Aviation Institute Undergraduate Degrees

For students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Aviation, there are three concentrations available:

  • Air Transport Administration prepares students for careers in airport administration, airline operations and government entities.
  • Professional Flight prepares students who are looking to pursue a career as a professional pilot.
  • Unmanned Aircraft Systems prepares students for a career in operating unmanned aircraft as well as management and operations of a company or organization that utilizes unmanned aircraft.

The Bachelor of Science in Aviation requires the completion of 120 credit hours.  Each student will complete a comprehensive general education curriculum, department requirements, a 24 credit hour major and then their chosen concentration. The Air Transport Administration concentration consists of 27 credit hours, the Professional Flight concentration consists of 43 credit hours, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems concentration consists of 38 credit hours.

The Aviation Institute, in conjunction with the Division of Continuing Studies, offers an Aviation Studies program for non-traditional students with transfer credits or career aviation experience. For students who wish to complement their existing major at UNO, we also offer a minor in aviation.

Q Admissions Requirements

I want to apply! How do I get started?

Admission to the Aviation Institute is contingent upon admission to the University of Nebraska Omaha.

Freshman Requirements:

Meet All Core Course Requirements Upon High School Graduation:
4 Years of English
3 Years of Mathematics
3 Years of Social Science
3 Years of Natural Science
2 Years of Foreign Language (same language)
1 Year of Additional Academic Requirement
Meet one of the following:
Rank in the upper one-half of their graduating high school class
ACT composite of 20 or higher
SAT score of 950 or higher
Transfer Requirements:

24 transfer credit hours with a 2.5 GPA
Still Interested? Your next step is to apply for admission.

Q Scholarships

Through the generosity of many people and organizations, the Aviation Institute has the opportunity to offer a variety of scholarships. Scholarship applications are available through the general UNO Scholarship Application through Mavlink. The awards are made at the annual Aviation Institute Honors Convocation in April.

UNO has a centralized scholarship portal where you can discover and apply for all UNO scholarships in a single location.

To complete the UNO campus-wide scholarship application, complete the following steps:

Log into MavLINK
Under the Financial Aid tab, click Financial Aid Home
Click on Apply for 2019-20 Scholarships on the right side of the page
Log into the UNO Scholarship portal using your UNO NetID and password
Complete the General Application
If asked to complete an academic College/Department scholarship application, you can do so via the Applications tab (Aviation Scholarships)
Check the Opportunities tab for recommended scholarships you may be eligible to apply for!
Chris A. Hawks Memorial Scholarship

David LaMar Memorial Scholarship

Densel K. and Melba J. Acheson Enrichment Scholarship

Donald Smithey Scholarship

Charles Durham Scholarship

Kenneth and Patrick Chambers Memorial Scholarship

Robert E. and Rosita C. Wolsmann Scholarship

Jet Linx Aviation Institute Golf Classic Scholarship

Robert Azer Memorial Scholarship

Jamie Barrett Memorial Scholarship

Larry M Smith Memorial Scholarship

Q Academic Advising

Your academic advisor is your guide and partner through your education in the Aviation Institute at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

What are my Advisor's Responsibilities?
Be knowledgeable about the program's curriculum and graduation requirements.
Assist students in defining/developing goals.
Connect students to available campus resources.
Discuss links between academic and career goals.
Communicate UNO/CPACS/Aviation Institute policies and procedures.
Accurately document students' progress toward graduation.
What are my Advisee Responsibilities?
Schedule and keep appointments with your advisor.
Be an active participant.
Be prepared for your advising appointments.
Clarify goals, interests and values.
Accept responsibility for decisions.
Check UNO email regularly.
Ask questions.
When Should I See an Advisor?
The Aviation Institute has an open door policy. Your advisor is available by phone, email and in person to answer any questions. Your academic advisor is here to assist you with degree planning, course scheduling, as well as addressing any questions or concerns you have regarding your major/minor, academic performance, and/or policies and procedures.

