Aviation and Transportation / Master of Science


The Master of Science in Aviation and Transportation is designed to offer a multifaceted approach in preparing graduates for careers in higher education, industry, professional management, government, and other agencies associated with aviation and transportation. This program will study the current transportation industry and that industry’s regulation from a variety of perspectives. The student will develop an appreciation of human factors and the importance of research in decision-making and will develop skills in communication, human resource management, strategic planning for transportation projects, and quality management systems for aviation and transportation safety. This program incorporates the moral and ethical dimensions of decision-making and interpersonal relations in all coursework. The program will ensure that students, in their roles as leaders in this critical field, understand the importance of integrity, fairness, and respect for diverse cultural traditions.

Courses are taught in an eight-week format and are scheduled so students can take at least two courses each semester, including summers.

Full Admission

All candidates for admission must possess a bachelor’s degree in aviation from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education or in a major in a related field. Individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree in an unrelated area but have work experience in aviation and/or transportation industries may also apply. The applicant’s overall undergraduate GPA must be 3.0 or higher on a 4.0 scale. In special cases, the GPA may be calculated on the most recent 60 semester hours of coursework. Additionally, applicants must submit:

1. A completed application, accompanied by a nonrefundable application fee.

2. Academic transcripts from each institution of higher education attended.

3. A one-to-two page personal statement describing the applicant’s background and how the degree relates to the applicant’s career goals.

4. Two letters of recommendation attesting to the applicant’s likely success in the program.

Completed application materials will be reviewed by the Graduate Council of the College of Arts and Sciences. The Council has the final say in graduate admissions. After Graduate Council review, the applicant will then be informed in writing of its decision.

Provisional Admission

Under certain circumstances, students who do not meet the GPA requirement (GPA below 3.0, but above 2.5) for full admission may request to be admitted to the program on a provisional basis.  Provisionally admitted students must complete the first 9 semester hours of graduate study with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. After 9 hours of completed coursework, a provisionally-accepted student’s application will be reviewed again for full admission. This decision will be made by the Aviation and Transportation Department's Graduate Program Director in consultation with the College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Council.


A student-at-large is not a degree candidate. In order to be admitted as a student-at-large, the applicant must submit official documentation of a baccalaureate degree from a regionally-accredited institution of higher education and complete a modified application form. The decision to admit an at-large student to graduate courses belongs to the Graduate Program Director, whose decision is based on an evaluation of the applicant’s undergraduate coursework and possibly an interview. However, should the student decide to apply for full admission status at a later time, but within 5 years of course completion, only a maximum of 9 semester hours of graduate coursework completed as a student-at-large at Lewis University can be applied toward an advanced degree and only courses with grades of B or better will count toward the degree.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

1. A maximum of 6 semester hours of graduate level work earned at a regionally-accredited institution of higher education will be accepted toward a Master of Science degree in Aviation and Transportation.  Only courses in which the student received a grade of B or higher will transfer to Lewis University.  Prior coursework should be current and must have been completed within the last 5 years.

2. All transfer credits must be documented and approved before full admission into the program will be granted. In approving a request to transfer credit from another institution, the Graduate Program Director may, at his or her discretion, require that the student pass a proficiency examination for the corresponding Lewis University course.

3. Courses from outside the United States will be considered if they are evaluated as graduate level by the Office of Admission or the Commission on Accreditation of the American Council on Education.

4. Credit for prior learning is not awarded for graduate courses.

International Students

International students are required to meet all the admission requirements for full or provisional admission and also the admission requirements specified in the General Information section of this Catalog entitled "Entering International Students."

Grade Point Requirement

Students admitted to the Aviation and Transportation program must maintain a 3.0 GPA. A grade of D in a program course will not count toward degree requirements, and that course must be repeated.  Only grades attained in Lewis University graduate courses will be used to determine the graduate GPA. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required for graduation. A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will be automatically placed on academic probation. 

