Western Michigan University

Kalamazoo, MI

Located in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Western Michigan University offers three different Bachelor of Science programs, seaplane certification and two training programs, jet equivalency training, and flight instruction training.

Western Michigan Aviation also has a partnership with AVIATE, a United Airlines pipeline program for aspiring aviators.

Program Highlights

The College of Aviation is located directly on Battle Creek Executive Airport (KBTL) and offers one of the largest aviation programs in the nation. Western Michigan has 80 years of aviation experience, a 100 percent flight and tech operations post-graduation success rate, and 1,100 students. It has a dedicated living learning facility for aviation students, Noren Hall. Thanks to its location, students learn to fly year-round in all types of weather.

The program could be a good fit for students looking for a liberal arts core curriculum in an aviation environment.

Programs available include:

  • Bachelor of Science
    • Aviation Flight Science
    • Aviation Tech Ops
    • Aviation Management and Operations

The university is a part of Region 3 of the National intercollegiate Flying Association.


Western Michigan University tuition falls in the middle of the pack in terms of cost.

At roughly $13,000 for in-state and $16,000 before flight hour costs, students may want to use scholarships or the Air Force ROTC program to help pay for school.

Scholarships available include the:

  • Odegard Scholarships Program, provided by the James Ray Foundation
  • Joe Clark Scholarship, in conjunction with the EAA Aviation Foundation
  • Clay Lacy Scholarship, in conjunction with EAA Aviation Foundation.

While the university has a large number of students, a large number of flight instructors means there will be flight spots. Flight hours run higher than usual due to the fleet of aircraft Western Michigan uses.

Fleet and Facilities

Western Michigan University offers the largest fleet of Cirrus aircraft in the world, as well as twins and tailwheel aircraft. In total, WMU has 50 birds.

The fleet consists of:

  • 28 Cirrus SR-20s
  • 1 Cirrus SR-22
  • 10 Piper Seminoles
  • 2 Cessna 150s
  • 1 Piper Cub
  • 1 American Champion 8KCAB Super Decathlon

Students finishing the WMU flight program can take advantage of the 500-hour ATP reduction.

Campus Life

Students have the opportunity to stay on campus at one of two types of residential communities—the valley or main campus—and off-campus housing in Kalamazoo.

UWM offers on campus dining, student engagement, and opportunities for work study and receive career services. Its students have access to nearly 400 registered student organizations.

The Bottom Line

Students who attend Western Michigan will not only have access to a sought-after aviation program, but also have the opportunity to attend a school with traditional college experiences.

Read More

Other Information

  • In-State Tuition (Per Year) $13,017
  • Out-of-State Tuition (Per Year)$16,041
  • Flight Cost $68,000
  • In-State Total Estimated Program Cost$120,068
  • Out-of-State Total Estimated Program Cost$132,164
  • NIFA (Y/N)Yes
  • NIFA Region3

Western Michigan University Score

Overall: 42 out of a possible 50 points in Colleges

Points Earned

10 out of 10 in Industry Partners

8 out of 10 in Value

8 out of 10 in Fleet

7 out of 10 in Campus Life

9 out of 10 in Facilities and Location

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