Prospective Students
The Aviation Institute Advisor can meet with your prior to applying to UNO. Once you have decided that UNO is right for you:

Apply Online.
Request official transcripts from all high school and colleges previously attended, and have them mailed directly to the UNO Admissions Office. These must be received before admission to the University can be finalized.
Submit ACT or SAT scores. These scores are required from all students with fewer than 12 hours of college level course work.
Register for placement tests via MavLink.
Receive your Placement Exam results. If you do not receive results, contact the Testing Center in Kayser Hall Suite 522 or 402.554.4800
Schedule an Orientation session via MavLink. All new/transfer students are required to attend an orientation session. You must attend your orientation session before seeing your Academic Advisor. Online orientation sessions are available.
If you are a transfer student, make an appointment with your Academic Advisor. Contact Sara Martin at 402.554.2986 or to schedule your appointment.
Prepare for and meet with your Academic Advisor. Bring all placement exam results and your NU ID. Familiarize yourself with the UNO Catalog and schedule of classes for your selected major.

Q About Us

History and Mission of the Aviation Institute
Our vision is to lead collegiate aviation in ways that measurably enhance the lives of our students and others we serve through our instructional, research, and service programs.

The Mission of the Aviation Institute is to:

Provide an environment where students are supported and challenged as they develop the skills, knowledge, and experiences that prepare them for personally and professionally rewarding careers in aviation and transportation.

Conduct research that enhances the safety, security, efficiency, reliability, and sustainability of aviation and transportation services; and improves mobility and quality of life for the citizens of the State of Nebraska.

Engage the community through partnerships and other collaborative initiatives that improve the lives of the citizens of the State of Nebraska and others through innovative education, training, research, and service projects.

Maintain the highest standards of integrity and transparency in the conduct of the Institute’s business and the management and stewardship of its resources.

airplane Flying to New Heights
The Aviation Institute was founded with support from Omaha’s civic and business leaders including Charles Durham, Walter Scott, and Mike Harper. Don Smithey, former Executive Director of the Omaha Airport Authority, spearheaded the effort by working with Otto Bauer and John Faar of UNO’s administration to establish the Institute in 1990. The Institute’s first Director, Bill Shea, established a foundation for the development of the undergraduate degree program with the Dean of the College of Public Affairs and Community Service, David Hinton. They worked to integrate the Institute into the College and the Department of Public Administration.

The Institute now offers a Bachelor of Science in Aviation with concentrations in Air Transport Administration, Professional Flight, and Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operations. A minor in Aviation was also developed for students at the University who were not in the Aviation program, but wanted a portion of an aviation curriculum to support their major. In order to advance the reach of the aviation program, the Aviation Institute began a partnership with Omaha Burke High School in the fall of 2010 by adding aviation as an option in their dual enrollment program.

In more recent years, the Aviation Institute has had some major facility upgrades. In the fall of 2008, the Aviation Institute along with their counterparts in the College of Public Affairs and Community Service moved into the newly renovated CPACS Building. This also included an upgraded Aviation Resource Center and Advanced Simulation Facility. An addition to the Advanced Simulation Facility was made in August of 2012 with the addition of a full motion G1000 Simulator and in the Fall of 2013 with a Redbird Simulator.

College of Public Affairs & Community Service

Q Flight Training Information

Students in the Bachelor of Science in Aviation with a concentration in Professional Flight will be involved with flight training.

Flight Training Shut Down due to COVID 19 FAQ

The objective of the Professional Flight program is to prepare students for employment as First Officers in the airlines and corporate aviation flying turbine-powered aircraft. The Aviation Institute’s Professional Flight curriculum is approved by the FAA to grant the Restricted Airline Transport Pilot (R-ATP) authorization to our graduates. With the R-ATP, a pilot can be hired by a FAA Part 121 scheduled airline at age 21 with 1,000 flight hours verses at age 23 and 1,500 flight hours.

