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School of Aviation
Professional Flight


Wayne Ceynowa

Wayne Ceynowa

Director of Operations and Chief Flight Instructor

Bachelor of Science in Professional Flight

The Professional Flight degree provides a solid foundation of aeronautical knowledge and piloting skills expected by professional aviation organizations and necessary for success in the aviation industry.

Auburn University is an FAA-approved Part 141 pilot school. Flight operations are conducted at the Auburn University Regional Airport (KAUO), which is less than three miles from campus and easily accessible via the university’s Tiger Transit shuttle service.

This degree qualifies for the FAA Restricted Airline Transport (R-ATP) certification with as little as 1,000 hours of flying experience.

Degree certifications and ratings include Private Pilot Certification, Instrument Rating, Commercial Pilot Certification, and Multi-Engine Rating. Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), CFI with Instrument Rating (CFII), and Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI) courses are also available.  Initial Commercial Pilot certification (AVMF 2261, 2271, and 4271) MUST be completed at Auburn. Ground and flight training for Private Pilot and Instrument Rating-Airplane completed at another FAA-approved Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) may apply to FAA R-ATP reduced hours eligibility. Students enrolled in flight training coursework at Auburn must register for and complete all current and subsequent AVMF courses at Auburn.

Professional Flight Degree Curriculum Model (AU Bulletin)


Mission Statement

The mission of the Professional Flight program is to develop highly desired professional pilots and thought leaders who will serve as a positive force in aviation and the world.


Program Educational Goals

Our goal is to:

  1. Develop professional pilots with exceptional knowledge, skills and values. Graduates will be highly educated, technically proficient, safety-oriented and business-minded.
  2. Develop professional pilots that advance global aviation. Graduates will have a global perspective and embrace diverse cultures and ideas. Graduates will recognize historical trends, current issues and emerging opportunities.
  3. Develop professional pilots that aspire to lead. Graduates will champion integrity, cultivate professional and personal growth opportunities, subscribe to a philosophy of lifelong learning, and lead by serving others.


Professional Flight, B.S. Degree Student Learning Outcomes

Students graduating from the Professional Flight B.S. program will:

  1. Conduct flight operations in a professional, safe and efficient manner.
  2. Describe historical trends, current issues and emerging opportunities in aviation.
  3. Apply effective oral and written communication skills to function effectively in the aviation environment.
  4. Articulate the value of integrity, lifelong learning and building diverse teams in serving and leading others.
  5. Possess the necessary knowledge, skills and attitude to competently and ethically function as a professional pilot in the aviation industry.


Restricted Privileges ATP Certificate

The Professional Flight degree qualifies for the FAA Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) certification with as little as 1,000 hours of flying experience. Ground and flight training for the commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating must be completed at Auburn to be R-ATP eligible. Graduates of the Professional Flight with at least 60 credit hours of FAA-approved coursework, per Auburn’s FAA R-ATP Letter of Authorization, will need a minimum of 1,000 hours total time to meet the requirements of FAR 61.160. Professional Flight graduates with less than 60 credit hours but at least 30 credits of FAA-approved coursework, per Auburn’s FAA R-ATP Letter of Authorization, will need a minimum of 1,250 hours total time to meet the requirements of FAR 61.160 for an R-ATP. To obtain your Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) Certifying Statement after graduation, you will need to provide a copy of your AU transcript, your pilot certificate number, and a mailing address to the Chief Flight Instructor for certifying statement processing and issuance. Note: Ground and flight training for Private Pilot and Instrument Rating-Airplane completed at another FAA-approved Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) may apply to FAA R-ATP reduced hours eligibility.


Flight Fees

Flight lab courses have an associated flight fee established by the School of Aviation prior to the start of the academic year. Flight fees cover aircraft, flight simulation, flight instructor and FAA knowledge exam fees. VA students are responsible for FAA Certification exam fees. The training hours and fees outlined in the Auburn University Bulletin are the minimum to complete a flight lab course. Students requiring additional instruction will incur additional flight lab fees. Unexpected large changes in fuel prices may necessitate the addition of a fuel surcharge for all training airplane usage. Fuel prices are subject to change from term to term.


Admissions, Standards and Requirements

Eligibility for admission to Professional Flight is determined by the Auburn University Admissions Office. Professional Flight students must earn a grade of at least C in all courses in the major and maintain a minimum 2.70 overall GPA. The Professional Flight curriculum is designed for the progressive development of flight knowledge and skills, and students who earn less than a C will not be allowed to progress to the next course. A course where a student earns a grade less than a C may be repeated once only. Completing the repeated course successfully will allow the student to continue progressing through the Professional Flight degree curriculum. Students who earn a grade less than C in two or more Professional Flight major courses or maintain an institutional GPA below 2.70 will be required to meet with the school director and may be considered for dismissal from the program.


