Redhawks were meant to soar: you’ll do that here.

The professional pilot degree prepares you to gain the FAA certifications to become a professional pilot and begin a career in commercial aviation.  

What You’ll Do  

The program pairs academic courses with lab courses at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport to prepare you to work with aircraft both on the ground and in the air.  

  • Begin your flight training your first semester. 
  • Successfully manage an aircraft and its crew. 
  • Work closely with experienced faculty and aviation partners.

Our Aircraft 

Southeast’s fleet includes the Cessna 172 M aircraft, which has been used to train more pilots than any other airplane in the history of aviation. The 172 offers enhanced visibility, is easy to fly, and most importantly, is ranked best for safety. Therefore, our students can train both comfortably and successfully.  

Additional Features

  • Interior overhaul with new seating and paint 
  • Dual Garmin G5 Instrument Panel 

Other Equipment

  • Garmin G650 GPS 
  • Lynx® NGT-9000 ADS-B touchscreen transponder 

Our Facilities 

Our aviation facilities and training equipment were designed with you in mind! 

The Cape Girardeau Regional Airport is owned by the City of Cape Girardeau and will host Southeast’s pilot program fleet and training facilities. Cape Girardeau Regional Airport is a full-service airport with approximately 66 aircrafts based on the field and averaging 80 aircraft operations daily. Operated by SkyWest Airlines, flights are available daily to and from Chicago and Paducah.  

Southeast courses at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport will be taught from a 52,000 square-foot hangar that house private aircraft. The space allows the pilot program both access to the hangar as well as a classroom, offices, and flight simulator.  

Outcomes & Careers

  • 94%

    Successful Outcomes Rate

    Students graduating with degrees from the Department of Engineering and Technology report being employed or furthering their education six months after graduation.

  • $175k

    Airline Pilots

    According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the mean annual salary for airline pilots, copilots, and flight engineers is $174,870. 





  • 4.8%

    Projected Growth

    U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projected growth for pilots over the next 10 years. 





  • 76%

    4-Year Degree Required

    U.S. commercial airlines either required or prefer hiring a pilot with a 4-year college degree. 





What You’ll Study

As professional pilot major, you’re headed for a career of adventure. Students will earn their private pilot, commercial pilot, and flight instructor certifications. You’ll complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to complete this degree, including the general education requirements and at least 39 senior division hours.

Professional Pilot– 99-101 hours required – no minor required

Some courses may fulfill General Education requirements.

  • AV110 Private Pilots (3)
  • AV111 Private Pilots Lab 1 (2)
  • AV112 Private Pilots Lab 2 (1)
  • AV210 Aviation Instrumentation (3)
  • AV211 Aviation Instrumentation Lab 1 (2)
  • AV212 Aviation Instrumentation Lab 2 (1)
  • AV301 Aviation Safety (3)
  • AV306 Aviation Management 1 (3)
  • AV310 Commercial Pilot (3)
  • AV311 Commercial Pilot Lab 1 (2)
  • AV312 Commercial Pilot Lab 2 (1)
  • AV390 Aircraft Design (3)
  • AV395 Aircraft Performance (3)
  • AV406 Aviation Management 2 (3)
  • AV408 Flight Management 2 (3)
  • AV410 Flight Instructor (3)
  • AV411 Flight Instructor Lab 1 (2)
  • AV412 Flight Instructor Lab 2 (1)
  • AV420 Jet Flight Management (3)
  • AV430 Professional Flight (3)
  • AV450 Aviation Capstone (3)
  • EN100 English Composition (3)
  • ET380 Vision and Sensor Systems (3)
  • ET381 Fundamentals of Flight (3)
  • ET384 UAS Law and Policy (3)
  • GO418 Meteorology (4)
  • IM300 Technical Communications (3)
  • IM301 Industrial Safety Supervision (3)
  • IM311 Statistical Process Control (3)
  • IM411 Total Quality Assurance (3)
  • IM419 Industrial Supervision (3)
  • MA116 Precalculus A (3)
  • MN220 Engineering Economic Analysis (3)
  • PH120/020 Introductory Physics I (5)

Choose 3-5 hours:

  • CH180 Chemistry in Our World (3)
  • CH181 Basic Principles of Chemistry (5)
  • GO110 Physical Geology (3)

Choose 3 hours:

  • SC105 Fundamentals of Oral Communication (3)
  • SC155 Fundamentals of Interpersonal communication (3)

Some requirements may be fulfilled by coursework in major program.

