne include the Center for Aeronautics and Innovation, the Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research, and Skurla Hall, offering classrooms, computer labs, flight simulators and a fleet of 40 aircraft.

The Center for Aeronautics and Innovation conducts research, studies, consultation and technology transfer to enhance aviation education and industry progress in all aspects of airport planning, design, development, operations and management. The center also houses the FIT Aviation's Simulator Center, the Unmanned Aerial Systems Lab, and the Office of External Relations and Economic Development.

The Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research is home to FIT Aviation and includes the aircraft maintenance team and hangar, pilot briefing rooms, lounge and planning areas, as well as a fleet of over 40 aircraft.

Since 1968, FIT Aviation LLC is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Florida Institute of Technology based at Melbourne International Airport and the scene of all university-related flight training activities. FIT Aviation also operates a for-profit FBO at Melbourne International Airport and provides training for a variety of customers, including airlines and individuals.

FIT Aviation provides flight and ground instruction in all pilot ratings, from Private Pilot through Airline Transport Pilot, Flight Instructor Airplane, Instrument, and Multi-engine. In addition, it offers unique courses like Conventional Gear, Basic Aerobatics, Complex Instrument, Advanced Cockpit, and Air Taxi. All flight training is integrated with the ground studies provided by the College of Aeronautics.

The College of Aeronautics' programs also encourage students to become more comfortable and familiar with conducting research [70]. In addition to on-campus facilities, the Alumni Association and faculty directly connect students to organizations likes NASA, FAA, KSC, Harris Corp, Northrop Grumman, Avidyne and many commercial pilot associations.

FIT was originally founded [71] as Brevard Engineering College in 1958 – the same year NASA began its work. This year it celebrates 60 years of education and research, from humble beginnings as a night school for missile men to an institution that’s produced over 60,000 alumni who have contributed to the aviation and aeronautics industry domestically and abroad.

Are you one of the aviation greats of tomorrow? Speak to us for guidance on applying for a course at one of the above universities. We also offer aviation and flying scholarships for many of the best aviation universities in the U.S. and globally. Find out more on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.



Summary and thoughts about the future of aviation and aviation studies

A team of aviation engineers in a lab working on a drone.
A team of aviation engineers in a lab working on a drone.

Seven key factors are set to continue affecting the aviation industry for at least the next decade:

  • A dramatic increase in air travel, which is expected to double in the next 20 years. [72]
  • The number of pilots in the U.S. has decreased by 30% since 1987. [73]
  • About two thirds of airline pilots in the 1980s were ex-military [74]. That number has dropped to less than a third and the Navy predicts a 10% pilot shortage in 2020, while the Air Force expects to be short of 1,000 pilots by 2022.
  • The projected expansion and modernization of global airline fleets is being threatened by a projected 9% shortage of aviation mechanics [75] by 2027.
  • The U.S. military has taken delivery of 300 F-35 fighter jets [76] and that number will double by the end of 2020. The eventual number of F-35s required by the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corp is currently set at an unprecedented 2,443.
  • The demand for both unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) is expanding rapidly, with applications already in use commercially, recreationally, in agriculture and by the emergency services. Within months of the FAA requiring drone registrations for UASs, the number of drone registrations exceeded those of piloted aircraft [77]. The latest predictions are that non-military UAS production will reach $88.3bn in the next decade. [78]
  • Boeing has announced plans to develop the commercial aviation industry’s first passenger-carrying hypersonic concept aircraft. [79]
  • The Aerion AS2 is a supersonic business jet under development by Aerion Corporation in collaboration with Lockheed Martin [80]. The 12-passenger private jet is aiming for a prototype flight date later this year or early 2019, with plans to certify the aircraft in 2021. It’s expected to achieve a maximum speed Mach of 1.6, which is a staggering 1,217 miles per hour.

The dramatic increase in air travel is resulting in a shortage of pilots, non-flight aviation personnel and aircraft. As aircraft manufacturers speed up production lines to meet demand, there’s an increasing need for aviation mechanics, with the Air Force, Navy and Marine Corp in a similar situation.

In addition to a critical shortage of aviation professionals, rapid advancements in technology – whether in the form of unmanned aircraft systems or mold-breaking hypersonic jets – are changing both the present and future of aviation and aeronautics.

The immediate effect on aviation education can be seen in the growing number of partnerships between aviation universities and aviation commercial companies or government agencies. The need for collaboration across the industry is set to increase the pace of further advances in aviation and aeronautics in a demanding and exciting cycle.

The good news for prospective aviation students is that universities are already working with industry partners to fast-track training and the flow of graduates into companies and government agencies. It’s hoped this will prompt the industry to find innovative ways of making training more affordable.

What does seem clear is that there has never been a more exciting or auspicious time to set out on a career in aviation and reach for the stars.



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