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Aviation Sciences, Ph.D.

Aviation Sciences, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences

Aviation Sciences PhD Degree

Florida Tech’s College of Aeronautics is consistently recognized as offering one of the best university-based aviation programs in the country. In keeping with this notable distinction, Florida Tech’s PhD aviation sciences degree is one of the first doctoral aviation programs in the nation, and is accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International.

Designed to prepare students with an understanding of the critical issues facing the industry, the aviation sciences PhD program incorporates a combination of theory and practice related to aviation human factors, aviation safety, and airport management and development. As interactions between humans and aircraft technology become more complex, students working for an aviation sciences degree research, analyze, and explore solutions in this important relationship.

Dynamic Learning Environment

With more than 45 years of experience, the doctoral program curriculum combines theory and practice, giving students a chance to delve into the subject and apply their findings to aviation industry problems. Florida Tech offers all the benefits of a larger school (such as a world-class faculty and high-quality course curriculum) in a close-knit academic community offering small class sizes and one-on-one time with professors.

Classes for students earning an aviation sciences degree from Florida Tech are part of a dynamic and flexible learning environment, with classes conveniently held in the evening hours so that working professionals can balance workplace and academic obligations. Students often travel to national conferences, publish research in respected aviation journals, and find graduate student assistantships or adjunct teaching opportunities.

Why pursue an aviation sciences doctoral degree at Florida Tech?

Studying for a PhD in aviation sciences at Florida Tech positions students as part of an elite class in the first doctoral aviation sciences degree program in the country. With more than 45 years of experience as one of the leading university-based aviation safety programs in the nation, the doctoral program curriculum combines theory and practice, giving students a chance to delve into the subject and apply their findings to aviation industry problems.

Experienced Professors Who Are Pilots, Researchers, and Industry Professionals

The College of Aeronautics’ faculty is comprised of aviation industry experts including technical and administrative professionals, pilots, and published researchers. Many professors are also respected thought-leaders in a variety of aviation and aeronautics-related disciplines.

Aviation sciences degree professors at Florida Tech have written and co-authored textbooks, journal articles, and hundreds of citations on aviation safety and related topics. Not only do some professors have many hours of experience as commercial, private, and military pilots, they are also industry experts in other facets of aviation such as aviation law, human factors, or airport development. This is just one way in which Florida Tech’s aviation sciences degree is unlike any other program in the country.

Cutting-Edge Research Programs and Facilities

As a national research university, Florida Tech’s commitment to making tangible advances in aeronautics ensures students earning an aviation sciences degree have state-of-the-art tools and facilities.

The university’s location is in the heart of Florida’s Space Coast, central Florida’s high-tech corridor, and in close proximity to aviation facilities including the Kennedy Space Center, Melbourne International Airport, Orlando International Airport, and several other important research centers.

The Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research is located a few minutes’ drive from Florida Tech at the Melbourne International Airport. There students studying for an aviation sciences degree find more than 50 aircraft, including a brand new fleet of Piper Archer TX aircraft equipped with the Garmin G1000 glass panel navigation system and facilities such as wind tunnels, air quality monitoring systems, high-tech modeling software programs and advanced flight simulators, as well as Cessna, Cirrus, Citabria, and Liberty XL2 aircraft. These aircraft and the research center give students a chance to conduct research beyond simulations and labs.

The Center for Human Aviation Factors facilitates aviation research and graduate-level thesis work using high-tech tools including flight simulators and advanced statistics software. The center has an emphasis on applied research that enhances aeronautical systems to improve human performance, safety, and pilot training.

Florida Tech is a member of an elite team of universities chosen by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to join a new Center of Excellence for General Aviation, alongside the existing Center of Excellence for Commercial Space Transportation. These centers enable Florida Tech to receive research funding to explore various aviation-related topics.

The FAA Center of Excellence Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS) is a research partnership between academia, industry, and the federal government and covers a broad spectrum of aviation sciences degree topics.

Doctoral Research in Aviation Sciences

Research helps experts in many areas of aviation make aviation less complex and safer. It also helps consultants and experts address issues in the industry to learn how to predict and prevent scenarios that cause airline accidents, interruptions in service, technical challenges, and even such things as pilot shortages and fuel prices.

The doctoral level aviation sciences degree is designed to meet the inherent challenges of aviation and to advance the frontiers of aviation knowledge, this unique program provides for areas of specialization that include:

  • Airport development and management
  • Airport technology
  • Airworthiness
  • Aviation human factors
  • Aviation safety
  • Education and training
  • Environment/sustainability
  • Fire safety
  • Green airport design
  • Meteorology
  • Operations research
  • Organizational development
  • Propulsion and structures
  • Safety management systems (SMS)

Through research the aviation sciences degree experience for students at Florida Tech goes beyond classroom learning to real-world application.

Careers for the Aviation Sciences, Ph.D. Graduate

Expert Career Preparation

Merging airlines and expanding airports need aviation-savvy executives and consultants to lead them through industry challenges and aviation sciences degree doctoral graduates from Florida Tech are uniquely equipped to fill these positions. Students can become a senior researcher at government agencies in the US including the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Other options include executive level positions in the fields of aviation safety, airport technology, system safety management, or a career in academia to advance research in aviation science while teaching the next generation of students. No matter what career path a graduate pursues, Florida Tech’s reputation as a world-class aviation sciences degree program gives students a competitive edge with employers.

Graduates with a PhD aviation sciences degree work as consultants and industry experts. Airline mergers and airport expansions need aviation-savvy executives and consultants to lead them through the industry challenges, and PhD graduates from Florida Tech are uniquely equipped to fill these positions. Graduates can also continue into academia as a professor to advance research in aviation sciences while teaching the next generation of students about aviation and its complexities.

Careers in Aviation Sciences

Aviation sciences careers are among the most challenging and exciting careers available. As more people and cargo take to the skies every year, the aviation industry must expand, increase efficiencies, and solve challenges.

Doctoral student graduates with an aviation sciences degree work as consultants and industry experts researching and analyzing issues that affect the performance and safety of aviation. As graduates of the only doctoral level aviation sciences degree program in the country, Florida Tech students are in a class by themselves, ready to work alongside seasoned professionals tackling new and emerging issues in the private sector, commercial airlines, or the military.

Career Options

Jobs for graduates with an aviation sciences degree might include:

  • Aviation management
  • Airline and airport executive
  • University professor
  • Senior researcher for government agencies

PhD Aviation graduates have also found careers at:

  • The Federal Department of Transportation
  • Flight Safety International
  • The NTSB
  • The Department of Homeland Security
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