airplane parked on tarmac
airplane parked on tarmac

Aviation Diploma

MRU Aviation has a solid reputation across the country, built on nearly 50 years of experience in helping students reach their aviation dreams. The unique Aviation Diploma combines an academic diploma with the flight training you need to become a commercial pilot.

Students require a completed Private Pilot's License by September 1 in order to begin the program.

Practical flying experience is accumulated on Mount Royal's fleet of aircraft consisting of Cessna single-engine aircraft and Seneca multi-engine aircraft. Our fleet is equipped with the latest GPS avionics, and is located at our Springbank Hangar at the nearby Springbank Airport (CYBW) just west of the Calgary city limits.

Mount Royal also provides simulator training on a state-of-the-art ALSIM ALX Flight Training Device, which includes high resolution visuals on a 180° wrap around screen. In the simulator, you can experience take off and landing at any airport in North America, in all forms of weather systems and in engine or aircraft emergencies.

Objectives of the program

We are proud to be a professional program with high standards for aviation education. One way in which we ensure these standards are met is to be an Aviation Accreditation Board International (AABI) accredited program.

On January 2018 MRU complies with AABI Policy 3.4.2

In addition to the knowledge and skill required to obtain the Commercial Licence and Multi-Engine Instrument Rating, students learn about human factors and safety, team work, leadership and decision making. These are important skills required by professional pilots.

Leadership skills, human factors and application of safety standards, and the ability to work well with others are skills that are integrated into both the classroom and flight training portions of the program.

Professional Pilot Infographic

Program assessment measures

The unique Aviation Diploma combines the flight training you need to become a commercial pilot with an academic diploma. Students are assessed in academics and flight training. A minimum grade of "C" is required in aviation courses. Flight training consists of 10 courses, each requiring a check flight at the end to ensure the required outcomes are met.

Graduation rates

We have a 100% graduation rate for students who enter the second year of the program.

Rates and type of employment of graduates

MRU Aviation graduates have an average employment rate of 90% after completing the Aviation Diploma. Over the last two years about 35% are employed by a larger airline, 25% work at a charter airline; 15% fly for a corporation, 15% are instructors and 8% work for a pipeline.

A future in aviation

The current demand for graduates of this program is very high. Since the average age of Canadian commercial pilots is 57, the demand will continue to grow. In 2017 Boeing predicts that over the next 20 years the North American aviation industry will require an additional 117,000 trained pilots. Alumni have gone on to fly with Air Canada, Cathay Pacific, Japan Airlines, KLM, WestJet and even the Canadian Forces Snowbirds.

Aviation offers many career opportunities:

  • Commercial, charter or corporate pilot — fly jumbo jets for major airlines or smaller planes for corporate travel
  • Airline or airport administrator — ensure the smooth, safe and consistent operation of an airline or airport
  • Medical evacuation pilot — fly in medical evacuation missions

You could also find yourself working for delivery and courier companies or helping fight forest fires.Degree options

Aviation students have several options to continue with a degree program. The two year diploma courses are transferable to the Mount Royal University General Management program.

Courses in the Aviation Diploma are transferable to the degree program at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in the United States, the only aviation-oriented university in the world. Studies can be done online through Embry-Riddle Worldwide.

Massey University of New Zealand also has a partnership that allows MRU Aviation students to continue with an aviation degree.

Private pilot program

This program is not being offered in 2018.

Mount Royal offers non-credit private pilot training that is focused on preparing students for the Aviation Diploma program. The program commences in April and runs through August and is a highly intensive workload, given the short period of time. Students are also welcome to obtain the Private Pilot Licence through any school of their choice. A list of Flight School options is available online.



Jazz Aviation Pathways Program


Jazz Aviation Pathways Program


Jazz’s Aviation Pathways Program (Jazz APP) is the premiere education and training pathway for pilots in Canada. Through the Jazz APP, aviation students are provided an industry-leading education experience based on:

  • Collaborative training and curriculum development,
  • Prestigious scholarship awards,
  • The continued opportunity for top-performing graduates to transition to first officer positions at Jazz.

As a partner institution, every qualified Mount Royal University graduate of the Aviation Diploma receives an opportunity to interview for a job at Jazz.


WestJet Encore's Flightpath Partner Program


Mount Royal University has partnered with WesJet's Encore's Flightpath Partner Program which provides mentorship and professional development opportunities through the use of company’s facilities and access to resources such as training manuals. The partnership also provides the opportunity to qualified graduates of the Aviation Diploma who have successfully acquired their commercial license, MIFR and IATRA or SAMRA/SARON written exams to obtain a job interview. Following a successful interview, graduates will be placed in a first officer hiring pool and considered for a future ground school after meeting the first officer qualifications.



AirSprint is Canada's premier leader in fractional ownership and private aviation. Areas of operation include Canada, the United States, Mexico, and the Caribbean. Each year an AirSprint award is given to one graduate. In addition to other benefits, the award includes a job with AirSprint.

Porter Airlines

Porter Airlines is a regional airline that flies in Canada and the United States. Porter offers students a mentorship program to assist students in the transition after graduation.

The Aviation Partnership Council

The Aviation Partnership Council is made up of a variety of industry members and alumni. The MRU Aviation program is well supported by these partners and they are a strong support to our program. We work with these partners to incorporate feedback into our continuous improvement plan.

Read about our Aviation Partnership Council.

"When training under Mount Royal, you get the sense that you're not just a student, but instead a colleague surrounded by experienced mentors working to continuously strengthen your skills as a pilot, as well as a person." Tamer Bou Saleh, class of 2018

"Mount Royal Aviation prepares its pilots to become part of the community of aviators around the world. We are trained to see the importance of our jobs as pilots, and the importance of the whole crew in the success of every flight. What I am proud to say is that the program also provided us the skills we need to succeed in working as a crew in the industry, not only as individuals." Rafael Acuna, class of 2018

"The classes you take aren't just about flying, they teach you about interpersonal skills, human factors, and how to operate in a two crew setting." Trisdan Bracken, class of 2018