Top Aviation courses in the United States

Top US aviation courses: a rundown of universities and their aviation degrees


For those wanting to embark on a university course to study aviation and / or aeronautics, the choice can be overwhelming. Here, we examine some of the best US universities offering courses in these subjects, as well as how much each course costs, what the content is and how long each course of study will take to complete.

An overview


With demand for air travel continuing to increase, career options for those who wish to work, or develop their careers, in the aviation sector look very promising. A growing need for pilots to fly commercially and well as privately, as well as for individuals who want to work in the aircraft manufacturing industry and those seeking employment in airports around the world continues to create a buoyant jobs market.

As well as continuing demand from clients wanting to travel the world for business and leisure, the emergence of new, cutting-edge technologies as well as new innovations in the way aircraft are made is starting to provide opportunities for mechanics and avionics experts who need training to work on certain aircraft.

This coupled with positivity in the US economy as well as the growth in international firms coming to the aviation industry as well as a shortage of pilots means that the time is right to start an aviation career.

Why choosing the right degree is vital

Embarking on a Bachelor’s degree is not just a big commitment in terms of time, but also financially as it can take up to four years to finish. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you pick the right course at the right educational institution to further your studies and your future career.

Here, we take a look at a number of the best universities for aviation courses across the UK, providing vital information about each course which you could choose. To give you some important background, you will find information on how aviation education developed in the US, as well as key points about aviation courses on offer, and some insight into what the future of the aviation industry could hold, and how this could apply to aeronautics / aviation training in the future.

A look at how aviation education has evolved

Way back in 1883, the very first interest academically in flights carrying human passengers in America is recorded by a profession at Santa Clara College who embarked on a number of tests involving gliders. In 1890, students were then given lectures by Octave Chanute at the University of Cornell. He followed up his talk by publishing a book of the history of flight.

Meanwhile, interest in Massachusetts at the state’s famous technology institute dates back to around the same time when one of the students there created a wind tunnel which was used when he was studying mechanical engineering.

But, the real breakthrough in terms of aviation education came shortly after the Wright brothers made their famous successful first flight in 1903. At that point, universities worldwide sat up, took notice, and realized that courses teaching students about aviation were in demand.

In 1909, there was a breakthrough in aviation-related education. Wilbur Wright, who was one of the Wright brothers, gave training to two lieutenants before making a solo flight. At around the same time, another lieutenant in Texas managed to teach himself the basics of flying using the same plane, the Signal Corps No.1, which had been used in that earlier training.

However, it was not until the advent of the First and Second World Wars that the real need to make training available for large numbers of pilots was properly recognized. However, it was not until three years after the start of WWII that a training command center for aviation was set up by war officials in the US. The very first program teaching aeronautics in a US college was launched at Michigan University much earlier, however, in the same year WWI started. This was followed two years later when a specialist engineering department to train aeronautics was established along with an aeronautics program which took four years to complete.

In 1925, the famous aeronautics school named after Daniel Guggenheim was created at the University of New York. A fund to promote the training of aeronautics was also set up to provide grants to universities across the country, and is credited with being an important part of rolling out programs to train the aeronautical engineers of the future.

Aviation programs on offer at the best universities in the US

For those thinking about a career in aviation, which are the best courses and universities to choose from?

Purdue Polytechnic


At the Polytechnic Institute of Purdue, there are 10 degrees on offer including undergraduate as well as graduate courses in aeronautics and aviation. Part of the University of Purdue based in Lafayette in Indiana, the aviation school at Purdue has a choice of seven undergraduate degrees at bachelor level. The courses are:

  • A program in aeronautical engineering which has content to train in engine maintenance and design. Students learn about both jet and turbine engines as well as wind tunnels. The course also covers the use of simulators in the production of aircraft.
  • Finance – this course takes an in-depth analytical look at aerospace finances to show how companies in the industry can cope with the large sums and complicated data involved in staying financially viable.
  • Management – for students more interested in the management side of airline operations, this course helps students to look at how airlines are run as well as the day-to-day decisions which must be made as a business which can make the difference between success and failure.
  • Management for airports – if students want to make a career out of managing an airport rather than an airline, there is a course especially tailored to that.
  • There is also a separation course on aviation management which trains students to take control of an airport as well as to be in charge of a traffic control team as well as taking policy decisions.
  • For pilots, there is a flight course to train students if they would like to fly either commercial, business or private jets. A number of simulators are available for training.
  • One for the future of the aviation industry, the university also offers a course which looks at what is happening currently in the field of unmanned avionics as well as what the future might hold.