The Professional Flight program emphasizes personal responsibility and professionalism, which are essential for success as a professional pilot. Students are required to earn their FAA Private, Commercial and Instructor Certificates as well as Instrument and Multi-Engine Ratings. Per UNO policy and FAA guidance, all enrolled students must accomplish ground and flight training at UNO and UNO-supervised flight training providers or transfer credits from a R-ATP-certified collegiate aviation program. R-ATP coursework includes aerodynamics, aircraft systems, human factors, air traffic control, aviation law and regulations, weather and safety. Other required Aviation Institute courses in history, airline operations and airport operations foster knowledge of the industry. A broad-based general education curriculum completes the educational experience for the graduate.

Flight Training Provider

Professional Flight students enrolled in flight laboratory courses must use our approved flight provider which have been approved by the Regents of the University of Nebraska. Per FAA guidance, students must complete their Instrument and Commercial flight training at a University's affiliated Part 141 flight school in order to be eligible for the R-ATP. Additionally, per FAA guidance, students may not begin flight training for any Certificate or Rating until they have enrolled in or completed the commensurate theory class (ground school) at UNO.

Students are responsible for choosing their flight instructors; they may change instructors at any time. You should visit the provider prior to the beginning of classes in order to make an informed decision.

Advanced Air at the Council Bluffs Airport

Oracle Aviation at the Millard Airport

For more details about our flight provider, please feel free to contact them.

Estimated Cost of Flight Training:

Private Pilot Lab (AVN 1024)

$ 3,000

Private Pilot Certificate (AVN 1030)

$ 4,500

Instrument Rating (AVN 2104, 2114)

$ 8,000

Commercial Certificate (AVN 2124, 2134, 2144)

$ 15,000

Multi-Engine (AVN 3400)

$ 4,800

CFI (AVN 3194)

$ 4,700



The costs listed above are paid directly to the flight training provider for aircraft rental and flight instructor time. They assume a student of average ability who consistently flies at least two to three times a week. Failing to fly consistently will ultimately increase training costs. These costs also do not include tuition, books, or simulation time at UNO.

Q Advanced Simulation Facility

The UNO Aviation Institute's Advanced Simulation Facility offers students the newest technology in simulator training.

Flight students will use the Advanced Simulation Facility on a regular basis. Simulator fees are built into student fees and are paid directly to the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO).

The amount of time a student spends in the simulator will vary per semester, depending on their flight lab enrollment.

Redbird Simulator Redbird Simulator
The Advanced Simulation Facility is open to alumni and the general public.

In order to book time in our advanced simulation facility you will need to schedule a time with our flight training coordinator as well as provide all necessary documentation for the TSA.

Fees for the Advanced Simulation Facility:

Q Pathway Programs

The Aviation Institute works with airlines, charter providers, and corporate flight departments to provide the best employment opportunities for our students.

The University of Nebraska at Omaha has formal agreements with Envoy Air, ExpressJet, Republic Airways and Mesa Airlines to create major career opportunities for our graduates. We are also working with Endeavor Air in an effort to provide the most opportunities available. The Aviation Institute also has a strong relationship with Jet Linx Aviation to provide job opportunities in flight as well as administration positions. These programs vary in nature, but student's can enter into these programs while they are still a student at the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Once a student/graduate obtains their ATP, they can move along to the next stage of the hiring process for the airline.

For more information, please contact Scott Vlasek.

Q Destination 225° Program

On a compass rose, 225° is the southwest heading, and Destination 225° was developed to lead aspiring pilots to Southwest Airlines®. The Southwest Airlines Destination 225° Program includes various pathways to provide the opportunity to get you to the right seat of a Southwest Aircraft. The University of Nebraska at Omaha's Aviation Institute has partnered with Southwest Airlines to bring this unique opportunity to the students at UNO!

Check out Southwest Careers Destination 225° for more information.

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