Aviation Undergraduate Program FAQs

Let’s face it: life gets busy. Sometimes it feels like your schedule controls you, not the other way around. At OU Extended Campus, we believe online education should adapt to your schedule. It’s your degree on your schedule. 

We know you have questions. So, here is a collection of frequently asked questions, ranging from program accreditation to general considerations regarding why you should proactively pursue aviation.

Yes, currently OU’s Department of Aviation is one of approximately 33 institutions worldwide accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). This ensures each student will be earning a degree from a nationally recognized institution with an impeccable reputation.

Boeing Aircraft Company’s 2013 future aviation demand study estimates that global growth of aircraft in the world will increase from the current total of 18,000 to 36,000 by 2027. Boeing made a record delivery of the most aircraft ever manufactured in the history of the company in the year 2013, with plentiful future aircraft orders for the next decade. Boeing estimates the U.S. pilot population will grow from a current 232,000 to 445,000 by 2030, and there will be a global need to train nearly 50,000 pilots by 2030 to replace retirements and the growth of aviation airlines, cargo and corporate air traffic. 

Over the next 12 years, pilots at the major U.S. airlines will rapidly start to retire, with an average of about 300 per year per major airline in 2014, climbing to 750 to 1,000 pilots per year by 2020. By the year 2025, the major U.S. carriers will lose 25,000 seasoned professional pilots to retirement. Although the ups and downs of the global and U.S. economic cycle will always impact pilot hiring in any particular year, the long-term prospects over the next 20 years due to known forthcoming mandatory retirements and forecast aviation passenger traffic growth is all pointing to the fact that it has never been a better time to pursue a professional pilot career. Become a Flying Sooner today and “Let Your Dreams Take Flight!”

Yes! Another big reason to take a good look at the University of Oklahoma is that we can get you into the right seat of a regional airline jet faster. The FAA recently implemented a rule requiring First Officers at the airlines to have 1,500 flight hours and an Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) Certificate for employment. This rule included a provision that collegiate programs approved by the FAA can certify their graduates to earn an R-ATP at 1,000 flight hours. 

OU has been given the authority for an Institution of Higher Education to certify its graduates for an Airline Transport Pilot Certificate with reduced aeronautical experience. This savings of 500 flight hours allows our graduates to be eligible for a First Officer position at a regional airline up to one year earlier than those who must accrue the full 1,500 hours for the ATP and is a considerable savings in terms of cost. Come to OU and Start Flying SOONER!

OU has a long established bridge and now pipeline agreement* with Envoy Airlines (formerly American Eagle) with a follow-up career interview guarantee with American Airlines. This partnership gives qualifying OU aviation students the opportunity to launch their regional or major airline careers with Envoy. The program provides recruitment, screening, selection, training and placement strategies for students to be employed by Envoy. Qualified students may be interviewed by Envoy once they obtain their instrument rating at OU. After students in the pipeline program obtain their CFI and graduate from OU, Envoy will place the candidate in a CFI position until they obtain the required flight hours mandated by the FAA. Once hired as a Pipeline Instructor, the graduate will be eligible for health benefits and travel privileges as an Envoy employee. The OU Aviation/Envoy Pipeline Program is one of the smartest, most affordable, quality training and education pathways to launch your professional pilot career and is a true flight plan for success! 

*The Pilot Pipeline Agreement is subject to change at the discretion of Envoy and the University of Oklahoma.

The difference is the flying time required to obtain a Commercial Pilot Certificate, which enables you to be compensated for flying. As a Part 141 student, you will earn a Commercial Instrument Certificate with 195 flight hours. Part 61 requires 250 flight hours. The OU Aviation Department is FAA certified under Part 141. The program has examining authority for most flight courses. This means that students do not have to pay an FAA Designated Pilot Examiner at the end of the flight course for their practical flight evaluation. This will save the student more than $2,000 over the course of a degree major or minor.

The FAA expects to lose 40 percent of air traffic controllers to retirement in the next few years. OU developed the new major and minor as a proactive approach to fill these positions. The FAA accepted OU as an approved Air Traffic Collegiate Training Initiative school in 2007. This program provides training in every possible ATC venue, meeting the criteria for top-tier schools from the FAA Administrator’s blue ribbon panel on ATC training. 

The Air Traffic Management degree path also includes a broad-based curriculum in Aviation Management and general business principles that are useful in aviation careers outside of ATC.

Yes, most courses are offered with a non-credit option. For more information, contact the aviation department at 405-325-7231 or visit aviation.ou.edu. Veteran (VA) students should contact the VA Regional Office (if living in Oklahoma, this is the Muskogee office 1-888-442- 4551).