Each of these courses has been designed to prepare students for a possible career in aerospace or aviation, as well as being prepared for the major changes being made in the industry as a result of advancements in technology. The program for graduates here is offered not just in person on campus but also as a remote online learning experience. These are the graduate courses available.

  • The graduate course in management in the aerospace and aviation industries examines how the leaders of the future can contribute by using a skillset which will incorporate subjects including how safety systems are developed, the analysis of operations, project managing skills and how aviation leaders must address environmental issues.
  • A course which can be taken online is a version of this aviation management course, designed to give aviation leaders of tomorrow within a thorough grounding in subjects which will give them the ability to take on a raft of different aerospace or aviation careers.
  • Meanwhile, there is also a graduate-level technology Ph.D. which provides training in the area that students are most interested in. This is designed to give students a grounding so that they can go on to advanced careers as a supervisor, researcher or professor in aviation technology.

The school is also well-known for its facilities. There are five laboratories dedicated to aviation research, which are led by the department’s faculty. The focus of this research is about testing biofuels as well as looking at the issues of gender in the industry. Other areas of research are examining the use of fuels using soy-diesel for power, operations using high-performance turbines as well as human issues which must be considered in the industry and how crews should be managed as a resource. Here is what these labs do in more detail:

  • Students are introduced to electronics in use in aircraft as well as in more complicated digital circuits used in aerospace in the electronics laboratory.
  • There is also a materials laboratory on site which takes a look at how seals and hardware act when they are exposed to the aviation fuel of the next generation. The laboratory is also involved in carrying out testing off-site as well as being contracted to interpret data for a number of outside organizations.
  • There is also a laboratory with a focus on coming up with cutting-edge ways to process data as well as looking at the lifecycle of the smarter aircraft in use today.
  • A simulator base is also at hand to provide practical training both for students as well as for graduates which uses a number of realistic simulators and other devices.
  • A center which acts as an operations control base means that students have the chance to examine and figure out how to optimize more than 100 flights each day. This gives students the grounding they need so they can enter careers in operations or control centers.

The PPI is particularly renowned for the links it has with the aerospace and aviation industries. Educators consider what is happening at the present in the aviation industries and also possible future developments when they are putting together the curriculum for their students. Professors are also able to help students by setting up internships along with other opportunities.

Meanwhile, its globalization specialists also give students the chance to take part in international study as well as other cultural experiences. Each year, university officials are able to decide to give scholarships of up to $600,000. Scholarships are decided on a combination of a student’s financial circumstances as well as their abilities. If they want to apply for a scholarship, students need to submit an application every year they would need financial help.

The university was first opened in 1869 and now has around 40,000 students which come from across the US as well as from across the world. Purdue holds the rank of being 56th in a list of 312 universities in the US as well as coming in at number 21 of undergraduate schools.

What could be exciting to hear for those who wish to study aerospace and aviation, is the part that famous aviator Amelia Earhart played in the history of the university. She acted as one of the university’s visiting advisors, offering help to women students in the 30s. At Purdue, she created a laboratory where she built her own aircraft, a Lockheed with two engines. Not only that, but she is not Purdue’s only claim to fame. The school also includes Neil Armstrong among its alumni.

Recently, opportunities have been offered alongside the air force in the US, with cadets attending Purdue for flying lessons. The university bases its decisions on which students it will accept based on whether they are properly prepared academically to take on the challenge of a Purdue course of study. The university will also be looking at how competitive a student is in relation to their peers.

Those who are applying to study at Purdue do need to pay $60 in application fees and must have their initial application in before November. This must be followed up by SAT or ACT test scores. The university accepts 57 percent of students who apply.

Anyone interested in applying for one of PPI’s courses can speak to us for advice. There is also more information about aviation grants on the Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.

