The only BS Aviation Program in Maine and one of only two in New England.

UMA’s BS in Aviation represents a public-private partnership with Maine Instrument Flight (MIF), a highly regarded flight school located in Augusta. Flight Training is completed at the Augusta Airport and Academic training is completed at UMA Augusta Campus. Training pilots since 1946, MIF is the only FAA Part 141 certified flight school in the state of Maine that is approved for all courses.

Through the UMA program, MIF will equip students with the following four FAA certifications: private pilot in the first year, instrument rating in the second year, commercial pilot in the third year, and flight instructor in the fourth year.

Low Airfare

UMA provides the best in-flight training with the most efficient use of the student’s financial resources. Because of UMA’s low public tuition rates, and the availability of our flight simulators, the BS in Aviation is competitively priced with other programs nationwide. Significant value is added when factoring in technically advanced training, advanced debrief tools, and virtual reality simulation. Plus, financial aid is available to most students to help offset the costs, and if you’ve served in the armed forces, your military education benefits may pay a portion of your tuition and fees. Our use of simulation and Virtual Reality has a positive environmental impact as well, saving a significant amount of fuel.

UMA’s Cirrus SR20 G6

Cirrus R20 G6 aircraft

UMA acquired its new Cirrus SR20 in June 2022, which will allow the university to continue its expansion of state-of-the-art pilot instruction in Maine. The Cirrus plane provides students with training in high performance aircraft with the latest cockpit design.

The SR20 is a state of the art airplane manufactured in Minnesota. It has a max operating altitude of 17,500 feet, and a range of 709 nautical miles. The max cruise speed is 155 knots – roughly 180 miles per hour. It is the first production general aviation (GA) aircraft equipped with a parachute to lower the airplane safely to the ground after a loss of control, structural failure, or midair collision. The SR series was also the first mass-manufactured light aircraft with all-composite construction and flat-panel avionics.

Virtual Reality Training

UMA has taken a page from the Air Force’s Undergraduate Pilot Training guidelines and has implemented the use of Virtual Reality in our training. These efforts not only keep aviation students safer, it significantly reduces their education costs associated with flying an actual airplane.

UMA’s Flight Simulators

UMA’s flight simulators are classified as FAA-approved advanced aircraft training devices (AATD). This means students can log time toward Private, Instrument, and Commercial certifications in the training device toward the completion of certification requirements. The simulators are located at Maine Instrument Flight in Augusta.

The RedBird FMX Full Motion Flight Simulator allows students from UMA’s Aviation Program to learn instrument flying skills in a low pressure, lower-cost learning environment. Current FAA regulations allow logging of up to 20 hours in this device toward completion of an Instrument Rating. The RedBird FMX features wrap-around visuals, a fully enclosed cockpit, quick-change configurations, scenario-based training compatibility, and an electric motion platform.

Flying into Portland, ME

Aerial view of an airplane flying over a lake

New Students

All new students will be matriculated into the Bachelor of Science in Aviation program. UMA also offers a certificate in advanced aviation.

Incoming Veterans

As of January 2024, The Veterans Administration approved UMA private pilot training program for Veteran benefits.

Learn more about the Crewed Aircraft Training Program

UMA is accredited by the New England Commission of Higher Education (NECHE) as part of the Commission’s accreditation of the University of Maine System.

Additionally, UMA’s BS in aviation program has begun the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) accreditation process and expect our AABI accreditation to be in place in the next few years. Stay tuned for our progress.

Early application is encouraged because class size is limited to 20 slots per year. Admission is competitive. To be admissible for the Bachelor of Science in Aviation degree program, students must complete the following requirements:

  • 1st or 2nd Class Medical Certificate from a FAA certified Aviation Medical Examiner*
  • MAT 030 Algebra I or waiver
  • High School/Transfer GPA of 2.0 (“C” average) or higher
  • Introductory Flight

Applicants who do not meet these requirements may qualify for admissions by completing comparable course work at UMA.

*A clear, unrestricted class 1 or 2 Medical Certificate issued by an FAA-certified Aviation Medical Examiner (AME) is a requirement for admission into this degree program. Because locating a certified FAA medical examiner and completing the requirements for an FAA Medical Certificate may be time-consuming, applicants are encouraged to complete this requirement at their earliest convenience. FAA-certified AMEs can be located here.

Click on a degree or certificate to view the required courses in the UMA Catalog.

