Best Aviation Colleges in 2023

Best Aviation Colleges in 2023

Last Updated on July 22, 2023 by Akwaowo Akpan

These article is on Best Aviation Colleges in 2023. If you have ever wanted to travel the world as a pilot, going to aviation college could be a good choice for you. At the top aviation schools, you will gain knowledge about flying planes and aeronautics.

This will give you opportunities for fulfilling jobs as private, commercial, and cargo pilots. Don’t like working in a small office. Aviation offers great benefits like amazing views, flexible hours, and the joy of safely taking people to their destination. It’s definitely a special career choice.

Best Aviation Colleges – Education and Training

To become a pilot for commercial or airline flights, the first thing you need to do is get a bachelor’s degree in aviation. Pilots have to learn a lot about how flying works. They have to take difficult classes in things like how planes work, weather, safety, and rules for flying. They also have to spend a certain amount of time practicing flying.

Best Aviation Colleges – Career Opportunities

After you finish your studies, you can look forward to getting a good paying job in a field that is growing steadily. The United States The Bureau of Labor Statistics found that airline and commercial pilots typically earned a yearly salary of $134,630. The number of pilot jobs is predicted to increase by 6% from 2021 to 2031.

Because every flight is different, working in aviation can be difficult but also exciting.
It gives you the chance to constantly learn by doing things yourself and solve problems in the moment. According to the United States, The latest news shows that pilots are ranked number four in the top social services jobs and number ten in the highest-paying jobs.

The 15 Best Aviation Colleges

Ready to find the best aviation colleges for you? The good news is there are as many types of colleges with aviation programs as there are airplanes in the sky. Read on to see which of these high-quality programs will be the best fit for your own needs and goals.

Note: The criteria considered in compiling this list included peer reputation, unique programs/opportunities, and career connections/outcomes data. As with all rankings, we advise not to place too much emphasis on whether a school was listed at #4, #6, or #12. The better way to use this list would be as a launching off point to further explore each of the 15 schools that all have phenomenal aviation programs to see which best suit your unique needs. 

1) Purdue University

Purdue University is a public college in Indiana that is known for being one of the top aviation colleges. It is located in West Lafayette, Indiana. Purdue University has 7 different aviation programs for people who love aviation. You can become a pilot by studying their professional flight major. Alternatively, if you are not interested in flying, you can pursue a career in aeronautical engineering or airport and airline management. As a student at Purdue University, you have the opportunity to make valuable connections with various industries and get internships with airline partners like Envoy, Frontier, and Atlas Air.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $9,992
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $28,794
  • Location: West Lafayette, Indiana

2) Auburn University

Auburn University has been teaching pilots for over 80 years and is one of the oldest colleges in the country that offers aviation programs. Undergraduate students have the option to pick either a major in professional flight or aviation management. People who are interested in more than one academic subject can choose to study a minor in one of those subjects while
focusing on a major in a different area of study. Auburn is considered one of the best aviation colleges because it has important connections with major airlines like Delta, Jet Blue, Southwest, and United. These partnerships are a major factor in Auburn’s success in the field of aviation.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $11,826
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $31,986
  • Location: Auburn, Alabama

3) Baylor University

Baylor is a Christian college in Waco, Texas. They offer programs in aviation sciences and aviation administration at their university. People who want to become pilots in the future may be interested in the aviation sciences major, which gives them the option to specialize in either airplane or helicopter flight.
The classes are taught by teachers who have worked in real-life commercial, corporate, and military aviation. Baylor wants their students to become successful pilots, so they offer a course called Aviation Internship in Industry where students can earn major credit.

  • Annual Tuition: $50,232
  • Location: Waco, Texa

4) Western Michigan University

Western Michigan University has the biggest flight school in the Midwest and they have 28 Cirrus SR20s for pilots who are learning how to fly. At this college, students can study aviation flight science, aviation technical operation, or aviation management. WMU also helps students who want to find jobs after they finish their degrees. The ROTC program helps undergraduates become leaders in the Air Force or Space Force after they graduate.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $13,434
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $16,768
  • Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan

5) Kansas State University

Kansas State University has an aviation program at their Salina campus. This program offers different majors and certificates to help students get ready for different careers. Students who have already become pilots can get a bachelor’s degree in professional aviation online. Alternatively, if you want to learn how to be a pilot while in school, you can choose to pursue a professional pilot degree. KSU accepts 98% of applicants and wants to help students afford tuition and flying costs by offering financial aid and scholarships for aviation.

  • Annual In State Tuition (per credit hour): $292
  • Annual Out of State Tuition (per credit hour): $788
  • Location: Salina, Kansas

Best Aviation Colleges – Continued

6) Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is special because it has different options for students who want to fly either regular airplanes or helicopters. Embry-Riddle is a great aviation college that has been named one of the best. They have a super impressive flight team called the Golden Eagles. These guys have won 36 regional championships in a row and 15 national championships at SAFECON. Students at this school have important connections with well-known airlines like United, JetBlue, and Delta.

