Stephen F. Austin State University

Aviation Sciences

Aviation Sciences

A new initiative takes flight

Make history as part of the first class at SFA to earn a college degree and an aircraft pilot certification upon graduation! SFA has partnered with HCH Aviation to offer pilot training beginning fall 2021.

A growing field

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.

Unwavering commitment to your success

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 an economical cost. Your investment includes faculty members who will give you the individual attention you need in classes limited to 30 students.

In 2023, the Bachelor of Science in aviation sciences will be approved officially by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board. Until then, applicants will need to sign up for aviation courses under the human sciences major - family and consumer sciences concentration.

SFA's fleet includes technically advanced aircraft that you will fly during your first semester of aviation courses. You will practice using new full-motion flight simulators on campus.

Aviation Sciences Fuselage

Aviation Sciences CockpitAviation Sciences Interior

Photos courtesy of Piper Aircraft Corporation

Informational sessions

Email Chief Flight Instructor Jon Hughes at to request a one-on-one virtual meeting with instructors or attend one of the upcoming one-hour informational sessions with Hughes and Dr. Chay Runnels, professor and interim director of SFA's School of Human Sciences, via Zoom.

Register for an aviation sciences informational session via Zoom.

High school counselors, watch for a Zoom session designed for you coming soon!

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.

The following two classes and their accompanying labs have been approved, and three more courses are expected to be added over the summer:

AVSC 1200/AVSC 1100: Private Pilot Ground I Course/Lab

AVSC 1202/AVSC 1102: Private Pilot Ground II Course/Lab

See the undergraduate bulletin for additional details, guidelines and requirements.

Applying to SFA: The 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:

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


Jon Hughes
Chief Flight Instructor