Jul 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Florida Tech Catalog 
2023-2024 Florida Tech Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

College of Aeronautics

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Dean John E. Deaton, Ph.D.

Assistant Dean
Rian Mehta, Ph.D.

Chair, Graduate Programs
Deborah S. Carstens, Ph.D., PMP

Chair, Online Programs
Michael Splitt. M.S.

Coordinator, Doctoral Programs
Ersoy Subasi, Ph.D.


Meredith Carroll, Ph.D., human performance, testing and assessment

Deborah S. Carstens, Ph.D., PMP, process and safety optimization, human performance, human-computer interaction, usability

John E. Deaton, Ph.D., aviation human factors, applied aviation psychology

Korhan Oyman, Ph.D., aviation planning, economics, financial management

Associate Professors

Ulreen O. Jones, Ph.D., aviation planning, airport design, computer-aided design, aviation computer applications

Ersoy Subasi, Ph.D., M.B.A., operations research, financial mathematics, stochastic programming, machine learning, optimization, optimization under uncertainty

R. Tolga Turgut, Ph.D., M.B.A., aviation management, finance and marketing

Brooke E. Wheeler, Ph.D., aviation environmental science, research design, sustainability, environmental communication, disturbance ecology

Assistant Professors

Gregory Fox, Ph.D., ATP, aviation science, aviation safety

Rian Mehta, Ph.D., consumer perceptions, regression analysis, mediation analysis, scale development

Warren Pittorie, Ph.D., aeronautical science, human factors

Vivek Sharma, Ph.D., aviation safety, statistics and research methodology

Michael Splitt. M.S., meteorology

Margaret Wallace, M.S., air traffic control, aviation management, airport operations


Adam Aboueid, M.S., aeronautical science and technology

Elie Choi, M.S., aeronautical science and aviation safety

Jim Guida, M.S., aeronautical science and aerospace engineering

Anna Marron, M.S.A., aviation planning, airport design, computer-aided design, aviation computer applications

Jordan Poole, M.S.A., airport planning and design

Shawn Scott, M.A., aircraft maintenance, aviation operations, electronic warfare

Andrew Whittall, M.S., aviation safety, advanced A/C systems

Professors Emeriti

Ballard M. Barker, Ph.D.; John Cain, Ph.D.; Kenneth E. Crooks, J.D.; Paul B. Davis, M.B.A.; Michael A. Gallo, Ph.D.; William R. Graves, M.B.A.; N. Thomas Stephens, Ph.D.; Donna Wilt, Ph.D.

Mission Statement and Overview

The College of Aeronautics’ mission is to prepare students for success and advancement in the aviation professions; advance aviation knowledge through faculty and student research, scholarly activity and projects; and encourage and enable student and faculty service to the university, community and aviation professions.

The college offers associate and bachelor’s degrees in aeronautical science, aviation management, aviation meteorology and human factors and safety, each with flight and nonflight options, and the associate and bachelor of arts in aviation management (online). The Melbourne campus bachelor of science programs in aeronautical science and aviation management, each with flight and nonflight options, are accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). The college offers three on-campus and three online master’s programs. The on-campus master’s programs are the Master of Science in Aviation (M.S.A.) in Airport Development and Management, M.S.A in and Applied Aviation Safety and M.S. in Aviation and Human Factors on the Melbourne campus. The online masters’ programs are and the M.S.A. in Aviation Management, M.S.A in Aviation Safety, and the M.S. in Human Factors and Aeronautics. At the doctoral level, the college offers Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Aviation Sciences in one of twelve aviation-related specializations and a Doctor of Aviation (Av.D) for professionals in the aviation/aerospace industry.

Pilot training is an integral part of each flight option and academic credit is awarded accordingly. Pilot training is conducted in conjunction with the normal academic programs, either as required or elective courses.

The aviation management with flight, aeronautical science with flight and human factors and safety with flight programs are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to receive the maximum time reduction allowed toward the Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) certificate. Graduates of these programs are eligible for a restricted ATP at 1,000 flight hours. Graduates of the aviation meteorology with flight program are eligible for a restricted ATP at 1,250 flight hours.

The College of Aeronautics is a member of the University Aviation Association and the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). University flight training is conducted under the provisions of Federal Aviation Regulations Part 141.

Several aviation organizations for students are sponsored by the College of Aeronautics: Women in Aviation, the International Society of Air Safety Investigators, Collegiate Aviation Business Executives (CABE), the Florida Tech Flight Team (NIFA member), Drone Club, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and Alpha Eta Rho Aviation Fraternity.

