B.S. in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Science degree provides the necessary education and training for aspiring professionals in the diverse field of unmanned aviation operations. The degree provides a solid foundation for several UAS applications areas, including hazardous operations, surveillance and data collection, secure operations, long duration operations, highly-repetitive operations, and autonomous operations. Graduates will be well grounded in all aspects of the UAS operations, ranging from simple inspection missions to planning and executing complex. long-term missions in ways that insure safe and professional operations at all levels..

Admission Requirements

Students entering this program should have a basic background in math and physics. Students wishing to strengthen their background in math and the basic sciences before enrolling in the prescribed courses should contact the department chair or the program coordinator for guidance.

Due to International Traffic in Arms Regulations (ITAR) imposed by the United States’ Department of State, this degree will only be open to U.S. citizens.

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems may be attained in eight semesters. To earn the degree, successful completion of 122 credit hours is required.

Students pursuing the Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree will select one of two specialty tracks after matriculation. Students entering under this catalog may select from the Professional UAS Pilot track or the UAS Operations track. All students must complete the general education courses, the Aeronautical Science core courses, the Unmanned Aircraft System courses, Engineering courses, Air Traffic Control course, Human Factors course, and the courses required to complete one of the specialization tracks in order to complete the requirements for the Unmanned Aircraft System Science degree.

General Education37
Aeronautical Science Core27
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Core24
Program Support19
Choose one of the following tracks15
Specialty Courses (Professional UAS Pilot Track)
Specialty Courses (UAS Operations Track)
Total Credits122

Professional UAS Pilot Track

There is an array of individuals directly involved with the operation of an Unmanned Aircraft during its flight operations.  An individual flight operation may include pilots, sensor operators, sensor technicians, mission planners, and communications support personnel.  The UAS Pilot track educates the student in both aeronautical science and technology unique to unmanned aviation.  The UAS pilot is directly responsible for the flight of the unmanned aircraft. They ensure the aircraft remains on its proper navigation track and altitude, and are responsible for communications between the aircraft and air traffic control. This track qualifies the pilot in manned aircraft for the private, commercial, and instrument rating.  These manned certificates and ratings, coupled with the other courses in this degree related to UA flight, will prepare the student to operate an unmanned aircraft within current FAA restrictions and guidelines within the national airspace system.

UAS Operations Track

Many unmanned aircraft operations require several specialty positions for individuals not directly responsible for the flight of the aircraft.  These positions include, but are not limited to, sensor operators, sensor technicians, mission planners, and communications support personnel.  While these individuals are not actually flying the aircraft, they must be thoroughly familiar with airspace restrictions, Federal Aviation Regulation restrictions, air traffic control requirements, and the capability and limitations of the UA they are involved with.  This track will fully prepare the individual in these positions.  The courses that are dedicated to the acquisition of the manned pilot certificates for the Pilot UAS track will be substituted with open electives or Cooperative Education credits.  Nonetheless, the student is encouraged to participate as an observer on manned training flights. 

General Education Requirements

For a full description of Embry-Riddle General Education guidelines, please see the General Education section of this catalog. These minimum requirements are applicable to all degree programs.

Communication Theory and Skills *9
Lower-Level Humanities *3
Lower or Upper-Level Humanities or Social Sciences *3
Upper-Level Humanities/Social Science3
CS 118Fundamentals of Computer Programming3
MA 111College Mathematics for Aviation I3
MA 112College Mathematics for Aviation II3
PS 103Technical Physics I3
PS 104Technical Physics II3
PS 115LTechnical Physics Laboratory1
PSY 101Introduction to Psychology3
Total Credits37

Aeronautical Science Core Courses

AS 121Private Pilot Operations5
AS 221Instrument Pilot Operations3
AS 309Aerodynamics3
AS 310Aircraft Performance3
AS 321Commercial Pilot Operations3
AS 350Domestic and International Navigation3
ASC 101Aeronautical Science Student Success Seminar1
BA 201Principles of Management3
WX 201Survey of Meteorology3
Total Credits27

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Core Courses

AS 220Unmanned Aircraft Systems3
AS 220LBasic UAS Application1
AS 235Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operation and Cross-Country Data Entry3
AS 235LUAS Mission Planning1
AS 315Unmanned Aircraft Systems Robotics3
AS 322Operational and Industrial Aspects of UAS3
AS 323Crew Resource Management for UAS3
AS 403Unmanned Sensing Systems3
AS 403LUAS Payload Application1
AS 473UAS Flight Simulation **3
Total Credits24

Program Support

AT 310Air Traffic Control Tower for Non ATC3
CEC 220Digital Circuit Design3
CEC 222Digital Circuit Design Laboratory1
CEC 300Computing in Aerospace and Aviation3
EGR 115Introduction to Computing for Engineers3
or CS 223 Scientific Programming in C
HF 300Human Factors I: Principles and Fundamentals3
ME 311Robotics Technologies for Unmanned Systems3
Total Credits19

Professional UAS Pilot Track

FA 121Private Single Flight1
FA 221Instrument Single Flight1
FA 321Commercial Single Flight1
Open Electives
Upper-Level Open Electives12
Total Credits15

UAS Operations Track

Open Electives
Upper-Level Open Electives ***15
Total Credits15

It is strongly suggested that the following courses be taken during these electives: AT 202, AT 305, and HF 310


Embry-Riddle courses in the general education categories of Communication Theory and Skills, Humanities, Social Sciences, and Management may be chosen from those listed below, assuming prerequisite requirements are met. Courses from other institutions are acceptable if they fall into these broad categories and are at the level specified in the Aeronautical Science vertical outline.


The UAS Capstone is intended to be a culminating experience for the Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science degree, and therefore will be the last course taken in the UAS core after completing AS 403 Unmanned Sensing Systems.


For those students in the UAS Operations Track, open electives should be selected with consultation of an academic advisor and dedicated to the student’s interests within UAS field. Suggested electives include: Human Factors, Flight Simulation, Air Traffic Control, and/or Cooperative Education.

Note:  Refer to Undergraduate Academic Regulations and Procedures section for credit for flight training at other institutions.

After matriculation to Embry-Riddle, all flight training must be completed on-campus to earn the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Science degree.