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Master’s Degree Programs in Aviation Law Overview

Majors Overview February 4, 2016

This article talks about master’s degree programs in aviation law and their coursework, career choices, and job and wage outlook.

Information on Master’s Degree Programs in Aviation Law

While no school in the United States offers a master’s degree in aviation law, schools in Canada and the Netherlands do. U.S. schools offer a Master of Science (M.S.) in Airport Management and a Master of Laws (LL.M.), both of which incorporate coursework in aviation law. Both programs include domestic and international aviation regulations via courses on security regulations, safety guidelines, liability issues, and airport administration.

Enrollees can prepare for specialization in a particular area of law in an LL.M. program; aspiring management professionals would benefit from enrolling in the MS program in Airport Administration. Both programs have undergraduate education requirements.

Master of Laws (LL.M.) Programs

Program coursework in a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree program with an international law or U.S. government focus covers aviation topic areas such as those relating to international transport laws and trade regulations. Around 1-3 courses in aviation law are offered in a typical LL.M. program. An overall summary of international and domestic aviation laws is usually in a program through only one class. These areas of aviation law find separation in a program that provides 2-3 courses.

Enrollees in an LL.M. degree program are trained to seek specialty law careers and students usually complete the program in a year. A Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree is necessary for students enrolled in most programs; the degree must be from a law school carrying accreditation of the American Bar Association. Admission criteria typically require incoming students to submit recommendation letters, a current resume, and a statement of intent.


Program coursework covers the responsibilities of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), procedural practices in aviation emergencies, and numerous treaty agreements governing the international laws of air travel. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Foreign aviation policies
•Economic issues
•Cargo Regulations
•Aviation privileges
•Safety measures
•Post-Sept. 11 laws
•Treaties and international contracts

Career Choices

Program graduates may pursue specialty law careers in government work, teaching, or private practice. They may choose from available job positions such as:

•Multinational attorney
•Community college instructor
•Federal attorney

Job and Wage Outlook

In general, lawyers are expected to see a job growth rate of six percent, over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In 2012, over 778,000 individuals were employed as lawyers in the United States and more than 43,800 jobs are expected to be added by 2024. In May 2012, lawyers brought in an average annual wage of $114,970 (BLS).

Master of Science (M.S.) Programs in Airport Management

Students seeking management positions in aviation environments and airports would benefit from pursuing an MS program in airport administration. Enrollees in aviation law courses in an airport management program will gain knowledge in U.S. aviation regulations. Coursework covers topic areas such as regulatory agencies, safety management, liability and insurance issues, airspace laws, aviation crimes and labor relations. Students examine the security and safety of both aviation workers and passengers in detail through the laws that adhere to FAA regulations. Letters of reference and a bachelor’s degree are necessary for incoming students in the program.


Airport management and related aviation businesses are directly affected by laws governing the aviation industry. Numerous areas of aviation policies and the issues that surround them are topics in the coursework of an airport management master’s program. Program coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Air traffic management
•Aviation occupation laws
•Aviation Crimes
•Governing agencies
•U.S. and global aviation organizations
•International contracts

Career Choices

Program graduates may seek executive level management positions in the aviation industry. They may choose from possible job positions such as:

•Accident investigator
•Airport Manager
•Airport safety controller

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