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Professional Pilot BS

Your Flightpath to Success Starts Here

The University of Central Missouri Professional Pilot degree program prepares you for an exciting career in professional flight operations. Career options include Airline Flight Crew, Business/Corporate Flight Operations, Military, Air Taxi/Air Charter, Aerial Application, Test Pilot Operations, etc.

This degree option couples academics, technical training and flight education to give you the background education, technical competency and FAA certifications and ratings to take your place within the aviation industry.

Program Educational Goals

UCM’s Professional Pilot program is designed to support your growth within the aviation industry. Throughout your studies, you will:

  1. Obtain Commercial, MEL/SEL Certificate with Instrument Rating and CFI.
  2. Become eligible for the Restricted ATP Certificate.
  3. Learn to effectively communicate and network with industry professionals.
  4. Obtain the skills needed to build and promote a culture of safety in the aviation industry.
  5. Learn to solve complex and/or technical problems using emerging technologies relating to aviation.

Unique Learning Opportunities

At UCM we strive to provide our students with hands-on learning and research opportunities that will prepare them to advance throughout their flying careers. Some opportunities you may be presented as a Professional Pilot major at the University of Central Missouri in Warrensburg include:

  • Participate in the School of Aviation’s Flight Team (Flying Mules).
  • After earning your Certified Flight Instructor credential you will have the opportunity to work for UCM while building the necessary flight hours to enter the industry.
  • Airline pipeline programs that are designed to help you get an interview and begin your career. These pipeline programs include Envoy Air, GoJet Airlines, and Republic Airways.
  • Train with state-of-the-art flight training devices including:
    • Redbird FTD
    • Frasca RTD
    • B-737 FTD

Students may also choose to expand their network and boost their resume by participating in organizations such as:

  • Alpha Eta Rho (AHP)
  • American Association of Airport Executives (AAAE)
  • UCM Flight Team
  • Missouri Airport Managers Association (MAMA)
  • Women in Aviation International (WAI)

Flight Training Equipment

Cessna 172 Skyhawk airplane

Cessna 172 Skyhawk

The University of Central Missouri’s School of Aviation is currently using 20 plus C-172 aircraft to complete training requirements in the Private Pilot, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot, and Flight Instructor training courses.

Beechcraft B58 Baron airplane

Beechcraft B58 Baron

The University of Central Missouri’s School of Aviation is currently using two B58 aircraft to complete the Multi-Engine Rating training course.

 Man stading in front of a flight simulator


The University of Central Missouri’s School of Aviation flight training program also includes several state-of-the-art Frasca and Redbird flight training devices to supplement the student’s flight training. When using the Frasca or Redbird simulators, students can train on various types of aircraft. UCM trains on the Skyhawk 172, both G1000/glass cockpit and steam gauge; and Beechcraft Baron.

The University of Central Missouri’s School of Aviation is one of the few in the country that offers students the opportunity to fly a Boeing 737-800 simulator. This device is an identical representation of the airplane made by Boeing and gives pilots hands-on experience running checklist flows, systems and the avionics package associated with an aircraft of this size. Students also are given various flying scenarios, including working as a crew



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Career Choices

With a 100% job placement rate, our graduates enjoy successful careers such as:

  • Commercial airline pilot
  • Cargo pilot
  • Corporate jet pilot
  • Charter pilot
  • Flight instructor
  • Military pilot
  • Agriculture pilot

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Salary Expectation

The median salary expectation for careers with this degree is
$121,430 per year

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Job Market Growth

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment of commercial pilots is projected to grow five percent from 2019 to 2029.


