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K-State Adds Graduate Drone Certification
Offered Online in Eight Weeks


With the rapid increase in popularity of drones, unmanned aerial systems have begun to be used in many sectors of the job market - including landscaping. Business Insider postulates that in 2019, 17 million drones will be sold globally. Some landscaping businesses have already begun to use unmanned aerial systems to aid with the design process of projects. Photo credits: Wikimedia Commons

Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus, located in Salina, Kan. about 60 miles from K-State's main campus, is expanding its curriculum to include a new graduate certification course on unmanned aircraft systems (UAS).

Beginning in the fall of 2018, the certification program will be an eight-week, online course with interactive segments throughout. Students will learn how to protect unmanned aerial systems from cyber attacks and understand risk principles applicable to drones on land, sea, air and space. Enrollment is now open.

According to the school's webpage, the certification "provides working professionals and graduate students an educational foundation in an industry important to both military and civilian organizations."

The course description states the certification could be beneficial for people wanting to enter the job force as a UAS pilot or operator in: communications, payload, navigation, ground-support, satellite coordination or air-to-air delivery. Land surveyor might also be an applicable job position, which now applies to landscape professionals as some companies have begun to use drones to help design their projects.

Randall Nichols, professor of practice in the School of Integrated Studies at Kansas State Polytechnic, said, "The unmanned aircraft systems cybersecurity graduate certificate teaches students how to ensure UAS data collection is accurate and secure, which is imperative in preventing hostile counterintelligence."

For more information about how to apply, contact Kansas State Polytechnic's office of admissions at 785-826-2640 or email

Addendum: The Applied Aviation Research Center at Kansas State University Polytechnic Campus has received a certificate of waiver from the Federal Aviation Administration to fly unmanned aircraft systems beyond the line of sight.

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October 20, 2019, 8:13 pm PDT

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