The Institute of Technology in Massachusetts


A total of 14 graduate and undergraduate degrees are offered here in aeronautics and aviation. MIT is famous for offering the oldest aerospace courses at any university in the US. The experts at the program include a former astronaut as well as experts from the air force and NASA.

Giving students a raft of opportunities, the AeroAstro courses work in conjunction with those who are experts in their field from both the worlds of current industry and academia. Its science program is particularly recommended by students who already have a bachelor level degree and now want to move onto more in-depth analysis and training.

Meanwhile, its doctorates of philosophy and of science are tailored to students who already have a degree at master’s level and who now want to do their own research in the field of their choice. Students are able to choose from a dozen fields of interest at AeroAstro.

These fields take in aerospace engineering, the environment, the use of air-breathing engines, transportation systems, communications, controls, how humans fit into the aerospace industry, the materials and also the structures used in the industry as well as propulsion in space and space systems.

MIT students are also able to choose to take on a variety of master’s and doctorates in different disciplines through MIT’s affiliation with other departments and programs. The teaching topics at AeroAstro take in everything from used automated systems to non-traditional fuel for jets, to the type of space suits which could be used on different planets or other bodies that are in space to satellite and the communications of the future using ultra-wide bandwidth.

AeroAstro has 25 laboratories for teaching and practical training, which all have a number of central aims centered around the environment, health and safety practices in the industry as well as how humans can eventually surpass the existing limitation on the frontiers we can explore. Air transportation courses at MIT are committed to making safety and efficiency improvements for air travel in international and domestic spheres through the use of IT as well as analyzing human-centered systems. Current areas of research include infrastructure, economics, safety, how to deal with weather conditions, the management of air traffic, the human factors at play in the industry as well as developments in flight instruments and how aviation affects the environment.

There are a wide range of groups and clubs which provide students with opportunities outside of lectures.

Wannabe MIT students need to apply to join a course by going to the university’s own website. MIT has a ranking of third among universities nationally and is the top school for aerospace. It is very competitive in terms of its entry, with MIT accepting only eight percent of those who apply.

The aeronautics courses have developed at MIT in conjunction with advances made by the US in the fields of astronautics and aeronautics for more than a century. MIT concentrates on offering a robust scholarship program as well as having a focus on solving real-industry problems. Its team of industry and academic experts have an understanding of the current challenges in aviation and how technology could be used to combat these. Through the decades, entrepreneurs, explorers, industry experts, government and academic leaders have all been inspired through their study at MIT as well as taking away vital skills from their time at the university.

If you are looking to follow in their footsteps, speak to us to find out about making an application at your chosen university. Can also give scholarships in aviation for some of the top US universities and educational establishments worldwide. There is more information on the Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.

North Dakota University


A total of 10 programs for graduates and undergraduates are offered at North Dakota. Students are able to choose from eight bachelor-degree level courses in fields of managing air traffic, aviation studies, flying commercially, education in aviation as well as programs which look at unmanned aviation advances and business in aviation. They could also opt for a bachelor’s degree specializing in administration, either for management in aviation or airports.

Students who are accepted at North Dakota can undertake four specialist areas of study in safety in the industry, unmanned aviation systems, as well as human factors which need to be taken into account and also management. Meanwhile, there is flexibility to study online for those embarking on a master’s degree in aviation science. The Aerospace Sciences Ph.D. course can also be studied in person on-campus. Alternatively, students can study remotely.

There are around 500 members of staff at UND, catering for a student body of 1,500, who come from across the world to take advantage of the expertise on offer. The facilities at UND’s West Campus as well as at the international airport at Grand Forks included the use of 120 aircraft which are kept in 10 hangers. There are support crew who help to set up the aircraft each morning, making sure they are returned properly to their heated hangers in the evening. They are also on hand for re-fuelling and, if they are needed, jump starts.

Flight operations staff are based in HQ to give students their pre-flight briefings and to dispatch jets. Meanwhile, safety procedures are strictly followed with inspections of every plane carried out on a daily basis.

There is a thriving program of research at UND, where research teams either work hand-in-hand, or offer their services to the private aviation sector as well as government officials. Areas which are the subject of such research include looking at unmanned flight and traffic management. Every year, scholarships worth $370,000 collectively are awarded so that students can further their future careers. Aviation students who are enrolled in aviation studies can make an application in spring. Scholarships are given out depending on a student’s academic abilities as well as leadership potential and any achievements they have already demonstrated in flight. Students must already be majoring in a flight course to apply. In total, nearly half of undergraduates who attend UND are awarded a scholarship grant, with the usual award being just over $5,000.