The College of Aeronautics faculty and administrative offices, laboratories and academic classrooms are located in George M. Skurla Hall. Flight training is conducted by FIT Aviation, which maintains and operates a fleet of more than 30 single- and multi-engine training aircraft at nearby Melbourne International Airport. This towered airport hosts a mix of air carrier and general aviation traffic and includes modern instrument landing systems and radar approach control facilities. Superb Florida weather allows the efficiency of scheduling and continuity of training and adds to the training experience. Numerous general aviation and commercial service airports in Central Florida offer valuable opportunities for varied airport approaches, landings and takeoffs.


Entering freshmen for the Melbourne campus or online undergraduate programs with previous flight training and at least the FAA or EASA Private Pilot Certificate will be given the opportunity for advanced placement. Credit for certain flight and ground courses may be given for attainment of satisfactory scores on designated equivalency examinations and by logbook review and flight evaluation.

Transfer students may receive college credit for previous flight and ground training, as well as aviation maintenance (A&P) training at the discretion of the academic unit head. Transfer credit for flight and A&P training is normally granted only when the student is first enrolled and after an evaluation that may include a flight evaluation.


Dismissal policies for academic programs of the College of Aeronautics are the same as those stated under Graduate Academic Information  and Undergraduate Academic Information . However, due to the high-performance standards required for safety in flying, an added degree of commitment to meet those standards is required of the student pilot undergoing flight training. The dean of the College of Aeronautics retains the right to place on probation, suspend or administratively withdraw any flight student from any university flight-training course if such action is judged to be warranted by the student’s performance.

Flight Programs

Flight courses for academic credit are available to all interested Florida Tech students. Students within the College of Aeronautics flight majors are given priority on flight training. Students seeking admission to flight training must be examined by an FAA-designated aviation medical examiner and have an FAA medical certificate and student pilot certificate before the start of flight training. Applicants intending to seek a Commercial Pilot Certificate must have 20/20 vision in each eye or be correctable to 20/20. Medical examinations should be done far enough in advance of university admission to allow any potential problems or questions to be resolved.

In addition, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) requires U.S. citizen flight students to present a government-issued photo identification document such as a driver’s license and an original passport or original (raised seal) birth certificate for U.S. citizenship verification. International flight students must comply with TSA requirements for a security threat assessment as specified in the Alien Flight Student Program. Generally, this process requires approximately 30 days to complete. Refer to the TSA’s FTSP Candidate Guide for details. Prospective students interested in any university flight training should be aware of weight and height limitations that may hinder or preclude safe and effective training. Training aircraft and many other aircraft in general use cannot accommodate persons with heights of less than 60 inches or greater than 77 inches, or body weights greater than 260 pounds (220 pounds for aerobatics training). The College of Aeronautics offers an intensive “Flying Start” program during the summer where students can participate in ground and flight-training courses before the start of the fall semester. A student who is successful in the program may earn a Private Pilot Certificate and may enter the fall semester at Florida Tech with academic (transfer) credit for AVF 1001 Flight 1  and AVT 1001 Aeronautics 1  for a total of 5 semester (transfer) credit hours. The credit will be applicable to all flight degrees offered by the College of Aeronautics and may be used as elective credit in many other Florida Tech degree programs.

Professional, vocational and recreational flight training is provided by FIT Aviation, and qualified pilots may rent aircraft from them. They offer training for FAA private, commercial and certified flight instructor certificates, as well as training for the FAA ratings for instruments, multi-engine, instrument instructor and multi-engine instructor. Aerobatics courses are offered as well.

Language Requirements for Flight Students

Flight students who are not native English language speakers will be required to meet additional English language proficiency requirements as required by the FAA.

Flight students whose home language is not English are required to receive a minimum score of 4 on the ICAO Test of English Language Proficiency prior to beginning flight training. This test will be administered in-person by FIT Aviation, LLC. Outside exams will not be accepted.

Any student that scores below a level 4 will be required to complete additional aviation English language instruction and retest to attain a level 4 on the test before being permitted to commence flight training. The chief instructor, or their designee, has the authority to waive this testing requirement. All waivers require demonstrable language ability equal to or greater than ICAO level 4.

FIT Aviation may cease a student’s flight training and require the student to obtain additional English language instruction if they fail to demonstrate an ability to read, speak, write and understand the English language, regardless of test score.

