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SLU Ranks in Top Ten for Best Colleges for Pilots, Aviation in America

by Maggie Rotermund
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Maggie Rotermund
Senior Media Relations Specialist

Reserved for members of the media.

Best Value Schools recently ranked Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology as the No. 10 best college in the country for pilots and aviation.


Piper Archer TX (PA28-181) aircraft used by aviation students at SLU. SLU file photo. 

The site’s ranking used a matrix of cost, job placement upon graduation, opportunities for flight hours and partnerships with pathway programs. SLU’s aviation program has a 71% graduation rate, above that of higher-ranked programs University of North Dakota (55%), Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (55%) and Baylor University (70%).

“Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology and the Department of Aviation Science are pleased with our ranking as a Best Pilot School,” said Steve Magoc, professor and chair of Aviation Science. “This achievement is thanks to the staff and faculty who work diligently to ensure that our academic programs and the flight program continue to improve year-after-year.”

Students enrolled in SLU’s aviation program begin flying within weeks of their freshman year, and continuously gather additional certification throughout each year of the flight science degree program. SLU’s Center for Aviation Science is housed at the St. Louis Downtown Airport.

Student pilots learn on a versatile aircraft fleet, including Diamond DA-20, Piper Archer PA-28-181 with Garmin G1000NXi, Seminole PA44 and a Canadair Regional Jet (CRJ-700) Simulator. 

Flight training is also supported by a fleet of Frasca advanced aircraft training devices (AATD), or simulators. Undergraduate degrees offered include aeronautics, with concentrations in aviation management, flight science and global aviation, and aerospace engineering. 

The Aviation Program also encourages a love of flight in young people by hosting an Aviation Summer Academy and a Girls in Aviation Day, both aimed at high school aged students. 

About Parks College

Saint Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology offers aviation degrees and engineering degree programs that enable students to study these technical disciplines in a traditional university setting. As the first federally recognized flight school, Parks College has a rich history of creating well-rounded leaders in aviation and engineering fields such as civil, electrical, computer, mechanical, biomedical, and aerospace.

About Saint Louis University

Founded in 1818, Saint Louis University is one of the nation’s oldest and most prestigious Catholic institutions. Rooted in Jesuit values and its pioneering history as the first university west of the Mississippi River, SLU offers more than 12,000 students a rigorous, transformative education of the whole person. At the core of the University’s diverse community of scholars is SLU’s service-focused mission, which challenges and prepares students to make the world a better, more just place.