Transfer Students

Transfer students (external and internal) may enter the Professional Flight program during fall or spring semester and will be accepted on a space-available basis as determined by the school director. A minimum cumulative grade point average of 2.70 is required. Transfer students accepted into the program should anticipate that it will still take a minimum of six semesters to complete the program.


Advanced Credit for Pilot Certification

Per the Professional Flight curriculum model, students may earn advanced placement credit for pilot certification/rating upon evidence of the FAA pilot certificate/rating at enrollment. Evidence consists of the certificate and the knowledge and skills required to exercise the flight privileges associated with the certificate. To receive advance placement credit for pilot certification/rating earned elsewhere, students must pass a 25-question general knowledge written exam administered by their assigned flight instructor and pass a proficiency flight check to Auburn University’s End-Of-Course standard for the corresponding FAA certificate/rating. To be considered for advanced placement credit, incoming students must complete their certificates/ratings before matriculation into Auburn University. Note: Ground and flight training for Private Pilot and Instrument Rating-Airplane completed at another FAA-approved Institution of Higher Learning (IHL) may be applied towards FAA R-ATP reduced hours eligibility.


Orientation for Incoming Students

Camp War Eagle is Auburn's two-day orientation program for incoming freshmen. On the second day, you will attend a group advising session with School of Aviation staff to plan your fall semester schedule and sign up for classes.

All transfer students are required to attend Successfully Orienting Students (SOS), Auburn’s one-day orientation program for incoming transfer students. SOS emphasizes university services, meeting with academic advisors, small group discussions on college student life led by upper-class student leaders, and class registration.

Incoming Professional Flight students:

1. Must bring an original birth certificate (with the raised seal), a government-issued photo identification, or current passport to Camp War Eagle/SOS. The Transportation Security Administration requires pilot schools to keep a copy on file for every student pilot.

2. Must obtain a FAA 1st Class Medical Certificate before classes begin. Students will not be allowed to register for a flight block without a current medical certificate. Click here to find an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME). Be sure you carefully proof all information on your student pilot certificate before leaving the physician’s office. Click here to learn more about the FAA’s medical requirements.  

Note: An applicant to AU who is a non-U.S. citizen (including lawful permanent residents) must participate in the Flight Training Security Program (FTSP) and undergo a security threat assessment and receive approval from the Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) when seeking flight training at AU leading to private pilot instrument rating, and multi-engine certification.


Student Life

Major coursework for the professional flight degree starts in the freshman year with ground school and flight education courses for the Private Pilot Certificate or the next certification or rating if the Private Pilot Certificate has already been attained.

In addition to flight courses, students take university core curriculum courses that promote the development of analytical and critical thinking skills, communication skills, and mathematical skills to prepare for the 21st-century workforce. Students should join a student organization such as Professional Pilots of Tomorrow, the War Eagle Flying Team, or Women in Aviation to connect with other students, alumni, and industry professionals.

Students complete additional pilot certificates and ratings in their sophomore and junior years and continue taking courses from the university’s core curriculum and an increasing number of aviation courses. Eligible students may apply to a pilot career development program. Students who fly during the summer semesters can accelerate their flight education and ratings.

As seniors, students continue to advance their flight education and ratings and work towards completing their academic coursework. Students pursue flight operations internships to build professional experience and networks as they begin the job interview process. They may consider running for an officer position in a student organization to develop leadership skills in the aviation environment. Students who have completed flight instructor certification are eligible to work as university-employed flight instructors. Graduate school is an option for those wishing to continue their education.



Auburn’s flight training aircraft fleet comprises G1000-equipped Cessna 172SP Skyhawks and Piper PA-44 Seminoles. Advanced Aviation Training Devices (AATDs) include Frasca and Precision Flight Controls DCX Max flight simulators and a Flight Deck Solutions A320 Advanced Fixed-Based Procedure Trainer. 



The Professional Flight degree is accredited by Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI), the organization responsible for academic accreditation of aviation and aerospace educational programs.

Student Achievement Data


Comprehensive Assessment Plan

A comprehensive assessment plan is written and implemented by School of Aviation faculty and staff to meet requirements set forth by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) and Auburn University. Download the Aviation Programs Comprehensive Assessment Plan. 



Wayne Ceynowa

Wayne Ceynowa

Director of Operations and Chief Flight Instructor