Your Flightpath to Success Starts Here

The Professional Pilot degree program at UCM prepares you for an exciting career in professional flight operations. Career options include Airline Flight Crew, Business/Corporate Flight Operations, Military, Air Taxi/Air Charter, Aerial Application, Test Pilot Operations, etc.

This degree option couples academics, technical training and flight education to give you the background education, technical competency and FAA certifications and ratings to take your place within the aviation industry.


FAA Medical Certification Requirements

All FAA certificated pilots, with limited exceptions, are required to undergo periodic medical examinations and hold an FAA issued Medical Certificate of the appropriate class. The UCM Department of Aviation requires all students in the Professional Pilot degree program to hold the Second Class Medical Certificate.

Financial Considerations

Although UCM Aviation works diligently to keep costs as low as possible while delivering the highest levels of quality and safety, flight training is still an expensive undertaking. It is important that students planning to major in Professional Pilot understand that financial planning is vital to successfully completing this degree. A delay in flight training progress due to a lack of funds is frustrating and, in the end, even more expensive due to the need for refresher training.

The cost of the flight training associated with the Professional Pilot degree is approximately $70,000.00-$75,000.00. The actual amount will vary due to individual circumstances and rates of learning, but this is a good range for planning purposes. This amount is in addition to room, board, tuition, and other costs associated with the educational process.

  • Students should have a set plan for funding and/or financing the cost of the aviation program prior to enrolling.

Flight Scheduling

The length of time required to earn all the pilot certificates and ratings associated with the Professional pilot degree is affected by several factors, a significant one being the number of lessons flown each week. In order to complete the flight portion of the Professional Pilot degree, a student must plan to fly three times per week and, ideally, plan to commit at least a part of the summer to flight operations.

During the semester, flight training schedules consist of weekly flight training periods.

  1. Monday, Wednesday & Friday.
  2. Tuesday & Thursday (ideally one more flight slot per week needs to be identified).

The exact times will be determined based upon student and flight instructor availability.

The scheduling of students to their flight slot will take place during the fall and spring semester finals weeks.

The scheduling process is:

  1. The student completes their availability time sheet.
    1. The student must have their class schedule and work schedule (if applicable).
    2. The student must be enrolled in the flight class they wish to complete during the semester in which they are enrolling.
  2. The student submits the availability sheet, class schedule and work schedule to the Scheduler.
  3. Based on the availability sheet, instructor request, flight course the student is enrolled in, and resource availability, the Scheduler will determine which flight slot the student will be assigned and what instructor they will be paired with.
  4. The scheduler will then assign the student a flight block.

NOTE: If a student is unable to be available in person during the scheduling time, the student must make arrangements by phone or email to ensure that they will be assigned a scheduled flight block. The Scheduler will fill out the students’ availability sheet for them during the scheduling session based on the verbal information provided. If no prior arrangements are made, the student will not be able to sign up for a flight slot until after the scheduling period provided to primary students.


Aviation Safety Reporting System


Safety is one of our core values at UCM. UCM Aviation is committed to developing, implementing, maintaining, and constantly improving strategies and processes to ensure that all aviation activities are aimed at achieving the highest level of operational safety, while meeting academic, industry and federal standards.


UCM embraces a proactive and strong safety culture. Part of that culture involves voluntary reporting of hazards and events. UCM's voluntary reporting culture is based on the principles of 'good faith' and 'reasonable care'. Talon’s Safety Management and Reporting Tracker (TalonSMART) software is utilized by UCM Aviation to report safety hazards and events. Students/Employees may choose to remain anonymous when submitting a safety report.


As part of our safety culture, UCM takes a few hours each semester to shut down all flight operations to focus all students’ and employees’ attention on pertinent safety topics. At these events, industry leaders, guest speakers, and UCM representatives present relative safety material. We call these events “Safety Stand-Downs”. UCM requires all active flight students to attend the stand down. Any students who do not attend, without prior approval, may surrender their flight privileges indefinitely at the discretion of the chief flight instructor.


The University of Central Missouri aviation program partnered with multiple airlines to ensure the continued success of aviation students. Students enjoy opportunities such as:

  • Hiring Bonuses
  • Internships
  • Scholarships
  • Secured Employment

Admission Requirements

Admission into the Professional Pilot degree program has the same GPA/ACT requirements as admission into the university.

Due to the critical nature of flight operations, a certain level of academic performance is expected of all UCM Aviation students. A minimum final grade of “C” or better is required for all coursework that is to be applied to meet degree requirements. Further, a minimum GPA of 2.5 is required to remain on the flight schedule.

At mid-term of each semester, any student with a “D” or “F” grade in an aviation course will be notified that they will have four weeks to show improvement in the associated course and they will be advised that free tutoring sessions are available to them. If, at the end of four weeks, no progress has been made to improve the grade, they will be removed from flight status so that they may focus on improving the course grade.

Pre-Aviation Status

Incoming Professional Pilot students will be considered as “Pre-Aviation” students for the first semester and certain academic performance benchmarks must be met to be eligible to begin flight training.

During the first semester, two courses will be required; AVIA 1020-Aeronautics and AVIA 1310-FAA Private Pilot Requirements. These two courses will need to be completed with a final grade of “B” or better and the FAA Private Pilot Knowledge Test will need to be passed at the end of that semester. Students meeting this benchmark will be placed on the flight schedule and begin flight training the following semester.

There is the possibility of beginning flight training during the first semester based on exemplary academic performance in AVIA 1020-Aeronautics and AVIA 1310-FAA Private Requirements. At mid-term, the top academic performing students in these classes will be identified and the opportunity to begin flight training at that time may be offered to them, based upon resource availability.

NOTE: For incoming Professional Pilot students who come to UCM holding an FAA Private Pilot Certificate, an evaluation test, comprised of an oral and flight examination will be scheduled with the Chief Flight Instructor. The result of this evaluation will determine what flight lab and courses the student will be enrolled in for the first semester. The results of the evaluation flight may require remedial flight training or recommended courses that will need to be completed before progressing in the Professional Pilot plan of study.


Click here to view the report of annual student performance data as required by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).

Program taught in:
  • English (US)
University of Central Missouri

See 25 more programs offered by University of Central Missouri »

Last updated February 27, 2019
This course is Campus based
Start Date
4 years
451 USD
Missouri Resident: $225.65/per credit hour. Non-Resident: $451.30/per credit hour. Per credit hour rates do not include mandatory fees, housing or textbooks.
By locations
By date
Start Date
End Date
Apr 30, 2023
Application deadline
Start Date
End Date
Dec 31, 2022
Application deadline
Start Date
End Date
July 31, 2022
Application deadline
Application deadline
End Date
July 31, 2022
Application deadline
End Date
Dec 31, 2022
Application deadline
End Date
Apr 30, 2023