Video of #RethinkSmart at the College of Aviation

Why WMU Aviation

Western Michigan University offers a variety of benefits that make the University attractive to many students. In addition to offering a number of distinguishing attributes, the College of Aviation is consistently recognized as one of the industry leaders in aviation education. When combined, these lay the foundation upon which future success can be built.

Technologically Advanced

Western Michigan University has nearly 50 aircraft in its fleet and is home to one of the most advanced aircraft fleets in collegiate aviation. These aircraft make up both the fleet used in the maintenance curriculum and the operational aircraft used in the flight school. The College of Aviation propelled the aviation-training world into the 21st Century when it adopted the most advanced training fleet in the country.

A Complete College Experience

In addition to offering a solid aviation education, students who choose to attend WMU also engage in a complete university experience. WMU students like to say that WMU offers the student life and resources of a major university, while at the same time, students feel cared for and the experience feels personal. With Division I athletics, Greek life and more than 300 registered student organizations, WMU students have the full college experience.

Your Career. Your Choice. 

Partnerships with Delta Propel, United Aviate, AAR Corp., and Delta Tech Ops give students a defined path and accelerated timeline to their career goal. Access continuous industry support throughout your time as a student. Airlines, airports, and industry partners frequent campus year-round, including our annual career fair, Aviation Outlook Day. 

Better Informed and More Knowledgeable Pilots

With the College of Aviation being located in Southwest Michigan, location is a major advantage for its students. Training in a wide variety of weather conditions provides necessary experiences not easily attainable in other climates. At WMU, students are exposed to nearly every weather phenomenon possible, from rain to ice, clear blue skies to thunderstorms. Since the College of Aviation operates and flies during all four seasons, its pilots are better prepared for inclement weather situations, possessing the knowledge and experience to make informed aviation decisions.

Class Size

On average, class sizes within the College of Aviation are similar to most high school courses. On occasion, students will have classes with larger numbers; it is common for College of Aviation students to be in classes with 25 to 30 students. For those students in the flight program, the instructor to student ratio is 1 to 1. Because of the smaller student to teacher ratio, College of Aviation students will get to know their faculty and instructors very well.

Legacy of Champions

Western Michigan University’s aviation program has brought home six national championships. The WMU Sky Broncos, the flight team associated with the National Intercollegiate Flying Association, has a tremendous record of success. The Sky Broncos have won the regional championship in all but one year since 1993 and has placed among the top four in the nation for 17 out of the last 19 years. In addition, the Sky Broncos have won five national championships:

  • 1947 NIFA National Champion
  • 1948 NIFA National Champion
  • 1983 NIFA National Champion
  • 1998 NIFA National Champion
  • 2002 NIFA National Champion 

In the year 2013, the College of Aviation embarked on its next great competitive journey when it joined the SkillsUSA organization. In its first year of competition, the competitive aviation maintenance team hit the ground running, winning a national championship during its inaugural year.

  • 2013 SkillsUSA National Champion
  • 2015 SkillsUSA National Champion

Western Michigan University has also sponsored participants in the Air Race Classic. This all women cross-country race first began in 1929. WMU entered its first contestants in the 2000, and have competed every year except the years 2009-13. Over its tenure, the Western Michigan University teams have performed admirably, finishing second or higher in the collegiate division five times, winning outright in 2005.

  • 2005 Air Race Classic Collegiate Champions