B.S. in Unmanned Aircraft Systems

U.S. and foreign governments are continually releasing new rules allowing more and more commercial “drone” operations (also known as unmanned aircraft systems or UAS). These commercial drones are capable of obtaining high-resolution imagery and rich data sets for a variety of applications, from real estate surveys, utility and construction site surveys, and agricultural applications to forestry and law enforcement jobs. The UAS industry is growing extremely rapidly! By the year 2020, the fleet of commercial UAS’s is expected to grow to at least 550,000 aircraft in the U.S. alone. Tens of thousands of UAS professionals will be needed who are capable of planning and executing UAS missions and delivering the end products to their customers. 

Focusing on commercial and civil applications, the Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree empowers graduates to meet current and future employment demands. The UAS degree qualifies students as subject matter experts in UAS data collection, retrieval, editing, display, and delivery. Students also gain a broad understanding about business, aviation regulations, technology, meteorology, and security associated with the UAS industry. All students in the UAS program become trained and licensed small UAS (sUAS) operators by ERAU UAS Flight Instructors and earn their Remote Pilot In-Command (RPIC) certificate. They learn to fly a variety of both fixed wing and rotary wing UAS and learn to use a variety of useful software suites. The UAS program is working with several commercial partners to enable students to obtain hands-on experience planning and executing actual UAS missions and learning from the industry.

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. We welcome students from all nationalities to join the B.S. in Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree. 

Degree Requirements

The Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems may be attained in eight semesters. To earn the degree, successful completion of 120 credit hours is required. Students pursuing the Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree will have the opportunity to select from a variety of minors as they pursue their degree. All students must complete the General Education Core and the Unmanned Aircraft Systems Core in order to complete the requirements for the Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree.

Program Mission Statement

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) degree will provide the essential aeronautical, business, and legal knowledge and skills to obtain a successful career in  the UAS industry. Graduates will be prepared for successful careers as Remote Pilots in Command (PICs), observers, payload operators, and/or operational managers of governmental and private sector UAS applications. Experience will be gained in aerial data collection, secure operations, long duration operations, highly detailed operations, and autonomous operations. Graduates will be prepared to meet current industry requirements with an emphasis on future industry developments such as Beyond Visual Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) operations and the use of multiple small UAS at the same time.

B.S. in Unmanned Aircraft Systems

General Education37-38
Unmanned Aircraft Systems Core64-66
Total Credits120

General Education

COM 122English Composition3
COM 219Speech3
COM 221Technical Report Writing3
or COM 222 Business Communication
or COM 223 Intelligence Writing
CS 118Fundamentals of Computer Programming3
Humanities Lower Level 3
Humanities or Social Science Lower Level PSY 222 is recommended3
Humanities or Social Science Upper Level PSY 326 or PSY 345 are recommended3
MA 111Pre-Calculus for Aviation3
or MA 120 Quantitative Methods I
or MA 140 College Algebra
MA 112Applied Calculus for Aviation3-4
or MA 220 Quantitative Methods II
or MA 241 Calculus and Analytical Geometry I
PS 113Introductory Physics I3
Social Science, Psychology, or Economics Lower Level EC 200, EC 210, or EC 211 are recommended3
WX 201Survey of Meteorology3
WX 203LSurvey of Meteorology Laboratory1
or PS 113L Introductory Physics I Laboratory

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Core

AS 125Private and UAS Pilot Operations3-5
or AS 121 Private Pilot Operations
AS 220Unmanned Aircraft Systems3
AS 235Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operation and Cross-Country Data Entry3
AS 309Aerodynamics3
AS 310Aircraft Performance3
AS 317UAS Networking3
AS 322Operational and Industrial Aspects of UAS3
AS 323Crew Resource Management for UAS3
AS 324Global Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Regulations3
AS 325Dronealism and Cinematography3
AS 403Unmanned Sensing Systems3
AS 405Aviation Law3
AS 473UAS Flight Simulation3
AS 475UAS Mission Execution3
AT 2003
BA 201Principles of Management3
CI 310Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance3
GEO 210Introduction to Geographic Information Systems3
GEO 310Advanced Geographic Information Systems3
SF 210Introduction to Aerospace Safety3
UNIV 101College Success1
WX 301Aviation Weather3
* The UAS Capstone (AS475) is intended to be a culminating experience for the Bachelor of Science in Unmanned Aircraft Systems degree, and therefore will be the last course taken in the UAS core after completing AS 473 UAS Flight Simulation.


Specified Electives *See specified electives list12
Open Electives4-7
Total Elective Credits16-19

Specified Electives

AT 305Introduction to Terminal Radar Operations3
AT 401Advanced Terminal Radar Operations3
BA 308Public Administration3
BA 311Marketing3
BA 3283
BA 337Entrepreneurship3
BA 421Small Business Management3
SF 320Human Factors in Aviation Safety3
SIS 315Studies in Global Intelligence I3
SIS 323Intelligence and Technology3
SIS 420Aviation Security and Technology3
SIS 422Homeland Security and Technology3
SIS 430Emergency Management and Contingency Planning3
WX 270Weather Information Systems3
WX 3643
WX 365Satellite and Radar Weather Interpretation3

Suggested Program of Study

Freshman Year
AS 125 Private and UAS Pilot Operations 3-5
Private Pilot Operations
BA 201 Principles of Management 3
COM 122 English Composition 3
CS 118 Fundamentals of Computer Programming 3
MA 111 Pre-Calculus for Aviation 3
Quantitative Methods I
College Algebra
MA 112 Applied Calculus for Aviation 3-4
Quantitative Methods II
Calculus and Analytical Geometry I
SF 210 Introduction to Aerospace Safety 3
UNIV 101 College Success 1
Lower-Level Humanities 3
WX 201 Survey of Meteorology 3
WX 203L Survey of Meteorology Laboratory 1
Introductory Physics I Laboratory
 Credits Subtotal29.0-32.0
Sophomore Year
AS 220 Unmanned Aircraft Systems 3
AS 235 Unmanned Aircraft Systems Operation and Cross-Country Data Entry 3
AS 309 Aerodynamics 3
AT 200  3
COM 219 Speech 3
COM 221 Technical Report Writing 3
Business Communication
Intelligence Writing
GEO 210 Introduction to Geographic Information Systems 3
Open Elective 3
PS 113 Introductory Physics I 3
WX 301 Aviation Weather 3
 Credits Subtotal30.0
Junior Year
AS 310 Aircraft Performance 3
AS 317 UAS Networking 3
AS 322 Operational and Industrial Aspects of UAS 3
AS 323 Crew Resource Management for UAS 3
AS 325 Dronealism and Cinematography 3
AS 403 Unmanned Sensing Systems 3
AS 405 Aviation Law 3
GEO 310 Advanced Geographic Information Systems 3
Specified Elective 6
Humanities or Social Science Lower-Level 3
 Credits Subtotal33.0
Senior Year
AS 324 Global Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Regulations 3
AS 473 UAS Flight Simulation 3
AS 475 UAS Mission Execution 3
CI 310 Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance 3
Humanities or Social Science Upper-Level 3
Open Electives 1-4
Social Science, Psychology, or Economics Lower-Level 3
Specified Electives 6
 Credits Subtotal25.0-28.0
 Credits Total: 120