Best Online Aviation Degree Programs of 2022

Learn more about the top Aviation programs, what to expect, job prospects, and how to choose the program that’s right for you.

Aviation degrees are interdisciplinary programs that combine the study of aviation, business, and technology. Aviation degrees can prepare students for a variety of careers in the aviation industry, including pilot, air traffic controller, and aircraft mechanic.

Aviation degrees offer a broad overview of the aviation industry, covering topics such as aviation history, aircraft design, and aviation law. Students in aviation degree programs learn about the different aspects of the aviation industry, and how to apply those concepts to real-world situations.

How to Choose the Right Aviation Program

When it comes to choosing an aviation degree program, there are a few key factors that students need to consider. The first is the cost of the program. Aviation programs can be expensive, so students need to make sure they can afford the tuition and associated costs. The second is the location of the program. Many aviation programs are located in rural areas, so students need to make sure they are comfortable with the location. The third is the time to degree. Aviation programs can be very time-consuming, so students need to make sure they have the time to dedicate to the program. Finally, students need to make sure the program they choose is accredited.

Best Online Bachelor’s in Aviation Programs

The best online programs for Aviation ranking is based on key statistics and student reviews using data from the U.S. Department of Education. Some of the metrics influencing how the rankings are determined include graduation rate, average salary for graduates, accreditation, retention rate, and cost.

Rank 1
University of Nebraska
Lincoln, NE

The University of Nebraska offers an online Bachelor of Multidisciplinary Studies (BMS) degree with an area of concentration in Aviation Studies. The Aviation Studies program is nationally recognized and features full-time and adjunct faculty who are experts in the field.

The BMS degree is flexible and individualized, allowing students to design a degree that meets their specific career goals. The program also offers internship opportunities to gain hands-on experience in the field, as well as student organizations and scholarship opportunities.

Rank 2
Kansas State University
Manhattan, KS

The Bachelor of Science in Professional Aviation at Kansas State University is an online degree program designed for students with previous experience in the aviation industry. The program combines business and leadership courses with an aviation area of concentration, such as air traffic control, aviation maintenance, or professional piloting. Up to 60 credits can be transferred into the program, and students can complete the degree in as little as two years.

Rank 3
Lynn University
Boca Raton, FL

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management, Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management degree from Lynn University provides students with a foundation in both the business and piloting sides of the aviation industry. The program can be completed 100% online, or students can use their elective courses to obtain their license and ratings. Flight training takes place at the Burton D. Morgan College of Aeronautics facility in the Boca Raton Airport in Florida.

Rank 4
University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
Oshkosh, WI

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh is a 100% online and accelerated degree program that can be completed in as little as two years. The program is designed for students with previous aviation experience and focuses on developing advanced skills in leadership and administration. Coursework integrates aviation law, airline production management and analysis methods for aviation and aerospace systems.

Rank 5
Hampton University
Hampton, VA

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management (Airport Administration) from Hampton University is a 122-credit hour online program designed to prepare students for managerial positions at airports. The program emphasizes developing a sound philosophy, strong sense of ethics, and effective problem-solving and decision-making skills.

Rank 6
Central Washington University
Ellensburg, WA

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Management from Central Washington University is designed for students with a passion for the combined art and science of aviation. The program provides students with the skills and knowledge necessary for a variety of administrative and management positions in the aviation community, including maintenance management positions. The program is fully accredited and students have access to the most up-to-date flight simulation equipment on the West Coast.

Rank 7
University of North Dakota
Grand Forks, ND

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Studies at University of North Dakota is an online program that is perfect for students who need a flexible schedule. The asynchronous classes mean that students do not have to attend class at a set time, and they can learn anywhere at any time. The program is also very affordable, with in-state tuition rates regardless of your legal residency.

Rank 8
Purdue University Global
West Lafayette, IN

Purdue University Global’s Bachelor of Science in Aviation is a degree designed in collaboration with Purdue’s School of Aviation and Transportation Technology. The degree provides students with a broad perspective of the aviation industry, from understanding aircraft to managing aviation operations. All of the degree’s required courses in aviation and general education are 100% online, giving students the flexibility to balance their studies and flight training with their life.

Rank 9
Eastern New Mexico University
Portales, NM

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation Science from Eastern New Mexico University is an online program that provides a broad view of aviation and the academic foundation necessary for a wide range of employment opportunities in aviation management, military careers, and pilot or air traffic controller training. The program is affordable, with competitive tuition rates and the option of in-state tuition for out-of-state students taking 6 or fewer credit hours per semester.

Rank 10
Liberty University
Lynchburg, VA

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation degree from Liberty University is an online program that focuses on providing students with the practical aeronautical decision-making skills needed for a career as a commercial, military, or missionary pilot. The program is designed to give students the technical skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the field of aeronautics, as well as the soft skills desired by the aviation industry and mission aviation organizations. To be eligible for the program, students must either be licensed pilots or earn a pilot’s license through one of Liberty University’s approved Flight Training Affiliates.

What to Expect From an Online Bachelor’s in Aviation Program

An online bachelor’s in aviation program typically takes four years to complete and covers topics like aircraft systems, flight rules and regulations, and aviation safety. Students also learn about aircraft maintenance and management. Some programs allow students to choose a concentration, such as aviation management or aviation science.