UND’s aeronautics and aviation program can be traced back to the late 60s when it was gifted a couple of planes and took on just 12 students in its first training sessions. But, less than two decades later, UND was very much in demand for both its research and education programs. That led to the creation of a specialist aerospace sciences center. Now, this school is one of the biggest and most respected anywhere in the US for aviation studies and flight training.

Prospective aviation students can speak to us to get advice on applying to the university which most appeals to you. Is also able to award scholarships for aviation courses throughout the US. There is more information at the Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.

The Ohio State University


With five degrees in aeronautics and aviation, the university of Ohio State (OSU) has an aviation studies center which gives specialist tuition in engineering and management on top of a pilot training course which can be taken in conjunction with one of the university’s degrees. Students are able to gain their commercial pilot certification before they graduate and, if they choose to, they can follow up this course of study by training as a flight instructor following graduation.

Undergraduates can use to add on professional pilot training to majors which take in subjects including aviation engineering, global transport, and aviation management. In total, there are usually 17 aircraft available to students who are training, as well as the benefit of the expertise of 15 instructors. These are based at Ohio State University Airport, which receives the third-most air traffic in Ohio. This airport boasts a long history of training the aviation professionals of the future, having providing training opportunities since the early 40s. It is one of the key facilities for research at the university as well as the servicing industry in the wider Columbus area.

There is a focus on improving safety in the aviation industry as a whole as well as how to make air travel more accessible and more sustainable. Research teams of academics and aviation industry leaders come together to share expertise. The university recently hosted a meeting which brought together high-profile industry, research and academic experts to look at subjects including pavements in airfields which can be self-heating through the use of nanotechnology and at angle of attack, or the angle between oncoming air and an aircraft’s wing.

There are a number of scholarships available to students embarking on a course at UND, which tend to range between $1,000 and $10,000, with $245,000 being the total handed out. Students may also qualify for paid fellowship assistance or another type of financial help. Just under half of the undergraduates studying full time get some form of financial assistance. Acceptance rates at OSU tend to hover at around the 48% mark.

Ohio can boast a long history of providing aviation professionals to the industry, having been the training center of choice for the US military in 1917 when 16 cadets were sent to OSU to embark on flight training. The aviation center was handed a $10m donation in 2015 by the foundation set up by late philanthropist Austin Eldon Knowlton. The windfall allowed OSU to further improve its facilities on campus and at the university airport’s terminal.

Anyone who has a dream to work in aviation can speak to us to find out about making an application for the best aviation studies universities. Is also able to give scholarships in aviation and flying. You can discover more here on the Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.

The San José State University


There are two degrees for undergraduates and one for graduates in the fields of aeronautics and aviation at SJSU. Based in the thriving Silicon Valley area in California, San José specializes in the education of students who want to take up a career as a pilot, or in the technical or business spheres of the aviation or aerospace industries.

SJSU offers a choice of two degrees for undergraduates who can choose between an aviation degree or an industrial technology course of studies. The aviation course is aimed at students who wish to pursue a flight career or want to go into aviation maintenance, management, avionics or become air traffic controllers. Meanwhile, the industrial technology course has been set up for those who want to pursue careers in technical management where they will need expertise to work with complex systems, networks, and computers as well as gaining experience of working with greener technology.

There is also the option of a master’s degree in quality assurance which is designed for graduates who want to gain greater skills in technical management. The university realizes that those working in a number of fields including manufacturing, electronics, and technology may not be able to attend during normal university daytime hours, so it offers courses in the evening and online to cater for working professionals.

For students wishing to become pilots, or further their flying careers, or gain technical expertise training takes place at the nearby Reed Hillview airport at a variety of flight schools. Students are able to get instrument teaching in Cessna as well as Beechcraft and Piper aircraft. The university also has a proud reputation for its partnerships with a number of professional bodies and organizations representing airport executives, helicopter flying, women in the industry and engineering. There is a special SJSU flying club, named Flying Twenty, which all current and past students can join which means that they have access to reasonable cost flight instruction.

