two airplane pilots looking over their shoulders in a jet


These are difficult and uncertain times for pilots. Finding a fast route to new knowledge and skills has become a high priority. At Embry-Riddle Worldwide, you can turn your Air Transport Pilot’s License into university credits. Below are a few pathways to consider. Keep in mind that each one will provide you access to our resourceful Career Services Department and the Hunt Library, which will open doors to one of the best aviation and aerospace book collections and databases. But first, some information about the higher education system in the United States:

Bachelor of Science in Pilot Operations

Degree/Diploma Approximate duration (full-time)
Number of Courses
(Number of U.S. credits/ECTS)
Number of Transfer Credits
U.S. High School/Abitur (G-8; 12 years) 4 years (40 courses/120 credits/240 ECTS) 0
Abitur (G-9; 13 years)  3 years (30 courses/90 credits/180 ECTS) up to 30 credits/60 ECTS
ATPL (frozen and unfrozen) 2.7 years (27 courses/81 credits/162 ECTS) up to 39 credits/78 ECTS
ATPL (frozen and unfrozen) plus specialized ratings 2.5 years (25 courses/75 credits/150 ECTS up to 45 credits/90 ECTS 
Abitur (G-9; 13 years) plus ATPL plus specialized ratings 1.5 years (15 courses/30 credits/60 ECTS) up to 75 credits/150 ECTS 

As the table indicates, a regular U.S. bachelor’s degree is a four-year program and requires 120 credits (240 ECTS) to complete. At Embry-Riddle, young pilots can turn their ATPL into 34 university credits (68 ECTS) towards a Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics. If you have the Abitur, you can add another 30 transfer credits (60 ECTS). This means that instead of the normally required 120 credits (240 ECTS) to obtain this bachelor’s degree, you potentially only need 56 credits (112 ECTS) which translates into 19 courses. If you can dedicate yourself to full-time studies, you can complete your bachelor’s degree in two years. Embry-Riddle Worldwide has ten start terms per year. During each 9-week term, bachelor’s students can take as many as four classes.

Bachelor of Science in Aeronautics

Degree/Diploma Approximate duration (full-time)
Number of courses
(Number of U.S. credits/ECTS)
 Transfer Credits
U.S. High School/Abitur (G-8; 12 years) 4 Years
40 Courses (120 Credits/240 ECTS)
Abitur (G-9; 13 years) 3 Years
30 Courses (90 Credit/180 ECTS)
ATPL (frozen and unfrozen) 2.9 years
(29 courses/87 credits/174 ECTS)
up to 33 credits/66 ECTS
ATPL (frozen and unfrozen) plus specialized ratings 2.8 years
(28 courses/84 credits/168 ECTS
up to 36 credits/72 ECTS
Abitur (G-9; 13 years) plus ATPL plus specialized ratings 1.8 years
(18 courses/54 credits/108 ECTS)
up to 66 credits/132 ECTS

There is even better news for senior pilots with an Abitur, ATPL, and 12+ years of work experience. Such individuals may be eligible for an “Experiential Learning Evaluation,” which may entitle senior pilots to apply directly to most of our 10-course master’s programs (not all of them are aviation-related!) or to one of our 4-course graduate certificate programs. We have an extensive list of subject matters to choose from: 

  • Aeronautics
  • Aviation & Aerospace Sustainability
  • Aviation Cybersecurit
  • Aviation Safety
  • Human Factors
  • Project Management
  • and many others

Completing a certificate program would develop your specialty knowledge base in 12 months. The Embry-Riddle Europe Office provides support and academic advising throughout the Experiential Learning Evaluation process.

Please contact Ms. Kerstin Alicki for further details (+49 69-27229676 or

Contact Us

Embry-Riddle Europe
House of Logistics & Mobility, Bessie-Coleman-Str. 7 
Frankfurt, Germany 60549