Top Schools for Air Transportation and Distribution

Find out which schools offer programs in air transportation and distribution, which can help students prepare for careers as air traffic controllers, airport managers or pilots. Learn about the degree options at four institutions, and find a list of other schools that offer training for air industry professionals.

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Students who want to pursue careers in aviation can earn an associate degree, bachelor's degree, master's degree or certificate, depending on their educational interests and career goals.

Find schools that offer these popular programs

  • Air Transportation and Distribution
  • Ground Transportation
  • Marine Transportation

School Overview

Some of the leaders in the field of air transportation and distribution include Embry Riddle Aeronautical University, the University of North Dakota, Purdue University and Aims Community. All four schools offer multiple undergraduate and/or graduate programs in aviation or aviation management, among other closely related areas of study.

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University - Daytona Beach, FL or Prescott, AZ

School Highlight: Embry-Riddle School of Aviation's Prescott location has 30 airplanes and 10 helicopters that are used to educate the school's 2,000 students.

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) offers a number of undergraduate programs, including Bachelor of Science (B.S.) programs in aviation maintenance science, aeronautics, air traffic management and unmanned aircraft systems science. Accelerated programs are offered as well, in which students can obtain both a B.S. and a Master of Science (M.S.) in only five years. Areas of study include aerospace engineering, human factors and engineering physics. As an educational leader in the field, ERAU also offers certificate and associate degree programs, undergraduate minors and a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Aviation.

University of North Dakota in Grand Forks, ND

School Highlight: University of North Dakota's School of Aerospace Sciences offers six undergraduate programs and an M.S. in Aviation.

The University of North Dakota (UND) offers several aviation-related degree programs through its John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences. These include a Bachelor of Business Administration (B.B.A.) for students who wish to work on the management side of the aviation industry. Once enrolled, students earn a Commercial Pilot Certificate with Instrument and Multi-Engine Ratings from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) while taking business courses from the university's College of Business and Public Administration. UND also offers a M.S. in Aviation, which is one of the few graduate-level aviation programs available in the United States.

Purdue University in West Lafayette, IN

School Highlight: Purdue University offers a joint five-year B.S. and M.S. in Aviation Management program.

Purdue University's Department of Aviation Technology offers seven different B.S. programs, including an aviation management program accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board of America. The university is one of a select few schools with an aviation management program that qualifies graduates for preferential hiring as air traffic controllers. Undergraduates can also major in aeronautical engineering technology or train for a career as a pilot. Additional programs include an M.S. in Aviation and Aerospace Management, an online M.S. in Aviation Management and a Ph.D. in Technology.

Aims Community College in Greeley, Colorado

School Highlight: The Aviation Department offers four associate degree options.

At Aims, aviation students can earn an Associate of Applied Science in General Aviation Pilot, Helicopter Pilot, Professional Pilot or Air Traffic Controller. These programs combine career-focused courses with general education requirements. There are also eleven certificate options in areas such as Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor, Multi-Engine Airplane and Private Pilot Airplanes. These programs range in length from one to four semesters.

Top Air Transportation and Distribution Management Schools in the U.S.

Here are some more schools with strong programs that cover air transportation and distribution:

  • Arizona State University in Tempe has one of only three altitude chambers in the country associated with a university.
  • Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL, offers two B.S. programs in aviation management, one of which includes training for commercial pilots.
  • At Green River Community College in Auburn, WA, aviation technology programs include seven Associate of Applied Science (A.A.S.) and four certificate options in aviation or airport management, among other areas.
  • Ohio State University - Columbus offers an interdisciplinary B.S. in Aviation Management through the Center for Aviation Studies and Fisher College of Business.
  • Saint Cloud State University in St. Cloud, MN, offers a B.S. in Aviation with an emphasis in management, operations or professional flying.

Regardless of the student's career goal within the field of aviation, there are colleges and universities across the country with excellent offerings in air transportation and distribution.

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