Aviation Science Colleges and Universities in the U.S.

Many colleges and universities in the U.S. offer various degree programs in aviation science. Many aviation science universities have degree concentrations in aviation maintenance, aviation management, aviation meteorology and air traffic control.

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Aviation science programs are available at the associate's, bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree levels. Some schools also offer certificates in the field.

10 Schools with Aviation Science Programs

Here are ten schools with certificate programs and two- and four-year degree programs in aviation science, as well as their locations and undergraduate tuition rates:

College/University Location Institution Type Degrees Offered Tuition and Fees (2015-2016)*
Arizona State University Mesa, AZ 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's $9,684 in-state
$24,219 out-of-state
Miami Dade College Miami, FL 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,834 in-state
$9,661 out-of-state
Ohio State University-Main Campus Columbus, OH 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,037 in-state
$27,365 out-of-state
Purdue University-Main Campus West Lafayette, IN 4-year, Public Bachelor's, Master's,
$10,002 in-state
$28,804 out-of-state
Liberty University Lynchburg, VA 4-year, Private not-for-profit Certificate, Associate's, Bachelor's $20,109
San Jose State University San Jose, CA 4-year, Public Bachelor's $7,378 in-state
$18,538 out-of-state
St Petersburg College Clearwater, FL 4-year, Public Associate's $3,352 in-state
$11,607 out-of-state
University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK 4-year, Public Bachelor's $10,090 in-state
$23,476 out-of-state
Florida State College at Jacksonville Jacksonville, FL 4-year, Public Certificate, Associate's $2,830 in-state
$9,944 out-of-state
Western Michigan University Kalamazoo, MI 4-year, Public Bachelor's $11,029 in-state
$25,713 out-of-state

*Source: National Center for Education Statistics

College Selection Criteria

The following points are good to consider when looking for aviation science schools:

  • Some aviation science universities may offer more technologically advanced facilities than others, and this may be a consideration for the prospective student.
  • The level of professional and academic experience of an aviation science college's faculty can be important for prospective doctoral candidates who are looking for potential research advisors.
  • Aviation science programs are offered to suit different career options in the aviation industry and are available at the certificate as well as the associate's, bachelor's and graduate degree levels. Be sure to pick a degree level to suit your career interests.
  • Students who are considering programs that include flight training may want to look for schools in locations that commonly have good weather for flying.

Associate's Degree Programs

Associate's degree programs in aviation science combine general education with the education needed to become eligible for a job as an airplane or helicopter pilot. Students take lecture-based academic courses as well as hands-on flight courses. Upon completion, credits from the program may be transferable to four-year bachelor's degree programs for students who want to continue their education in the future.

Bachelor's Degree Programs

Bachelor's degree programs in aviation science vary depending on the school. Like associate's degree programs, they provide focused flight training for aspiring pilots. Others combine liberal arts studies with lecture- and lab-based aviation science coursework. Still others are degree-completion programs for experienced pilots who want to apply their previously earned educational credits and finish their bachelor's degree by taking advanced courses in the field.

Master's Degree Programs

Master's degree programs in aviation science are available for experienced professionals who want to advance to management and leadership positions in the aviation industry. Therefore, many are available in online or part-time formats in order to accommodate the needs of working professionals. Some schools also offer accelerated bachelor's/master's degree programs. Topics of study include transportation safety, aviation globalization and business decision-making.

Doctoral Degree Programs

In PhD programs in aviation science, students conduct high-level research in the theoretical and practical aspects of the field in order to solve pressing problems in the aviation industry. Prior to graduation, candidates must submit a publishable dissertation on a particular topic of interest. It is important to note that applicants are expected to have previous education and work experience in aviation.

Certificate Programs

Certificate programs vary depending on the school. Some provide basic introductory coursework, similar to associate's degree programs, but without general education requirements. There are also more advanced certificate programs for individuals who already hold a degree in the field but want to specialize their training in a certain area, such as aviations operations management or professional piloting. These programs are designed to prepare students for particular FAA certification exams, such as the exams for private pilots, instrument pilots, commercial pilots and flight instructors.

Aviation science programs prepare students for a career in the aviation industry, and exist at the associate's through the doctoral level, with many certificate options as well. Factors that should influence a prospective student's choice in school include the available facilities, opportunities for industry experience, and the experience level of the faculty.

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