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Return on investment

Flight school is a big investment. By completing the aviation sciences courses at SFA, you'll receive a well-rounded education as well as flight training at a discounted cost. Your investment includes faculty members who will give you the individual attention you need in classes limited to 30 students.

Pre-COVID-19, the U.S. airline industry needed 800,000 airline transport pilots over the next 20 years. However, the effects of the pandemic have led many pilots to retire early during 2020 and 2021. As a result, the level of demand for pilots in 2023 is expected to reach pre-COVID-19 levels again and continue to grow at a 5% rate, which is faster than average for all occupations. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual wage for airline pilots, copilots and flight engineers was $147,220 in May 2019. The median annual wage for commercial pilots was $86,080 in May 2019.

Unit Duration/Flight and Simulator Training Hours Cost
Private Pilot AESL 2 semesters/55 hours $17,091
Instrument Pilot 2 semesters/50 hours $12,274
Commercial Pilot AMEL 3 semesters/120 hours $42,865
    Pilot in Command     1 semester, 60 hours
    Commercial Pilot ASEL     1 semester, 30 hours
    Commercial Pilot AMEL     1 semester, 30 hours
Certified Flight Instructor Airplane 1 semester, 25 hours $7,671
Total 260 hours $79,901

Some students may require additional flight training at their expense.

Find out more

Email our Chief Flight Instructor to request a one-on-one virtual meeting or attend an upcoming one-hour informational session.

Next Steps

Undergraduate requirements

Though this career is rewarding and exciting, it also can be stressful. Because of this, all applicants must complete a second-class medical exam. You also must prove your citizenship and undergo an interview by instructors. Because spots are limited, faculty members want to be sure you understand the expectations of these courses before making this time and money commitment.

Two classes and their accompanying labs have been approved, and three more courses are expected to be added over the summer.

SFA aviation aircraft controls

Application process

View SFA's admission requirements.

Applying to SFA's aviation sciences courses is easy with the ApplyTexas online admissions application. Just follow the steps below to complete a freshman application through The cost for applying to SFA is $50. You'll pay this at the end of the application process. Check to see if you qualify for an application fee waiver.

  1. For your major, select "Aviation Sciences" from the dropdown list.
  2. Submit the following:
    • Official high school transcript (must be received directly from high school)
    • Official SAT/ACT scores (optional for fall 2021)
    • Copy of second-class medical certificate
    • Proof of U.S. citizenship using these approved forms:
      • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport
      • Original or government-issued birth certificate of the U.S., American Samoa or Swains Island and a government-issued picture ID
      • Original certificate of birth abroad with raised seal (Form FS-545 or DS-1350) and a government-issued picture ID
      • Original certificate of U.S. citizenship with raised seal (Form N-560 or N-561) or a Certificate of Repatriation (Form N-581) and a government-issued picture ID
      • Original U.S. naturalization certificate with raised seal (Form N-550 or N-570) and a government-issued picture ID

Students who are not U.S. citizens must enroll in the Alien Flight Student Program. Contact Jon Hughes at for more information.