Charleston Southern University to launch the state’s first collegiate aeronautics program

Local News

File | Charleston International Airport control tower

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Charleston Southern University will soon offer the state’s only collegiate aeronautics program.

South Carolina is one of only two states without the program, but CSU plans to offer a Bachelor of Science in aeronautics beginning in the fall of 2021.

According to the college, students who enroll in the program will eventually be able to choose between three main tracks for becoming a professional pilot: commercial, military, or missionary aviation.

“As we look to the future, Charleston Southern will maintain our presence at the leading edge of innovation and impact,” said CSU President Dr. Dondi Costin. “Our Aeronautics program is a natural extension of the university’s vision of integrating faith in learning, leading and serving as we prepare servant leaders to pursue significant lives. By preparing pilots to impact their spheres of influence as commercial, military or missionary pilots, we extend our reach into every corner of the globe.”

Colonel Christopher “C.J.” Will, U.S. Air Force (retired), is the founding chair of CSU’s new Aeronautics Department, which is located within the College of Science and Mathematics.

Will is looking to grow the CSU program and plans for the first diverse group of Professional Pilots to graduate from the program in 2025.

Professional Pilot program students will conduct flight training each semester at either Summerville or Charleston International airports in safe and modern Diamond aircraft.

The college said Flight Safety will be built into the program at a foundational level. “Everything we do will be part of an overarching and fully integrated safety program. From the first class to the last checkride, the safety and security of our students will always come first,” Will said.

Leaders say the degree will be complemented by an Aviation & Space Management degree, an Aeronautics Science minor, and an Aviation Maintenance Management technical degree.

A three-credit-hour aeronautics course—Introduction to Pilot Training—will be offered this fall.

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