UCM has many financial assistance programs that can help you bring your total educational, living expenses, and flight expenses well within reach. Each year, nearly $7 million in merit-based scholarships are awarded to students who demonstrate academic excellence, leadership, special talents or potential in a specific field of study. The School of Aviation alone awards over $35,000 in scholarships each year. Some scholarships of particular interest to UCM School of Aviation students include:

  • Bart Brown Memorial Aviation Scholarship
  • Ovid C. Bonham Aviation Scholarship
  • Michael E. Bush Memorial Aviation Scholarship
  • Walter Gunn Aviation Scholarship
  • Shannon L. Jipsen Aviation Scholarship
  • KCBAA Aviation Scholarship
  • Craig R. Korvas Memorial Scholarship
  • Ollie Krick Memorial Aviation Scholarship
  • Mike Floyd Aviation Scholarship
  • Paul E. Richter TWA Scholarship
  • Ercel and Mary Powell Stockstill Memorial Scholarship
  • Kenneth Wayne Thomason Aviation Opportunity Scholarship
  • Frank E. and Harriet E. Hedrick Scholarship
  • Steckel Family Aviation Scholarship

FAA Medical Certification Requirements

All FAA certificated pilots, with limited exceptions, are required to undergo periodic medical examinations and hold an FAA issued Medical Certificate of the appropriate class. The UCM Department of Aviation requires all students in the Professional Pilot degree program to hold the Second Class Medical Certificate. For questions related to FAA medical certification contact the Chair of the School of Aviation and/or refer to the FAA website at

Financial Considerations

Although UCM Aviation works diligently to keep costs as low as possible while delivering the highest levels of quality and safety, flight training is still an expensive undertaking. It is important that students planning to major in Professional Pilot understand that financial planning is vital to successfully completing this degree. A delay in flight training progress due to a lack of funds is frustrating and, in the end, even more expensive due to the need for refresher training.

The cost of the flight training associated with the Professional Pilot degree is approximately $70,000.00-$75,000.00. The actual amount will vary due to individual circumstances and rates of learning, but this is a good range for planning purposes. This amount is in addition to room, board, tuition, and other costs associated with the educational process.

  • Students should have a set plan for funding and/or financing the cost of the aviation program prior to enrolling.

Current Fee Listing and Estimated Costs

Flight Fees by Lesson/Course

Flight Operations Manual

This standardization manual is designed as a reference source for all flight training courses. Flight course information, UCM policies and procedures, and flight maneuvers are explained.

It is understood that there are acceptable variations to different maneuvers, some more so than others. UCM has developed the most effective and efficient training methods for our program. Remember this text was created for the students’ benefit and should be the primary reference for all maneuvers done at UCM.

Each maneuver will include a list of references indicating where further information about the maneuver may be obtained. UCM strongly suggests the references be used to help develop a complete understanding of each maneuver prior to attempting them in flight.

Flight Operations Manual

Flight Scheduling

The length of time required to earn all the pilot certificates and ratings associated with the Professional pilot degree is affected by several factors, a significant one being the number of lessons flown each week. In order to complete the flight portion of the Professional Pilot degree, a student must plan to fly three times per week and, ideally, plan to commit at least a part of the summer to flight operations.

During the semester, flight training schedules consist of weekly flight training periods.

  1. Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
  2. Tuesday & Thursday (ideally one more flight slot per week needs to be identified).

The exact times will be determined based upon student and flight instructor availability.   

The scheduling of students to their flight slot will take place during the fall and spring semester finals weeks.  

The scheduling process is:

  1. The student completes their availability time sheet.
    1. The student must have their class schedule and work schedule (if applicable).
    2. The student must be enrolled in the flight class they wish to complete during the semester in which they are enrolling.
  2.  The student submits the availability sheet, class schedule and work schedule to the Scheduler.
  3. Based on the availability sheet, instructor request, flight course the student is enrolled in, and resource availability, the Scheduler will determine which flight slot the student will be assigned and what instructor they will be paired with.
  4. The scheduler will then assign the student a flight block.

NOTE: If a student is unable to be available in person during the scheduling time, the student must make arrangements by phone or email to ensure that they will be assigned a scheduled flight block. The Scheduler will fill out the students’ availability sheet for them during the scheduling session based on the verbal information provided.  If no prior arrangements are made, the student will not be able to sign up for a flight slot until after the scheduling period provided to primary students.

