Aviation Summer Academy

The Saint Louis University Aviation Summer Academy is a six-day, five-night residential camp that invites students entering grades 11 and 12 to learn more about different areas of study and career paths in aviation.

During the academy, Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology faculty, certified flight instructors and student mentors guide participants through hands-on activities in subjects that include flight science, aviation management, aerial navigation, aircraft design, unmanned aerial vehicles and air traffic control.

Academy participants also take flights in a Saint Louis University airplane with our certified flight instructors, participate in off-campus field trips and explore SLU’s campus.

The Aviation Summer Academy is sponsored by The Boeing Company.

For more information, contact parksevents@slu.edu or 314-977-8443.


Rising high school juniors and seniors who currently have a 2.5 or higher GPA are eligible to participate. All application requirements must be met in order to be considered. Space is limited to 20 students.

Key Dates
  • December 1: Registration opens
  • April 15: Aviation Summer Academy and scholarship applications due
  • Week of May 1: Notification for acceptance and scholarship recipients
  • May 31: Final non-refundable tuition payment must be postmarked
  • June 25: Check-in begins at 2 p.m.  
  • June 30: Lunch for students and invited guests begins at 11:30 a.m. with a short program during the meal. Check-out begins at 1 p.m. Out-of-state students should book their transportation accordingly. Participants are asked to stay for the lunch and presentation on the last day.
Sample Schedule

Modules explore the varying fields of engineering and consist of dedicated instruction and interactive activities led by accomplished faculty members. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided for students.

Day 1

Welcome to SLU
After check-in, meet your counselor and learn about the schedule for the week. Check-in is held from 2 to 5 p.m. in McDonnell Douglas Hall. Airport transportation will be provided starting at 2 p.m. for students traveling from out of state.

Campus Tour
Join an ambassador of Saint Louis University to discover the beauty of our campus and hear first-hand experiences from a current SLU student. Before the tour, explore McDonnell Douglas Hall and follow the historic timeline that details our rich history as the nation’s oldest aviation school.

Team Activities
Break into groups and compete in a series of timed, problem solving activities.

Ted Drewes
Take a break and enjoy a St. Louis tradition, Ted Drewes frozen custard.

Day 2

Introduction to Flight Science
Tour the Parks College Center for Aviation Science at the St. Louis Downtown Airport. You will practice your piloting skills on SLU’s flight simulators and learn how to preflight an aircraft with guidance from certified flight instructors and SLU aviation students.

Aerial Navigation and Avionics Modules
Learn how to read aerial maps and create a flight plan. Explore the latest technologies in avionics and flight instruments.

Day 3

Discovery Flights in SLU Airplanes
Take a flight in a Diamond DA/20 aircraft with experienced flight instructors and see St. Louis from the air.

Air Traffic Control Modules
Tour an air traffic control tower and learn the ins and outs of air traffic control. You will also be able to practice your own skills in our Air Traffic Control Lab.

Simon Rec Center
Visit the Saint Louis University Simon Rec Center where you can swim at the SLUruba pools, use the rock climbing wall or play basketball.

Day 4

Aviation Industry Field Trip
Visit a location in the aviation industry to explore possible career paths and learn from professionals currently working in the field.

Aviation Management Modules
Explore the various fields within the aviation industry in addition to piloting, such as aviation management, law and ethics. Learn about opportunities in humanitarian aviation and other optional career paths.

Day 5

Aerodynamics and Aircraft Design Modules
Enhance your understanding of basic aerodynamics through interactive activities, aircraft design challenges and demonstrations of Parks’ wind tunnel laboratories.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Modules
Maneuver a SLU quad-copter through an obstacle course while discovering the many facets of the unmanned aerial vehicle industry.

Afternoon Flight
Take another flight in SLU aircraft with a certified flight instructor to a different local airport, land and fly back. Learn how to log flight hours in a log book.

Day 6

Busch Student Center
Before you leave Summer Academy, visit SLU’s central hub for student activity. The BSC is home to many student organizations, dining and the University bookstore.

Closing Lunch
On this last day of the academy, families are invited to attend the closing luncheon and enjoy a short program to wrap up the weeklong experience.


Tuition for the Aviation Summer Academy is $800 and is not collected until acceptance decisions have been made.

Tuition covers all meals, room and board, materials and activities during the academy, including field trips, flights, simulators, academic modules and evening entertainment. Transportation between St. Louis Lambert International Airport, Amtrak’s St. Louis station and SLU’s campus at the beginning and end of the academy is included for out-of-state students.


Full and partial scholarships for Summer Academy tuition are available based on financial need and merit. Submit the scholarship application in order to be considered.

Scholarship applicants must complete all regular application requirements plus the online scholarship application. The application will ask you to answer the following questions:

  • Why do you want to attend the Aviation Summer Academy?
  • Why are you applying for a scholarship for the Summer Academy?
  • Why are you a viable or deserving scholarship candidate? (Consider scholastic or academic achievements, extracurricular activities, demonstrated interests, etc.)

Consideration for acceptance into the Aviation Summer Academy requires all of the following components:

  • Completed online application form
  • Current official high school transcript
  • Letter of recommendation from a math or science teacher
  • Application fee (if applicable)

The transcript and letter of recommendation can be emailed directly from a teacher, counselor or administrator to parksevents@slu.edu or mailed in a sealed envelope to:

SLU Parks College
Attn: Aviation Summer Academy
3450 Lindell Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103