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Professional Pilot, BS

Professional Pilot Bachelor’s Degree

Take to the skies with a hands-on, highly respected Aviation degree from the University of Central Missouri. Our Professional Pilot degree program enables you to earn your Flight Instructor certificate and a quality college education at the same time.

Enjoy flight time at our own Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport just three miles from campus, the only university-owned airport in Missouri. Our variety of aircraft and state-of-the-art flight simulators will prepare you to work at professional airfields and begin earning the hours required to become a commercial pilot.

With low flight fees, affordable tuition and strong job prospects, a UCM Professional Pilot bachelor’s degree is the perfect launch pad for a successful career as a pilot or flight instructor.

A sterling reputation among pilot schools

UCM is one of the most established pilot schools in the region and has offered a Professional Pilot bachelor’s degree for more than 50 years. The respect we’ve earned — and our connections to successful alumni throughout the industry — will give you a hiring edge among graduates of professional pilot programs.


For information related to program goals, aircraft and simulators used in the professional pilot program, as well as flight fees, estimated cost and current fee listings, click on the link below.

Program, Aircraft, and Financial Information


Pilot wings

Outstanding value among pilot schools

An airplane

50+ years of professional pilot programs

An airport

University-owned airport

3 people with 1 behind a magnifying glass

100% job placement rate

A peron with a dollar sign

Affordable tuition and low flight fees

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Strong industry connections

What you will study

The University of Central Missouri’s undergraduate Professional Pilot degree program will train you on the safe operation of single- and multiengine aircraft and ensure you build the skills necessary to solve complex problems in flight using new aviation technology. You’ll be trained to bring competence and safety to any professional environment.

With our Professional Pilot bachelor’s degree program, you can obtain the required professional certificate to operate commercial single- and multiengine aircraft (CPL SEL/MEL Certificate) and a Certified Flight Instructor license. You'll also be eligible for a restricted airline transport pilot certificate (R-ATP), which reduces the number of hours required to be hired at an airline and other aviation operators.

As an undergraduate student in UCM’s Professional Pilot degree program, you’ll benefit from significant procedural and simulator training to prepare you for the real experience on board a transport-type aircraft. Enjoy substantial access to and training on:

  • Transport Aircraft Systems
  • Flight Management Systems
  • Advanced Flight Crew Management

Professional Pilot accelerated dual degree option

UCM also offers a new accelerated dual degree for students in our Professional Pilot program. In this accelerated program, you can earn more than a third of the hours required for a master’s degree in Aviation Safety. By jump-starting your master’s degree coursework, you can finish both your undergraduate and graduate degrees in five years and increase your job opportunities and earning potential after college.


Excellence in Aviation

  • Accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).
  • A Most Focused College for Air Transportation in the Plains States Region (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 10.5%: Most Popular Colleges for Aviation/Airway Management & Operations (College Factual, 2022)
  • Top 15%: Most Popular Colleges for Air Transportation (College Factual, 2022)


Unique learning opportunities in professional piloting

Get hands-on, real-world experience with modern aviation technology and equipment in the University of Central Missouri’s Professional Pilot program:

  • University-owned airport: Few pilot schools own their own airport. Take advantage of the University of Central Missouri’s Skyhaven Airport to spend invaluable time in the air learning how to operate aircraft and create a safe aviation environment.
  • Generous flight time: Earn your flight instructor certification while you work toward your Professional Pilot bachelor’s degree. With your CFI, you can work for our flight school and earn flight hours to become eligible for hire by commercial airlines.
  • Dynamic student life: Build lifelong friendships and industry connections through involvement in student-led clubs like Flight Team, Alpha Eta Rho Aviation fraternity, Women in Aviation International, National Business Aviation Association, American Association of Airport Executives and Missouri Airport Managers Association.


What can you do with a Professional Pilot bachelor’s degree from UCM?

Pilot schools prepare you for many well-paid, in-demand jobs within the aviation field and set you on the path to becoming a commercial airline pilot. Graduates of professional pilot programs typically begin their careers as flight instructors. When you’ve acquired a minimum number of flight hours through that work, you’ll be eligible to fly for commercial airlines.

Other jobs you can pursue with a Professional Pilot bachelor’s degree from UCM include flying corporate, agricultural or cargo planes. Since jobs for flight instructors are also in high demand and often present a more stable work schedule than those of commercial pilots, some graduates of pilot schools get advanced training to teach flying.

Learn more about jobs with your UCM Professional Pilot degree

Explore recent and projected trends for graduates of pilot schools using our interactive tool below. The job market for graduates of UCM’s Professional Pilot program is extremely strong: 100% of UCM Pilot degree students are employed within six months of graduation.




Financial assistance options for your Professional Pilot degree

Your Professional Pilot bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Missouri will launch you into a rewarding, well-paid job in aviation. Our already low tuition can be further reduced through our many options for financial aid

Flight fees are an essential additional expense for students of all professional pilot programs. We encourage you to have a financial plan in place before committing to a professional pilot degree. UCM’s affordable tuition and the high average salary for graduates make your UCM Professional Pilot degree a smart investment in your future.

Our pilot school’s financing options include a wide variety of scholarships, including: 

  • KCBAA Aviation Scholarship
  • Kenneth Wayne Thomason Aviation Opportunity Scholarship

You can learn more about program-specific scholarships with the UCM Scholarship Finder.


A pilot operating controls in a cockpit

Take your degree further.

With our pilot school’s master’s degree programs, you can extend your career opportunities to include options such as aviation consulting or airport design:

An airplane preparing to take off

Make yourself more marketable.

Add these other UCM programs to your Professional Pilot degree for more in-depth training and job opportunities:

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Explore programs related to a professional pilot degree.

A professional pilot is only one path to a career in aviation. Consider these additional UCM undergraduate programs:


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.



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