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Helicopter Pilot Preparation

Saint Louis University’s helicopter pilot preparation program prepares you for certification by the Federal Aviation Administration to fly helicopters.

About the Program

Offered through our School for Professional Studies, this program partners with Midwest Helicopter to allow you to train to become a helicopter pilot while earning an undergraduate degree from SLU.

Students can take this series of courses paired with any bachelor's degree offered within the School for Professional Studies.

Please note that this program is designed for students who have no current FAA-approved helicopter pilot license. Students who have obtained a particular FAA-approved license, such as a private pilot license, will begin taking courses at the 2000 level. Students using VA benefits should be aware that the VA will not certify reimbursement for private pilot (1000-level) courses.


Ground courses: 10 credit hours

  • AVM 1000: Helicopter Ground I (private pilot)
  • AVM 2000: Helicopter Ground II (commercial)
  • AVM 3000: Helicopter Ground III (instrument)
  • AVM 4000: Principles of Flight Instruction I
  • AVM 4500: Principles of Flight Instruction II

Flight courses: 11 credit hours

  • AVM 1500: Helicopter Flight Operations I (private pilot)
  • AVM 2010: Helicopter Flight Operations II (instrument)
  • AVM 2020: Helicopter Flight Operations III (commercial)
  • AVM 3010: Helicopter Flight Operations IV (commercial)
  • AVM 4250: Helicopter Flight Operations V
  • AVM 4750: Helicopter Flight Operations VI

Note: Flight hours required for all flight courses are as follows:
AVM 1500: 45 hours
AVM 2010: 47 hours
AVM 2020: 58 hours
AVM 4250: 25 hours
AVM: 4750: 15 hours

Total credit hours for the helicopter pilot preparation program: 21


Graduates leave with private, commercial and instrument helicopter licenses. They can fly as an independent contract aviator, as a commercial pilot or a government employee with the Federal Aviation Administration or the Department of Agriculture. Other career options include instructor pilot, fly for hospitals, support civil defense and law enforcement efforts.

  • Andrew Molnar
Tuition and Fees

$640/ Credit Hour

$25.00 Technology Fee

View a List of Tuition and Fees for 2017-18

There are additional flight fees for this program.

Applicant Criteria

Students interested in studying helicopter pilot preparation at SLU must apply directly to the School for Professional Studies. Applications are accepted and processed on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply for admission at least one month before the beginning of the term in which they wish to enroll.

To be eligible for admission, School for Professional Studies students must be at least 22 years old (exceptions may be made on a case-by-case basis). Students must have a high school diploma or a GED composite score of at least 2250, and have at least three years of work experience or the equivalent. Students must also successfully complete an admission meeting with a SPS admissions counselor.

Community Partners

Unique Partnership with Midwest Helicopter

SLU is the only four-year Jesuit institution to offer helicopter training. Midwest Helicopter trains pilots seven days a week out of the St. Louis Downtown Airport located in Cahokia, Illinois — the same airport used by flight students at SLU’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology.