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Aviation Studies


LR’s Bachelor of Science in Aviation Studies, slated to begin fall 2018, is designed as a special “2+2” partnership with community colleges to furnish students the opportunity to complete their baccalaureate degree in this exciting professional field. The program is available (only) to students who have completed the A.A.S. in Aviation Management & Career Pilot Technology tracks at Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College in Asheville and/or any equivalent community college aviation program or coursework. Accepted students enter seamlessly into the Bachelor of Science degree program at our Asheville Center.

Completion of a four-year degree is a crucial component for anyone seeking a career in commercial aviation, as the more advanced degree is often and generally required. Additionally, the FAA regulations incentivize the completion of the Bachelor’s degree in aviation by reducing the number of flight hours necessary for preparation to be a flight pilot.

LR’s program provides students two tracks depending on their professional aspirations: Aviation Management (designed to prepare graduates for non-pilot roles within the aviation/airport industry) or Career Pilot Technology (designed to prepare graduates to become professional pilots in civilian or military industries).


The Aviation Studies program integrates classroom learning with experiences such as flight training and business-related practicums to optimize the student’s preparation for professional careers—in the air or on the ground. Through our partnership with a local Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) approved Part 141 flight school, students will complete their remaining flight training. LR is presently seeking its accreditation with both the FAA and the Accreditation Council for Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), which accredits our Business-related programs. FAA approval for Part 141 certification has been obtained, and full authorization (R-ATP) is expected by April 2017. Full authorization will qualify graduates of the flight program to earn an airline or cargo pilot position with 1,000 hours of total flight time (compared to 1,500 hours, which is the normal federal minimum). LR will be the first and only R-ATP institution to offer a bachelor’s degree in North Carolina or South Carolina.

This program supports the rising demand for pilots of non-scheduled (charter) and scheduled (airline) commercial operations. Aviation scholars agree there will be unprecedented demand for people to pilot and maintain airplanes over the next 20 years, and the aviation industry will need to supply more than one million new aviation personnel, including pilots and maintenance technicians. In fact, the industry anticipates a huge pilot deficit growing over the next decade as demand for services and substantial personnel retirements occur. As Forbes magazine noted recently (Feb 2016): “Kids, get your pilots licenses, because this could be the career of the 2020s and 30s.”


The Aviation Studies major earns a B.S. degree. Students will choose an emphasis in either Aviation Management or in Career Pilot Technology. The program is a direct partnership with the community college, so students must complete their A.A.S. degrees (or equivalent) before entering the B.S. degree program at LR. Students who believe they have completed an equivalent Associates degree should contact LR’s Admissions Office, who can provide an assessment of the programs and credits.

Aviation Studies major Requirements
*The Aviation Studies program is pending approval by The Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).*

Program Contact

Dr. David Jones

O. Leonard and Helen S. Moretz Family Professor of Business, Chair of the Charles M. Snipes School of Business and Economics
Asheville Campus