About Aviation

A Commitment to Excellence

Since 1973, the University of Dubuque's Aviation Programs have been graduating people to take leadership roles in the ever-expanding field of air transportation. In order to provide every student with world-class opportunities, we make sure our students are exposed to the best practices and latest techniques, as well as best equipment. UD aviation students now fly the latest Cessna 172-S models, receive their instrument training utilizing G-1000 glass cockpits, and pilot one of the best high-performance complex trainers available. We never stop improving our technology and integrating new equipment including a state-of-the art Aerosim CRJ200 Level 5 compliant Flight Training Device (FTD). In addition to securing the latest equipment, we employ outstanding faculty and flight personnel. Courses are constantly evaluated, up-dated, and aligned to changes in the aviation industry. We insist on training and safety excellence and adhere to clearly defined standards of fiscal and safety program accountability. Finally, we emphasize learning in a professional environment -- critical in aviation, where even small errors and omissions cannot be tolerated.

Why a Career in Aviation?

Today, the sky is literally the limit for opportunities in aviation. The need for pilots as well as aviation management personnel will be significant in the future. Almost all industry experts report a projected increase in need across the board for active commercial and airline transport pilots over the next decade. A promising job market in business and corporate aviation is projected to continue as well. All management personnel will be equally in demand for aviation. With all these opportunities, students preparing for aviation careers will face a decision: which job offer shall I take? But, first you must be prepared. Getting the right training is critical. At UD, students can choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree in Flight Operations, Aviation Management, or Applied Aviation Technology (UAS).

Bachelor's Degree in Aviation Management

There are many other opportunities in aviation. After all, aviation businesses have to be managed just like other firms. Aviation Management majors study basic business management courses, such as accounting, economics, organization, and marketing. They focus on operations at the airlines and other businesses that serve the nation's airports. They learn to manage crucial maintenance and safety programs. They learn everything needed to be successful with an airline, a management firm, marketing firm, or other kinds of companies associated with the aviation industry.

Bachelor's Degree in Flight Operations

Students who are serious about flying choose the Flight Operations major. They graduate with a commercial pilot's license and multi-engine rating. They gain a strong background in safety practices, crew resource training, aviation law, flight operations, human factors, as well as aerodynamics and meteorology. They also take courses in Corporate Aviation, FBO Management or Airline Management. The FAA has granted UD a Letter of Authorization, (LOA), to provide qualified graduates eligibility for the Restricted ATP to begin their airline career with 1,000 hours of flight time, versus the normal 1,500 hour requirement necessary from many other flight programs.


A major benefit of the UD Aviation Program is our access to challenging internships that give students a chance to experience the aviation industry, help them decide which jobs are right for them, and sometimes lead directly to employment opportunities. The University of Dubuque is strategically located in the center of three large cities: Minneapolis, Chicago, and St. Louis. In addition, Dubuque itself has an airport and several businesses with corporate flight departments, some of which cooperate with us by providing internships. Our students may choose among internships with some of the corporate operators at the Dubuque Regional Airport, or other cooperating companies throughout the country. There is ample opportunity to match internships to personal career goals. Internships are one reason why UD Aviation majors have little trouble launching their careers. 

Airline Bridge/Cadet Programs

The University of Dubuque provides and trains airline-ready pilots, and because of this, agreements are in place with several regional airlines. Fiscal bonuses, additional training for the Restricted-ATP, aircraft Type Ratings, benefits of travel and insurance as well as seniority are all possibilities available to you as a UD graduate participating in one of these agreements. 

What's Special About UD?

The UD Aviation Program is exceptional; and the instruction, in the classroom and flight line, is personal. Students can demonstrate their excellence by joining our flight team. They can also become members of Alpha Eta Rho, or Women in Aviation, or AAAE. These organizations all offer amazing camaraderie as well as networking and professional opportunities. Our training facilities are excellent. We operate at an airport with an Air Traffic Control Tower, a complete set of instrument approaches, as well as a maneuvers training area just outside the airport traffic area. From engine start to engine shutdown, you have continuous training with no wasted taxi time. Finally, and most important, the professional education provided by the University of Dubuque is grounded squarely in the liberal arts. In an age of technology and specialization, UD continues to stress a broad education. We insist that our graduates learn more than management and flight skills. They are also required to develop the social, intellectual, and moral dimensions essential for succeeding in their professional and personal lives.

Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) Accreditation

AABI accreditation represents the highest standard of achievement for aviation schools worldwide. This prestigious accreditation assures quality and promotes excellence and continuous improvement in aviation education for all aviation disciplines. To receive accreditation an aviation school must meet the following criteria:

  • Demonstrate that faculty and staff members are qualified and current in their fields;
  • Maintain a high-caliber curriculum that is current and relevant;
  • Measure learning outcomes and continuously strive for improvement;
  • Cultivate a culture of safety that permeates all flight and ground activities by faculty, staff, and students;
  • Collaborate with industry to assure employers that graduates possess a broad background in the aviation industry as well as skills needed for aviation specializations; and
  • Provide for aviation programs to periodically perform a comprehensive self-analysis to achieve their objectives.