Aviation Sciences, Ph.D.

Aviation Sciences, Ph.D.

The Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences

Aviation Sciences PhD DegreeFlorida Tech's College of Aeronautics is consistently recognized for offering one of the best university-based aviation programs in the country. In keeping with this notable distinction, Florida Tech's Ph.D. aviation sciences degree is one of the first doctoral aviation program 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 Ph.D. 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

Classes for students earning an aviation sciences degree from Florida Tech are part of a dynamic and flexible learning environment and conveniently held in the evening hours so 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.

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.

Studying for an aviation sciences degree at an aeronautical university like Florida Tech also affords students the benefits of a larger school (such as multidisciplinary course curriculum and state-of-the-art modern facilities) in a close-knit academic community offering small class sizes and one-on-one time with professors.

Research Opportunities

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, Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research, Center for Human Aviation Factors and Centers of Excellence for General Aviation and Commercial Space Transportation. These airports and research centers provide aviation sciences degree students with an abundance of applied learning and research experiences about the challenges and trends that aviation industry professionals face today. Advanced research tools also include wind tunnels, air quality monitoring systems, several high-tech modeling software programs and advanced flight simulators.

Career Development

Graduates with a Ph.D. aviation sciences degree work as consultants and industry experts addressing issues such as pilot shortages, fluctuating fuel prices, dynamic customer bases and green airport design. Merging airlines and expanding airports are in need of aviation-savvy executives and consultants to lead them through the industry challenges, and Ph.D. 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.

Why pursue an aviation sciences doctoral degree at Florida Tech?

Studying for a Ph.D. 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.

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. Additionally, Florida Tech's Melbourne, Florida location is close to an international airport and other high-tech aviation companies interested in research.

Learn From Aviation Experts

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 Programs & Facilities

As a national research university, Florida Tech's commitment to making tangible advances in aeronautics ensures students earning an aviation sciences degree have cutting-edge tools and facilities for high-tech research.

  • 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.

  • The Center for Human Aviation Factors facilitates aviation research and graduate-level thesis work through the use of 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 such as safety issues, including airport technology, propulsion and structures, airworthiness, flight safety, fire safety, human factors, system safety management, and weather.

Expert Career Preparation

Merging airlines and expanding airports are in need of 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 U.S. including the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board. 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.

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 including green airport design, human factors, operations, meteorology and more 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.

Through extensive research opportunities that combine classroom learning and hands-on experiences, students conduct the type of research and analysis they will do in their career while working towards earning an aviation sciences degree.

Research Opportunities Abound At Florida Tech

Florida Tech has an internationally proven reputation for excellence in engineering and sciences, including the scope and type of research provided through research. 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:

  • Aviation human factors

  • Aviation safety

  • Airport development and management

  • Education and training

  • Organizational development

  • Operations research

  • Environmental/sustainability

  • Meteorology

The Emil Buehler Center for Aviation Training and Research is home to Florida Tech's own fleet of aircraft, including the Piper Archer TX aircraft equipped with the Garmin G1000 glass panel navigation system, 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.

As part of the PEGASAS Center of Excellence Partnership to Enhance General Aviation Safety, Accessibility and Sustainability (PEGASAS), and the Center for Excellence for General Aviation, Florida Tech receives research funding that faculty and students in the aviation sciences degree program can utilize to improve aviation safety. Some of the research topics funded by PEGASAS may include:

  • Airport technology

  • Propulsion and structures

  • Airworthiness

  • Flight safety

  • Fire safety

  • 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

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. This could include such topics as aviation safety, airport design, technology, pilot shortages, fluctuating fuel prices, dynamic customer bases and green airport design.

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 Outlook

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

The handbook does not have specific information on careers for graduates with an aviation sciences degree, but does provide information and job outlook for top executives and other aviation careers including aviation management, air traffic control, pilot, airport manager, avionics technician, aerospace engineer, airfield operation specialist, and more. Students can also visit AVjobs for information on all type of aviation jobs.

Salary Potential: Information on salary potential can be obtained by visiting AVjobs Career Salary, Wages and Pay report: http://www.avjobs.com/salaries-wages-pay/

Career Options

Jobs for graduates with an aviation sciences degree might include:

  • Aviation Management

  • Federal Department of Transportation

  • Flight Safety International

  • National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB)

  • Department of Homeland Security

  • Airline and Airport Executives

  • Senior Researcher – Government Agencies

  • Professor - Academia