The history of the program focusing on aeronautics at San José dates back to the mid-30s when a number of students got together and created a club for flying, after taking advice from their maths professor. San José now holds the ranking of 33 in a list with a total of 140 schools. It is deemed to be fourth in the list of best choices for aviation studies in the US and is able to give out eight scholarships for graduates who want to pursue their aviation career ambitions.

If an aviation career is your dream, speak to us so we can give you information about applying to the university which resonates most with you. Is also able to provide flying and aviation scholarships not just for US universities but at educational establishments work wide. Take a look at the Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page to find out more.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


The university of Embry-Riddle has a total of 32 degrees for undergraduates and graduates who want to study aeronautics and aviation.

With a history which dates back to the 70s and based at Florida’s Daytona Beach, ERAU is not only one of the largest universities specializing in aeronautics, but only one of the oldest. With 19 programs for undergraduates and 13 courses for graduates, it is renowned for the way it looks to what the future holds for the aviation authority.

Unique among aviation studies is ERAU’s course which looks at wildlife science and how the management of wildlife as well as ecology, wildlife population, and behaviour such as migration can have an impact on the aviation industry. There is also a choice of four certificates and a further four AAS-level degrees for students who would either like the flexibility to take the course online or who want to take their course in-person at a choice of the university’s campuses internationally.

Undergraduate bachelor-level courses that students can choose from include those looking at the fields of aeronautics, safety, engineering, physiology, as well as air traffic control practices, business, maintenance, security, unmanned aircraft, and global conflict. There are also degrees at master’s level in the likes of aviation sustainability, maintenance, business, entrepreneurship, safety and the continuing move towards unmanned systems. Meanwhile, a doctorate program also exists to offer teaching in aviation, engineering, and business.

The university is famous for its facilities and boasts a variety of cutting-edge laboratories as well as flight-training simulators. As well as simulators, there is an impressive aircraft fleet including Cessna, Pier, American Champion, and Robinson jets and helicopters. Students can also complete their training at one of the few laboratories in the country specializing in unmanned craft, while there is also specialized training for students who want to work in air traffic control fields.

On top of all this, the Daytona university also has a further eight laboratories set up for students learning aviation maintenance, there they are able to take part in relevant industry training. A center which looks at weather and the impact on the aviation industry as well as a laboratory for media broadcasting and a forensics center which looks at aviation accidents completes the facilities line-up.

Perhaps then, with all of this at hand, it is no surprise that the faculty staff and students at ERAU are part of a thriving research program looking at everything from safety to security, science to space and much more. A recent research topic looked at the simulated Mars analog habitat in Utah. Protocols that are now used to assess how a person can move around and work while in a spacesuit especially designed for extraterrestrial activity were created at Embry-Riddle. The aim of that research was to act as support for programs at NASA.

The university also works hard to form partnerships in the aviation industry to provide real-world training and experiences for students. There are a number of scholarships available which total some $75,000 per year. Students who study at Embry-Riddle campuses in other parts of the world are also able to apply for scholarships, with the application period running for seven months from the start of each calendar year.

The university has a humble background, starting off as the brainchild of just two men, John Paul Riddle along with Talton Higbee Embry, who launched a company in the 1920s because they wanted to teach people to fly. That small firm began at a desk based in the lobby of a hotel. From small beginnings, the university has now trained around 130,000 students so that they can embark on a career within aviation and aerospace.

If you would like to join them, you can speak to us for advice about applying to Embry-Riddle or another aviation university of your choice. Is also able to provide scholarships in flying and aviation for US and international universities. Take a look at the Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.

The University of Western Michigan


There are three degrees in aeronautics and aviation on offer at Western Michigan University (WMU). It is the only full, in-depth aviation program on offer at any Michigan-based public university, and is also one of the most sizeable aviation colleges nationwide. Students are able to choose between three bachelor-level degrees in the sciences. These include degrees in flight and technical operations which is taught in conjunction with management. As well as these, it is possible to study minors in the science of aviation as well as leadership in military aviation, more general studies in aviation and a preparation for a professional aviation career.

