Destination USA: Aeronautics and Aviation programmes in US

There are two options for students interested in graduate programmes in Aeronautics and Aviation Science, a Master of Science or Doctor of Philosophy.

In our series on popular fields of study pursued by Indian students at US universities, we discussed Engineering and Business Administration in the last few weeks. Today, we talk about the field of Aeronautics and Aviation Science that is increasingly in demand by Indian students.

There are many institutions in the US that offer aviation and aeronautic degrees. The study of Aeronautics and Aviation Science combines flight training with academic studies. Although Aeronautics is often studied in combination with Aviation Science, students can combine other areas of study with Aeronautics. Specialisations and subfields in aviation science include aviation management, air traffic control, aviation law, air transportation, and flight mechanics. Aeronautics degrees are sometimes also combined with Astronautics programmes.

At the undergraduate (or bachelors) level, students can receive a Bachelor of Science or BS degree in Aeronautics and Aviation Science or in a specialised area (like Air Transport, Commercial Aviation, Flight Education, or Aviation Systems Management), depending on the availability of programmes at the university. While studying this major, students prepare for exams given by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Students can also complete the first two years of their four-year bachelor’s programme at a community college where they may have an option to both get a private pilot’s license and commercial pilot’s license at the end of two years.

There are two options for students interested in graduate programmes in Aeronautics and Aviation Science, a Master of Science (MS) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD). The title of the degree programme may vary by institution and academic programme. The specialisations available at the graduate level in the field of Aeronautics and Aviation Science include Aviation Education Technology, Aviation Management, Aviation/Aerospace Operations, Safety Systems, Human Factors in Aviation Systems, and Space Studies.

With a degree in Aeronautics and Aviation Science, professional opportunities include service as an airline commercial pilot, corporate pilot, professional flight crew member, air traffic controller, airline executive, natural resources pilot, aircraft dispatcher, law enforcement pilot, flight instructor or aerial applicator. A thesis-based programme, including a PhD, allows students to pursue a research career in the field.

(Monika Setia is the Regional Officer and EducationUSA Adviser at the U.S. – India Educational Foundation based at the US Consulate General Hyderabad)


Q. I am planning to apply for MS programmes at universities in USA. What documents will I need as proof of finances?
– Arshiya

Ans. Most colleges and universities include a form called a Declaration and Certification of Finances or Affidavit of Financial Support in their application packets. This must be signed by your parents or whoever is paying your college expenses and must be certified by a bank or lawyer. Keep a copy of this form since you will also need it to apply for your student visa. Schools usually need to know that you have at least the first year’s expenses covered, although many may also ask you to indicate your source of income for the entire period of study.

If you know when you apply that you will need some form of assistance from the college, indicate how much you plan to request from the university. Do not wait until you have been accepted into a university to request assistance, as it will be too late in most instances. Please note that the university will issue the relevant certificate of eligibility for a student visa only if you are able to fully document your source(s) of income.

Q. What is SEVIS fee? Is it mandatory to pay this fee for admission to US universities?
– Raghavendra Rao

Ans. SEVIS or the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System is an Internet-based system that maintains information on foreign students and exchange visitors, as well as their dependents, before and during their stay in the United States. The Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) – a programme by the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – administers SEVIS.

As an international student in the US, students pay the SEVIS fee in time to ensure that the payment can be deposited and recorded in SEVIS prior to the scheduled visa interview for their student visa.

The interviewing consular officer will confirm that the fee has been paid by accessing SEVIS. Students may pay the SEVIS Fee on, the only federal website certified to collect the SEVIS fee payments. If the student has a spouse or child traveling with them, they are not required to pay a separate SEVIS fee.


Every question has an answer. And ‘Destination USA’ will strive to provide the right answer to all those youngsters who dream of studying in the US.

Mail your questions and doubts to to have subject matter experts answer them, right from the degree and programmeme of study you can pursue to what the application process entails, on universities, how to prepare resumes, financing your studies and even how it is like to live and study in the US, all are welcome.

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