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It’s hard to think that aviation can be done online, but through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University’s Worldwide Campus, it appears to be possible.

The school re-launched its MBA in Aviation (MBAA) March 2009 and there are more than 600 students currently in the program. Taking aviation methods from the classroom to an online experience might have seemed a difficult transition, but according to Kees Rietsema, dean of the College of Business, the transition was no more difficult than any other program put into an online format.

The 36-hour program offers students a look at business through the aviation side while still offering classes in finance, economics, marketing, management science and accounting.

“The ERAU MBAA helps prepare students for leadership and management roles in the business community,” Rietsema said. “In addition, special emphasis is placed on the current and continuing role of aviation in the business community.”

The aviation class doesn’t put students through any flight simulator classes, although approximately half of the students are already associated with the aerospace industry in some way. Many of them are pilots. The only simulation these students are receiving is from a business perspective.

“The MBAA is very similar to a traditional MBA however many of the examples and case studies are drawn from the aviation environment,” he said. “Since the aerospace industry is the leading export industry sector for the United States, and the one economic sector where the U.S. still holds a commanding lead in a global environment, the business side of the aviation and aerospace industries remains extremely important.”

The online courses, which are nine weeks long, begin in January, March, May, August, and October.

Follow Dustin Bass on Twitter @dustincbass.