Department of Aviation
What aviation programs and degrees are offered at the University of Central Missouri?
The aviation department offers a four-year Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Pilot, Flight Operations Management or Airport Operations Management.
The Professional Pilot program focuses on courses that prepare you to be a commercial pilot for airlines, corporate, military or the government.
Flight Operations Management concentrates on preparing a student for a career in the wider aviation community not involved in piloting an aircraft such as airline management, airport management, air traffic control and manufacturing.
Airport Operations Management prepares the student for airport management positions at airports, state departments of transportation or the Federal Aviation Administration.
Read more about UCM's aviation programs.
Do I start flying immediately when I enroll in an aviation program?
Yes, we prefer you begin flight training as soon as possible. The sooner you begin flight training, the sooner you will complete the required flight ratings and be qualified to teach as a flight instructor. This allows you to earn money while you complete your degree.
What flight certificates and ratings will I have when I graduate?
To complete the Professional Pilot program, you will have your private pilot, instrument, multi-engine, commercial flight ratings and all three flight instructor ratings. These ratings allow you to serve as a flight instructor for newer students in the program, gaining experience and earning money. This is an important first step in every pilot's career.
Who provides the flight training for the aviation program?
UCM provides all flight and ground instruction. The majority of our flight instructors are UCM students and graduates. The FAA conducts flight evaluations with the proper pilot certificate issued at the successful completion of the check ride.
What does flight training cost and is financial aid available for this?
Completion of all flight ratings will cost around $50,000 to $55,000. For a better understanding of costs, review our complete schedule of the fees. Financial aid is available for all pilot ratings. If you are a veteran, UCM can help you obtain funding for your training.
What does the job market look like for commercial airline pilots?
The job market looks extremely bright with more than 200,000 airline pilot vacancies projected through 2025. Major airlines have a significant number of mandatory requirements, which will create a shortage of U.S. airline pilots. These pilots are required to have a bachelor's degree and the proper certifications, which you can obtain at UCM.
What can I expect from a career as a professional pilot?
As a professional pilot, you will most likely fly corporate or airline jets. These jobs are exciting and rewarding. A good pilot is always learning, so throughout your career you'll undergo training to maintain and improve your flying skill.
Can I go into the military and fly?
Yes, one of the options available to you after you complete the professional pilot program is to be a military pilot. UCM has had graduates in all branches of the armed services including Air National Guard and Air Force Reserves.
Are there any university-sponsored organizations I can be a part of?
Yes, UCM offers the UCM Aviation Student Government, Women in Aviation, Accident Investigation Research Club, Alpha Eta Rho and a National Intercollegiate Flying Association flight team. These clubs are open to all aviation students.
UCM also helps you get a head start on your career by offering you a free AOPA membership.
Students who are engaged and active in student organizations tend to make higher grades, adjust better to the rigors of college life, and have more fun during their degree program. The networking opportunities within student organizations stay with you for a lifetime. Our flight team competes in national and regional competitions with other college flight programs.