“The Commercial Aviation Degree program is one of many steps the University of Memphis is taking to better prepare students for 21st century jobs,” said UofM President M. David Rudd. “The opportunity to collaborate with Millington’s Crew Training International Professional Flight Training will not only build a superior education program for our students, it will also better position our aviation graduates for future opportunities with FedEx, ranked No. 11 on FORTUNE magazine’s world’s most admired companies list. There will be ample demand for qualified, well-trained pilots in the coming decades, and this program and partnership will help UofM students become top candidates for these careers.”
The new Commercial Aviation program is designed to support the needs of the local community and address the looming pilot shortage. More than 42% (22,000) of U.S. airline pilots at the biggest carriers will retire over the next 10 years. Boeing estimates that in the next 20 years, airlines in North America will need 117,000 new pilots.
“University College is excited to partner with CTI Flight Training to offer the Commercial Aviation program,” said Dr. Joanne Gikas, interim dean. “CTI is an FAA Part 141-approved flight school located just minutes from the university’s Millington campus. With the CTI partnership, students will have seamless access to both flight training and curriculum support. A number of students have already inquired about this program, and we look forward to working with them.”
The 120-credit hour bachelor’s degree in Commercial Aviation includes 61 credit hours in professional aviation instruction. The degree also incorporates management and business operations courses, and will prepare students for careers in corporate aviation, general aviation, aviation-related business, airport operations and governmental regulation of aviation.
By earning a bachelor’s degree in aviation, pilots reduce the required number of flight hours needed to become commercial pilots by 500 hours, university officials said.