MSU also has strong partnerships with Air Force officer training and students have the chance to train to become officers in the US Air Force at the same time they are studying for their degree. Once they finish this training, they can become an officer in the US Air Force. There are a number of programs that are similar on offer at hundreds of US institutions.

The University’s aviation college has a number of focused training programs on offer where students can train to become a flight instructor, for example, or can receive training for specialist sea planes known as float planes. These can be studied alongside bachelor degrees so that graduating students will have a competitive edge when they apply for jobs in the aviation industry.

Just as other universities have their own bases at airports close by, the flight department at WMU is based at Battle Creek’s WK Kellogg airport. There are a total of 26 aircraft for training including Cirrus, Piper, American Champion, and Cessna models as well as flight simulators. The college is proud of having forged relationships with leading aviation companies in the region where students are able to complete internships. Commercial aviation companies also offer internships during the summer months to students at WMU.

There is also the chance for students at WMU to take part in networking events with their peers at aviation organizations set up for students, for women in aviation and aviation professionals from different cultures. In particular, there is one day set aside to bring students together with leading players from the industries so they can find out about future job openings and careers.

Each year, 12 scholarship awards are made to help students who wish to study aviation studies or maintenance. The university was first founded at the turn of the 20th century, at around the same time that the first flight by the Wright brothers made headlines. Four decades later, when WWII broke out, a teaching program was added for aviation students wishing to study maintenance. That early course led to the development of aviation training at WMU.

The aviation courses were so popular, that a college at WMU was dedicated to aviation training, and the university’s reputation for aviation studies is renowned throughout the industry. At any one time, there tend to be 800 students completing aviation studies. More recently, WMU has partnered with the airport at Punta Gorda to unveil a new campus there for students. The new development has been designed to help students to keep up-to-date with new innovations in the US aviation industry. Students who want to apply to WMU to study aviation must enter their SAT or ACT test scores by the beginning of September. Currently, WMU accepts some 82 percent of students who apply.

Do you want a career in aviation? Speak to us about how you can apply to attend your choice of the universities on this list. Is also able to give scholarships for some of the most renowned US aviation universities as well as worldwide. Take a look at the Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.

Texas-based Hallmark University


There are a total of four degree programs specializing in aeronautics and aviation at Texas-based Hallmark University. Sited in San Antonio, HU has been providing training to aircraft technicians for decades. Launched in the late 60s, it is rated first for the number of graduates studying aeronautics who pass FAA technicians’ training.

The degrees on offer at bachelor level include maintenance management in aviation as well as a trio of shorter courses that specialize in the technology used in airframes and/or powerplants, as well as powerplant technology. Rather than the traditional academic year which is split into two semesters, students at HU split their studies into eight-week blocks with shorter breaks.

Aeronautics training is based at the international airport in San Antonio where students have the chance to train in real-life situations on jet engines in hangers while they study towards a professional powerplant and airframe qualification. It is just one real-world training scenario on offer at HU where students also have the chance to train realistically to maintain jet engines, work on servers and take part in medical simulations. Recently, the HU partnered with Lockheed Martin to create a fresh training initiative. Lockheed wants to drastically increase numbers of its F-35 it produces so it has a need for new aviation manufacturing employees. Students are HU are being offered training so that they can put together the F-35 and, if they make the grade, could be employed at the firm when they finish their course. Students who need financial help in order to study are encouraged to make an application to HU or to look at scholarships funded by the wider aviation industry.

If you want to enter the aviation industry, speak to us to find out about how you can apply for a course based at the university you choose. Also has the ability to give flying and aviation scholarships for a selection of aviation universities nation and worldwide. There is more information on our Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page.

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology


There are 14 different diplomas and association degrees in aeronautics and aviation on offer at Spartan. Based in Oklahoma in Tulsa, Spartan provides students with training in maintenance, electronics, in HVAC, non-destructive testing, management, and flying for the aviation industries. There are also shorter courses which give students the opportunity to complete their training within two years. The subjects for these shorter associate courses include flight, maintenance, electronics, quality control, powerplant and airframe and specialist training the HVAC.

Six diplomas offer students the chance to graduate with professional pilot qualifications as well as qualifications in maintenance, non-destructive testing, powerplant and airframe, HVAC and electronics. There is also a hybrid course for students studying aviation maintenance where they can study half of the course online before completing their studies in person at Spartan.

