Best colleges for drone training
The FAA has recently changed its laws in reference to drone aviation and is expected to continue making changes over the next few years.
In anticipation of these new regulations, many colleges are offering varying degrees in drone operator training.
Below is a list of the 15 best colleges for drone students to consider if they want to start or maintain their career as a UAV pilot:
Embry-Riddle has more pilot cadets to graduate from their Reserve Officers Training Corps program than any other non-military endorsed school.
Embry-Riddle was the first in America to offer a post-graduate education course in UAV maneuvers and continuing education.
Their instructors are qualified to teach students everything there is to know about drones from how to build them to how to pilot them.
Drone courses are available through Embry-Riddle online and in person at their Prescott, Arizona and Daytona Beach, Florida locations.
Those who simply want to work on the engineering and mechanics side of drones can work towards a Master of Science in UnmannedXXX and AutonomousXXX Systems Engineering.
This field of study not only covers UAVs, but also industrial robots, submarine vessels, and cars.
For those interested in piloting and business education, they offer a Master degree in Unmanned Systems program. Classes will cover system management, ethical liability, policy design, as well as piloting.
2. Oklahoma State University
The first college in the United States to offer a graduate degree in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle education is still a trusted school of choice for drone operator training today.
Oklahoma State students have a couple options when it comes to completing their desired level of drone education.
Students there can achieve a Master’s or Ph.D. in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. One of the things that separate Oklahoma State from the rest is its unique relationship with Multispectral Laboratories in Fort Sill, Oklahoma.
Student applicants may be allowed to learn drone piloting and techniques at their otherwise restricted air space.
Those who enroll in one of the distinguished UAV programs will learn skills in piloting, drone design, and in-flight communications.
3. Indiana State University
Indiana State University is another great choice for anyone who wants a degree in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle education.
Their Bachelor degree programs include one for Aviation Flight Technology as well as Aviation Management with a minor in Unmanned Aerial Systems.
A plan for establishing a Center for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles has been proposed and may be underway in the near future.
4. Kansas State University
With the most Master Certified Flight Instructors in the Country, Kansas State University is a small but mighty tech-friendly college.
Kansas State has a full Bachelor’s degree program in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle education and its students are granted a unique opportunity to assist in real missions orchestrated by the Department of Defense.
Kansas State UAV students will also be provided with education on specialty as well as basic drones. These UAVs include but are not limited to videography, photography, infrared, and thermal drones.
5. University of North Dakota
With over forty years of experience in equipping aviation students with the skills they need in the aerial industry, the University of North Dakota is an attractive option for Unmanned Aerial Vehicle students.
Because of exceptionally low population density surrounding the school, students may have access to thirteen thousand square miles of airspace for piloting practice.
They are also eligible for admission to fly in restricted air space owned by Camp Grafton, a once in a lifetime opportunity.
6. Liberty University
This Christian university located out of Lynchburg, Virginia provides students an opportunity of taking in person or online courses.
The UAV piloting classes offered by Liberty University can be taken mostly online with a few hours of mandatory on-campus flying instruction and supervision.
Those who participate in their Bachelor degree program will learn to build and control two of the most frequently manufactured operating systems used in most drones.
The students who complete their training will become certified Dragon Eye Unmanned Aerial Systems holders.
7. Troy University
In 1887, Troy University was established as a college for professional educators. Today five different colleges participate in providing their classes through Troy University.
Since 2014, Troy University has been accepting students into their Unmanned Aerial Vehicle educational program.
Their Bachelor degree program in Aerial Operations now comes with an option of adding a minor in drone technology.
8. Lewis University
Lewis University is one of the most talked about colleges when it comes to aviation technology. Their Bachelor Unmanned Aerial Vehicle program has been in the top ten ranked drone programs for years by the US News and World Report.
Lewis University also has its own airport for pilot training and experimental operations.
Individuals who graduate from their state of the art UAV program will be certified in private and commercial piloting for single-engine aerial vehicles.
9. University of Louisiana
The University of Lousiana became a pioneer in aviation education opening its flight program in 1939. It was instrumental in turning out airplane pilots to aid in the war effort during WWII.
Since 2013, the University of Louisiana has been schooling its aviation students in drone operator training. Before graduation, students are expected to map a specific flight path for their drone and see it flawlessly executed.
A post-graduate certification in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Education is also available to students who qualify.
10. Northwestern Michigan College
Northwest Michigan College is famous for its hands-on method of instruction. This is especially beneficial for individuals who enroll in their Associate degree program in drone technology.
All UAV students will receive training on basic drones as well as industrial grade drones. An Engineering Technology program is available to students looking to extend their knowledge of drones.
They can learn the basics of programming, robotics, and mechanics of unmanned aerial vehicles.
11. University of Nevada
Located near some of the best areas in Nevada for drone photography, the University of Nevada is making headway in drone education.
The University of Nevada’s College of Engineering is now offering a minor degree in Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology.
This is available to students of their four-year degree programs in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, and Mechanical Engineering.
12. Middle Tennessee State University
Middle Tennessee State University has recently invested one hundred forty-seven million dollars into their state of the art science building.
Since 2015, students have been able to enroll in their Bachelor Degree program in Aerospace Operations with a concentration in UAVs. NASA is even funding some of its new classrooms.
With so many advancements underway, their drone education courses are sure to be phenomenal.
13. Unmanned Vehicle University
Unmanned Vehicle University is the first University ever to offer a Doctoral Degree Certificate in Unmanned Aerial Vehicular Systems Engineering and Unmanned Aerial Vehicular Systems Project Management; the latter can be completed entirely online.
Its unique style of education requires no textbooks, just hands-on experience, and information from some of the most experienced pilots in the business.
It’s important to note that while this University offers some of the most trustworthy drone operator training available, it is not yet nationally accredited.
14. Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology
Some of the best aeronautic professors in the country can be found at Spartan College of Aeronautics and Technology.
Its program can equip its future pilots with the necessary education to get a professional pilot’s certification in twelve month’s time.
Associate and Bachelor degree programs in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles are also offered by Spartan College.
Monroe Community College and Mohawk Community College have united with SkyOp, an aerial education organization to bring the best drone training to New York.
Their specialization is helping future small drone pilots prepare for certification. These courses can be completed in as little as six three-hour training and education sessions.
With drone piloting becoming an increasingly popular career, pilots will benefit from having a formal education on their resume.
The pilots who go the extra mile to get drone operator training will likely be favored above those who don’t.
Any of these great schools can give drone pilots the skills they need to be successful in their exciting careers.