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College of Education and Professional Studies

 June 16, 2020 

Dear Student:

I am writing to notify you of a number of matters that affect the Professional Pilot Program at CWU. This letter is meant to notify you that the University is pausing admission of all new students, including those previously accepted for admission for fall 2020. This decision was made necessary due to the impacts of the State-wide Phase 1 COVID “stay home” requirements in effect throughout most of spring quarter. Those requirements affected the progress of our continuing students, who were not permitted to fly and incurred significant backlogs in completing required flight hours. Catching up on those flight hours needed by existing students is CWU’s first priority. Accordingly, it has paused enrollment to ensure that existing students have the access to equipment and instructional capacity needed to complete delayed instruction.

Second, letters were also sent today to stakeholders in the Professional Pilot Program notifying them that the University is considering developing a proposal to modify or discontinue the program. CWU has initiated this review because the Professional Pilot Program has posted significant budget deficits for each year of its operation, and those budget deficits are increasing annually. In addition, the University has been unable to negotiate an extension of the lease that provides hangar space for its planes and ground operations, and it anticipates a reduction in student applications in coming years due to current economic stresses in the commercial aviation industry.

The University’s evaluation of any program modification or closure is a lengthy process that involves opportunities for input from many perspectives. A very important consideration in the University’s decision making will be the commitment made to all current students in the program. If you are a current student, you should expect your progress in the program to continue without hindrance. If there are eventually revisions to the program that will affect your experience in some way, we will make sure that you have ample notice and an opportunity to ask any questions you may have before those changes take effect.

If you are a student whose admission has been paused, we deeply regret being unable to invite you to the program but we realize that our first commitment must be to responsibly serving continuing students and to maintaining integrity in our communications with prospective and continuing students. We thank you for your interest in our university and welcome your enrollment in another program of your choice, including the Aviation Management program which will continue.

Thank you for choosing CWU, and for your patience navigating these challenging times.



Michelle DenBeste
Provost/Vice President of Academic and Student Life

Heidi Henschel Pellett
Interim Dean, College of Education and Professional Studies

Welcome to Central Washington University's Aviation program

Take Flight with Central
Central Washington University is the regional leader in professional aviation education. Established in 1975, CWU's aviation program is the only fully accredited public university aviation program in the Pacific Northwest. CWU has a stellar reputation for preparing students for the demands of industry with B.S. degrees in Aviation Management or Professional Pilot. The aviation major attracts individuals with a passion for the combined art and science of aviation.


Aviation Management Degree

  • Aviation Management Specialization
  • Aviation Maintenance Management Specialization

Aviation News:
Central Washington University’s Aviation department has purchased (5) 2017  Piper Archer aircraft (6) 2018 Piper Archer aircraft and (2) Seminole twin engine aircraft.   The Archers will primarily be used for Instrument and Commercial training and they have a modern glass cockpit with systems such as Garmin G1000 NXi Avionics Suite, Electronic charts, and WAAS GPS Navigation systems. CWU is keeping pace with the ever changing aviation world by offering students exposure to this type of equipment which they will see in their future airline careers.  

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