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.

Professional Flight Degree Curriculum Model (AU Bulletin)

Professional Flight Degree Curriculum Model


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.


What to Expect

Major course work for the professional flight degree starts in the first semester of your freshman year with ground school and flight education courses for the Private Pilot Certificate.  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 Instructor Pilot and then begin their next certificate/rating. 

In addition to flight courses, you will take university core curriculum courses that promote development of analytical and critical thinking skills, communication skills, and mathematical skills to prepare you for the 21st century workforce.  You 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 your sophomore year, you will 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, you’ll continue to advance your flight education and ratings and should consider running for an officer position in a student organization to develop your leadership skills in the aviation environment.  Consider a flight operations internship to build your professional experience and network.  Earning your CFII rating will allow you to build flight hours while getting paid.  As a senior, you will complete your coursework and begin the job interview process.  Graduate school is an option for those wishing to continue their education.


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.

Students may begin taking courses in the minor as early as their freshman year if they meet the course prerequisites.

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.


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. 


Graduation Rates

Download the most current Graduation Rates


Student Employment Outcomes

First career steps for Spring 2018 Professional Flight graduates. 


Type of Employer/Advanced Degree


Aviation-related employment or degrees:


Aviation Management




Aviation Electronics


Air Traffic Control


Aviation Maintenance




Material or Equipment Supplier




Other employment


Aviation-related degree




Other, non-aviation-related employment or degrees


Non-aviation employment


Non-aviation degree


Seeking employment


No information


Graduate Degrees


Learn More

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

Last Updated: November 12, 2018