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Department of Aviation

Start Your Aviation Journey at UCM 

Your aviation journey can truly take flight at UCM. A university and aviation program steeped in history and tradition. In the UCM School of Aviation, dreams take flight. Whether your career goal is to be a Professional Pilot, a leader in Aviation Management, or you want to obtain a Master of Science degree in Aviation Safety, your journey starts here.

UCM aviation has grown over the past five decades from a program with only 25 students to a comprehensive aviation education program that serves nearly 500 students, and has a reputation for quality while seeking to provide qualified aviation professionals who can fill a global shortage of pilots. The program has grown from a fleet of only four Cessna 150s to more than 24 aircraft ranging from the Cessna 172 Skyhawk to the high-performance Beechcraft B58 Baron, and includes a state-of-the art flight simulation programs.

MBA in Airport Management 

UCM’s brand new MBA in Airport Management is the first degree of its kind in the nation, and the only AACSB-accredited program of its kind in the world.

Earning an MBA in Airport Management will allow you to advance your career in aviation and become a highly-qualified airport executive.

Skyhaven Airport - Home to UCM's Aviation Program

The University of Central Missouri's Max B. Swisher Skyhaven Airport is the only university-owned airport in Missouri. Located three miles northwest of Warrensburg, the airport serves as the training facility for UCM’s nationally recognized aviation program. It is also the community airport for Johnson County, MO. The airport was named in honor of the late Warrensburg entrepreneur and businessman Max Boothe Swisher, who donated the airport to UCM in 1968. The donation sparked the creation of UCM’s aviation and other related programs.

 Skyhaven Airport



An airplane in flight

Professional Pilot

The Professional Pilot degree program at UCM 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, and much more. 
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What you will learn

Graduates of the program will:

  • Obtain the skills needed to build and promote a culture of safety in the aviation industry.
  • Be able to solve complex and/or technical problems using emerging technologies relating to aviation.
  • Obtain Commercial, MEL/SEL Certificate with Instrument Rating and CFI.
  • Be eligible for the Restricted ATP Certificate.
  • Effectively communicate and network with industry professionals.

An airplane being pulled on to a runway

Aviation Management

Flight Operations Management

Flight Operations Management degree option at the UCM couples a solid business/management foundation with an in-depth analysis of the aviation industry and flight credentials. This unique degree option blends aviation business/management foundational coursework with the Private Pilot Certificate and the Instrument Rating. 
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Airport Management

Airports are integral parts of the Airspace System Plan where highly qualified managers and leaders are critical to safe, efficient, effective operations. Curriculum includes financial policy, personnel management, operational safety, federal and municipal regulatory compliance. 
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Aerial view of Skyhaven airport

Masters Degrees in Aviation Safety and Management

This unique advanced degree provides a broad-based exposure to all facets of aviation safety, as well as the development, implementation and management of aviation safety programs in the business, industry or governmental aviation environments.
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What you will learn

A graduate with a Master of Science in Aviation Safety will be able to:

  • Apply the knowledge and skills appropriate to aviation safety and aviation management.
  • Understand and use specialized knowledge in aviation safety, and aviation safety program management.
  • Have an understanding of aircraft accident causation theories and the science of aircraft accident investigation.
  • Understand the concept of airport planning and design.
  • Gain an understanding of research methods and their application to the aviation industry.

Airport Management MBA

UCM’s brand new MBA in Airport Management will be the first degree of its kind in the nation, and the only AACSB-accredited program of its kind in the world. For more information on this unique degree, contact Dr. Dan Jensen at

Why choose an MBA at UCM?

The University of Central Missouri’s award-winning Master of Business Administration program is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) and maintains a solid reputation in Missouri for preparing excellent business professionals. Our MBA is recognized as one of the Best Online MBA programs by U.S. News & World Report and College Consensus.


The Mission of UCM Aviation

The mission of the School of Aviation is to provide a competitive advantage to our partners in the aerospace industry, using highly experienced faculty and staff dedicated to educating, developing, motivating, and nurturing future professionals and industry leaders using exciting programs, state of the art facilities, and industry‐relevant research, while embracing best safety practices.





Scholarships for Aviation Students

Aviation students should be advised that flight costs are not included in tuition or fees. They are determined on an hourly basis for aircraft and flight instruction, and are in addition to tuition, fees and any other incidental expenses that are normally charged for enrollment. Flight costs can cost about $55,000 during a four-year undergraduate program.

At UCM, we recognize the importance of keeping your education affordable. There are a number of campus-wide scholarships, as well as awards and scholarships for students in the School of Aviation. Flight costs can be intimidating, but there are opportunities to help finance your education.

UCM Alumni Foundation Scholarships

UCM Alumni Foundation offers numerous scholarships for UCM students. Generally, these scholarship applications are due March 1 of every year unless otherwise specified. Incoming freshmen can also apply for these scholarships.

School of Aviation Scholarships

  • Future Freshmen Scholarships
  • Transfer Student Scholarships
  • Current Student Scholarships
  • Graduate Student Scholarships

Aviation Organizational Scholarships

Many aviation organizations offer great scholarships for students. There are flight scholarships, academic scholarships, tuition assistance and more.


Scholarship Name


Aviation Graduate

Air Traffic Controllers Association


Category C

Full-Time Employee Student Scholarship


Aviation Undergraduate

Air Traffic Controllers Association


Category B


Lawrence C. Fortier Memorial Scholarship


All Undergraduate

Air Traffic Controllers Association


Category D

Buckingham Memorial Scholarship


Professional Pilot

Captain Jason Dahl Scholarship


All Undergraduate

NERA/USAA Scholarship 


Aviation Management


Regional Airline Association Scholarship

Only two applications from each university. Applications must be submitted to the School of Aviation for review. The department determines the top two and then submits those two applications.

All Aviation

The Bob Stuart Memorial Scholarship Fund 


Professional Pilot & Flight Operations Management

AVTRIP Aviation Scholarship


All Aviation

NBAA-Schedulers & Dispatchers Monetary Scholarship




Airport Management

KAA Airport Scholarship


Professional Pilot & Flight Operations Management

Girls With Wings Scholarships


Professional Pilot

Whirly-Girl Scholarships


All Aviation

The Amelia Earhart Memorial Scholarships & Awards


Professional Pilot & Flight Operations Management

AOPA Flight Training Scholarship


All Aviation

EAA - Harrison Ford Flight Training Scholarship


All Aviation

EAA - Gathering of Eagles Flight Training Scholarships


All Aviation

EAA - Karen Johnson Solo Scholarship


All Aviation

Women in Aviation International Scholarships


All Aviation

UAA Administered or Affiliated Organizations Scholarships


All Aviation

UAA Scholarships


All Aviation

Wisconsin Aviation Hall of Fame Scholarships

Wisconsin residency of at least five years prior to enrolling in current program

All Aviation

Flying Tigers Association Scholarship in dedication of the American Volunteer Group

Successful students will be notified by the end of May





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