Talon Flight Scheduling system

Aviation Safety Reporting System


Safety is one of our core values at UCM. UCM Aviation is committed to developing, implementing, maintaining, and constantly improving strategies and processes to ensure that all aviation activities are aimed at achieving the highest level of operational safety, while meeting academic, industry and federal standards.


UCM embraces a proactive and strong safety culture. Part of that culture involves voluntary reporting of hazards and events. UCM's voluntary reporting culture is based on the principles of 'good faith' and 'reasonable care'. Talon’s Safety Management and Reporting Tracker (TalonSMART) software is utilized by UCM Aviation to report safety hazards and events. Students/Employees may choose to remain anonymous when submitting a safety report.

Submit Safety Report


As part of our safety culture, UCM takes a few hours each semester to shut down all flight operations to focus all students’ and employees’ attention on pertinent safety topics. At these events, industry leaders, guest speakers, and UCM representatives present relative safety material.  We call these events “Safety Stand-Downs”. UCM requires all active flight students to attend the stand down. Any students who do not attend, without prior approval, may surrender their flight privileges indefinitely at the discretion of the chief flight instructor.

Talon Aviation Safety Reporting System


The University of Central Missouri aviation program partnered with multiple airlines to ensure the continued success of aviation students. Students enjoy opportunities such as:

  • Hiring Bonuses
  • Internships
  • Scholarships
  • Secured Employment

Click any link below to view partnership information.

Admission Requirements

Admission into the Professional Pilot degree program has the same GPA/ACT requirements as admission into the university.

Due to the critical nature of flight operations, a certain level of academic performance is expected of all UCM Aviation students. A minimum final grade of “C” or better is required for all coursework that is to be applied to meet degree requirements. Further, a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required to remain on the flight schedule.

At mid-term of each semester, any student with a “D” or “F” grade in an aviation course will be notified that they will have four weeks to show improvement in the associated course and they will be advised that free tutoring sessions are available to them. If, at the end of four weeks, no progress has been made to improve the grade, they will be removed from flight status so that they may focus on improving the course grade.

Pre-Aviation Status

Incoming Professional Pilot students will be considered as “Pre-Aviation” students for the first semester and certain academic performance benchmarks must be met to be eligible to begin flight training.

During the first semester, two courses will be required; AVIA 1310-FAA Private Pilot Requirements and AVIA 1903-Aviation History. These two courses will need to be completed with a final grade of “B” or better and the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test will need to be passed at the end of that semester. Students meeting this benchmark will be placed on the flight schedule and begin flight training the following semester.

There is the possibility of beginning flight training during the first semester based on exemplary academic performance in AVIA 1310-FAA Private Pilot Requirements and AVIA 1903-Aviation History. At mid-term, the top academic performing students in these classes will be identified and the opportunity to begin flight training at that time may be offered to them, based upon resource availability.

NOTE: For incoming Professional Pilot students who come to UCM holding an FAA Private Pilot Certificate, an evaluation test, comprised of an oral and flight examination will be scheduled with the Chief Flight Instructor. The result of this evaluation will determine what flight lab and courses the student will be enrolled in for the first semester. The results of the evaluation flight may require remedial flight training or recommended courses that will need to be completed before progressing in the Professional Pilot plan of study.

Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP)

What is the R-ATP?

FAA rules stipulate that pilots can serve as second-in-command crew members for Part 121 carriers with “restricted privileges” if they meet specific criteria outlined in the new regulations. To qualify for the exemption, a First Officer must meet the following qualifications: be an ex-military pilot with at least 750 hours total time; be a college graduate holding an aviation bachelor’s degree and a minimum of 1,000 hours total time; or hold an aviation associate’s degree and have at least 1,250 hours.

