Each major is a four-year degree program with 124 units required to graduate from CBU with a bachelor's degree. The number of units required for each major varies. 

Prior to beginning in the aviation flight program as a student without an existing FAA certificate or rating, the student will need to obtain a medical certificate from an FAA designated medical examiner. This can likely be accomplished near the student's hometown prior to coming to CBU. If a student waits until starting classes at CBU before obtaining a medical certificate, flight training will be delayed unnecessarily. Therefore, CBU strongly recommends that students planning to enter the aviation flight program obtain an FAA first class medical certificate prior to the first day of class. Students will register for their student pilot certificates on the first day of their flight lab.  

Aviation flight majors must provide a current US passport or original/certified copy of birth certificate with a government issued ID (typically a current driver's license); or FTSP for all non-US citizens to satisfy TSA requirements for flight training. 

The Department of Aviation Science at CBU has been created with other collegiate aviation programs in mind. We offer a unique educational experience with a Christian focus, and yet our academics are first-rate, allowing us to offer programs that are comparable to those offered by larger collegiate aviation programs. Also, with our smaller class sizes, we offer students one-on-one interaction with expert faculty that may not be possible at larger programs. You can make a name for yourself in CBU aviation science! 

There is a shuttle that students are able to use to and from main campus and the Flight Line if students are not able to provide their own transportation. The shuttle schedule is posted at the beginning of every semester that follows academic schedules.

Prior to enrollment, communication will be through a student's personal email and phone number. Once new students are enrolled at CBU, they will receive access to their CBU Lancermail account, which will be the primary form of communication from enrollment to graduation. 

To apply for your FAA Medical Certificate, visit and click the link that says "Search for an Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) in your area." Then, select "AME" from the drop-down menu. Select "First Class AME" towards the bottom to find one in your area and schedule an appointment.

After scheduling an appointment with an AME, please go to this link to complete your application for your FAA Medical Certificate. You will need to bring the complete application and application information with you to your appointment. You will need to be as accurate as possible when completing this application.

You will need an FAA Medical Certificate before applying for a Student Pilot Certificate.

*The name on this application should match all correspondence with the FAA. The address on this application should match your permanent address.

Visit to begin your Student Pilot Application.

Select "Applicant" and complete the application with your information. Name and address listed on Student Pilot Application MUST match your FAA Medical Certificate. Once you have done that an FTN (FAA Tracking Number) will be given to you. Make sure that you do not lose your login info or your FTN. Refer to the FAQs on their site to help guide you through the process.

Your Certified Flight Instructor will e-sign your Student Pilot Certificate Application in IACRA the first time you meet during your assigned flight lab course time at CBU.


In addition to current CBU tuition and fees (including room and board), various aviation science courses have additional fees.  

CBU tuition and fees (including lab fees) are reviewed annually and subject to change. Please see the current lab fees by going to this link and selecting “Tuition and Fees for Academic Year 2023-2024."

A handful of scholarships are generally awarded to top aviation science students each fall. Students are encouraged to apply for numerous national aviation scholarships. Our department secretary can provide information on these scholarships. 

Flight lab fees in the Aviation Department vary from semester to semester and can be found in the "Courses and Fees" section of the University Catalog. These lab fees are in addition to standard CBU tuition and fees. In order to begin flying at the start of the semester you must complete payment arrangements to cover all semester charges by the payment due date and have your enrollment confirmed by the Student Accounts Office. Additionally, flight lab fees must be paid in full with verified funds. Verified funds include a single payment or private loan. CBU institutional aid and monthly payment plans will not be accepted to cover flight lab fees. Any delay in payment for the flight lab fees will result in delayed start of training or being dropped from the flight lab if not made by the payment due date. Payment due dates are listed on the university calendar or on the Student Accounts page on InsideCBU. 

Students using financial aid must have their financial aid offered and accepted by the payment due date. We recommend you apply as early as possible for a private loan if needed and complete financial aid documents at least a month before the payment due date to ensure your aid is ready to accept by the due date. For any questions regarding financial aid please contact the Financial Aid office at 951-343-4236 or For questions regarding payment options and billing contact the Student Accounts office at 951-343-4371 or Payments can be made online by clicking the “make a payment or set up a payment plan” icon through  

Please look at this link on how to cover your tuition fees in "Five Steps" to become more familiar with the financial process students need to follow each semester. 

Flight Training

All flight training is conducted at the Riverside Municipal Airport, which is a class D, towered airport, located about two miles from the CBU campus. Students will need personal transportation between the main campus and the CBU Flight Operations Center located at the Riverside Municipal Airport. A shuttle service operated by CBU is only available for classes taught in the CBU Flight Operations Center. For individual flight labs, students will need to arrange transportation to the airport. 

