Airline pilots and the college they got their certificate from

So I have heard that the college/ institute you get your certificate matters when companies hires.
If you went to a top 5 ranked colleges the chances of u getting hired will be higher than the other colleges who rank low.
Does this actually matter? Because I am wanting to get a BA in aviation science and management- flight too. And going to the top college can be a bit pricey for me . My current college choice isn’t ranked even under 100 , but do partner with major airlines.

Thank you!

Good evening, Benny!

A couple of things. Regional airlines do not require a degree. The majors do. The degree can be in anything and the college does not need to be top ranked.

As for pilot certificates, airlines have historically been impressed with students that attended ATP, but I know many pilots with various backgrounds.

I recommend that you spend some time in the forum’s FAQ section. Please let us know if there is anything else we can help answer for you and welcome to the forum!


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I don’t know who you heard all of the above from but they’re just plain wrong.

As Tory said the Regionals don’t require a degree and while the Majors want one, as long as it’s a legit school that’s all that matters. I know many pilots who went to small virtually unknown local city or state schools and have had successful careers. I’ve participated in hiring on both the Regional and Major level and we’ve never given a single pilot the nod based on the school they attended.

As long as we’re on the subject it sounds like your considering getting an aviation degree which we really don’t recommend. The airlines neither desire or require one and should flying not work out they offer no backup. Just something for you to consider.


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Don’t listen to what you’ve heard. The college degree topic is probably one of the most asked questions on the forum. You’ll find here that a four year degree is a box that needs to be checked by the time you apply for the majors. It needs to be from an accredited college/university and we recommend you major in something you enjoy or could use as a backup career in case of aviation furloughs in the future. Try to find a school that fits your budget in state or even two years of community college before finishing the last 2 at a university. Save the big bucks for flight training.



The major airlines simply want to see a degree from a respectable college, it by no means needs to be a top 5 college.

Why are you looking at getting an aviation degree? Is there any particular reason for you to do so?