4 Great Undergraduate Majors for an Aviation Career

If you’re thinking about going after a career in aviation or aiming to become a pilot, you may be wondering what undergraduate major to go after. These four majors for an aviation career could be exactly what you need to reach your goals.

A large commercial jet taking off.


This is the most commonly chosen major for those going after a job in aviation, especially if the individual wants to be a pilot. Courses can range from studies in engineering to flying aircraft. If you want to focus on a specific specialization within the major, you can also opt for classes in airport management, aircraft maintenance, and more within the field.

These programs can take between four and six years. If you choose to take a longer program, you may also graduate with flight training and commercial pilot certification. You’ll want to carefully compare programs to ensure they meet your education as well as career goals.

Aerospace Engineering

A second major to choose from within the aviation field is aerospace engineering. You won’t necessarily get flight training, but you will learn about aerodynamics, thermodynamics, flight dynamics, and other engineering courses. This is also a great choice if you’re thinking about applying to NASA or a similar organization.

Aviation Technology

If you opt for aviation technology, you actually will graduate with a commercial pilot certificate. These majors tend to be very heavy on the side of flight training. Students can also expect to learn aviation maintenance, operation of systems, aerodynamics, physics, and more.

Air Traffic Management

If you’re thinking about becoming an air traffic controller after college, you definitely will want to major in this. It’s actually a prerequisite to the career. You will take courses that help you understand aircraft congestion, prevention techniques, and management tools. In addition to learning aviation basics, you’ll also likely take classes on meteorology.

How Do You Find an Aviation Program?

In addition to these four undergraduate majors, there are a few others to consider. These include aeronautical science, aviation management, and aviation maintenance. It’s important to think about your own personal career goals and what’s required in order to enter that particular job and field. It may be possible you will have to continue your education past the four years, especially if you’re planning on being a commercial pilot.

If one of these aviation-related majors catches your eye, you will definitely want to check out the various programs at schools. Compare the classes, retention rates, graduation rates, and, of course, and post-grad hire rates. On top of understanding what you personally need out of a school, these numbers and details will help you decide which college is best suited to your needs.

Majors for an Aviation Career!

There are plenty of majors out there that can help you enter the field of aviation. Which of these will help you on your intended career path the most?

Check out the best colleges for aviation and for you with our free College Match Tool!

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Join thousands of students and parents learning about finding the right college, admissions secrets, scholarships, financial aid, and more.