The CBU Flight Operations Center is located at the Riverside Municipal Airport at 6865 Airport Drive, Riverside, California. This center has been specifically designed for use by aviation flight students. It includes two classrooms, a conference room, a flight planning area, a testing center, a simulator room, briefing/debriefing areas, study areas, student lounge, full kitchen, faculty and staff offices and outdoor patio areas. 

CBU has a fleet of modern Archer TX, Arrow and Seminole aircraft—all equipped with the latest G1000 or G500 avionics suites, some with autopilots. This allows our students to train in the most up-to-date technology, better preparing them for their future careers.

CBU also has FRASCA simulators for our Archer TX aircraft which are exactly like the cockpits of our aircraft. These simulators look and feel just like the aircraft providing similar feedback that the student would feel in the actual aircraft! The FRASCA simulators gives the student the experience of flying in any weather conditions, multiple emergencies and in airspace all over the world without ever leaving the ground allowing for more efficient, cost effective and quality flight training.

The Flight Operations Center houses two flight simulators, manufactured by FRASCA. Our simulators exactly emulate our Piper Archer aircraft and have a 6-foot-high, 210-degree screen to cover all peripheral vision. Use of simulation lowers overall flight training costs and provides many advantages, even allowing a certain number of flight hours to be logged. 

Although this will vary with each student, it is expected that aviation flight students will earn approximately 250 flight hours prior to graduation. If a student is hired as a Certified Flight Instructor prior to graduation, the number of flight hours a student will have prior to graduation may be significantly higher.

It is our goal to get you in the air as soon as possible. Students are paired with a CFI before the start of the semester in flight lab blocks with the Chief of Scheduling after signing up for academic classes with their Success Coach in advising. CBU recognizes that every day is critical in flight training and maximizes it to the fullest extent.

If you are looking to get started with your aviation studies before arriving at CBU students can follow this link to the Recommended Reading List. This is a curated source of materials that CBU flight students use to study throughout their education career at CBU. Students are able to access this list after logging into InsideCBU using their Lancermail login.

If students will not come to CBU with a completed Private Pilot Certificate or Instrument Pilot Certificate it is recommended that students wait to start their flight training instead of trying to get in several hours at the local flight school. Because of the difference in CBU’s modern aircraft, procedures and standards as compared to other schools, we have found that students learn more effectively if they come with a fresh perspective.

Headsets range in price, features, quality and comfort so there are many things to balance when looking to purchase a headset. One of the best things you can do when looking for a headset is to go to a local pilot shop or store and try on a variety of headsets to test out the fit. Comfort and fit is one of the most important aspects of a headset. If the headset does not fit well you can get headaches and not perform well from the discomfort. Lightspeed, Bose and David Clarks are popular, quality headsets. If you are looking for a good economy headset, the David Clark D10-60 is a great first headset that when combined with fabric covers for the ear cups will last you through your flight training career and beyond. Lightspeed and Bose are higher-end headsets offering more comfort and noise cancelling features. Noise canceling is wonderful and helps reduce noise fatigue on long flights. Headsets are a long-term investment so keep that in mind.

CBU uses ForeFlight, an aviation app that contains aviation charts, airport information, flight planning tools, weather reporting features and more to aid our students in pre-flight preparation, flying and navigating. This is a very powerful tool that gives the pilot the ability to be familiar with all aspects of their flight allowing for safer, more effective decision making. iPads are used in the cockpits of airlines and corporate flight departments around the world. This approach better prepares our students for their future careers in aviation. The ForeFlight app subscription is included in the flight lab fees.

iPad Minis are economical and the perfect size for the cockpit. The iPad does not need to be on a cellular plan and can have the lowest level of memory offered. CBU students can get a 10% discount when purchased via this link after logging in with your CBU log in.

CBU uses ETA/ TALON to schedule students, track lab funds and so much more. Students are able to see the scheduled times they are to meet with their CFI on TALON and are encouraged to monitor this on a daily basis. Students will be provided log in information the week before classes start.

Some basic materials that you will need for flight training will be an aviation headset, an iPad or iPad Mini, aviation related books and a kneeboard. The syllabus for the related ground school will have a list of specific books, flight and training materials which will be available at the CBU Bookstore.

Contact the Department of Aviation Science

Chair: Dr. John Marselus
Department Secretary: Rosemary Welsh
Phone: (951) 552-8800

Flight Operations Center
6865 Airport Drive
Riverside, CA 92504