Associate of Applied Science Degree


When you complete the Associate of Applied Science in Aviation, you will have all the credentials required to pursue a career as a professional pilot. The program offers in-depth training in all stages of pilot certification: Private Pilot, Instrument Rating, and Commercial Pilot. The program also offers classroom training in Aircraft Systems, Advanced Navigation Systems, Aviation Safety, Flight Instructor/ Aircraft Theory, and Aviation Regulations and Professional Conduct.

Job Opportunities

Job opportunities range from occupations as a pilot for a national or regional carrier to less well-known, but in-demand, work as a pilot for cargo services, air taxis, media aircraft, corporate jets, and as certified flight instructors. In Montana, employment for pilots is projected to grow faster than most occupations through 2018. An AAS in Aviation with a bachelor’s degree in a related field will make you especially competitive in the entry-level job market.

Graduates are Prepared to

  • Apply knowledge in aviation to adapt to emerging aviation trends.
  • Conduct themselves professionally and ethically.
  • Understand and analyze the role of aviation safety and human factors to the aviation industry.
  • Describe meteorology as it relates to aviation.
  • Independently fly and safely operate airplanes for which they are rated.
  • Demonstrate an understanding and the appropriate application of aeronautical principles, design characteristics, and operational limitations, for a variety of aircraft as it relates to the student's career goals.
  • Communicate effectively using both written and verbal skills.
  • Demonstrate proficiency in math computation for aviation and modern society.
  • Demonstrate effective skills in the use of computers and aviation related technology.

FAA medical certificates are issued by FAA designated Aviation Medical Examiners (AMEs), and are required by all pilots who operate aircraft. The names, addresses and phone numbers of AMEs in your area may be found at the FAA website (http://www.faa.gov/pilots/amelocator/) or you may contact the Gallatin College Director of Aviation for more information. A student enrolled in the Aviation Science Technology Program must obtain at least a Class II medical certificate before his or her first training flight.

Completion of the AAS in Aviation requires that students contract with a flight school recommended by the Aviation Gallatin College Advisory Council to complete the flight training leading to their Private pilot, Commercial pilot, and Instrument ratings.  Flight schools that are interested in becoming a recommended flight training provider for Gallatin College Aviation students should contact the Gallatin College Aviation Program Director at 406-994-6151 or ryan.haskins@montana.edu for information on the requirements and approval process.

Year 1Credits
AVFT 121 - Private Pilot - Fundamentals5  
AVFT 122 - Private Pilot - Flight (42 Hours***)2  
AVFT 130 - Meteorology for Aviation3  
CAPP 120 - Introduction to Computers
or ECNS 101IS - Economic Way of Thinking
or WRIT 201 - College Writing II
or GPHY 121D - Human Geography
AVFT 141 - Advanced Navigation Systems*  3
AVFT 143 - Instrument Ground*  3
AVFT 142 - Instrument Flight (40 hours)*  2
AVFT 150 - Aviation Operations  3
AVFT 171 - Aircraft Systems for Pilots  3
WRIT 101W - College Writing I  3
Year Total: 13 17
Year 2Credits
AVFT 245 - Commercial Ground*3  
AVFT 252 - Commercial Flight 1 Multi Eng (60 Hours***)2  
AVFT 260 - Aviation Safety3  
COMX 115 - Introduction to Interpersonal Communication3  
Choose one of the following:3  
M 121Q - College Algebra**
M 105Q - Contemporary Mathematics (formerly M 145Q, Math for Liberal Arts)3  
(or any other Quantitative core math class)
AVFT 253 - Commercial Flight 2 Multi Eng*  2
AVFT 261 - Flight Instructor Theory*  4
AVFT 262 - Advanced Aircraft Theory*  3
AVFT 263 - Aviation Regulations and Professional Conduct*  3
Natural Science or Contemporary Issues in Science with Lab  4
Year Total: 17 16
Total Program Credits: 60 or more

Indicates prerequisites needed.


Placement in course(s) is determined by placement assessment.


 Flight times are program averages.

A grade of "C-" or above is required for all courses for graduation.

Many students need preliminary math and writing courses before enrolling in the program requirements. These courses may increase the total number of program credits. Students should review their math and English placement before planning out their full program schedules.

Compliance and Liaison Advisory 223-15-01

According to the VA Education Service Compliance and Liaison Staff (September 1, 2015),  Institutions of Higher Learning (IHLs) "must provide the specific number of training hours required for the completion of any course involving such training, as well as the specific mandatory fees associated with any such course (to include a specific cost-per-hour rate), if the course is taken as part of a standard degree program."  Please see the Gallatin College Aviation program "Estimated Flight Training Costs" for these details.