Drone academic offerings and certification

Chris Strasbaugh with a drone at KOSU airport

The Center for Aviation Studies offers training for Ohio State students interested in obtaining their remote pilot certification through the Federal Aviation Administration. This certification allows an individual to operate Uncrewed Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), commonly referred to as drones, for commercial purposes. While remote pilot certification is not required for recreational operations, there is still benefit in completing the training in order to learn best practices with respect to safety and professionalism.


Our remote pilot curriculum is centered around the training platform from Unmanned Safety Institute (USI), which is completed online. In addition, the courses will include additional information on how to utilize a drone for a business, as well as flight time with a variety of drones from the Center for Aviation Studies fleet. USI provides industry recognized credentials that students can add to their resumes after completing the coursework. 


AVN 2400: Fundamentals in UAS provides an introduction to drones. Topics covered include UAV career paths and basic related business skills. The course coincides with USI's Level One curriculum, and at conclusion of the course students typically proceed to take the FAA Part 107 certification.

AVN 2401: UAS Operations consists of interactive flight time utilizing simulation software as well as a variety of drones. The simulation software – called  Zephyr – provides the same flight characteristics as our UAVs. It is a great alternative for times of inclement weather or when extra practice is needed. Click here for fleet details.

Future course offerings are planned to include flights beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), maintenance, sensor operations, evaluation of design characteristics, entrepreneurship and many other topics. The Center for Aviation Studies will be defining the course progression needed to begin offering a minor and/or major in UAV operations in the future.

Faculty and staff course enrollment

Visit the HR website for information on faculty and staff tuition assistance. Please note that tuition assistance does not cover flight laboratory costs.


Course information: Shannon Morrison, assistant director of academics and program assessment, morrison.413@osu.edu

UAV industry partnerships: Chris Strasbaugh, lecturer, strasbaugh.2@osu.edu 

Drone resources

Student drone resources and campus flights Click here

Aviation 2400 Fundamentals in UAS

  • Introduction to UAS
  • UAS career paths
  • Basic UAS business skills
  • Exam preparation: FAA Part 107 certification and Unmanned Safety Institute Level One

Aviation 2401 UAS Operations

  • Commercial flying
  • Mission planning and flight operations
  • Site-specific safety
  • Exam preparation: Unmanned Safety Institute Visual Line of Sight (VLOS) Ground and Flight