Spartan prides itself on providing students with a combination of skills through practical learning with equipment being used now in the industry. That is why that Spartan has located each of its five campuses either at, or close to, an airport. There are campuses in Tulsa, Los Angeles, California, and Denver. Spartan is able to offer 19 aircraft for training for students studying for qualifications in maintenance and electronics in the aviation industry, along with two realistic flight training simulators. There is a further 45-strong aircraft fleet which includes Cessna and Piper jets.

Like other universities providing aviation degrees, Spartan has been able to build up a diverse array of partnerships with companies and organizations in order to benefit its students. There is no doubt that embarking on an aviation course can be expensive, so Spartan has its own dedicated team to help students with financial aid questions and funding.

Recently, Spartan held celebrations to mark its 90th birthday. It was founded in the late 20s with the aim of providing skilled technicians to the aviation industry. Spartan has so far trained some 140,000 students to equip them with the skills to become pilots or technicians in the aviation industry.

If you want expert advice on how to apply to one of these aviation universities, you can speak to us. Is also able to offer scholarships for aviation training at some of the most renowned US aviation colleges as well as those across the world. Take a look at the aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page for more information.

Arizona-based Rio Salado College


There is one degree course along with three certificate programs on offer at Rio Salado for those wishing to take part in aviation studies. Based in the Tempe area of Arizona, there is an associate degree course at RSC in the operating procedures of airlines on top of three certificates which can be taken in reservations and ticketing, services for passengers and ground operations.

RSC specializes in providing training as a result of the partnerships it has formed with the aviation industry. To meet eligibility criteria so they can enroll, prospective students have to already be in employment with one of Rio Salado’s partner firms, agencies or organizations. This model means that employers are able to attract talented members of staff who know that they are going to receive expert training as part of their employment.

RSC recognizes that training cannot always take part on-site during office hours so it offers an online training program that also has an around-the-clock help desk. Given the nature of the aviation industry often means frequent travel, this means students can complete their training wherever they are. There are grants available for students wishing to further their aviation career through study at RSC.

The college first opened in the late 70s, offering training at classrooms in Phoenix before it was able to offer online training two decades later. Now, the majority of its training is provided online. One of the innovations that Rio Salado is known for is its Early College program that provides opportunities for students still in high school to start to earn credits for college. It also provides scholarships which are provided based upon financial circumstances. RSC has been recognized by respected business leaders including the foundation set up by Bill Gates and his wife Melinda, and by Forbes for its visionary thinking.

Do you want to embark on aviation training to pursue, or future-proof your career? You can speak to us to get help on how to apply for your chosen course. Can also give scholarships for those wishing to pursue training at well-known US and worldwide aviation universities. You can take a look at the Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page to find out more.

The Institute of Technology in Florida


Florida’s Institute of Technology has 20 graduate and undergraduate courses providing aeronautics and aviation training. With an enviable situation on the state’s space coast, FIT is able to offer four main areas of study for students who can choose to complete degrees in the human factors of aviation and the safety implications, aviation sciences, development and management in the aviation industry, and there is also a dedicated course for those who want to be traffic controllers.

For undergraduates, there are a total of eight bachelor-level science degrees covering the aeronautical science fields as well as courses looking at management, meteorology, safety and, air traffic control as well as flight operations. For graduates, there are a choice of three masters-level degree courses in human factors and design. There is the option for online study for some courses, and there are a further master’s degrees in subjects such as airport development, management, and safety. For those wishing to take their studies further, there are doctorates in aviation and aviation sciences, with the flexibility of some online study.

As a result of industry warnings of an impending shortage of pilots, the Florida Institute of Technology has developed partnership programs with airlines so that pilots can take a smooth route through from training to a career with one of eight major airlines. Facilities include a number of laboratories for research and training as well as simulators for flight training along with 40 jets for students to train in. Research is also carried out in a bid to improve aviation education as a whole as well as to improve on all parts of airport planning including design and development along with management and operations. A laboratory is also dedicated to looking at unmanned systems in the aviation industry and there is an office that looks at economic factors and external relations.

