Working in aviation, a fast-growing field, is rewarding and marked with opportunity. Whether you want to specialize in operations or management, the programs we've included below cover all aspects of aeronautic study at the most affordable rates. Each program can be taken online, though some require some on-campus course work. Though some schools offer a Bachelors of Science in Aeronautics, preparing students for a variety of careers in aviation, others incorporate actual flight experience into their curriculum. We've been sure to specify below. One thing to note is that the tuition rates listed below reflect only one year (or two terms) of education. Our data comes from the university and colleges' websites as well as nationally recognized publications like U.S. News and World Report and The National Center for Education Statistics.
See our rankings methodology page.
LeTourneau University is a private, Christian university located in Longview, Texas that specializes in programs for engineering, education, business, and aeronautics. For the past five years, the National Intercollegiate Flying Association (NIFA) has awarded Letourneau the Loening Trophy for its outstanding aviation program as well as the American Airlines Safety Award. Their Bachelor of Science in Aviation Studies degree is for students who are looking to work in management, safety, operations, or maintenance. Courses cover everything from business ethics to aviation management, financial analysis to aviation safety factors. LeTourneau also offers a BS in Aviation Management.
Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology
A private, specialized aviation and engineering college, Vaughn College of Aeronautics and Technology is located near LaGuardia Airport in Queens, New York. They offer numerous degrees in aeronautics, but their BS in Aviation Maintenance and BS in Aviation Maintenance Management degrees are the only that can be achieved online. Whichever program you choose, students are required to hold the Federal Aviation Administration’s Airframe and Powerplant certificate before enrolling. Vaughn was ranked among the best undergraduate colleges by U.S. News and World Report in 2009.
Florida Institute of Technology
Located in Melbourne, Florida, located near Melbourne International Airport and only fifty miles from the Kennedy Space Center, the Florida Institute of Technology specializes in the STEM divisions as well as aviation. They offer a Bachelor of Arts in Aviation Management that prepares students for an array of careers in aeronautics, including planning, safety, service, business, law, operations, and more. Florida Tech has numerous accolades. The U.S. News and World Report ranks them as a Tier 1 Best National University and cites them as among the top colleges for online bachelor’s degrees. Forbes ranks them as among the top colleges in the United States.
Located in Boca Raton, Florida, Everglades University is a small, private college that is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS) to award bachelor’s and master’s degrees. They have a Bachelor of Science in Aviation/Aerospace degree that combines aviation studies with a general education foundation. There are also numerous concentrations for students to explore: airport operations management, aviation safety, flight operations, aviation maintenance management, and aviation security.
Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology
Unlike many of the other schools on our list, Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology specifically trains its students for careers in aviation, aviation electronics, flight, safety, operations, and aircraft maintenance. Spartan has trained nearly 100,000 aircraft technicians and pilots. They offer a Bachelor’s of Science in Aviation Management degree that can be completed online, though some on-campus coursework is required. Students will be prepared for careers in aviation electronics technology, maintenance, quality control, or flight specialties, and they will earn professional technical certification. Spartan is accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges.
If you’re looking specifically to fly, Liberty offers a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree that gives students the opportunity to enroll in a Flight Training Affiliate program, which has numerous locations around the country. Graduates of Liberty’s program go on to become flight instructors or pilots, whether commercial, corporate, military, or missionary. Liberty also offers the opportunity to specialize in aviation maintenance. One thing to note is that Liberty is a private, conservative, Christian university.
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is the world’s largest, fully accredited university specializing in aviation and aerospace. They are a major research institution with a slew of academic opportunities. Their Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree includes a curriculum that covers security, safety, air traffic control, maintenance, and aeronautical science. Graduates go on to work in the aerospace industry, at flight schools, for insurance companies, at airports and federal research labs, and more. Unique to Embry-Riddle is that students can enroll in the 4+1 program and earn both a bachelors and masters degree in just five years.
Tuition: $10,650 / active military $7,500
The Bachelor of Science in Professional Aeronautics degree at Wilmington University is accredited by IACBE, the International Assembly for Collegiate Business Education. Wilmington stands apart from the other programs on our list in that they give students the opportunity to receive college credit for any previous experience in professional or military aviation. While some of the courses are online, the rest of the program requirements have to be completed at the New Castle and Dover Air Force Base sites of Wilmington University in New Castle, Delaware.
Tuition: $10,380 / active military $7,500
Utah Valley University
Utah Valley University is a public university located in Orem, Utah. They provide two aeronautical degrees at the undergraduate level: a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Administration and a Bachelor of Science with a Professional Pilot Emphasis. For those students who are looking to find work as a private or commercial pilot, they should consider the professional pilot emphasis. Graduates go on to find work with international airlines, cargo carriers, and corporate flight departments. For those students seeking careers in aviation management or who want to train in helicopter or non-fixed-wing flight, they should pursue the aviation admin degree.
University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh
The University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh offers a Bachelor of Applied Studies in Aviation Management that covers the technical, managerial, and leadership aspects of aviation. The curriculum at Wisconsin covers core education courses in addition to aeronautic studies. Unlike some of the other hybrid programs that require on-campus coursework, the program at the UW Oshkosh is fully online, making it one of the most affordable and convenient programs on our list. University of Wisconsin–Oshkosh is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.
Tuition: $7,437 for residents / $15,010 for non-residents