Aviation, M.S., Ph.D.

Saint Louis University’s master’s and doctoral programs in aviation, offered by Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, will prepare you for advanced work in the aviation industry or in the academic world.

About the Program

You can pursue your Master of Science in aviation via one of three tracks: collegiate flight education, flight operations administration or aviation safety. All courses are offered exclusively online.

Our Ph.D. program challenges students to reach beyond the conventional boundaries of professional aviation. You’ll focus on research methodologies with additional coursework in a second, complementary discipline of your choice.

Program Highlights

As an M.S. student, you’ll prepare a program of study that must be approved by your faculty adviser, department chair and the graduate programs director for Parks College. This program of study is developed within the context of the your background and career goals, allowing you to customize your graduate program to best prepare you for your future career.

As a Ph.D. student, you’ll develop a dissertation proposal under the supervision of your research mentor. Upon successfully passing the qualifying exam, you will present and defend your proposal. The qualifying exam focuses on topics related to the required courses and your general preparation for graduate study and research. Finally, you’ll defend your thesis, first in a public forum and then privately to the guidance committee.

Master's Curriculum and Program Details

Each track of the master’s program shares a common core and includes a graduate-level internship experience. All courses are offered online only. The program consists of 32 credit hours of graduate-level work. You’ll also need to choose whether to complete with the program with the research option, which is intended for students who will continue for a Ph.D. degree, or the project option, which is designed for students who will enter or re-enter the aviation industry after graduation.

Ph.D. Curriculum and Program Details

The Doctor of Philosophy in aviation requires a total of 63 credit hours beyond a bachelor's degree, including:

  • At least 12 credit hours of dissertation research
  • At least 12 credit hours of coursework in research methodologies
  • At least 12 credit hours in a second discipline complementary to your knowledge of aviation

You’ll work with your adviser and Ph.D. committee to determine the specific coursework to complete your Ph.D. in aviation. If you already have an applicable Master of Science degree, 27 credit hours of your M.S. program can be counted toward the 63 credit hours necessary to graduate with your Ph.D., though thesis or project credits will not be counted toward your Ph.D.


The expert faculty of Parks College collaborate with graduate students in groundbreaking research in subject areas that include flight control systems, flight education, human factors and physiology, safety and unmanned aerial systems.

  • Stephen Belt, Ph.D.
  • Terrence Kelly, Ph.D.
  • Stephen Magoc, MBA
  • Saul Robinson, M.M.E.
Possible career fields for Master of Science graduates include flight training and education, aviation-related management and aviation safety. After graduating, you are qualified for management positions within the aviation industry.

Ph.D. graduates are uniquely qualified to conduct aviation-related research in academia, government and industry.
Tuition and Fees

Saint Louis University takes pride in being one of Barron's Best Buys in College Education and Kiplinger's Best Values in Private Colleges.

For information regarding the upcoming academic year’s tuition rate, fees and financial aid, visit SLU Financial Services.

2017-2018 Tuition and Fees
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Financial Aid

Scholarships and Financial Aid
Parks College offers graduate fellowship awards and assistantships each year. Assistantships provide tuition, stipend and health insurance. Apply by March 1 to be considered for an assistantship or fellowship award for the following fall semester.

There are also opportunities for students to receive funding through external research grants that are managed directly by individual faculty. Find information on other financial aid opportunities by visiting SLU’s Student Financial Services.

Applicant Criteria

Most admitted students meet the following criteria:

  • GRE quantitative score greater than 650 (old grading system) or greater than 150 (new grading system)
  • Undergraduate GPA of at least 3.0
  • A four-year undergraduate degree in aviation or related field of desired graduate program

You’ll need the following items to apply:

Application Requirements
Online application form and fee
Official transcript(s) of all previous degrees
Three letters of recommendation (preferably from recent instructors)
GRE scores
Curriculum vitae/résumé
Professional goal statement

Requirements for International Students

International students whose native language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency by submitting their TOEFL or IELTS results. Minimum scores required:

  • TOEFL PBT 550
  • TOEFL IBT 80
  • IELTS 6.5

Application and Assistantship Deadlines

To be considered for enrollment in the fall semester, students should submit their application materials by May 31.

Students who want to be considered for an assistantship must submit their application by March 1.

Review Process

Once all the materials are received and the online application is complete, your application is reviewed by the Office of Parks Graduate Programs before being sent to the aviation department for a recommendation. The final decision is made by Parks’ director of graduate programs.

Admissions decisions are made based on your background and educational experience. Applications are reviewed as soon as they become complete, and decisions are generally made within a few weeks.