Unmanned Aircraft Systems, B.S.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Degree
Learn to pilot and operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for commercial applications.

The demand for Unmanned Aircraft Systems has moved from the military and created a whole new world of civilian applications just waiting to be operated.

Quickly Growing Commercial Market for UAS/UAV Applications
From expedited package delivery to precision agriculture, the commercial potential for unmanned aircraft system applications has only just begun to be imagined, including:
  • Aerial/field mapping (GIS)
  • Agriculture and crop scouting, irrigation and fertilization
  • Disaster and emergency management
  • Environmental research
  • Law enforcement and photogrammetry (crime scene preservation)
  • Parcel delivery
  • Photography/videography
Operations-Focused Curriculum Combines Aviation and Computer Science
You will learn how to design, develop and operate individually-tailored UAS to meet mission objectives through an interdisciplinary curriculum in which you will:
  • Understand and apply the fundamental skills of UAS operation to project design
  • Successfully apply Crew Resource Management (CRM) concepts in a collaborative UAS team environment
  • Apply foundational computer science and engineering skills in developing UAS algorithms
  • Apply foundational aviation maintenance, electrical and avionics skills to UAS devices
  • Discuss ethical issues of UAS
Why Lewis for Your Unmanned Aircraft Systems Degree?
  • Ranked as one of U.S. News & World Report's "Top Tier Colleges"
  • Recognized in 2013-2014 as the nation’s #1 Aviation Program and presented with the Loening Trophy
  • One of the only Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) bachelor’s degree programs in the nation
  • Only university aviation program in Illinois with on-site airport for hands-on training
  • $2 million high-tech Harold A. White Aviation Center – one of the most modern aviation education centers in the Midwest
  • Cutting-edge computer simulation software in our Aviation Simulation Laboratory
Hands-on Training with Lewis’ UAS Fleet Including:
  • Blade Aircraft 180 QX
  • Blade Aircraft 350 QX
  • DJI Phantom 2
Senior Capstone Project: Design Your Own UAS
In the final semester of your program, you will develop your very own UAS application, and will design, build and test a UAS to make it happen.

Life after Lewis
By graduation, you will be qualified for a career as a professional UAS/UAV pilot and operator, having earned your:
  • Private Pilot Certificate (Single Engine Land)
  • Instrument Rating
  • Commercial Pilot Certificate (Single Engine Land)
Admission Requirements
  • Students entering the program directly after graduating from high school need to have earned a minimum 3.0 GPA and a 21 ACT or 1000 SAT.
  • Transfer students and students who have already earned a bachelor's degree must have a minimum 3.0 GPA.

Market Demand

The Unmanned Aircraft Systems industry is expected to generate an estimated 100,000 jobs and $82.1 billion in economic impact in the next decade.
- Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)

The FAA predicts 10,000 unmanned aircraft systems could be airborne in the U.S. skies by 2020.