PhD in Aviation Science: Doctoral Degree Info

Oct 13, 2019

A doctoral program in aviation science is rarely available. However, a few schools offer a Master of Science in Aviation Science program for students interested in furthering their skills in the aviation and aeronautics fields.

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Essential Information

A master's degree program in aviation or aviation science provides training to students interested in acquiring advanced skills for success in the aviation or aerospace industry. The programs involve both research and technical work. Students will study all facets of the aviation field, including airport management, commercial airlines, corporate aviation, and more. Graduates will be prepared to work in the air or on the ground in a variety of jobs. Most programs require about 30 credit hours of coursework.

Requirements to enroll are generally typical of a master's program. A bachelor's in aviation, aeronautics, or similar is required, as is an FAA Private Pilot certificate. GRE or GMAT scores will likely be necessary, as will flight experience. In addition, some schools require a 2- to 3-page questionnaire to be filled out. Undergraduate transcripts, several letters of recommendation and, in some cases, a personal statement of goals are also required. Students working in aviation should also include their resume.

Master of Science Degree in Aviation Science

Students in a master's degree program in aviation science will develop advanced skills and training in aviation and aeronautics through a blend of studies in management, problem solving, and statistical research. They are also required to write a thesis. Coursework that provides the skills listed includes:

  • Aviation economics
  • Issues in aviation
  • Advanced aviation safety
  • Airline law
  • Aviation management
  • Information technology for aviation

Popular Career Options

Graduates with a Master of Science in Aviation Science are prepared for a wide variety of jobs in the aviation and aeronautic fields, whether as members of the flight crew or as ground support staff. Some of the most popular careers in the field include:

  • Astronaut
  • Flight instructor
  • Commercial pilot
  • Cargo pilot
  • Charter operator
  • Traffic reporter
  • Aerial photographer
  • Airport manager
  • Air traffic controller
  • Aircraft mechanic

Salary and Career Info

In 2018, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics found that aircraft mechanics and service technicians made an average of $65,230 per year. Airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers made $169,560 on average, but commercial pilots made only $96,530 that year. Commercial pilots were expected to see a 8% increase in jobs over the 2018-2028 decade, while aircraft and avionics equipment mechanics and technicians were expected to see only a 3% increase, which is slower than average.

Because aviation science doctoral degrees are not widely available, most students choose to pursue a master's degree, instead. There programs combine many different fields of learning to prepare students for numerous career options in the aviation field.

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