Double Major at Purdue or ERAU


Well-Known Member
I'm entering my senior year in high school and I'm trying to narrow down my college search. I currently have my Private Pilot certificate, and I want to finish up my ratings in college.

I am considering a double major in Aeronautical Engineering and Flight. As for minoring in either of them, at Purdue it's impossible and at ERAU, from what I am told, it's nearly impossible for non-av students to get flight time (perhaps this is wrong?).

Some of the obvious downsides are the intensive academic workload of the engineering degree, time commitment of the aviation degree, and the extra time and money it will take to complete both majors. I know many suggest simply doing ratings at a nearby FBO while attaining a non-aviation degree, but right now I'm researching the double major option, as it seems like Purdue's FLT program/ERAU would be a great opportunity to get the ratings, network, etc., in a structured environment. Additionally, having the Private cert as well as a number of AP credits I hope would allow me to circumvent some intro classes.

Has done this and/or know anyone who has? I have visited both Purdue and ERAU (Purdue's definitely huge, but it seems to be a great school), and would like to discuss if anyone from these schools went a similar path.

Mike Catalfamo


Thuper Member
Hey man...from RI I too! I'm going to ERAU right now and doing the Aeronautical Science major. I do believe that AS majors get to fly first in the Fall but at the same time, if you're minoring in Flight, you'll get assigned a CFI eventually (later than everyone else though) but you will still be flying.

I came to Riddle with my Private Single and Multi and managed to knock out Multi Instrument, Commercial Multi, then Commercial Single all in the time from Fall 2007-Spring 2008. It was hard work but in the end it all paid off. I just got my initial CFI a week and a half ago through the CFI Fast Track program we have here and I'm about 4 units away from getting my CFII.

I really like ERAU despite what some people say...they're either just bitter or they've never really been to the school and have just heard rumors. It's a great school...and like has it's quirks here and there. But I think I've gotten a great education so far and I'm excited to start teaching students in the Fall.

Was that you that got the RI Pilots scholarship with Jeff? He's a friend of mine too and will be coming here in a year. I received that scholarship for Riddle last year. A bunch of great people in that group.

If you have ANY questions at all what-so-ever, feel free to shoot me a PM.



Well-Known Member
Crism, not to hijack this topic, but I've got a question for you. I'm new here, and I'm transferring down to Embry Riddle this fall. I went to Central Missouri for the last year, and I'll have my private done when I get down there. What kind of choices will I have in flight training, as an Aeronautical Science Major. Will I get the multi engine track for a choice, or only the single track? Also, would getting through my commercial done by the end of the spring next year be out of the question?



Thuper Member
Not a problem :). Shoot me a PM if you have any more questions. I'll try to answer all of yours here:

What kind of choices will I have in flight training?

You'll have the two choices that you mentioned, Single Track or Multi Track. Here's my opinion on each.

Single: This track is usually for those who will be sticking around and doing the CFI thing. But that's not to say it's impossible for Multi track either. Single track will take you through Private (N/A in your case) and Instrument in the Cessna 172 Nav III (thats right, Instrument in the G1000 if you were wondering). The plane goes for about $142/hr with about a $33 fuel surcharge (per hour..added on to the hobbs) right now. So it's roughly $175/hr INCLUDING CFI...which is not that bad of a deal honestly. Commercial in the Part 142 course takes you in both the Cessna 172 and the Piper Arrow. The Arrow is ridiculously expensive (one of those quirks) and is almost as much as a twin but it's the retractable gear plane that we use here. They're not bad though. Each plane is equipped with dual Garmin 430 GPSs and most have the MX20 MFD for traffic. I'm not sure on the price. I have a friend who absolutely blew through Private-Commercial in 2 semesters and part of the summer....he's nuts though. It's a TAD cheaper than Multi track if you work it right. I don't have definite numbers since everyone's different.

Multi: This is the track that I did. Currently Riddle is using the Diamond DA42 (not a REAL multi in my opinion...but that's a different topic all in itself). We have 3 Seminoles left for kids finishing up but it doesn't look like we will be going back to them. We have about 8 DA42s now and I have a friend who is half way through is Private Multi (expensive course...that's partially a waste of time. If you can do your Private Multi Part 61 before you get will save you $6000). Since I came in with my Private Single and Multi, they threw me right into the Seminole (we didn't have the Diamonds yet) for my Instrument. This January they put me in the DA42 and I got my Commercial Multi in that. Then you do the Comm Single-Engine add-on in the CESSNA (you got your retractable time in the DA42) which is cake and can be done in 2-3 weeks if you're good.

After Commercial Single in both cases, you can go on to what we call FA417A and FA417I...Initial CFI and CFII. I'm currently doing the Fast Track program which gets you both CFI and CFII in about 2 months. I started May 6th, got my CFI on June 14th, and will be getting my CFII next week. The hiring and standardization (for Riddle procedure) starts July 8th and I should be done by early August to go home for a few weeks.

Would getting through my commercial done by the end of the spring next year be out of the question?

If you're quick and you've got a good CFI and you can adapt to the Riddle way of life and doing things quickly, that wouldn't be a problem if you're doing single track. I can't see that happening if you're doing Multi track without your Private Multi already though. It's just too much in that case.

I ended up with about 250hrs and 56 Multi after I was done with Commercial Single Add-on.

Instrument: $11k
Commercial Multi: $8k
Commercial Single:$2.5k

Like I said...any other questions shoot me a PM. I'm just giving real-time data and experiences that I had and that I've seen.



Well-Known Member
As a 5th year senior in Aerospace Engineering at Purdue, DO NOT DOUBLE MAJOR. If that seems harsh, then I apologize but I have seen too many bright eyed freshmen come in and end up failing out of one or both programs because there is just too much on their plates.

Let me explain: Your first two years are the most difficult for both programs.
-- In engineering, the freshman engineering program will keep you busy for about 18 hours a day (no joke). Then for your sophomore year you've got the first year of the classes for your actual major. These two years are to 1) weed people out who dont belong and 2) teach you the engineering mindset
-- In flight, you will get your private, commercial, and instrument ratings in your first two years. You'll do most of your flying those 2 years. Busy to say the least learning everything required for those tickets. IIRC you still have to take your private pilot classes even if you have your PPL, but don't quote me

After that, engineering gets hard because you are doing, well, engineering work, and the flight program becomes difficult teaching you the in's and out's of being a pilot, i.e. sim work, aviation business, etc. Neither is as easy as some make it out to be; both require lots of work and dedication (one could argue more for one then the other, but that's a different topic...)

With all that being said, what is your end result? If it's to fly airlines, then by all means stick with the flight program. If you want to be an engineer, get your engineering degree. You can take the required classes to also get your associates degree for flight by doing all of the flying in the summer so you can still have your comm/inst tickets once you graduate and doing all the other non-flying classes in addition to your schedule. Difficult, but do-able. There are also the exceptions, like a guy who just graduated from Aero Engineering and decided to stuff engineering and fly for Delta.

Both programs are rewarding, both are fun (in their own seperate, but special ways). If you are that set on being an engineer, my advice would be to try it first. It's much easier to go from engineering to tech (flight), then the other way around.

Let me know if you have any other questions.