Meanwhile, there is a hangar and facilities for aircraft maintenance along with designated briefing areas for pilots on top of a lounge for those who are training. Flight training takes part at FIT aviation at the international airport in Melbourne. This is where the university’s flight training takes place, and there is also an organization, also based at the airport, to allow the university to provide training to individuals and airlines.

This aviation arm can provide training for all types of pilot from private jet pilots through to flight instructors. It also gives students a choice of courses which are unique to FIT including programs looking at complex instrument and advanced cockpit training. Training which takes place in the air is backed up with studies on the ground at FIT’s aeronautics college. The college is also dedicated to helping students who wish to conduct their own research.

It also has impressive industry partnerships with a number of organizations including NASA and a raft of associations for commercial pilots. FIT traces its roots back to the late 50s when it was created as an engineering college at around the same time NASA started its own work. It can now boast more than six decades of providing training from the time it was a school run in the evenings to becoming a major aviation training center, having given more than 60,000 people skills, training and education to enter the aeronautics and aviation industries.

If you are looking to become one of these aviation alumni, you can speak to us to receive help on how you can apply for training courses at your choice of the universities on this list. We are also to offer scholarships for renowned aviation universities nationwide and worldwide. Take a look at the Aviation Scholarships and Student Grants page for more details.

In conclusion


If you are considering embarking on, or furthering, your career in aviation, you need to consider a number of key issues that will affect air travel and the aviation industry as a whole for the next 10 years or more. These factors are.

    1. Air travel demand is continuing to increase year on year, in a trend which is expected to see air travel double within the next two decades.
    2. US pilot numbers have fallen by just under a third in the past three decades.
    3. The majority of pilots flying in the 80s were once serving military personnel. However, that trend did not continue and the US Navy has been warning it will have 10 percent fewer pilots than it needs by the year 2020. Meanwhile, the US Air Force is making similar predictions as it expects to need an extra 1,000 pilots by the time 2022 comes.
    4. It is not just pilots that the aviation industry is short of. There is also a predicted shortage of mechanics set to hit the aviation by the year 2027, with a further 9 percent needed.
    5. Military forces in the US are increasing their fleet of 300 F-35 jets and will need trained personnel to fly and maintain them.
    6. Demand is also increasing for unmanned air vehicles and systems. Unmanned craft are already being used across a number of commercial sectors as well as by emergency services and unmanned aircraft production is set to almost hit levels of $90bn within the next ten years for non-military uses alone.
    7. Air industry stalwart Boeing has also revealed plans to create a hypersonic concept plane to meet demand from passengers who want to be able to travel further and faster.
    8. Meanwhile, a supersonic jet for business travel is also at the development stage through a partnership of Aerion Corporation and Lockheed Martin. Able to carry a dozen passengers, the plan is to certify the Aerion AS2 for air travel by the year 2021. This plane is set to surpass current private plane speed records by a long way by traveling at speeds of up to Mach 1.6. Currently, the fastest private jet is the Cessna Citation X+ which travels at 0.935.

These developments and the continuing growth in air travel means that there is a shortage of not just personnel, but also aircraft across the industry. Aircraft makers are continuing to ramp up production in order to meet the growing demand for air travel, which means there is also a demand for mechanics for the aviation industry.

As well as this shortage of pilots and other aviation industry staff, ongoing developments in technology, including the continuing trend for unmanned aircraft as well as the development of jets that can go supersonic or hypersonic, means that the future of avionics could look very different in just a few short years.

Already, the impact of demands for more air travel, for greater speeds and for more aircraft personnel is showing itself in the continuing development of partnerships being forged between academic establishments and aviation industry firms and agencies. This trend for working more closely together is set to continue, and increase further, to keep pace with greater advances in technology and demand.

This is great for aviation students looking to break into the industry. Because education establishments are already working hand in hand with industry professionals and well-known aviation companies as well as government bodies, it means there is a smoother flow from education and training into the industry. It is also hoped that these partnerships will also help to make training for aviation career more affordable.

Whatever the future holds for the aviation industry, it is obvious that this is the perfect time to embark on a career in aviation. Even the sky doesn’t have to be the limit when it comes to your career.

For the universities in this guide

If you are one of the universities featured here in this list, you can get in touch to give us details of any changes to courses or new developments in the future.