Most aviation programs require students to complete an internship or practicum, which gives them the opportunity to gain real-world experience. Some programs also require a capstone project.

To succeed in an online aviation program, students need to be self-motivated and organized. They should also be comfortable using technology, as many programs require students to use online learning platforms and software.

Common Aviation Courses

The curriculum for an aviation degree program will vary depending on the type of institution you attend and the specific focus of your degree. However, there are some common courses that are typically included in aviation degree programs.

Principles of Flight

This course covers the basic principles of heavier-than-air flight including the forces of flight, the effects of the controls, and the principles of airplane stability and control. Emphasis is placed on developing an understanding of the physical laws governing flight and their application to the operation of aircraft. Upon completion, students should be able to explain the physical principles of heavier-than-air flight and apply them to the operation of aircraft.

Aviation Weather

This course covers the principles of meteorology as they relate to aviation. Topics include an introduction to the atmosphere, atmospheric pressure and wind, air masses and fronts, thunderstorms, turbulence, and aviation weather reports and forecasts. Upon completion, students should be able to apply their knowledge of meteorology to safely and effectively fly in a variety of weather conditions.

Aviation History

This course covers the history of aviation from the Wright brothers to the present day. Topics include the development of aviation technology, the impact of aviation on society, and the major figures and events in aviation history. Upon completion, students should be able to trace the development of aviation technology and its impact on society, and describe the major figures and events in aviation history.

Aviation Safety

This course covers the principles of aviation safety, their application to flight operations, and the human factors associated with aviation safety. Topics include an overview of aviation safety, the history of aviation accidents and incidents, the human factors associated with aviation safety, and the principles of risk management. Upon completion, students should be able to apply the principles of aviation safety to flight operations and understand the human factors associated with aviation safety.

Airline Management

This course covers the business aspects of operating an airline. Topics include the organization and operation of airlines, airport management, air traffic control, aircraft maintenance, federal regulations, safety, and security. Upon completion, students should be able to understand the business aspects of operating an airline and how to apply them in a real-world setting.

Career Options for Aviation Graduates

Graduates of aviation programs work in a variety of industries, including airlines, airports, and aviation schools. They may also work in fields such as air traffic control, aviation maintenance, and flight training.

Air Traffic Controller

Air traffic controllers coordinate the movement of aircraft to maintain safe distances between them. They work in air traffic control towers, approach control facilities, or route centers. Air traffic controllers use radar, radios, and other technology to track aircraft and give pilots information and instructions to help them maintain safe distances between planes.

Flight Instructor

Flight instructors provide training to pilots in order to help them earn their license or to keep their license current. Flight instructors typically work for flight schools, but they may also work for airlines or other organizations that operate aircraft. The job involves teaching both ground school courses and providing in-flight instruction. In-flight instruction typically includes a pre-flight briefing, during-flight coaching, and a post-flight debriefing. Flight instructors must be highly knowledgeable about aircraft, flight rules and regulations, and emergency procedures. They must also be able to effectively communicate with and motivate their students.


Pilots fly airplanes and helicopters. They transport people and cargo, conduct search-and-rescue missions, fight fires, and more. Pilots typically need a commercial pilot’s license from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). To get this license, pilots must have a certain number of flight hours, pass a written exam, and pass a physical exam.

Airline Manager

Airline managers are responsible for the day-to-day operations of an airline. This can include tasks such as scheduling flights, assigning pilots and crew, and ensuring that the airline adheres to safety regulations. Airline managers may also be responsible for developing marketing campaigns, negotiating contracts, and working with other airlines to coordinate flight schedules.

Airline Operations Manager

Airline operations managers are responsible for the safe and efficient operation of an airline. They oversee all aspects of an airline’s operation, including flight schedules, ground operations, and customer service. Airline operations managers typically work in an office environment, but they may also travel to airports to observe operations or to meet with airport personnel.

Insights From an Aviation Graduate

Helen Young is a Flight Instructor at Delta Air Lines. She has a bachelor’s degree in aviation from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University. Helen is a certified flight instructor with over 20 years of experience in the aviation industry.

ClimbtheLadder: What would you recommend that students do in addition to their degree program, in order to stand out to employers?

Helen Young: I recommend that students get involved in extracurricular activities related to aviation. For example, joining an aviation club or volunteering with an organization that provides free flights to children. These activities will not only help you stand out to potential employers, but they will also help you develop important skills and networks.

ClimbtheLadder: What are the most rewarding aspects of your career? What are the most challenging aspects of your career?

Helen Young: The most rewarding aspect of my career is being able to share my passion for aviation with others. I love being able to teach people how to fly and help them achieve their aviation goals. The most challenging aspect of my career is the constant change. The aviation industry is constantly changing, and it can be difficult to keep up with the latest changes.

ClimbtheLadder: Was there anything about your Aviation program that you didn’t expect or anticipate?

Helen Young: I didn’t expect the program to be as challenging as it was. I thought that since I had been flying for a while, I would breeze through the program. I was wrong! I had to study hard to keep up with the other students.


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