Aviation Management and Operations

Western Michigan University's aviation management and operations program is designed to prepare tomorrow's aviation business leaders, today. As a graduate of this program you will be poised to obtain a position in airport management, operation management, safety management, aviation insurance, aircraft sales or aviation marketing. Your coursework will include a concentration of aviation-specific management courses. In addition, you will gain essential knowledge of aircraft systems, aerodynamics and performance, aviation law, and aircraft safety. You will also build a solid foundation in business theory and practice, which will prepare you for easy entrance into most accredited Masters of Business Administration programs.

As an aviation management and operations student at WMU, you will unite two areas of interest: aviation and business. Building on the unquenchable thirst to increase your understanding of the intersecting concepts between the business and aviation worlds, you will engage in meaningful curriculum projects, culminating in a senior year capstone. Using the skills and knowledge obtained throughout your tenure at WMU, you will create an airline business plan, which is actualized using state-of-the-art simulation software.

Beyond the classroom

WMU has partnered with aviation companies to provide internship opportunities for its aviation management and operation students. A standing internship exists with the Kalamazoo-Battle Creek International Airport, providing airport management and operation experience. Additionally, opportunities exist with Northern Jet Management, Southwest Airlines, Pinnacle Airlines, ExpressJet, and Aerospace Risk Management Group.

Student organizations exist within both the College of Aviation and the Haworth College of Business, allowing you to customize your involvement. The College of Aviation houses organizations such as Aviation Student Council and Alpha Eta Rho, while the Haworth College of Business offers organizations such as the Financial Management Association and the Sales and Business Marketing Association. These organizations will allow you to network with others in the field, as well as participate in aviation-related events, such as seminars and career explorations.

After you graduate

Recent WMU graduates with degrees in aviation management and operations are working as:

  • Flight operators
  • Crew schedulers
  • Air traffic controllers
  • Airline customer service
  • Flight schedulers
  • Airline marketing professionals
  • Aerospace defense professionals
  • Flight followers

Among the companies they work for are:

  • Federal Aviation Administration
  • AvFuel
  • Universal Weather and Aviation
  • Pentastar Aviation
  • Northern Jet Management
  • Air Services Inc.
  • Kalitta Air
  • Landmark Aviation
  • Horizon Aviation
  • Parker Hannifin Corporation

Career Outcomes

Where is this program offered?

  • WMU College of Aviation, located at the W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek, Mich.
  • Some classes will also be taken at WMU's main Kalamazoo location.

Other programs of interest