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Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University

Embry–Riddle Aeronautical University

The Fritz Hotel in Miami. Embry–Riddle occupied the building prior to moving to Daytona Beach, Florida.

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), a private institution, specializes in aviation and aerospace education. It was established in 1926 at Lunken Field, Cincinnati, Ohio, and now operates major campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida, and Prescott, Arizona. Recognized as the largest accredited university system focusing on aviation and aerospace, ERAU offers a wide range of online and on-site academic programs.

The Wright Flyer statue is the centerpiece of the Daytona Beach campus. The Jack R. Hunt Memorial Library is visible in the background.

Initially, the university began as a local institution for pilot and aircraft mechanic training. Over time, with the growth of the aviation sector and space-related studies, ERAU has grown to enroll nearly 31,000 students in various undergraduate and graduate programs.

Historically, ERAU was founded by Talton Higbee Embry and John Paul Riddle at Lunken Airport in Cincinnati on December 17, 1925. The Embry-Riddle School of Aviation opened in the spring of 1926. However, after merging with the Aviation Corporation (AVCO), the original flying school was shut down in 1930.

In 1939, the school was revived in Miami by Riddle, John Graham McKay, and his wife Isabel. They collaborated with the University of Miami to offer flight training under the Civilian Pilot Training Program. The school, which trained notable alumni including John F. Kennedy, quickly expanded and occupied the former Fritz Hotel in Miami.

Anticipating the closure of Tamiami Airport, where the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Institute conducted its flight operations, the school relocated to Daytona Beach, Florida, in April 1965. It transitioned to a nonprofit in 1959, and in 1968, it was designated a university, adopting its current name in 1970. The same year, it started its international programs and opened a second residential campus in Prescott, Arizona, in 1978.

Academically, ERAU is a level VI accredited institution by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. It offers associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees. Many of its programs, including those in aviation maintenance, air traffic management, applied meteorology, aeronautical science, and aerospace safety, are accredited by the Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI). Its business programs are accredited by the Association of Collegiate Business Schools and Programs (ACBSP), and its engineering programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, Inc. (ABET). Additionally, several programs are certified by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In 2014, ERAU became the first FAA-approved training provider for student airline certification.

ERAU’s professional programs include a range of aviation-focused short courses available through its “Worldwide campus”, offering flexible learning options like online courses, video conferencing, or in-person classes globally.

The Prescott Campus features the Robertson Safety Institute (RSI), a hub for safety education research and development, and offers advanced resources like the Robertson Crash Lab and the Aviation Safety and Security Archives.

The Daytona Beach campus, ERAU’s oldest residential campus, established in 1965, is renowned for its extensive aviation facilities and programs. It has a large fleet of aircraft for training and boasts one of the nation’s most extensive ROTC programs.

The Prescott campus, opened in 1978 in Arizona, is recognized for its unique Global Security and Intelligence Studies program and offers specialized housing and support for first-year students.

ERAU’s Worldwide campus caters to over 22,000 students globally, offering 40 degree programs across various fields, including aviation, business, and engineering, through online and physical campuses, including a significant presence in Singapore.

In terms of research, the Daytona Beach campus is involved in a wide array of projects beyond aviation, collaborating with industry partners in the Aerospace Research and Technology Park. The Prescott Campus supports student research and innovation through Eagle-Prize Grants and Ignite Grants.

Athletically, the Daytona Beach and Prescott campuses have various sports teams known as the Eagles, competing in NCAA Division II and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics, respectively.

Academically, ERAU has consistently ranked highly in various categories by U.S. News & World Report and Forbes, reflecting its commitment to quality education and innovation in the fields of aviation and aerospace.



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