University of Oklahoma Ranked Best College for Aviation

Find out why OU scored top marks in FLYING's Flight School Guide

The University of Oklahoma has been crowned best college for aviation based on a detailed look into its professional pilot program. FLYING assessed and ranked the colleges based on five categories, awarding a maximum of 10 points for each:

●     Value

●     Facilities/Location

●     Fleet

●     Career Partnerships

●     Campus Life

For a detailed breakdown on how FLYING rated each school, please visit FLYING‘s flight school scoring methodology.

What Makes OU So Special?

Located in Norman, Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma’s curriculum has a strong business focus, which prepares students for the aviation industry from a different perspective.

The University of Oklahoma offers four aviation degree programs—all bachelor’s degrees. While ranking the school in prospective categories, the professional pilot program was FLYING’s focus. 


Attending a four-year school normally means committing to a huge mountain of debt, especially when a large portion of your studies involve renting aircraft for training. 

Being a public state university in Oklahoma, OU is able to offer competitively priced tuition for both in-state and out of-state students. Before flight costs, in-state tuition is $4,200 and out-of-state tuition is just over $11,000. 

Flight costs, per the usual flight training schedule, are estimated to be around $54,000, which is lower than average.

For eligible students, veteran’s benefits are accepted and can be used for flight training. 

The reasonable costs, coupled with the ability to use financial aid, VA benefits, and to apply for scholarships, earned OU a 9/10 in the Value category. 

Facilities and Location

Located in Norman, Oklahoma, the University of Oklahoma’s location allows for students to train year round. 

The facilities at OU are state-of-the-art. The university’s campus sits on 3,326 acres, not including the university airport. 

OU’s airfield is only about a 10-minute drive from the main campus and houses a fleet of modern aircraft. 

The location of the school, the high-class facilities, and the airfield’s close proximity to the main campus, awards OU a 8/10 in the Facilities and Location category. 


The University of Oklahoma houses a fleet of 22 aircraft, both single and multi-engine. 

The fleet consists of:

  • King Air
  • Beechcraft Baron
  • Cessna 152s
  • Piper Warriors
  • Piper PA29R-200s
  • Piper Seminoles
[Courtesy: OU Aviation Facebook]

The variety of aircraft, wing configuration, and access to advanced flight simulators gives OU a 9/10 in the Fleet category. 

Career Partnerships

For most people, the main goal of attending college is to find gainful employment after graduation. At the University of Oklahoma, assisting students find employment is top of mind. 

The school also boasts a high employment rate for graduates. This is due in part to its strong connections to programs that include::

  • Envoy Cadet
  • PSA Airlines Cadet
  • Southwest Airlines 225°

The university’s dedication to solidifying partnerships with airlines, such as Southwest and Envoy, to provide students with a high probability of job placement post graduation earned OU a score of 9/10 in the Career Partnerships category. 

Campus Life

Students who choose to attend a college or university may be looking for a traditional college life experience. The University of Oklahoma, being a large Division I school, can provide that as well. 

[Courtesy: OU Facebook]

Students who attend OU will be part of a large university system with D1 athletics as a member of the Southeastern Conference, dedicated arts and history programs, and Greek life. The school has many housing and dining facilities, including dedicated upper-class living quarters.

Volunteer opportunities and on-campus work study are open to students looking to boost their resume.

OU scored 8/10 in the Campus Life category.

The Bottom Line

Students who attend the University of Oklahoma will have the full college experience and the opportunity to fly newer aircraft and build connections through the university’s impressive list of industry partners, making OU the highest ranked university for aviation. 

To see the entire list of FLYING’s school rankings, click here.


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