Southeast Announces Professional Pilot program.

Southeast MO State Univ Plane

Photo: Mock-up of a Southeast themed Cessna 172 that will be used for flight training.

Southeast Missouri State University is proud to announce it is partnering with US Aviation Group (USAG) and the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport for its Professional Pilot program. Starting in fall 2021, students will have the ability to earn a Bachelor of Science in Professional Pilot.

USAG, a world-class professional flight training provider since 2006,

will provide management services for the new program. Classroom training for students will take place at the Southeast campus. Flight training, simulator and other related training will take place at the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport where USAG will have aircraft, training devices and personnel.

“Conversations about this program began in 2015, shortly after I arrived,” said Dr. Carlos Vargas, president of Southeast Missouri State University. “So, I am excited about this great education and career opportunity now being available to our students. I am proud to announce our partnership with US Aviation and the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport. They helped turn our conversations into reality.”

Katrina Amos, airport manager of the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport has also been involved with planning the new program. “We are thrilled that Southeast will now offer the Professional Pilot Program and excited that the Cape Girardeau Regional Airport is a part of this historical moment. We have no doubt this will be a successful program for many years to come and look forward to a long-lasting relationship with Southeast Missouri State University and US Aviation,” she said.

Flight training will begin in the first semester of courses. Students enrolled in the program will get the training needed to attain FAA certifications and obtain their private pilots, commercial pilots and flight instructor certifications.

According to aviation technology company CAE’s 2020-2029 Pilot Demand Outlook, starting in late 2021 there will be a short-term need for approximately 27,000 new professional pilots. This demand will continue through the decade as the industry is expected to require more than 260,000 new pilots.

The new Professional Pilot program complements the University’s Bachelor of Science in unmanned aircraft systems, also known as drones. That program launched in fall 2017.

Southeast Missouri State University is a comprehensive, master’s degree -level university with numerous national and international specialized accreditations. The University is regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and has around 10,000 students enrolled. Southeast is consistently recognized among the best regional universities in the Midwest by U.S. News and is designated a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Education by the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security (NSA-DHS). For more information about the university, visit For information on the Professional Pilot program visit

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