Bachelor’s Degree Programs + FAA-Certified Flight School = Soaring Success at American Winds!

Our partnerships with Liberty University and Walsh University help you achieve airline-preferred applicant status faster than ever before!
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How a Bachelor’s Degree Helps You Gain Altitude

It’s no longer required to have a bachelor’s degree to apply for captain jobs at the major airlines – so why do it?

You need to use the financial aid you got through FAFSA.

You need to use your VA benefits, which Liberty University can accept for academics.

You want to make Mom and Dad happy by completing a traditional degree program.

You want to qualify for airline captain jobs with fewer than 1,500 flight hours with the Restricted ATP Degree Diploma.

Here's How it works:

  • Enroll in the Professional Pilot Program at American Winds.
  • Start flight training right away while simultaneously completing coursework for the Associate Degree in Applied Science. (Full-Time Fast-Track ≈ 1 Year)
  • Complete your Certified Flight Instructor rating so you can get paid to teach others to fly while racking up flight hours at American Winds and finishing coursework at Liberty. (Full-Time Fast-Track ≈ 2 Years)
  • Obtain your bachelor’s degree AND your Commercial Pilot Certificate with additional ratings in about 3 years!
  • Continue working as a Flight Instructor at American Winds until you’ve achieved 1,000 flight hours for the R-ATP certificate.
  • Start applying to airlines and get your career off the ground!

Partnership With Liberty University

Take advantage of Liberty University’s online learning opportunities while flying at American Winds! We’ve partnered with Liberty’s Flight Training Affiliate Program to help you pursue a Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation online as you complete ground school and flight school requirements at our Akron Fulton Airport campus.

Focused and dedicated students who enroll full time at Liberty can complete the bachelor’s degree in about two and a half years – much faster than traditional universities!

And because American Winds is an FAA-Certified Flight School that’s open for training year round, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to achieve your Commercial Pilot’s Certificate and additional ratings while you’re studying.

To get you to those 1,000 flight hours you need with your bachelor’s degree for the R-ATP, we’ll even train you as a Certified Flight Instructor – then we’ll pay you to rack up flight hours while teaching others to fly!

Partnership With Walsh University

Looking for a more traditional route to a degree? Walsh University’s B.S. Aviation (2+2) Degree Program might be for you. Walsh offers online study options, accepts most traditional financial aid and is just a 30-minute drive from the American Winds campus. You’ll still train with us to earn your Commercial Pilot’s Certificate and additional FAA ratings.

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What is the Restricted ATP?

It's the certificate required by the FAA to fly as a captain for the commercial airlines (regional / majors).

The ATP certificate requires a total of 1,500 hours of flight time. The FAA ATP Pilot Certificate should not be confused with the Restricted ATP degree diploma. The Restricted ATP is a designation that the FAA will grant the authority to colleges and universities with approved aviation degree programs to issue a diploma called the Restricted ATP. This diploma will allow college or university graduates to be hired in less flight time. The second diploma with FAA logo signifies that the degree program is approved by the FAA to be hired by the airlines.

R-ATP Bachelor's Degree = 1,000 flight hours needed to be hired by the airlines.

R-ATP Associate Degree = 1,250 flight hours needed to be hired by the airlines.

No Approved Aviation Degree = 1,500 hours needed to be hired by the airlines.