ATP vs Flight Program

A question to all students/graduates of ATP. How did you feel your training stacked up to other candidates who graduated from an accredited program such as Embry-Riddle or UND? Do you believe it’s a strong factor that airlines would consider when looking at future candidates? If you happen to have graduated from one of these universities, your input would be appreciated as well!


This forum is owned and sponsored by ATP and we make no bones about that. However, all of us mentors are here because we went through the program, were successful in it and believe in it.

I can tell you that ATP produces more airline pilots per year than any other flight school, period. The airlines know they turn out a good product and actively recruit ATP CFIs. I personally felt very well prepared for my airline job with the knowledge and skills that I had gained while in flight school.


1 Like


I’ve had this conversation with many former Riddle and UND pilots. The only thing they obtained was a significantly higher amount of debt. I’ve been involved in hiring and trust me that’s the last thing we look at.


1 Like


It comes down to the individual. Where someone received their ratings is not as important as you might think. The trick is to never stop learning. I have more respect for the pilots that yearn for knowledge. Experience is important too, but it becomes less important if you’ve stopped learning or you can’t retain what you’ve already learned.


1 Like

:raising_hand_woman: Riddle grad here to weigh in with my 2 cents…

I can’t say a bad thing about the knowledge I gained from the core curriculum related to the degree I earned. Classes like Domestic & International Navigation and Turbine Engines provided a level of knowledge I otherwise wouldn’t have experienced in their flight program. Additionally, 99% of the professors there are really awesome people and have a wealth of knowledge and experience to impart upon their students. That being said, they are not the most efficient route to a professional flying career and a degree in Aeronautical Science isn’t necessary to be hired by airlines. I would agree with many of the moderators on this forum to get one in an unrelated field as a “fall back” should something happen to your medical.

On to why I think accelerated programs such as ATP are a better option…you are actually spending the majority of your week FLYING. Unless something has changed, at Riddle you are assigned a “flight block” (M/W/F or T/Th/S) and if the weather isn’t conducive or aircraft aren’t available, you’ve missed your opportunity to fly that day. There is something to be said about the intrinsic value of muscle memory and repetition. You are also able to complete your training faster, thereby building time faster and ultimately gaining that seniority at an airline while others are still working on completing their degree. One of the other largest benefits I see with ATP’s program is the value of exposure to a TRUE cross country experience. I never left Florida or the surrounding states in my training. A change in topography and flying into new airspace allows you to develop your skill and knowledge and is invaluable.



Thank you so much for your response! I’m very appreciative of the fact that you were as honest as possible and your experience is definitely something I’ll consider when looking at how to get to the airlines.


1 Like

I studied at San Jose State University, which I believe is the only university in California to have a flight program accredited in the university’s aviation major.