Program Overview

helicopter and person

The Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Science offers an opportunity to earn a degree while earning the FAA certificates needed to qualify for an entry-level position as either a professional airplane or helicopter pilot. You must apply for and be accepted into the Aviation Science program before registering for any classes except AVS-127: Intro to Aviation. In addition to the general education required for the associate degree, the program consists of two distinct types of courses: flight courses and aviation academic courses.


Review the tuition webpage, Helicopter (220 lbs. weight limit) and Airplane flight fees for (207lbs. or less) and (more than 207lbs.). In addition, there will be expenses for books and materials, uniforms, and FAA knowledge and practical tests. The textbooks for the aviation academic courses are very reasonable: Around $50 per class or less. The flight classes and some ground-school classes sometimes have more expensive books and materials: between $100 and $300 per course. These include FAA required materials that you will use for much of your flying including the first part of your career.

Flight Courses

As part of the Aviation Science degree program, our flight courses help you earn the FAA certificates required to begin a career as a pilot. These courses provide individual instruction in aircraft appropriate to the certificates being sought. PCC flight instructors provide instruction for the private license under Part 61. Please see the Catalog for details.

Additional flight training fees apply for these classes. The student will register for the flight classes at PCC, and PCC will charge flight training fees (see costs above) for that course according to normal PCC billing procedures. A flight instructor will be assigned and lessons scheduled based on the availability of the student.

Aviation Academic Courses

The aviation academic courses are those courses that are directly related to aviation that are above and beyond the FAA certification requirements. They are all required for the Aviation Science AAS degree, and are identified with course numbers ending in "7" (e.g. AVS-127).

Our academic courses provide in-depth study in areas identified as especially important for the professional pilot by our industry advisors. 100-level courses are held at PCC’s Rock Creek Campus, while the 200-level aviation academic courses are held online. This knowledge will give you a competitive edge when seeking employment as a professional pilot.

Our two-year associate degree at PCC may be transferred to a bachelor’s degree in aviation. Whereas our two-year degree may help you find work as a pilot in a regional airline and most helicopter companies, some companies may require a bachelor’s.

Transferring to a 4-year College or University

Many pilot positions require applicants to hold a 4-year degree. With an Associate of Applied Science degree in Aviation Science, you will be allowed to transfer credit to some four-year schools to help you towards a Bachelor degree. The college that you wish to transfer to has discretion as to which courses and how much credit will be allowed to transfer. The colleges listed below have articulation agreements with PCC, and allow students to remain in the Portland area to continue their education.

Students enrolled in PCC's Aviation Science program may choose PCC general education and approved elective courses that fulfill the requirements for both PCC's two-year degree and a bachelor's degree at a four-year college. These courses, in addition to receiving credit for FAA pilot certificates earned while attending PCC, provide most students with a significant head start on a bachelor's degree for students who wish to continue their education. Students are encouraged to contact a specific institution below for more details on transferring.