America’s Top 10 Aviation Schools

by PBJ Staff / May 15, 2015

America's Top 10 Aviation Schools

10: Aerosim Flight Academy

Aerosim Flight Academy

A relative newcomer to the aviation education scene, Aerosim Flight Academy, formerly Delta Connection Academy, was introduced to the world in 1989 but has quickly established itself as a successful institution with graduates being deployed to over thirty different airlines.

The program runs for a minimum of two years and the academy employs a fleet of 74 aircraft for students. Its bachelor degree program is the result of a joint venture with neighboring Jacksonville University, but the real emphasis here is placed on their pilot training scheme which has enjoyed plenty of success since its inception.

9: Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology

Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology, formerly known as Crimson Technical College, is one of the foremost technical aviation schools in the US. Established in the 1930s, CTC was created to help the country meet its increasing demand for aircraft technicians. Such was the quality of the institution that its reputation grew and grew, placing it in good stead in the modern market.

Students participate in studies over a 17-month course which sees a focus on three key areas: powerplant, airframe, and inspection and review. The gifted students enjoy a thorough exploration of the in-depth fibers that compose an aircraft and walk away with high employability following the resume and interview training.

8: Hallmark University

Hallmark University

Dating back to 1969, Hallmark University has acquired quite the reputation among aviation intellectuals. This is no doubt due, in part, to their dedication to experimental education. Naturally, Hallmark College follows the guidelines of the Federal Aviation Administration, but their hands-on approach to learning has attracted many eager aviation enthusiasts through its doors.

Hallmark College employs a 15-month course and there is a focus on their partial credit program which allows students to acquire vouchers which result in reduced test fees. The programs on offer are for those looking to become aviation technicians, power plant technicians and airframe technicians.

7: Arizona State University Polytechnic

Arizona State Univeristy Polytechnic

Specializing in undergraduate programs for those looking to learn about air traffic management and aeronautical management technology, Arizona State University Polytechnic is a respected school that has witnessed continual success for its aviation students.

Sometimes external factors help define the worth of an institution. Being located in Arizona, ASU enjoys an ideal climate and favorable weather that make it hugely appealing for flying. The research facilities are extremely advanced, on a par with some of the finest universities in the US.

6: United States Air Force Academy

US Air Force Academy

As a military academy you can be sure of an in-depth and demanding education at the United States Air Force Academy. Coursework is tackled over a broad spectrum of subjects but what the USAFA really specializes in is the ensuing close study subjects including aircraft performance, aerothermodynamics and fluid dynamics.

From the Modeling and Simulation Research Center to unique research projects that students are able to take part in themselves, the USAFA has made a stand as one of the most appealing aviation schools in the US.

5: California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology

Some would argue that the California Institute of Technology could even top the list of prestigious aviation universities, and it would not be an errant claim. Just four years ago the California Institute of Technology was ranked first for aerospace engineering or aeronautics, cementing a high academic precedent that would see it go on to break into the top 10 national universities overall the following year.

One thing holding the school back is its inability to offer bachelor’s degrees in similar fields, although this does not hamper the learning experience at what is an exquisite educational facility.

4: Western Michigan University

Holding a prized reputation not just in aviation but for the institution as a whole, Western Michigan University ranks in the top 100 universities in the entire United States. With a 38-strong fleet and 240 academic programs, there is certainly plenty of opportunity at this exceptional school.

Whereas some universities favor either a rigorous flight school schedule or a more erudite route, Western Michigan University strikes a healthy balance without sacrificing on quality which explains its ever-increasing popularity.

3: Purdue University

Purdue University

There are several novelties for which Purdue University has become famous. Possibly the most famous name in aviation, Neil Armstrong, was himself a graduate of the ‘Cradle of Astronauts’, as it has come to be known. Elsewhere, every student on the flight program gets the opportunity to fly a jet. But there is much more to this accomplished school than the odd claim to fame.

Commercial and private pilot certificates are attained over the course of the four-year program wherein the latter two years revolve around intense coursework. The university borrows strongly from traditional redbrick universities both aesthetically and in tradition, making it a popular choice for traditionalists seeking a high-end education.

2: University of North Dakota

University of North Dakota

Utilizing a traditional four-year system, the University of North Dakota is one of the most revered schools in the US. It is widely regarded as having the most technologically advanced campus complex in the whole world and also boasts an extremely impressive training fleet.

The diverse selection of studies on offer at the University of North Dakota include airport and aviation management alongside air traffic control and flight education among others. International students must pay approximately $10,000 on top of the standard $7,254 fees to join an ensemble of just under 1,000 students studying the flight program.

1: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry Riddle Aeronautical University

The crème de la crème of aviation universities. Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is one of the most prestigious establishments not just in the US but in the world. Of the 5,100 enrolled students – of which around 80% are male – about a third undergo the top ranked program for aeronautical studies.

It is both the largest and oldest aviation school on Earth stemming back to its inception in 1926. Located in Daytona Beach, Florida, the fees that exceed $30,000 are a necessary cost for the honor of attending such an elite body.

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