Aviation and Transportation Master of Science


The Master of Science in Aviation and Transportation is designed to offer a multi-faceted 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 offered so that at least two courses can be taken each semester, including summers.

Admission Requirements

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 (along with a nonrefundable application fee).
  2. Academic transcripts from each institution 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.

When the application materials are complete, they will be forwarded to the University Graduate Council. 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 nine semester hours of graduate study with a GPA of 3.0 or higher. After nine hours of completed coursework, a provisionally accepted student’s application will be reviewed again for full admission. This decision will be made by the Chair of the Aviation and Transportation Department and the Program Director.

Student at Large

A student-at-large is not a degree candidate. However, should a student decide to apply for full admission status at a later time, but within five years of course completion, only nine semester hours completed as a student-at-large is the maximum credit toward an advanced degree that can be granted.

Transfer of Graduate Credit

A maximum of six 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 completed within the last five years.

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 Program Director may, at his or her discretion, require that the student pass a proficiency exam for the corresponding Lewis University course.

Grade Point Requirement

Students admitted to the Aviation and Transportation program must maintain a 3.0 GPA. A student whose cumulative GPA falls below 3.0 will automatically be placed on academic probation. While on probation, the student must achieve a GPA of 3.0 or better in continued coursework. If a student does not meet this GPA requirement in two semesters and six credits, he/she will be dropped from the program. 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 3.0 cumulative GPA is required for graduation.

Time Limitation for Completing the Program

A student must complete all graduation requirements within seven years from completion of the first graduate course taken at Lewis University.

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 on-site 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 on-site supervisors, submit scheduled logs signed by the on-site supervisor and the student, and submit a final practicum report demonstrating academic proficiencies and on-site competencies.

Comprehensive Examination

If the student chooses to write a thesis as the culminating experience, a comprehensive examination is not required. If the student chooses the practicum experience as the capstone option, 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.

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 from the program, the student must complete 36 hours of credit and maintain a 3.0 GPA. Credit earned in a graduate course at Lewis or elsewhere may not be counted toward more than one degree.  (However, regarding this latter policy, Lewis University undergraduates accepted into the Aviation Fast Track program should follow the guidelines published in the undergraduate catalog.)


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.