Academic Probation

A student in the Master of Science in Aviation and Transportation program whose GPA falls below 3.0 will be placed on academic probation. While on academic probation, the student must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or better in the courses taken during each 8-week session. If a student does not meet this minimum GPA requirement in the courses taken during any session on academic probation, he or she will be dismissed from the program. After a one-semester hiatus, the student may petition the Graduate Program Director in writing to resume studies. The Graduate Program Director, in consultation with Graduate Council, will make the final decision on whether to allow the student to resume studies. If consent is granted to resume studies in the MSAT program, the student will resume studies on academic probation. Once a student's GPA meets or exceeds 3.0, the student will be released from academic probation. A minimum cumulative GPA of 3.0 is required to graduate.

Enrollment of Undergraduates in Graduate Courses

Registration by undergraduates in graduate courses is limited to a maximum of 2 courses (6 semester hours). The student must be within 30 credits of completing the bachelor’s degree requirements, have at least a 3.0 GPA, and have the approval of the Graduate Program Director. Registration for graduate courses will be included in the student’s undergraduate registration form.

Credit earned in a graduate course may be considered either as graduate credit (and not to be counted toward the undergraduate degree) or as undergraduate credit (to be counted in the number of credits required for the baccalaureate degree).  Credit earned in a graduate course may not be counted toward more than one degree.  [However, Lewis University undergraduates accepted into the Aviation and Transportation Department's Fast Track program may apply up to 9 graduate credit hours to both graduate and undergraduate degrees. These students must follow the guidelines published in the undergraduate catalog.]

Time Limitation for Completing the Program

A student must complete all graduation requirements within 7 years from completion of the first graduate course taken at Lewis University.  Students remain under the requirements of the catalog in effect at the time of matriculation unless they discontinue attendance for two consecutive years or more, in which case they will follow the catalog in effect upon their return.

Culminating Experience

This program offers the student two options to fulfill the requirement of a culminating experience (47-597 Capstone Experience): writing a thesis or taking a practicum. Acceptable research methods which fulfill the thesis option include quantitative, qualitative, experimental, quasi-experimental, and case study approaches. The thesis must demonstrate a depth and breadth of knowledge of aviation and transportation studies that will eliminate the need for a comprehensive examination.

Criteria for being admitted to a practicum include: the completion of all core courses; a 3.0 or higher average in all program courses; the selection of an approved site; the guarantee of an onsite supervisor; and departmental approval of the practicum application. In order to get credit for the practicum, the student will complete specific outcomes that measure the student’s success in the practicum, earn the commendation of departmental and onsite supervisors, submit scheduled logs signed by the onsite supervisor and the student, and submit a final practicum report demonstrating academic proficiencies and onsite competencies.

Comprehensive Examination

If the student chooses to write a thesis as the Capstone Experience, a comprehensive examination is not required.  If the student chooses the practicum as the Capstone Experience, a comprehensive examination is required. The examination will not be scheduled until after the student has completed 27 credit hours in the program, but before the student begins the practicum. It is recommended that the exam be scheduled in the student’s penultimate semester. See the Graduate Program Director for more information on the two options:  thesis or practicum.

Graduation Requirements

The Master of Science in Aviation and Transportation curriculum consists of a total of 36 credit hours. Within these 36 credits are a required Core of 24 hours, a Capstone experience of 3 hours, and Electives of 9 hours. To graduate with the Master of Science, the student must complete 36 hours of credit with a 3.0 GPA.


Degree Offered:  Master of Science

Total Credit Hours:  36


I. Core Courses (24)

47-500Overview of the Aviation and Transportation Industry


47-510Planning Strategically for Aviation and Transportation Projects


47-520Human Factors and Safety in Aviation and Transportation


47-530Regulation of the Aviation and Transportation Industry


47-540Quality Management Systems for Aviation and Transportation Safety


47-560Human Resource Management and Labor Relations in the Aviation and Transportation Industry


47-570Topics in Aviation and Transportation


47-595Research Methods and Applications in Aviation and Transportation


II. Capstone (3)

47-597Capstone Experience in Aviation and Transportation Administration


Thesis Option (Students selecting this option are not required to take the comprehensive exam.)

Practicum Option (Students selecting this option are required to take a comprehensive exam.)

III. Electives (9)

The student will choose three advisor-approved Lewis University graduate-level courses appropriate to the student’s career path.  Students are encouraged to select their electives outside of the department.