* Department of Aviation Technology

March 24, 2009

Purdue to offer 5-year bachelor's, master's degree in aviation

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Beginning in fall 2009, select students in Purdue University's aviation technology program will have the option of earning both bachelor's and master's degrees in a total of five years.

Applications are now being accepted from current juniors in the aviation management and professional flight technology programs in the Department of Aviation Technology who meet the standards for admission. Students who successfully complete the program will earn a master of science in technology degree with a concentration in aviation and aerospace management. Earning both of those degrees usually takes six years or more.

Richard Fanjoy, program director and an associate department head of aviation technology, said the most qualified students will have an opportunity to earn their degrees faster and become involved in research during their senior year instead of waiting until graduate school.

"Students will be eligible for assistantships during their senior year and have the chance to publish research much earlier, putting them at a great advantage in their careers," he said. "It's a very efficient way to earn two degrees, saving students both time and money."

He said it is the first such dual-degree program in the College of Technology.

John Young, a professor of aviation technology, helped Fanjoy develop the degree program proposal using existing curricula.

Young said the program will work by allowing students to take up to nine credit hours that apply both to the undergraduate and graduate requirements. During their senior year, students will have dual status as both undergraduate and graduate students.

To be eligible for the program, students must maintain a 3.5 GPA in aviation technology courses, maintain a 3.2 overall GPA and complete at least 93 of the 124 required credit hours for a bachelor's degree by the end of their sixth semester. If accepted, students enter the program in their seventh semester.

Students in the program are required to finish in five years. Although the number of credit hours for both degrees is the same as earning them the traditional way, students in this accelerated program are required to take one semester of summer courses in order to finish in the specified time.

Fanjoy and Young said that students who earn a master's degree in aviation and aerospace management are qualified to work in middle management positions at airlines, aviation and aerospace companies, or as the chief of an airline safety or quality control section of a company. They said students with just bachelor's degrees are typically hired into entry-level positions.

Young and Fanjoy said they expect about 12-15 students to enroll in the program for the fall 2009 semester.

Interested students should apply to the Purdue Graduate School via the Web site at  or call 765-494-2600. The application deadline is April 1.

Purdue's Department of Aviation Technology offers undergraduate and graduate programs in aeronautical engineering technology, professional flight and aviation management. Students have access to a university-owned airport, as well as advanced simulation and airframe and powerplant laboratories. In fall 2009, Purdue will celebrate the opening of the Niswonger Aviation Technology Building, an 18,200-square-foot addition that will provide a larger, modern learning facility for students and faculty.

Writer: Kim Medaris, 765-494-6998,

Sources: Richard Fanjoy, 765-494-9964,

John Young, 765-494-9969,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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