  • Social and Behavioral Sciences – 6 hours
  • Constitution Requirement – 3 hours
  • Written Communication – 6 hours
  • Oral Communication – 3 hours
  • Natural Sciences – 7 hours (from two disciplines, one to include a lab)
  • Mathematics – 3 hours
  • Humanities & Fine Arts – 9 hours (from at least two disciplines)
  • Additional requirements – 5 hours (to include UI100 for native students)
  • Civics examination

*Many major courses are on a set rotation and dependent on when prerequisites are completed. The actual semester a course is taken may vary based on the rotation.

Freshman Year

Fall Semester (13 Hours)

  • UI100 (1)
  • EN100 (3)
  • AV110 (3)
  • AV111 (2)
  • AV112 (1)
  • MA116 (3)

Spring Semester (17 Hours)

  • AV210 (3)
  • AV211 (2)
  • AV212 (1)
  • IM300 (3)
  • MN220 (3)
  • PH120/020 (5)

Sophomore Year

Fall Semester (17 Hours)

  • AV301 (3)
  • AV310 (3)
  • AV311 (2)
  • IM301 (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)

Spring Semester (13-15 Hours)

  • AV312 (1)
  • AV420 (3)
  • CH180/CH181/GO110 (3-5)
  • ET381 (3)
  • IM311 (3)

Junior Year

Fall Semester (14 Hours)

  • AV306 (3)
  • AV410 (3)
  • AV411 (2)
  • ET380 (3)
  • IM419 (3)

Spring Semester (14 Hours)

  • AV390 (3)
  • AV395 (3)
  • AV412 (1)
  • ET384 (3)
  • GO418 (4)

Senior Year

Fall Semester (18 Hours)

  • AV406 (3)
  • AV408 (3)
  • IM411 (3)
  • SC105/SC155 (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)

Spring Semester (15 Hours)

  • AV430 (3)
  • AV450 (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)
  • General Education (3)


Cost & Aid

Although Southeast Missouri State University has a proven reputation for keeping tuition costs low while delivering the highest level of quality education, flight training is expensive. It is important that students planning to major in the Professional Pilot program understand that financial planning is vital to successfully completing this degree. Scholarships are available.

Become a Redhawk.

Do more than dream about the future. Take the first steps to make it all happen.

"Knowing there has been and will continue to be a significant shortage of pilots, I look forward to the opportunity to share this career information with high school counselors and students as they develop their plans of study. Hopefully, they will take a close look at what aviation has to offer and select Southeast to help them accomplish this goal."

Dr. Ken Jackson

A portrait of Dr. Ken Jackson, Director of Aviation Operations at Southeast.

Meet our World-class Aviation Team 


Southeast’s experienced professors provide real-world learning opportunities in lab settings, internships, and with industry experts. With small class sizes, students have the opportunity to get hands-on experience. Aviation classroom training will occur in the Seabaugh Polytech building, our multi-million-dollar facility. Flight training, simulator, and other related trainings will occur at the Cape Regional Airport.  

Flight Partners 

Southeast has partnered with US Aviation Group: 

  • A world-class professional flight training operation providing management services for Southeast’s pilot program  
  • Providing pilot training since 2003 and has over 3,000 graduates, with Captains at every major airline flying in 35 different countries  


The newly appointed Director of Aviation Operations, Dr. Ken Jackson, earned his Private Pilot’s License in May 2017 and is a current member of Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.  

Getting the Job

Your education is just one piece to launching an extraordinary career. Once you’ve mastered the material, you still have to find the job you want, make the right connections, sell your knowledge and experience—and if all this is giving you anxiety, don’t panic. SEMO’s Career Services office is here to help you with the next step. They’ll provide the expertise and support you need, so you’re landing your dream job in no time.

Professional Pilot (BS) Degree Map

Explore the courses you'll need to complete your degree.

Polytechnic Building 216
Mailing Address
One University Plaza, MS 6825
Cape Girardeau, MO 63701