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ISTAT University

Interested in an exciting career in aviation finance and trading, one of the world's fastest growing and most dynamic industries? You're in the right place.

ISTAT University, or ISTAT U, was lauched in 2015; the program provides an overview of the many facets of the aviation finance and leasing industry and exposes students to real world concepts and methodologies. The course materials have been developed by the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) faculty working in partnership with ISTAT industry practitioners. The ISTAT U curriculum has been specifically tailored to help prepare students for internship as well as long term career opportunities in the exciting field of aviation finance, leasing and trading. The six credit hour course covers aviation finance topics such as:

  • Aircraft leasing
  • Risk management
  • Aviation legal framework
  • Aircraft funding
  • Maintenance reserves
  • Lease negotiation
  • Transaction modeling

ISTAT U is currently available in two different formats, ISTAT U 1.0 and ISTAT U 2.0. Both formats offer students the opportunity to earn six credit hours and a program completion certificate.

View ISTAT U Brochure


ISTAT U 1.0 is an on-campus format, available only to qualified students enrolled in ERAU, Daytona Beach, FL, USA. The two course format spans two semesters, and students can elect to enroll in January or September of each year. Completion of both courses is required to receive a program completion certificate.


ISTAT U 2.0 is available to qualified students from around the world by way of a web-based format. Students can apply in the spring up until two weeks prior to the start date of the first course. Three courses are offered between October and May; course one runs from October – December, course two runs from January – March and course three runs from March – May. The three courses must be completed in the specified order as each course is a pre-requisite for the following course. Upon completion of all three courses, students will receive a program completion certificate.

The ISTAT U 2.0 is facilitated by faculty members at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) Daytona Beach Campus through the ERAU Worldwide platform. All course instruction and assignments will be accessible online. The course is asynchronous which means that students will access the modules on their own time. The due dates for assignments and exams will be set in EST, and students from other time zones will have to submit accordingly. There are no on-campus course requirements. Students are eligible to receive course credit upon completion of the program.

Disclaimer: Course credit granted for both ISTAT U 1.0 and ISTAT U 2.0 is to be determined by your university.

How to Apply

We are no longer accepting applications for 2019-2020 ISTAT U 2.0. The applications for 2020-2021 ISTAT U 2.0 will open in May 2020 with the program starting in October 2020.

Admission Requirements

Carefully review the admission requirements to ensure you qualify for ISTAT U 2.0: 

  • Enrolled in a graduate-level program (master's) or above at an accredited college or university.
  • Area of study shall include: finance, accounting, economics and/or business.
  • U.S. Grade Point Average (G.P.A.) requirement: 3.0 or above on a 4.0 scale. Outside of the U.S.: students must hold an academic ranking within the top 25% (75%-100%).

Required documentation to be included in application:

  • Official transcripts from undergraduate (bachelor's) and graduate (master's) programs;
  • Placement exam test scores (e.g. GRE, GMAT, etc.) if applicable;
  • Resume/CV;
  • Personal statement (not to exceed one page): Describe your interest in commercial aviation leasing and finance as it relates to what ISTAT member companies engage in.
  • English proficiency test scores (e.g. TOEFL, etc.) for applicants whose primary language is not English.

For more information on ISTAT U, please contact the ISTAT Foundation Headquarters at

Helping Students Thrive

It was quite an honor to be one of the first ten graduates of the ISTAT University Program. ISTAT U’s aim is to prepare of future leasing professionals by concentrating on all necessary perspectives, including finance modeling analysis, fleet-selection strategy, maintenance reserves, risk management, market trends, and so on. There is no doubt that I benefitted from the program, which allows me to think about the proper future career path, and pay close attention to the development of aviation industry.

– Di Qui, MBA, Aviation Management and MSc, Aviation Finance, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach Completed ISTAT U 1.0 in December 2015

The ISTAT U program online brought together aviation enthusiasts all around the world to learn about this fast growing branch. The video interviews with senior ISTAT contributors taught me about various areas of the industry.

– Joël Wagner, MSc, Cranfield University Completed ISTAT U 2.0 in May 2017




ISTAT U Program Committee

The 2020 ISTAT University Committee is comprised of Murrae Ross-Eskell - Chair, Dan Cavanaugh, Damon D'Agostino, Fearghal O'Hanlon, Mike Platt, Jean Stein, Mike Welch, and Warren Willits.