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The Bachelors in Aeronautics degree program is the most comprehensive pilot degree program in CAU’s School of Aviation. From day one, students begin developing fundamentally sound skills through standardized, fast-paced lessons. Students can begin flying in their first term and graduate in just over 3 years.

Graduates of the bachelor's program are guaranteed an interview for a flight instructor position at CAU and have several direct pathways to airline cadet programs through the University's partnerships.


In our aeronautics degree program, students learn flight fundamentals of aerodynamics, flight safety, aircraft performance, aviation weather, aviation management, and much more. With up to 4 days a week of actual flying, students will gain enough aviation training to earn six certificates and ratings upon graduation, including private pilotinstrument rated pilotcertified flight instructorcertified flight instructor instrument and commercial pilot-single and multi-engine.

Graduates of our Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics Degree program can benefit from a 500 flight-hour reduction when seeking their FAA-mandated airline transport pilot (ATP) certification. While candidates typically need 1,500 flight hours and must be at least 23 years old to be eligible for their ATP, CAU bachelor's degree graduates can qualify for for a restricted ATP with only 1,000 flight hours and at the age of 21. Learn more about ATP requirements and how CAU graduates qualify for a R-ATP.

These benefits put CAU graduates in the pipeline for jobs much quicker than other candidates, including positions as first officers at regional airlines.



Fly in the First Term

Aviation students receive flight instruction during their first term.

FAA Part 141 Approval

CAU is FAA Part 141 approved.* Graduates of the bachelor’s degree program may benefit by a 500 flight-hour reduction when seeking their ATP certificate.

Direct Pathway to Airline Cadet Programs

CAU has partnered with several regional airlines to create opportunities for their aviation students, many of which include a direct pathway to the airline’s cadet program.

Accelerated Program

Since classes are offered year-round, students can earn their Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree in just over three years.

Bachelors in Aeronautics Course List

  • Aviation Concepts
  • Private Pilot
  • Advance Aviation
  • Aviation Law
  • Aerodynamics
  • Commercial Pilot Flight
  • Certified Flight Instructor
  • Flight Safety
  • Aviation Management
  • And more- see catalog for full course list here.



Your exciting journey into the world of piloting begins with gaining confidence in the fundamentals. Here, you will obtain knowledge of Federal Aviation Regulations (FARs) and gain exposure to the information contained in the Airman’s Information Manual (AIM).

Your skills in aeronautical decision-making (ADM) will be enhanced, and you will understand how to best utilize Air Traffic Control (ATC) services. Participation in flight simulations will provide you with the opportunity to apply knowledge of Threat Awareness Warning Systems (TAWS) and Controlled Flight Into Terrain (CFIT) procedures. By the end of this section, you will be speaking the lingo of a pilot.

This action-packed section of your studies provides you with the knowledge necessary to pass both the private and commercial pilot practical examinations, and to obtain the FAA Commercial Pilot Certificate with an Airplane, Single-Engine, and rating. Radio communications, airport signs and lighting, and traffic sequencing knowledge will be acquired.

ADM skills will provide you with the ability to conduct weather analyses and perform balance calculations. Knowledge of Notices to Airmen (NOTAM) hazard alerts will be applied, and you will learn how to navigate through equipment malfunctions. Procedures for high-altitude flights, landings, takeoffs, and performance maneuvers will be outlined. Additionally, you will gain knowledge of advanced technology, high-speed aeronautics, and the use of the Global Positioning System (GPS) in navigation.

These courses entice physicists and tech enthusiasts, alike. Here, you will be exposed to the latest advances in avionics technology, while gaining an understanding of the physical principles of flight.

Students study airplane aerodynamics, including the factors which affect performance, stability, and control. You will also explore special flight conditions, stall/spin awareness and recovery, and commercial aircraft designs. The theories behind various engine designs will be covered, focusing on advanced aerodynamics, the science of engine operation, and aircraft performance in both normal and abnormal conditions. Tech buffs will be excited to learn about the G1000 avionics navigational system.

During these courses, your management skills take flight as you learn about the various aspects of airline operations. Major areas of the industry, such as ground, technical, flight, and economics are covered.

Students gain understanding of strategy, marketing, human resource development, finances, and asset management, as well as becoming proficient in Accident Prevention Program Management through implementation of Safety Management Systems (SMS).

A commercial pilot wouldn’t get far without a crew, and the world will always need new pilots. This course section provides a dual focus of preparing you to both manage a crew, and to instruct others in the art of piloting.

You will gain insight into Crew Resource Management (CRM) procedures, and you will also learn how to anticipate the Chain of Events which occur during aircraft accidents. You will utilize your own experiences of conducting flights as you learn to instruct and assess others during student simulations. As you practice on the ground and in the air, you will prepare to pass the Certified Flight Instructor Rating Practical Test.


Graduates of the Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics degree program, once they complete the training and required flight hours, can work for airlines, cargo carriers, tour and charter operators, flight schools, and in a variety of other organizations.


Program Offered

*hybrid program including online courses

*CAU has Part 141 approval for its main campus in Bakersfield and its Flight Centers in Ventura and San Diego Counties. CAU is in the process of seeking Part 141 approval for its campus in Arizona.

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