Due to FAA requirements, graduates from many schools need 1,500 total flight hours, while RMC graduates fall into the top category of schools where graduates only need 1,000 hours. In addition, we are one of only about 30 colleges and universities accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI), which confirms the quality of our entire program.

FAA Ruling for Airline Pilots

FAA Seal
he U.S. Congress directed the FAA to make changes to the way airlines hire first officers. Beginning in August 2013, first officers must hold an air transport pilot (ATP) certificate or the new restricted ATP.

The new restricted ATP requires, among other things, that a pilot has logged at least:

  • 1,000 total flight hours and a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college with a set number of academic courses completed that have been specifically approved by the FAA.
  • 1,250 total flight hours and an associate’s degree (2-year program) with a set number of academic courses completed that have been specifically approved by the FAA.
  • 1,500 total flight hours if the pilot received training some other way in general aviation.

Rocky Mountain College has been approved by the FAA at the highest standard —1,000 total hours for our graduates. This means that students know the FAA has examined RMC’s aviation curriculum and considers the aviation program to be one of the strongest in the nation. Needing 250 or 500 more flight hours before a pilot is eligible for employment at an airline could delay his or her career by many months or more.

There are other requirements for the restricted ATP, such as multi-engine time and cross country time. Also, a graduate of RMC is allowed to have completed private pilot flight training at a school not approved by the FAA, but not more than that. A graduate from RMC can be assured that his or her airline pilot career would not move faster if they went to another school.

For more details, see the FAA ruling.

To apply for the certificate, Rocky Mountain College graduates must complete this form and turn it in to the Director of Aviation.

The list of courses offered at RMC that count are on this spreadsheet:

You must turn in a copy of your unofficial transcript with the application.

Aviation Accreditation Board International

The aeronautical science major and aviation management major at Rocky Mountain College are both accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI).

There are only 35 aeronautical science programs and 29 aviation management programs worldwide that are accredited by AABI. The organization sets standards for all aerospace programs taught in colleges and universities around the United States and the world.

Accreditation ensures that professional programs achieve and maintain a level of performance, integrity, and quality that entitles them to the confidence of the educational community and public they serve.

Designed by educators, the aviation industry and the FAA, AABI judges the quality of aviation education courses. Members of AABI are educators, customers, employees, regulators, manufacturers, research firms, and advocates. Ultimately, they are the people who teach and hire aspiring aviation industry professionals.

RMC is very proud of this international distinction, confirming the quality of the aviation education offered at RMC. For more information about AABI, visit their website. Rocky Mountain College is accredited as an institution by the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities.

The following documents give a report, for each of our two majors, on:


Aviation Hall
2821 Augusta Lane Billings, MT 59102