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
|Miami Dade College||Miami, FL||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,834 in-state
|Ohio State University-Main Campus||Columbus, OH||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,037 in-state
|Purdue University-Main Campus||West Lafayette, IN||4-year, Public||Bachelor's, Master's,
|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
|St Petersburg College||Clearwater, FL||4-year, Public||Associate's||$3,352 in-state
|University of Oklahoma Norman Campus||Norman, OK||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$10,090 in-state
|Florida State College at Jacksonville||Jacksonville, FL||4-year, Public||Certificate, Associate's||$2,830 in-state
|Western Michigan University||Kalamazoo, MI||4-year, Public||Bachelor's||$11,029 in-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 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.