Aviation Studies: Flight Technology and Operations program is part of the School of Aviation 
in the BGSU College of Technology, Architecture and Applied Engineering.

  • Bachelors Available
  • Bachelors Available

Aviation Studies: Flight Technology and Operations

By joining the BGSU flight technology and operations program of the aviation studies major, we will train you to become a commercial pilot. Aviation students can begin flying their freshman year at the on-campus airport within walking distance of the aviation learning community residence on our main campus.   

Our high education standards and extensive flight experience mean BGSU School of Aviation graduates are approved by the Federal Aviation Administration to obtain their Restricted Airline Transport Pilot Certificates with up to 500 fewer flight hours than are typically required, saving you considerable time and money. We also have an on-site PSI testing center, so you can take your FAA written exams right here in the flight center.

Hands on, wheels up

Students earn a Bachelor of Science in Aviation and an FAA private pilot certificate, FAA instrument rating, and FAA commercial pilot single-engine and multi-engine certificates. Students also can earn flight instructor certificates and ratings while studying as an aviation major at BGSU.

You will have the chance to fly as a freshman with the BGSU aviation studies major. With an emphasis on hands-on learning, students in the flight technology and operations program take classes that blend flight training in our young aircraft fleet with traditional classroom coursework studying avionics, management and flight operations.

Students also participate in a cooperative education experience to gain industry experience and build a professional network.  

Students take most of their classes at the Bowling Green Flight Center, located on-campus at the Ohio-based Wood County Regional Airport. The Flight Center, which includes more than 20,000 square feet of hangar space, houses a fleet of 18 aircraft, classrooms, flight instruction offices, a full-motion RedBird simulator and a FRASCA simulator. Students work closely with flight instructors who provide one-on-one mentorship during their flight training.

Stand Out in courses like

  • Advanced Aerodynamics & Aircraft Performance
  • Air Traffic Control and the National Airspace System
  • Safety Management Systems
  • Private Pilot Flight Instruction
  • Safety Management Systems
  • General Psychology
  • Business Aviation
  • Meteorology

The BGSU aviation program was ranked 10th in the country in 2020 by BestColleges.org.


The aviation studies major curriculum is designed to prepare students for responsible positions in general and commercial aviation. All instruction leading toward Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight certification is conducted in accordance with the appropriate Federal Aviation Regulations. 

In addition to being trained as commercial pilots, you will also study general education subjects, aircraft systems, crew concepts, management and administration. The program is geared toward training students with no previous flight experience with the focus on creating future pilots in the airline and corporate aviation environment. Students enrolling in our flight technology and operations program begin flight training their first year, either in the fall semester or spring semester.

We aim to create competent, skillful professional pilots and flight department leaders who can solve flight operations problems within the aviation industry. We also aim to develop crew resource management, operational risk management, and professional safety skills in students for their careers in the aviation industry. Throughout all curriculum subjects, you will learn professional, business and ethical responsibility in the global aviation environment.


Aviation students can join the Aviation Learning Community, where they can live with other aviation students in a residence hall located close to the on-campus airport.


Bowling Green State University has a strong track record of employment for graduates of the aviation studies program. The airline industry is cyclical, but air transport, cargo and ground operations career prospects are strong, with aircraft manufacturer Boeing reporting it believes “the market fundamentals driving air traffic demand remain strong and we remain confident in the long-term strength of the aviation industry.”

Upon graduation, our students are employed as pilots, operations staff, flight instructors, charter pilots and work in the recreation and sightseeing industry. After building flight time, our graduates pursue employment as commercial pilots for airlines, air freight and cargo, charter operations or corporate flight careers.

As the national demand for pilots continues to climb, BGSU has created a pathway for students to enter the workforce faster through a newly formed partnership with one of the largest regional airlines in the United States.

The University’s partnership with Republic Airways provides students a direct pipeline to a career through conditional job offers, which they can receive as early as their second year.

GO FAR in your career

  • Government and law enforcement pilot
  • Emergency medical service pilot
  • Commercial airline pilot
  • Flight instructor
  • Charter pilot
  • Test pilot
  • Firefighting pilot
  • Military pilot

Niche.com ranked Bowling Green State University's aviation program third-best in Ohio for colleges with aeronautics and aviation technology degrees in 2021.

The Aviation Flight Technology program and courses do not qualify for GI Bill© or VA education benefits. However, many students are eligible for other military education benefits; Please contact Nontraditional and Military Student Services at 419 372-8136 or ntmss@bgsu.edu for further information.

Learning Outcomes

The Flight Technology and Operations (FTO) specialization is designed to educate and train professional pilots. In addition to being trained as commercial pilots, the students also study general education subjects, aircraft systems, crew concepts, management, and administration.

Upon completion of the baccalaureate degree, students in the Aviation Studies program are expected to:

  • Solve aviation-related problems using knowledge, skills, and aptitudes gained in the program to assure productive outcomes;
  • Maintain professional and social relationships with others in developing, conducting, and promoting safe aviation operations;

Bowling Green State University [BGSU] is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission.  BGSU has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission since 01/01/1916. The most recent reaffirmation of accreditation was received in 2012 - 2013. Questions should be directed to the Office of Institutional Effectiveness.

The Aviation Studies program is accredited by the Association of Technology, Management, and Applied Engineering (ATMAE). For more information about ATMAE.

Bowling Green State University programs leading to licensure, certification and/or endorsement, whether delivered online, face-to-face or in a blended format, satisfy the academic requirements for those credentials set forth by the State of Ohio.

Requirements for licensure, certification and/or endorsement eligibility vary greatly from one profession to another and from state to state. The Aviation Studies, Flight Technology and Operations program, leads to professional licensure. 

Under the Higher Education Act Title IV disclosure requirements, an institution must provide current and prospective students with information about each of its programs that prepares students for gainful employment in a recognized occupation.

The Aviation Studies program is not a recognized occupation that requires a Gainful Employment disclosure.  

* Job placement and salary information was compiled by the Office of Academic Assessment through the Graduation Survey from AY2015-2018. The data are gathered around the time of Commencement and a follow-up survey six months post Commencement. For the salary question, data for programs with fewer than fifteen responses are not included. Salaries for those programs are from the National Association of Colleges and Employers Summer 2019 Survey. For questions regarding the data, contact assessment@bgsu.edu.

Updated: 02/15/2024 04:51PM