Minimum Cumulative GPA Requirements for Flight Students

Flight students will be required to maintain a minimum cumulative GPA of 2.6 or higher while in the flight training program. If a student’s GPA falls below a 2.0 after their first completed term, they will be academically grounded from flight training. If a student’s GPA falls below a 2.6 after two or more completed semesters, they will be academically grounded from flight training. A student will only be reinstated to flight training if they can raise their cumulative GPA above a 2.6, regardless of how many semesters they have completed or the GPA of their most recently completed semester. Only the chief instructor, or his /her designee, has the authority to waive this minimum GPA requirement. Waivers will only be granted in the event of extraordinary circumstances.

Degree Requirements

Candidates for the College of Aeronautics degree programs must complete the minimum course requirements as outlined in the appropriate curriculum. Deviation from the recommended program may be made only with the approval of the academic unit head or dean.

Graduate Program Plan

Master’s level graduate students are required to prepare an approved graduate program plan (GPP) in consultation with their academic advisor no later than one month before 9 semester credit hours of graduate coursework have been completed to identify an area of specialization and facilitate successful program completion.

The student’s GPP then becomes the student’s study contract with the university. On-campus master’s students must either enroll in a capstone, thesis or final program examination (FPE) to fulfill graduate policy. The online students will have a capstone course included in their GPP except for those who enroll in the thesis option for the Human Factors in Aeronautics program.

Thesis Research

If a thesis is required in the student’s GPP (depending on curriculum requirements), the student selects a graduate faculty member with the approval of their academic advisor and the graduate program chair to serve as their thesis advisor. With the assistance of the thesis advisor, the student selects an advisory committee and defines a research topic. The committee comprises two graduate faculty members from the College of Aeronautics and one from another degree-granting department of the university. The thesis advisor and the committee offer assistance and direction to the student and serve as a review board to ensure thesis requirements are met. After completion of the thesis, the thesis advisor and committee conduct the oral defense of the thesis as described under Master’s Degree Requirements under Graduate Academic Information . Six credits are awarded for successful completion of the thesis. 

Dissertation Research

Students in the Ph.D. in Aviation Sciences and Doctor of Aviation (Av.D) doctoral programs are required to complete a dissertation as part of their program. At least 90 days before the comprehensive examination, students must select a major advisor who is a graduate faculty member with the approval of their academic advisor and the graduate program chair to serve as both the research supervisor and chair of the doctoral committee. The major advisor does not need to be the academic advisor. Sixty days before the comprehensive examination, the major advisor will formally establish a doctoral committee for approval/review by the college’s dean and the office of graduate programs. This committee must consist of a minimum of four graduate faculty members, at least three of whom, including the major advisor, must be approved for doctoral-level advising. The committee must include a chair who is doctoral-level graduate faculty, along with two additional full-time graduate faculty members from the College of Aeronautics, and at least one outside graduate faculty member from an academic unit other than the College of Aeronautics.

Doctoral students are required to register for a minimum of 18 hours of AVS 6999 Dissertation , and at least 15 of these 18 hours must be taken beginning with the term in which a student is admitted to candidacy. Students should review graduate policy (2.2–2.6) for information about Ph.D. and Av.D. course requirements, doctoral committees, comprehensive examinations, admission to candidacy and dissertation requirements.

Fast Track Master’s Program for College of Aeronautics Honors Students

The fast track program is available for College of Aeronautics undergraduate students who have junior or senior class standing with a minimum 3.3 GPA to submit an application so the student can complete a master’s degree program at an accelerated pace. This program allows students to earn graduate-level credit hours, when earning at least a B grade for, up to 6 graduate credit hours to apply toward both their bachelor’s and master’s degrees. Typically, the graduate courses would satisfy free and aviation elective undergraduate requirements, but other substantiated alternatives may be considered. The graduate credit hours applied to both degrees are treated as transfer credit (GPA does not apply) when applied toward the master’s degree. Interested students should consult the College of Aeronautics graduate program chair for more information about graduate and fast track programs available in the College of Aeronautics.

Flight Training Program

The flight training sequence for all flight option bachelor’s degrees consists of four flight courses (AVF 1001  through AVF 2102 ). The flight course sequence is an integrated series of courses designed to qualify the student for the commercial pilot certificate with instrument and multi-engine ratings, and a minimum of 190 hours of flight training. Students may register for flight courses throughout the semester, with appropriate signatures.

All students seeking a bachelor’s degree with flight, regardless of previous experience or certificates, must complete 4 flight credit hours in the College of Aeronautics, 2 credit hours of which must be in a flight instructor or multi-engine course.

Students enrolled in the College of Aeronautics may not normally take flight training for credit outside the university-approved program.

