Academic Spotlight: Aviation

PUC’s aviation program is one of the most exciting we offer! The Flight Center at the Angwin Airport offers students the opportunity to receive a fully accredited four-year degree while taking advantage of our state of the art flight simulator and access to diverse airspace within the Sacramento Valley and San Francisco Bay Area, truly making this a unique program.

Programs offered:

  • A.S. in Aviation
  • B.S. in Aviation
  • Minor in Aviation

A Student’s Perspective

“I chose to study aviation at PUC because I find something addictive about being in the air, a freedom, a peace, a quietness about being there. It’s almost as if the world beneath you stops. I want to have adventures in my life and I can get that from a career in aviation.” – Bryan Soderblom, graduate

You can also read the “From PUC to the Friendly Skies” blog post from Matthew Gheen, ’98, who graduated from the program and currently works as an airline pilot for United Airlines. In the post, he shares about his experience at PUC and his journey from tragedy to success.

Fast Facts

  1. PUC is one of only two four-year liberal arts colleges in California to offer a degree in aviation.
  2. Students can earn multiple certifications: pilot single-engine, private pilot multi-engine, instrument rating, commercial pilot single-engine, commercial pilot multi-engine, certified flight instructor (CFI), multi-engine instructor, and instrument instructor ratings.
  3. The Virgil O. Parrett Field, more commonly referred to as the Angwin Airport, is located on PUC’s campus, within walking distance of residence halls and other academic buildings, and has been in operation since 1961. On average, there are about 27 general aviation aircraft operations at the flight center each day—it’s a busy place!
  4. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median pay for airline and commercial pilots in 2017 was approximately $111,930 per year. Overall employment of airline and commercial pilots is projected to grow about 4 percent from 2016 to 2026, slower than the average for all occupations. Most job opportunities will arise from the need to replace pilots who leave the workforce. Over the next 10 years, many pilots are expected to retire as they reach the required retirement age of 65.

What You Can Do With This Major

Here are some of the industries our pilots are flying for:

  • Cargo
  • Charter
  • Commercial
  • Agricultural
  • Aerial photography
  • Skydiving pilot
  • Sightseeing plane tours

Interested in a career in aviation? Check out our “Five Reasons to Consider Majoring in Aviation” blog post to see what your reason could be.

Learn more about the department of aviation at Our team of admissions counselors can answer any questions you have about PUC’s aviation programs, or the other majors the college offers. Call (800) 862-7080, option 2 or email to get connected with a counselor now and start learning about all the options available to you!

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