Unmanned Aircraft Systems, B.S.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems Degree; unmanned aircraft systems; unmanned aerial systems; drones, Military drones, Commercial drones
Learn to pilot and operate Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) for commercial applications.

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

Quickly Growing Commercial Drone Market for UAS/UAV Applications
From expedited package delivery to precision agriculture, the commercial potential for unmanned aircraft drone 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 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
  • High-tech Harold E. 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.