High school classes

I have just finished 8th grade and I have come to the realization that It would be my dream to become an airline pilot. I was wondering what classes I should take that would best help me in school (I plan to go to Purdue School of Aviation and Transportation Technology.) I would just like to take some classes that would pertain to my eventual university studies and maybe make it a little easier. Thank you so much!

Hey Gabe,

I just graduated highschool and I’m off to ATP in September with my Private pilot license. Classes really have no effect on flying. The only thing I’d advise you to do is take classes that will push you such as honors or AP classes because being a pilot surely isn’t easy so best way to prepare yourself is by taking harder classes and pushing yourself making sure you’re studying and keeping those grades up as it will help you out later. Also if you haven’t saved up for college/flight training I’d start on it now. Learned that the hard way lol.

Welcome Gabe,

I actually don’t recommend that you focus on that right now. There is no specific high school class(es) that will improve your chances of becoming a successful pilot.

All you need to focus on right now is getting good grades. If your high school has a Running Start program, I would also highly recommend participating in it. While most major airlines do not require a four-year degree, most pilots have one. So, you’ll want to earn one yourself. Running Start will help you accomplish that goal quicker. The quicker you can earn your four-year degree, the quicker you can begin flight training, the quicker you can apply for the airlines. The degree can be in any field that you like, btw. Pick something that you like. Even better if it can be applied towards a backup plan if flying doesn’t work out.

That said, it’s not all about speed. I’d much rather you move at a pace that yields a higher GPA than rush just to get to the finish line. Being a good pilot requires a higher level of knowledge that will protect you and everyone else. It’s better to create good study habits sooner rather than later.

I also implore you to read the various articles in the FAQ section of this forum. You will find a lot of useful information in there are you plan your path to the airlines.



Exactly one Tory said. Classes in HS really don’t matter, what’s more important is you do well and get into a good college.

Also I STRONGLY recommend you take an intro flight so you get a sense of what you’re signing up for.


I second Tory on this as well. Just focus on doing well in whatever classes you take. There really is not a whole lot of latitude in high school general education classes anyways, so do as well as you can in what you are assigned.


Hey Yousef,

just a quick question since you got your private licence before you graduated high school, about how much did it cost to get that private licence, I’m 15 right now so I can’t start flight instruction yet, however I do plan to work this year and save up as much as I can and if that isn’t enough hopefully ask my parents to help me out.


Thank you so much for your amazing reply! that is actually some very useful information and I appreciate it. One more question though, I understand the fact that I could obtain any 4 year degree and that would help my case, but would it still benefit me more to go to a school of aviation, or should I do something unrelated as a sort of “fall-back” in case piloting doesn’t work out?

As I said before, pick a major that you like. Picking a major unrelated to aviation can be applied towards a backup plan if flying doesn’t work out. Aviation degrees aren’t necessarily better. Airlines don’t care about your major. They care that you have a degree. That’s it.

But in all honesty, I don’t think my Comm degree is any better than an aviation degree. The difference between you and me though is that you’re in a place where you can be thoughtful about your major. I was not. So, take advantage of the position you’re in and put some thought into what you might do if flying doesn’t work out.

This is something that you will have to decide for yourself. Both are 4 year degrees, both may cost different amounts depending on which school you attend.


I believe mine cost something like $15,000 but mine was dragged out longer than it should’ve been because I had some problems with my name on my license and had to go get that fixed in the middle of my training and I didn’t stop flying during that period so could’ve been cheaper for sure. I cut a deal with my parents so they actually paid for mine thankfully. I would definitely recommend doing it though because it will really show you if that’s what you want to do or not and it would cost the same if not more @ATP In most cases. My instructor was also an ATP grad and once I told him my plans he did my training as though I was at ATP with ATP checklist’s/procedures and everything so really cool guy.

Hey Gabe,
Have you thought about doing College Credit Plus? (CCP) it’s just a way for you to get some of the basic classes (Psychology, history, English, etc…) “out of the way” so to speak before you start full time. it is not a lot of extra work and you get to substitute your high school classes for college ones getting the same amount of credits. Also, you will not be able to get any aviation classes until you are a full-time student (after highschool). once a CCP student you can go to any community college you like, just make sure that your credits can be transferred to Purdue. I am currently doing CCP and am a Sophmore in high school, and in my freshman year in college (Clark State Comunity College) here in Ohio.

You’ll able to do CCP while in high school I think that most high schools have a program that will help with that, I would ask. I know several people who are doing CCP while in pubic schools. If you are Homeschooled then you can substitute more of your regular classes.
if you decide to do CCP start slow, and I wouldn’t recommend starting it in an online format, with all this COVID-19 stuff my classes have moved online, and believe me it has been a little bit harder than an in-person class.
Doing CCP will help you graduate from college earlier and take off into your career!
Here is a link for CCP in my state, it should be similar to your own state’s program if you don’t live in Ohio: https://www.ohiohighered.org/collegecreditplus
If you need any more information just let me know :slight_smile:
if you want to get your PPL look at
and: https://www.aopa.org/training-and-safety/students/flight-training-scholarships

Gabriel Schwind

PS if you are looking for a good first class check out a history class, it’s usually low maintenance and will get you accustomed to being a college student.


I for one favor having a fall back degree. I have a degree in business administration, I have never used it. But if I needed to use it, I take comfort in being able to say that I have the degree and could probably back it up with some of my real world experience.

I just see no benefits to aviation degrees, they are repetitive, unnecessary and do not provide any kind of additional cushion.

If CCP is available in your state, that is a great option. Also remember that AP classes can help you get ahead for college.


hi im a softmore and i just wanted to know if ap classes are required for becoming a professional commercial pilot?
and also my height is 6’3 and i currently wieght 285 and im am reducing it


No not at all. You will need a HS diploma and eventually want a 4yr degree.

Please visit our FAQ section for information on the process.


Sir i m 4’7 can i become a pilot


There are no height limits as long as you can reach and manipulate the flight controls. Whether or not you can do that I cannot say.