Department of Aviation

Professional Flight

Professional Flight Degree

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

This degree, as well as the Aviation Management degree, qualifies for the attainment of 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, Multi-Engine Rating, Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), CFI with Instrument Rating (CFII), and Multi-Engine Instructor (MEI).  One advanced pilot or flight instructor certification/rating MUST be completed at Auburn and to be Restricted ATP (R-ATP) eligible, the ground and flight training for the instrument rating and commercial pilot certificate must be completed at Auburn.


Curriculum Model

Professional Flight Degree Curriculum Model (AU Bulletin)


Program Education Goals


Our goal is to:

  1. Develop aviation professionals with exceptional knowledge, skills, and values. Graduates will be highly educated, technically proficient, safety-oriented, and business-minded.
  2. Develop aviation professionals 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 aviation professionals 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 aviation 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.


Flight Fees


Flight lab courses have an associated flight fee established by the Department of Aviation prior to the start of the academic year. Flight fees cover aircraft, flight simulation, flight instructor, and FAA knowledge 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.


Admissions, Standards, and Requirements

Eligibility for admissions to Professional Flight is determined by the Auburn University Admissions Office on the basis of the candidate’s test scores and previous academic record. Professional Flight students must earn a grade of at least C in all courses in the major and maintain a minimum 2.70 overall unadjusted GPA. The Professional Flight curriculum is designed for 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 in which a student earns a grade less than a C may be repeated one time only. Successful completion of the repeated course will result in the student being allowed to continue to progress 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 overall unadjusted GPA below 2.70, will 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 department chair. A minimum cumulative unadjusted grade point average of 2.70 is required. Students must meet with the Professional Flight advisor prior to transferring. Transfer students accepted into the program should anticipate that it will still take a minimum of six semesters to complete the program. 


Orientation for Incoming Students

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

All transfer students are required to attend SOS – Successfully Orienting Students, 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 registration for classes.


Incoming Professional Flight students:

1. Must bring an original birth certificate (with the raised seal) and a government-issued photo  identification or your 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) in your area.  Dr. Richard Freeman is an Auburn-based 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.  


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. Students seeking course credit for pilot certification/ratings held at the time of enrollment will take a knowledge and practical test supervised by the Chief Flight Instructor and then begin their next certificate/rating.

In addition to flight courses, students take university core curriculum courses that promote development of analytical and critical thinking skills, communication skills, and mathematical skills to prepare for the 21st century workforce. Students should get involved with a student organization such as Women in Aviation, the War Eagle Flying Team, or Striped Wings Student Ambassadors to begin connecting with other students, alumni, and industry professionals.

In the sophomore year, students complete the next pilot certificate or rating, and continue taking courses from the university core curriculum.  Students who fly during the summer semesters will be able to advance their flight education and ratings and may become a CFI by their junior year.

As a senior, students continue to advance their flight education and ratings and should consider running for an officer position in a student organization to develop leadership skills in the aviation environment.  Flight operations internships build student professional experiences and networks.  Students who earn their CFII rating and flight instruct will build flight hours while getting paid.  Students complete their coursework and begin the job interview process.  Graduate school is an option for those wishing to continue their education.



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


Professional Flight Minor

The professional flight minor provides students in other majors the opportunity to earn FAA flight ratings and broaden their education in the field of flight operations and air transportation. Due to capacity limitations, students must meet with the Professional Flight advisor prior to declaring the Professional Flight Minor. 

Professional Flight Minor Curriculum Model (AU Bulletin)



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 Department 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. 

Learn More

To learn more about Professional Flight programs, please contact us or plan a visit to campus.

Last Updated: March 31, 2021