Degrees Offered


Upon completion of the degree, graduates will:

  • qualify for employment in the air transportation industry (flying passengers and cargo).
  • qualify as instructors to others under FAA certification.
  • understand the physical, meteorological, mathematical, legal, security and historical aspects of flight.
  • exhibit an understanding of ethical and professional responsibilities.

Current Pass rate: 100%.

Anticipated Careers and Salaries for UMA Aviation Graduates

UMA aviation graduates are entering an exciting period in our history on which to embark on an aviation career. Their options run the entire employment spectrum from civilian employment to government including military or starting one’s own business. The salaries are just as varied as are the type of jobs.

Aviation careers use a type of “seniority” to advance in the field. A pilot needs to have a certain number of flight hours, whether manned or unmanned, to progress in responsibility and to increase in salary and benefits.

Becoming a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI) is the usual goal for our graduates.

This FAA designation opens the most doors for immediate employment opportunities. A CFI graduate usually will be hired by a flight school to teach primary flight instruction. Typically they will be line instructors teaching both ground training and flight training.

Many will add the instrument instructor (CFII) designation to their CFI certificate to increase their value to the flight school. This addition allows the CFI to teach and endorse candidates for the instrument rating. As they gain experience, they will take on teaching candidates for the commercial and CFI certificates.

Starting salaries are usually hourly and average $23 to $26 per hour or an annual salary in the low $40,000s.

A CFI will have about 275 hours of flight experience starting in this career field. Additionally, as they acquire flight hours instructing, they become valuable commodities to the higher-paying non-CFI types of jobs within the aviation industry.

Commercial pilots without the CFI designation may find employment a little more varied but the salaries can be a little lower. Some of the areas these individuals could be hired for are flying planes for skydivers, banner tow pilot, electrical and/or pipelines inspection pilot, bush pilots, and cargo pilots.

The salaries range from $25,000 for part time or seasonal pilots to upper $60,000 for cargo pilots.

Commercial pilots require a minimum of 250 hours of experience.

The airline pilot or large aircraft cargo pilots have typically the highest paying jobs. This career field will also require the pilot to attain the airline transport pilot certificate (ATP) with a minimum of 1500 hours of flight experience; however, the smaller regional operations will hire first officers with only commercial certificates and assist them with the training to attain their ATP.

The airline pilot career track normally starts at a regional airline like Cape Air or Allegiant as a first officer (co-pilot) and then progressing to captain. With the intermediate level airlines like JetBlue or Spirit Airlines (normally jet equipment) individuals will have the same progression when hired from the regionals. Then off to the major airlines again as a first officer and ultimately on to the captain position.

Starting salaries range from $30,000 to $60,000 for regional first officers with regional captains ranging from $70,000 to $100,000. Starting salaries for flying with regional operators have doubled or tripled in the last five years due to a significant pilot shortage.

Recently signing bonuses for potential pilots have been added to the mix, often offered while flight students are still in school to respond to the severe pilot shortage. The major airlines double the salaries of the regionals and if you fly the international routes, the figures are still higher.

Corporate pilot positions seem to mirror the airline pilots. Most corporations require their pilots to have the ATP certificate for insurance reasons and for the safety of their senior executives or celebrity clients. A corporate pilot may be expected to take on duties many airline pilots would not do – like loading baggage, flying into very austere locations, accommodating unusual flight times, and possibly type ratings in a variety of aircraft.

Starting salaries range from $30,000 to $60,000 for regional first officers with regional captains ranging from $70,000 to $100,000. Starting salaries for flying with regional operators have doubled or tripled in the last five years due to a significant pilot shortage.

Corporate salaries generally match those of the airlines.

The military pilot track is a little different. Pilot training candidates do not have to have any flight experience, but it helps to have prior experience to make the intense training easier and ensure the new pilot can fly their desired weapon system. Regardless of the level of FAA certificates held by the candidate, all pilot training candidates will enter the 49-week program to determine their placement in the weapon system needed by the service.

The starting salary for 2nd Lieutenant/Ensign is approximately $33,000 and monthly flight pay starting at $175 and increasing to $800. Salaries increase as officers are promoted, gain time in service, and increase the number of years on flying status.

Additionally, the military services are offering aviation bonuses to pilots completing their initial commitments around 12 years active duty time of $20,000 to $35,000 annually on top of their current base pay for a captain at $79,000.


For general information or to schedule a visit to the UMA Aviation Center, contact Shelley Taylor at (207) 621-7452 or