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Academic programs

Aviation Department

The department offers bachelor degrees in Aviation Technology, Aviation Management, an associates degree in Aviation Technology, and a minor in Aviation.  Contact Academic Advisement if you have questions: (509) 517-2132.

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The program

Although most pilots transport passengers and cargo, others are involved in more unusual tasks, such as testing aircraft, monitoring traffic, rescuing and evacuating injured persons, directing fire fighting efforts, and spreading seed for reforestation. Except on small aircraft, two pilots make up the flight crew. The most experienced pilot, the captain, is in command and supervises all other crew members. The copilot assists with flying the aircraft, monitoring the instruments, and communicating with air traffic controllers. 

Virtually all new aircraft are equipped with computerized controls, eliminating the need for the third pilot, the flight engineer. Takeoff and landing are the most difficult parts of the flight, and require close coordination between the pilot and first officer. Pilots usually start with smaller commuter and regional airlines to acquire the experience needed to qualify for higher paying jobs with national airlines. 

The Aviation program at Walla Walla University features a 13,700 square-foot flight center located near the campus at a tower-controlled commercial airport with two paved runways and multiple instrument approaches. The university owns five aircraft, including a Piper Arrow, specially equipped for unique training purposes. Computerized Aviation Testing Service (CATS) is available on campus for all FAA written examinations. 

Due to increased legislation known informally as the "1500 Rule," all scheduled airlines are now required to hire pilots with a minimum of 1,500 hours flight time or 1,000 hours flight time if qualified for a restricted ATP certificate. Because Walla Walla University students often flight instruct while in school to build flight time and offset costs, they tend to graduate with more flight hours than graduates from other schools. Most of our Aviation students often go straight into pilot positions.


Bachelor of Science, Major in Aviation Technology

See course requirements>  


Bachelor of Science, Major in Aviation Management

The automotive management major is a joint program offered by the School of Business and the Department of Technology.

See course requirements>


Associate of Science, Major in AviationTechnology

This degree has been designed to be completed in three years and is intended for students who are already pursuing a bachelor's degree. 

See course requirements> 


Aviation minor

This degree has been designed to be completed in three years and is intended for students who are already pursuing a bachelor's degree. 

See course requirements> 


All flight courses have additional expenses. Please see the Program Costs for current aircraft rental rates and course costs.
Because of Part 61 FAA regulations, we are unable to accept international students to the aviation program.

Last update on October 22, 2018