Social Sciences Air Transportation


The Social Sciences Air Transportation major at Ohio State provides students a broad understanding of how aviation affects and is affected by social forces like the economy, international relations, and government policy. To reflect the diversity represented in the aviation field, Air Transportation majors complete a variety of courses from the following disciplines: Global Geography and Transportation, Political Science, Economics, International Studies, Psychology, and Sociology.

While it is not required in order to complete the major, eligible students in the Air Transportation major have the opportunity to earn flight ratings toward the Center for Aviation Studies Professional Pilot Certification, through the center's FAR Part 141 certified professional flight education curriculum.  For more information about the Professional Pilot Certification, as well as industry-partnered research, internship, and career opportunities, visit The Ohio State University's Center for Aviation Studies. Please note that adding the Professional Pilot Certification Specialization (PPC) to your major may increase the number of semesters needed to complete all major, general education and PPC requirements.

We encourage you to check out The Ohio State University Airport, Don Scott Field, one of the nation's premier university owned and operated airports. Don Scott is where students learn to fly using a fleet of aircraft and simulators, including the Cessna 152, Cessna 172, Cessna 310, Piper PA-28 Arrow, and Cirrus SR20 as well as Frasca and Redbird Certified Flight Training Devices.


Declaring the Major

Current Ohio State Students:

While there is no minimum GPA, no required prerequisites, nor application required to declare a major in Air Transportation Studies, all current Ohio State students who want to change to the Air Transportation major are required to meet with the Air Transportation Advisor.  Please call 614-292-6961 to schedule an appointment. 

Prospective Students (Incoming Freshman and Transfer):

We encourage all prospective students to make an appointment with an Air Transportation Advisor. In addition, all incoming students will meet with an advisor during orientation to answer questions and schedule classes. 


Declaring the Professional Pilot Certification specialization (PPC): 

The PPC specialization now has a competitive admissions process and not all Air Transportation majors will ultimately be eligible to fly at Ohio State. Most new students will take their Private Pilot Fundamentals (AVIATN 2100) in their first semester of study, and if successfully completed with a B- or better, will have the opportunity to apply for a flight slot. Students who have already completed their private pilot certificate will also go through the application process for a flight slot. Presently, there is a waitlist for flight slots, and current majors have priority. 


Social Sciences Air Transportation Curriculum

Undergraduate Curriculum

Issues & Topics:


  • Flight Fundamentals
  • Navigation
  • Cross-Country Flight Plans
  • Commercial/Business/Cargo

Airport Safety & Security

  • Aviation Regulation
  • International Aviation
  • Aircraft Performance
  • Accident Investigation

Airport Planning

  • Aviation History
  • Airport Design
  • Airline Routing
  • Airline Scheduling

Weather Data

  • Weather Theory
  • Weather Patterns
  • Aerodynamics
  • Flight Performance

Business of Aviation

  • Business Models
  • Aviation Management
  • Marketing Strategies
  • Communications


  • Pilot (Charter, cargo, airline, corporate, or medical)
  • Flight Instructor
  • Flight Dispatcher
  • Flight Attendant
  • Airport Operations Planner
  • Air Traffic Control
  • Safety Inspector
  • Airline Scheduler
  • National Transportation Safety Board Accident Investigator
  • Airport Director