  • Annual Tuition: $42,204
  • Location: Prescott, Arizona

7) Florida Institute of Technology

Florida Tech has one of the best aviation colleges in the country. This university offers 7 associate’s degree programs and 9 bachelor’s degree programs. Some of the majors available at this university include aeronautical science, aviation meteorology, and aviation management. Students who want to be pilots can study aeronautical science and learn about flying. While students are learning, they have the option to join either the ROTC pathway or the career pathway program.
These programs can lead to jobs with ExpressJet or Delta airlines. Students at Florida Tech have the option to apply for a master’s degree in aviation or an accelerated MBA program.

  • Annual Tuition: $43,246
  • Location: Melbourne, Florida

8) University of Oklahoma

The University of Oklahoma is recognized as one of the top aviation colleges in the country by Flying Magazine. At UO, you can decide to apply for their aviation management or professional pilot program. You can get paid or volunteer positions at Southwest Airlines, American Airlines, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, and UPS. These opportunities can help you make important connections that will help kickstart your career. This university is affordable because it has cheaper tuition fees than other colleges with aviation programs.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $4,655
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $12,939
  • Location: Norman, Oklahoma

9) Ohio University

With both two-year and four-year pathways to becoming a pilot, Ohio University lets you choose whether to pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in aviation. In the associate’s program, you will earn a private pilot certificate, instrument rating, and a commercial pilot certificate. Students pursuing the bachelor’s degree will take additional coursework in business management, meteorology, plus advanced flight training courses in flight crew operations and corporate flight operations.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $12,840
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $22,810
  • Location: Athens, Ohio

10) University of North Dakota

The University of North Dakota has a great aviation program. They offer different majors in aviation, such as commercial aviation, aviation studies, aviation safety and operations, and aviation management. Not all colleges that teach flying also teach how to operate drones. However, UND was the first college in the country to offer training in operating drones. UND has a good program for unmanned aerial systems (UAS). This program allows students to connect with companies like Northrop Grumman, General Atomics, and SkySkopes.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $12,897
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $30,752
  • Location: Grand Forks, North Dakota

Best Aviation Colleges – Continued

11) Bowling Green State University

Bowling Green State University is unique because it has a regional airport on its campus. Other top colleges with aviation programs have access to airports, but Bowling Green has one right next to the residence halls. BGSU offers degree options in flight technology and operations as well as aviation management and operations. They also have a class that students can take if they want to join the Army. In 2021, BGSU spent $5 million to improve and update their airplanes, increase their flight activities, and add advanced virtual training equipment.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $13,061
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $21,049
  • Location: Bowling Green, Ohio

12) Utah State University

At Utah State University, students can pick to specialize in airplanes, helicopters, or drones. Students at USU learn how to fly near the pretty Wellsville Mountains as part of their aviation program. USU helps students get an advantage in their careers by offering internships and cadet programs with SkyWest, Envoy, and American Airlines.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $8,960
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $24,080
  • Location: Logan, Utah

13) South Dakota State University

South Dakota State University has a program where you can study aviation. You can choose to specialize in either teaching aviation or managing aviation maintenance. In the field of education, smart students are usually employed as flight instructors for the last two years of their studies. Students studying maintenance management will have the opportunity
to gain practical experience by working directly on airplanes inside the hangar. This program is smaller and cheaper for out-of-state students compared to other aviation colleges.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $9,299
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $12,809
  • Location: Brookings, South Dakota

14) Saint Louis University

Saint Louis University has a program where students can study aeronautics. They can choose to specialize in aviation management or flight science. This program helps students become professional pilots. Students from SLU have worked as interns at airlines like Delta, Southwest, JetBlue, and United. SLU is a small Catholic university that values the teachings of Jesuit traditions. It provides smaller classes and personalized flight training for its students.
This university is considered one of the best aviation colleges in the country because it focuses on the needs and interests of its students.

  • Annual Tuition: $49,800
  • Location: St. Louis, Missouri

15) San José State University

San José State University offers four options for people who love aviation: aviation management, flight operations, professional flight, and maintenance management. If students want to become pilots, they can learn the basic principles and advanced topics in flight and navigation through the professional flight major. SJSU also has a class where students can do real work to gain job experience and earn credit.

  • Annual In State Tuition: $7,852
  • Annual Out of State Tuition: $19,732
  • Location: San Jose, California

How to Choose the Best Aviation College for You

Aviation degrees are different from degrees in bigger subjects like communications or sociology. They focus more on specific skills needed for a career in aviation and involve a lot of practical training. When you are choosing which colleges with aviation programs to apply to, think about what type of aviation you want to focus on. Do you dream of becoming a pilot for a famous airline. Are you thinking about joining the military. Are you curious about operating unmanned aircrafts. Some of the colleges mentioned above offer the opportunity to choose a specific area of study immediately, while others allow you to explore different career paths as you learn.

Also, think about things like where the college is, how much it costs to go there, the feeling of the school, and the chances for internships and jobs. Remember to keep these things in mind when choosing a college so that you have a great experience.


Best Aviation Colleges – Related Majors

If you really like airplanes but you’re not sure if becoming a pilot is the best choice for you, think about applying to colleges to study how to build and design airplanes or other mechanical things. You can also look at College Transition’s Dataverse to find out about other good colleges and career choices.


  • Akwaowo Akpan

    Hi there, welcome to Online Studying Services. As a fan of authentic information and a student, I devise this means to offer reliable information to international students wishing to either study abroad or online. Thanks for stopping by!

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