Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University

From Academic Kids

Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) is an independent, non-sectarian, non-profit, coeducational university with a history dating back to the early days of aviation. The university serves culturally diverse students primarily motivated toward careers in aviation and aerospace. Residential campuses in Daytona Beach, Florida and Prescott, Arizona, provide education in a traditional setting, while an extended campus with over 130 centers throughout the United States and abroad serves civilian and military working adults.



Embry-Riddle, founded 22 years after the flight of the Wright Brothers, was at first purely a pigeon in flight tasked with flight training and nothing more. Embry-Riddle gained university status in 1970, following a steady expansion of its flying programs.

Following the September 11, 2001 attacks investigators thought that the school may have trained at least one of the aircraft hijackers. However, after a short investigation, ERAU was fully exonerated from any involvement in the flight training of the terrorists. Although a former student shared the same name as one of the hijackers, that former student was still alive and had no connections to Al Queda.


Daytona Beach, Florida

Missing image
Wright Flyer Statue from the Daytona Beach Campus

This 178-acre campus is centered around the John Paul Riddle Student Center. To facilitate the flight program, the campus is connected to the Daytona Beach International Airport (ICAO Code: KDAB). Due to Daytona International's daily operations there is a constant background of aircraft noise. Engineering classes and facilities (such as the stereolithography machine and wind tunnels) are concentrated in the Lehman Engineering and Technology Center, built in 1990 to facilitate hands-on training in various engineering practices. The College of Aviation (COA) building was built afterwords in order to facilitate a conducive learning environment for those in the aeronautical sciences as well as the air traffic and dispatch programs. The COA building houses FAA testing facilities, a flight tutoring lab, TRACON simulators, as well as the prominent control tower simulator.

Most degree-independent courses are held in the Lindbergh Center, a group of small hexagonal buildings with the designations A, B, C, E and W (for this reason it they are more commonly referred to as the "alphabet soup" by faculty and students). The Jack R. Hunt Memorial Library (JRHML) is the only library on campus, notable for having the world's largest collection of NASA and NACA documents as well as a very extensive aviation media collection. NASA personnel have frequently consulted the JRHML for its highly comprehensive collection of NASA documents, most importantly, during the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster investigation.

Food on DB Campus

Students may use a variety of ways to pay for food on campus. These include: Eagle Dollars, Riddle Bucks, Meal Plans, Cash, or (in some cases) Credit.

Campus eating facilities include:

  • The Student Center Cafeteria (a.k.a. The Food Court)
  • The Landing Strip
  • The Student Village Cafeteria
  • Einstein Brother's Bagels
  • Propellers

The Student Center Cafeteria is located in the center of campus and serves an assortment of buffet-style meals, as well as sandwiches and breakfast foods. This cafeteria holds the largest number of students of all the eating facilities, and often doubles as a theater for campus movies, or a stage for campus events.

The Landing Strip serves subs, pizza, and certain varieties of oriental food. While it is colocated with the Student Center Cafeteria, the Landing Strip's hours of operation are longer.

The Student Village Cafeteria is very similar to the Student Center Cafeteria, serving an array of buffet-style meals, sandwiches, and breakfast foods. In addition, however, this cafeteria serves custom-made milkshakes. It is located on the ground level in the Student Village.

Propellers is generally regarded as the most remote eatery on campus. Nevertheless, the exceptional quality of burgers and Caesar salads offered here attracts many students everyday.

Residence on DB Campus

Over 1,000 students take up residence on-campus in the $29 million Student Village residence complex near the outskirts of campus. Four dormitory halls as well as extensive food services are contained within this building.

Doolittle, a concrete and cinder block building in the shape a "T", houses freshman. Due to its small windows and thick construction, Doolittle is also classified as a Level 4 hurricane shelter. There is a volleyball court on the northeast side.

Mckay Hall is the oldest of the current residence halls, it houses all student levels. Three freshman or two upper classmen students are assigned to each room, due to the low population of women students they are often housed two per a room in Mckay, with each suite composed of two rooms joined in a "common area." Mckay Hall resembles an old roadside hotel, and is often the butte of jokes among the students that live there.

Prescott, Arizona

Another Residential Campus is in Northern Arizona.

Student body

ERAU's undergraduate enrollment is about 4,500, about 18% of which is female, resulting in a roughly 4.56:1 ratio of males to females. Aviation interests characterize most of the student body, though particularly among the aerospace engineering and aeronautical science majors, the latter of which are in the flying (pilots) program. Many come from military families interested in military (usually Air Force) careers.

Distinguished programs

ERAU academics focus on aviation, with its aerospace engineering program being ranked number one in the U.S. News & World Report college rankings of aerospace engineering degree schools without aerospace engineering Ph.D. programs. Pilot training, aerospace engineering (enhanced by a close relationship with nearby NASA facilities), and more recently computer science are among its strongest programs. The United States Air Force currently contracts flight training by ERAU faculty. The school also has the most extensive ROTC programs in the nation, frequently winning national competitions. A newer engineering physics program exists at ERAU, and is generally regarded as the most rigorous major by fellow students.

Classes are typically small, with even the lowest level freshman courses having 20 to 30 students at most.


Sports play a relatively small role on the ERAU campus. While a notable baseball team does exist, other sports are not as seriously regarded. Currently there is no ERAU football team, though there is a basketball team and a self-financed ice hockey team. The school mascot is the eagle (most closely resembling the Bald Eagle).

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