A student seeking an FAA certificate or rating through the College of Aeronautics must complete courses pertinent to the desired certification at the university. To comply with FAA requirements, specific grades and attendance standards must be met in the following ground courses: AVT 1001 Aeronautics 1 , AVT 1002 Aeronautics 2 , AVT 2001 Aeronautics 3 , AVT 2002 Aeronautics 4  and AVT 3101 Instructional Techniques . FAA knowledge test fees are in addition to tuition.

Flight fees are in addition to tuition. Estimated flight costs for each flight course, based on historical training-time averages and current avgas costs, are published online on the Office of the Registrar’s Tuition and Fees webpage. Additional flight and ground training above the historical averages may be required to achieve certification. Safety is a preeminent concern of the College of Aeronautics. All aircraft are modern, well-equipped and maintained to the highest standards required by the FAA. Instructors and staff are particularly safety conscious and will insist students be physically and mentally fit to fly. All flight students are subject to random or “for cause” drug testing during enrollment as flight students. Any confirmed use of illegal drugs or chronic abuse of alcohol is cause for immediate dismissal from all flight training programs. Insurance coverage is automatically provided for all students operating aircraft under the university program.

Aviation Management Internship Program

A 6-credit aviation management internship program (AMIP) is offered to eligible senior students. The program consists of two courses, AVM 4600 Aviation Management Internship  and AVM 4603 Aviation Management Seminar . This highly successful program involves the placement of students in entry-level management positions for a semester with air transportation, air commerce, aviation consulting, airports and governmental organizations throughout the United States and in selected foreign locations.

A management intern performs a variety of aviation management tasks under the supervision of working professionals, submits a series of graded written reports and presents a formal and written final report to selected students and faculty following the internship assignment.

To be eligible, a student must have completed all major requirements for the first three years of the curriculum, have a cumulative grade point average of at least 2.8 and be approved by a faculty committee. Students enrolling in AMIP must have one full semester or summer term remaining after completion of AMIP. As a consequence, most students will enroll in AMIP during their last summer or the first semester of their senior year. The decision to enroll in AMIP must, therefore, be made and formalized with the student’s advisor no later than early in the second semester of the junior year. Students planning to substitute AMIP credits for elective credit should make this decision early in their programs.


Electives are included to give the student reasonable flexibility and diversity within the constraints of total curriculum length and requirements of various accrediting and certification agencies.

Elective flight courses include all instructor ratings, advanced instrument proficiency, air-taxi training, aerobatics and other specialized flight courses.

Nonflight students are encouraged to enroll in appropriate flight courses for personal and professional enhancement using elective credit.

Six credits of AMIP may be substituted for any free or AVx/BUS electives.

Air Traffic Control Program

The college offers an air traffic control (ATC) specialization in conjunction with any of its bachelor’s degree programs. This program provides graduates with in-depth knowledge of ATC and the aviation industry to ensure graduates possess the requisite knowledge, skills and abilities to succeed in testing and training and as air traffic controllers. ATC students gain hands-on experience with industry-standard air traffic control programs. The FAA-approved ATC specialization meets the requirements of the Federal Aviation Administration’s (FAA) Air Traffic-Collegiate Training Initiative (AT-CTI) program.


To successfully complete this program in conjunction with a bachelor’s degree from the College of Aeronautics, the following seven named courses (21 credit hours) must be completed either as required courses within a degree, as electives or as a combination of both.

International Programs

The College of Aeronautics is in partnership with France’s Ecole Nationale de L’Aviation Civile (ENAC) to allow selected third-year ENAC students to attend Florida Tech and earn Florida Tech’s Master of Science in Aviation-Airport Development and Management with one additional year of study and an industry internship. Graduates of that program receive the IENAC Diploma from ENAC and the Master of Science in Aviation from Florida Tech.

In a second partnership, the French SKEMA Business School offers the first two years of the College of Aeronautics’ aviation management and aeronautical science bachelor’s degree programs; SKEMA students seamlessly complete the last two years of the degree programs including flight training at Florida Tech.

Florida Tech is partnered with the Universidad Tecnologica de Panama (UTP) in the Republic of Panama to offer Florida Tech’s aviation administration and aviation administration-flight program. Aviation-related courses are taught by the College of Aeronautics faculty who travel to Panama, and the balance of courses are taught by UTP faculty at a dedicated academic facility near the Panama Canal.

Minor Programs

Minors in aircraft dispatch, applied human factors, aviation environmental science, aviation management, aviation safety, flight technology and unmanned aerial systems are offered through the college. A complete policy statement regarding minors can be found under General Academic Information (All Students) . Information about current minor offerings is available through the individual colleges/departments.


    Undergraduate Degree ProgramsUndergraduate Minor ProgramsUndergraduate Certificate ProgramsGraduate Degree Programs

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