Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, B.S.

Be Part of the Future of Aviation

The aviation industry is on the edge of a major shift. Current economic impact studies predict that the industry for remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) will gain over $82 billion over the next ten years in the US alone. This growth is expected to create over 100,000 new jobs in the field of unmanned aircraft.

Currently, RPAs (also commonly referred to as drones or UAVs) are being used every day throughout the world. While most of these operations are currently military, the applications for this technology are rapidly expanding in the private sector.

With a sixty year legacy of providing exceptional flight and maintenance training, LeTourneau University is well-equipped to train aviation professionals to meet the needs of this high-growth industry. Our engineering and computer science legacy also equip us for success in this program, a combination which is truly unique in Christian higher ed.

At LETU, our goal is for our Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems graduates to become effective and exemplary aviation professionals who will become leaders in this new and rapidly expanding industry. We also seek to instill graduates with a sense of Christian vocation and commitment to serving God through their careers. We combine technical expertise with a Christian perspective on the use of technology.

Interesting Classes You'll Take

  • Introduction to Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems
  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft Operations
  • Remotely Piloted Aircraft Flight Control Systems
  • Aviation Safety Factors

Concentration Options

Course Sequence: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Electronics Concentration

  • What it includes:
    • Computer Science Classes
    • Introduction to developing and programming robotics systems
    • Experience with SUAS autopilot and electronic control systems
  • What I can do with it:
    • Get a job with RPAS design and manufacturing companies

Course Sequence: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Pilot Concentration

  • What it includes:
    • Private Pilot License
    • Instrument Rating
    • Experience with ground-based rovers, multicopters, and fixed-wing RPAs
  • What I can do with it:
    • Get a job at any one of the thousands of companies now using drones for work
    • Build experience to fly larger drones for defense contractors and research

Course Sequence: Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems, Technician Concentration

  • What it includes:
    • A&P Certificate
    • Hands-on experiences with SUAS aircraft maintenance
  • What I can do with it:
    • Maintain and troubleshoot small (<55 lbs.) and large (400+ lbs.) RPAS

What can you do with this degree?

Just a few of the current and expected uses for this technology include:

  • Agriculture
  • Search and rescue
  • Inspection of disaster sites
  • Videography
  • Oil refinery Inspection
  • Power line inspection
  • Border Patrol
  • Researching Volcanoes
  • Police Work
  • Firefighting

The applications are endless. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration even currently uses an unmanned aerial vehicle nicknamed the "snot bot" to collect DNA samples from whales via their blowhole spouts. Nearly anywhere a human can't (or shouldn't) go, an RPA can.

Featured Faculty

Ruedi Schubarth

Instructor, Remotely Piloted Aircraft Systems


Shortly after graduating from LETU, Ruedi Schubarth worked for a defense contractor, operating unmanned aircraft systems in support of training and contingency operations in the US and overseas.

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Choose a concentration that fits your career interests. Whether your goal is to fly, maintain or develop new systems for unmanned aerial vehicle, LETU has a concentration that will give you an edge in the marketplace and help you reach your career goals.

  • Pilot - the Pilot concentrations is the best fit for students who want to fly unmanned aircraft.
  • Technician - the Technician concentration is the best fit for students interested in RPA maintenance
  • Electronics - for students interested in designing or improving upon electrical systems used in RPAs

ITAR Disclaimer

Due to regulations imposed by the United States State Department through International Traffic and Arms Regulations (ITAR), only students with current proof of U.S. citizenship may apply for this program.

Alums in the Field

LETU Alumni are already working in the Remotely Piloted Aircraft field. They're pioneering this new field of aviation with companies including:

Guide to Remotely
Piloted Aircraft Systems