Aeronautical Science, B.S.

Aeronautical Science, B.S.

What is an aeronautical science degree?

Aeronautical Science Degree

Florida Tech’s BS in Aeronautical Science prepares students for technical jobs in the aviation industry. Our College of Aeronautics has been consistently recognized as offering one of the best university-based aviation programs in the country.

The aeronautical science degree is available as either a flight or non-flight major. Choosing aeronautical science without flight provides a strong foundation in applied math and science for a career in a technical aspect of aviation, while Aeronautical Science—Flight prepares you for a career as a professional pilot.

This degree is very versatile, offering even more with these two additional options:

  • Prepare for a career in military aviation and participate in Army ROTC
  • Specialize in air traffic control and be ready to apply to the FAA Academy upon graduation

Why pursue an aeronautical science degree at Florida Tech?

A Faculty of Renowned Aviation Experts—and Personalized Attention

Studying aviation at an aeronautical university like Florida Tech gives you the benefits of a larger school (such as world-class faculty members and a high-quality curriculum) in a close-knit academic community offering small class sizes and one-on-one time with professors. The campus atmosphere is relaxed, and studying here is a very personal experience, making us a unique aeronautical university.

Florida Tech’s faculty members are established experts in all aspects of aviation. The faculty is largely comprised not only of pilots, but are also experts in at least one other area, such as aviation law, safety, avionics, and environmental science. Other professors are experts in airport consulting; design and management; airline or general aviation management; as well as aviation human factors, meteorology, and air traffic control.

High-Tech Lab Facilities

As an aeronautical university, we know that cutting-edge technology and facilities are an important part of what makes a program successful. Aeronautical science majors at Florida Tech primarily attend class and work in the College of Aeronautics’ Skurla Hall, which includes classrooms, computer labs for airport design and planning, and the Basic Aviation Training Device (BATD) Lab. The BATD Lab enables all students to fly desktop simulators under the supervision of a flight instructor. Skurla Hall is home to a first-rate computer lab with many different applications and networking capabilities that allow hands-on learning of many aviation topics.

Located in the Heart of Florida’s High-tech Corridor—with Year-Round Flying

Florida Tech is the perfect place for a BS in Aeronautical Science. The 130-acre campus is located on the Space Coast (so named because of the presence of NASA and the Kennedy Space Center on Cape Canaveral just north of us), minutes away from the Indian River Lagoon, the most diverse estuary in North America. We have ideal weather conditions for flying year-round.

The area also has the fifth largest high-tech workforce in the country, with more than 5,000 high-tech corporations and government and military organizations located nearby. This workforce also provides an abundance of internship and employment opportunities.

Florida Tech is just over the causeway from the Atlantic Ocean with its 72 miles of beautiful beaches, and a short trip to the Florida Keys or the Orlando theme parks. We also have a rich campus life that includes a wide range of intramural and collegiate sports, clubs, and social activities.

Build Lasting Professional Relationships through Campus Organizations

Beyond the classroom, aeronautical science degree majors participate in academic organizations like Collegiate Aviation Business Executives (CABE), a student chapter of American Association of Airport Executives, the Falcons Intercollegiate Flight Team, Women in Aviation (WIW), student government, and over 100 other campus-wide student organizations.

CABE focuses on aviation jobs outside of the cockpit, helping students grow by facilitating a networking relationship with students and the aviation business world. Members of CABE have the unique opportunity to travel to many events including professional conferences, seminars, airport tours, networking events, and airshows.

WIA is an organization made up of women and men dedicated to the advancement of women in aeronautics. WIA takes part in networking activities and lectures to promoting women in all fields and helping them obtain aeronautical college internship positions and career opportunities.

How will an aeronautical science degree prepare me for the future?

Peerless Study and Internship Opportunities

Students can participate in aeronautical science internships that provide enhanced learning opportunities beyond classroom work. Florida Tech students take internships over one or more summers or semesters. These internship opportunities offer exposure to major and minor airlines and aeronautical organizations such as including JetBlue Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and Melbourne International Airport, where students gain specialized experience in airline operations and a variety of aviation businesses, as well as attend valuable development courses such as aircraft systems.

These aeronautical college internship experiences are great for networking in the industry and provide specialized experience in airline operations and aircraft systems training. Interning students also learn about flight dispatch, recordkeeping, and the various large computer systems and programs employed by the airline.

Get the Skills You Need—With a Competitive Edge

Interested students can take part in the Air Traffic Control (ATC) program. ATC students gain hands-on experience with industry-standard air traffic control programs. The ATC specialization meets the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program, and is FAA-approved. Graduates of the AT-CTI program may be eligible to bypass the Air Traffic Basics Course covered during the first five weeks of qualification training at the FAA Academy in Oklahoma City. FAA Academy training consists of option-specific (terminal or en route) initial training.

At Florida Tech, students learn high-level software and programming skills and gain experience in aviation programs and applications used around the world. Using computer-aided design (CAD) programs, students can complete projects in designing airports and airport terminals, and conduct experiments such as noise studies.

Florida Tech’s aeronautical college students are regular competitors in the National Intercollegiate Flight Competition and win many awards, including safety awards. In fact, our students have won more safety awards than any other competing university.

Additionally, Florida Tech allows advanced placement credit if you have an FAA Private Pilot Certificate or higher. Evaluation and placement are done during orientation week.

What can you do with an aeronautical science degree?

Between expert instructors, real-world relevant internship opportunities, an engaged alumni network, and an excellent Career Management Services office, graduates are well prepared for any number of careers in aeronautics.

Get Recruited Upon Graduation

Employers seek out graduates from Florida Tech. Employers who have recruited our students for internships and careers include top airlines and aviation organizations such as:

  • American Airlines
  • Continental
  • Delta
  • Express Jet
  • JetBlue Airways
  • Sky West
  • United
  • US Airways
  • Various international airports
  • Aviation-related companies such as Harris Corp. and Velocity Aircraft
  • Department of Homeland Security
  • Federal Aviation Commission
  • Flight Safety International
  • National Transportation Safety Board

Career Outlook

A degree in aeronautical science means the graduate has a set of skills applicable to many professions that place a premium on technical competencies. Potential for careers in aeronautics, specifically as airline and commercial pilots, is projected to grow 11% through 2020, as projections for growth in world travel increases and pilots retire in the coming decade. Job opportunities will be spread among passenger and cargo airline companies.

Jobs in air traffic control will be in good supply as a result of today’s air traffic control workforce retiring over the next decade. While there will be an increasing number of job openings, competition for entrance into the FAA Academy will remain high. Job opportunities will demand that applicants obtain an air traffic control degree from an FAA-certified school.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook, published by the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), provides more information about jobs, including median annual pay, working conditions and job outlook, among other things.

Other Career Options

Careers in aeronautics include jobs such as:

  • Flight engineer
  • Aircraft technician
  • Aviation and aeronautic design
  • Aviation and aeronautic maintenance (repair and perform scheduled maintenance and conduct inspections as required by the FAA)
  • Air traffic controller
  • Defense industry design (e.g., "smart" weapons")
  • Research and development (e.g., space suits, jet fuels, space communication systems)
  • Bio-medicine (development of limb and joint prosthetics using nano-materials)

Graduate and Doctoral Programs

After receiving their aeronautical science degree, many of our students go to graduate school (often at Florida Tech) for advanced degrees in aviation human factors, airport development, and aviation law.

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