Application closes on February 25, 2024
2024 Academy dates:

Residential Flight Sessions will take place in in June, July, or August 2024. Students will be able to provide their preference the session they wish to attend after they are accepted to the program.


Students must have at least a 3.0 GPA, be U.S. citizens, Virginia residents and 16 years old by the start of the Academy. They must also be able to pass an FAA flight physical exam. Students must be able to attend all 12 consecutive days of the session to which they are assigned.


Ian Cawthray, Program Coordinator

Debbie Ross, Program Specialist

Virginia Space Grant Consortium


How To Apply



The complete set of application materials must include:

1. On-Line Application

2. Copy of high school transcript submitted through application system (unofficial)

3. Essay on application  (see detailed information below)

4. Completed Recommendation Forms submitted electronically by your references  (see detailed information below)

Essay Requirements

Please complete an essay using the following guidelines:

• 500-600 words

• Typed, 12 point standard font

• Submitted with your completed application

In your own words

1. Describe yourself to us – your academic strengths, interests, and personal characteristics.

2. What kind of extra-curricular activities or hobbies have you engaged in that are meaningful to you?

3. Tell us about any past aviation experiences and goals you have towards a career as a commercial pilot.

4. Explain why you wish to participate in a Pathways Flight Academy and how participating would impact your career goals as a commercial pilot.


*Note: This essay is a critical component in the selection process. It is your chance to present yourself to the selection panel. Answer all questions completely in your essay.

FAA Medical Exam (Required after acceptance into the program)

If you are accepted into the program, you will need to get an FAA Medical Certificate. Students are required to pass at least a third class medical exam. It is recommended you get the first class medical certificate, if you plan to pursue a career in aviation. The cost for both medical exams is the same. Your certificate will need to be renewed after five years.


Once you receive acceptance into the Pathways Flight Academies, you can begin the process of acquiring your medical certificate through the FAA.


FAA link regarding the medical process can be found here.

• You can search for an AME (aviation medical examiner) on this website.

• Once a student finds an examiner near them, they can book an appointment and fill out the appropriate paperwork here.