How do I qualify for R-ATP designation from the University of Central Missouri?

You must earn a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Pilot from the University of Central Missouri and successfully complete 60 or 30 credit hours from the following list of courses approved by the FAA. (60 credit hours from the list below are required to qualify for the 1,000 flying hour eligibility; 30 credit hours from the list below to qualify for the 1,250 flying hour eligibility).

Classroom Courses Flight Courses
AVIA 1310 – FAA Private Requirements AVIA 1320 – Private Flight A
AVIA 2310 – Propulsion Systems AVIA 1321 – Private Flight B
AVIA 2325 – Instrument Rating Ground School AVIA 3310 – Commercial Flight A
AVIA 2340 – Aircraft Systems and Components AVIA 3311 – Commercial Flight B
AVIA 2345 – Glass Cockpit – G-1000 AVIA 3312 – Commercial Flight C
AVIA 2350 – Aviation Weather AVIA 3313 – Instrument Flight A
AVIA 3010 – Aerodynamics AVIA 3314 – Instrument Flight B
AVIA 3080 – Air Traffic Control AVIA 3315 – Commercial Flight D
AVIA 3305 – FAA Commercial Requirements AVIA 3316 – Commercial Flight E
AVIA 3340 – Aircraft Systems & Components AVIA 3317 – Commercial Flight F
AVIA 3360 – Flight Instructor Airplane AVIA 3330 – Multiengine Certification
AVIA 3362 – Flight Instructor Instrument AVIA 3390 – Turboprop Transition
AVIA 3364 – Flight Instructor Multi-Engine FLYA 1320 – Private Flight A
AVIA 3370 – Transport Aircraft Systems FLYA 1321 – Private Flight B
AVIA 3372 – Advanced Transport Aircraft Systems FLYA 2313 – Instrument Flight A
AVIA 3610 – Human Factors FLYA 2314 – Instrument Flight B
AVIA 3620 – Principles of Aviation Accident Causation FLYA 3310 – Commercial Flight A
AVIA 4010 – Aerodynamics FLYA 3311 – Commercial Flight B
AVIA 4090 – Aviation Law FLYA 3312 – Commercial Flight C
AVIA 4095 – International Aviation FLYA 3315 – Commercial Flight D
AVIA 4250 – Flight Management Systems FLYA 3316 – Commercial Flight E
AVIA 4310 – Air Traffic Control FLYA 3317 – Commercial Flight F
AVIA 4320 – Physiological & Flying FLYA 3330 – Multiengine Certification
AVIA 4350 – Aviation Weather FLYA 3360 – Flight Instructor Lab-Airplane
AVIA 4370 – Advanced Flight Crew Management FLYA 3362 – Flight Instructor-Instrument
AVIA 4390 – Part 135 Flight Operations FLYA 3364 – Flight Instructor-Multi-Engine
AVIA 4420 – Air Transportation FLYA 3415 – Commercial Flight D-Multi-Engine
AVIA 4500 – Aviation Safety FLYA 3416 – Commercial Flight E-Multi-Engine
AVIA 4610 – Physiological Human Factors FLYA 3417 – Commercial Flight F-Multi-Engine
  FLYA 3430 – Single-engine Add-On

Student Achievement Data

 Click here to view the report of annual student performance data as required by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).

Professional Pilot Program Mission Statement

To prepare students for ready placement and advancement in the aviation industry as airline pilots, by providing a solid foundational skill-set to include critical thinking and teamwork, aviation related technical knowledge and the appropriate FAA pilot certification and ratings, an awareness of the current trends and issues within the context of modern flight operations, all infused with an emphasis on safety and risk management with practical applications in the real world environment.

AAB International logo

The UCM Professional Pilot degree program is accredited by by the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

FAA logo

The UCM Professional Pilot degree program is certificated under 14 CFR Part 141 of the Code of Federal Regulations.


School of Aviation
T.R. Gaines 210
Tel: (660) 543-4969


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