Embry-Riddle is one of just a few universities in the country to offer a bachelor’s degree in Unmanned Aircraft Systems. Because Embry-Riddle is the nexus of aviation education, students benefit from much more than prestige; they learn from experienced faculty who share firsthand knowledge in aviation and who are at the forefront in the developing field of unmanned aircraft. Currently, there are few UAS professionals because this field is so new. Used primarily in military, firefighting, disaster relief, and law enforcement applications, the future of this field has seemingly limitless potential.
The Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems program provides graduates with the necessary skills and knowledge needed to become industry leaders in a variety of Unmanned Aircraft Systems-related fields, including UAS pilots, sensor operators, mission planners, and ground technicians. Students study the spectrum of the industry including hazardous operations, government regulations, surveillance, data collection, and even the engineering aspects of Unmanned Aircraft Systems.
About Unmanned Aircraft Systems at the Prescott, AZ Campus
Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University is proud to introduce our Bachelor of Science degree in Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). This exciting degree, certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as a UAS-Collegiate Training Initiative Program, has evolved into one of the most hands-on degree programs offered at Embry-Riddle and prepares graduates to enter a rapidly growing and changing industry. The FAA predicts that the fleet of commercial small UASs in the United States will approach 800,000 by the year 2024. Consequently, tens of thousands of UAS professionals will be needed who are capable of safely planning and executing UAS missions and effectively delivering the end products to their customers.
Focusing on commercial and civil applications, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree empowers graduates to meet current and future employment demands. The degree qualifies students from all nationalities as subject matter experts in data collection, retrieval, editing, display, and delivery. For example, refer to the video on this page, which shows a three-dimensional model of the Hazy Library created using our UAS equipment and software. Models such as these are very useful for a variety of industries because they enable the calculation of important surveying parameters such as surface area, volume, height, width, coordinates, etc.
Through supporting course work, Unmanned Aircraft Systems majors also gain a broad understanding of business, aviation regulations, technology, meteorology, and security issues associated with the industry. All students in the Unmanned Aircraft Systems program train at our on-campus airfield and earn their FAA Remote Pilot In-Command (RPIC) certificate. They learn to fly a variety of both fixed-wing and rotary-wing UASs and learn to use a variety of useful software suites. Moreover, the UAS program is working with several local commercial partners to enable students to obtain hands-on experience planning and executing actual UAS missions. Enroll in our Unmanned Aircraft Systems program and help shape a new and evolving industry!
The Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree is housed in the Department of Applied Aviation Sciences in the College of Aviation.
About Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science at the Daytona Beach, FL Campus
The Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science degree program at Embry-Riddle’s Daytona Beach Campus is one of the first and one of only a few in the nation that gives graduates the expertise they need for employment as professional UAS pilots, sensor operators, mission coordinators, and applications specialists.
Unmanned Aircraft Systems students also learn about core engineering principles relevant to the operation of UAS and how the regulatory environment is evolving to govern their operations. Housed in the Department of Aeronautical Science in the College of Aviation, the program provides knowledge in several UAS application areas, surveillance and data collection, secure operations, long-duration operations, and autonomous operations.
A typical first year includes general education courses like Communication Theory and Skills, Aeronautical Science core courses, and other courses related to human factors, math, and science.
The curriculum offers in-field flight experience and state-of-the-art simulation, allowing students to operate unmanned aircraft in both virtual and actual environments, fly Unmanned Aircraft Systems missions as part of a crew, cultivate an appreciation for industry-standard safety protocols, and develop a strong foundation of aviation fundamentals.
The program utilizes the Penguin C, a professional long-endurance and long-range UAS system, for flight training. It also highlights issues such as the integration of unmanned aircraft into existing infrastructure and requires students to make reasonable predictions of how the current system will accommodate the addition of cutting-edge technologies. Students also gain experience with community-based or internship programs through our service-learning initiative.
Graduates are fully prepared to pilot unmanned aircraft for private and commercial industries, and familiar with airspace restrictions, Federal Aviation Regulation restrictions, air traffic control requirements, and the capability and limitations of unmanned aircraft.
Students can also opt to join the UAS Technology Club or take part in industry-hosted Unmanned Aircraft Systems competitions.
About Unmanned Systems Applications at the Worldwide & Online Campus
Once the domain of military and government agencies, unmanned systems have entered the civilian and commercial sectors and are transforming the world as we know it. From the driverless cars roaming our streets to the unmanned aircraft soaring through our skies, leading technology companies, news outlets, sports franchises, and commercial enterprises all over the world rely on unmanned systems for critical aspects of their operations. The Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Systems Applications (BSUSA) at Embry-Riddle Worldwide offers graduates career opportunities that go far beyond engineering and development. Companies also need skilled administrators, operators, managers, and business professionals.
Students will customize the degree to fit their desired career path by selecting from three learning tracks: Administration, Operations, or Development. While each specialization focuses on a different aspect of the unmanned systems industry, all will position graduates to play a prominent role in the field as it continues to grow.
Administration Track: The emphasis is on managerial aspects of unmanned systems applications, ranging from business considerations and legal and regulatory requirements to environmental compliance, safety management, or contracting and procurement.
Operations Track: This area focuses on individual mission support such as mission planning, payload selection, or sensor data treatment.
Development Track: This area bridges the gap between engineering aspects and operational requirements. The focus is on task-oriented implementation, combination, and/or (re)design of existing technologies to suit new applications, including software adaptation to match requirements.
Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Systems Applications graduates will be prepared to help develop and apply the advanced technologies necessary to support the growing and dynamic needs of the industry. They will also be qualified to help guide the policies and regulations that govern this emerging field.
For students who choose to pursue their master’s degree, a 4+1 degree option is available.