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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

Are you not sure if this is the right program for you based on your industry experience? View this ISTAT education program overview guide to find your best fit.


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, by way of a web-based format, to individuals who have completed a bachelor’s degree within the last three years or to students who are currently enrolled in a master’s degree in business, accounting, finance or economics, or related field of study, and are looking for a rewarding and challenging career in the aircraft financing, leasing and other ISTAT member industries. This program is intended for individuals who do not have prior professional experience in the commercial aviation industry.

Three courses are offered between October and July; course one runs from October – December, course two runs from January – March and course three runs from May – July. 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 Program 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

The application deadline for the 2023-2024 ISTAT U 2.0 Program has now passed. Stay tuned for applications to open for the 2024-2025 program in May of 2024. 

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

  • Completed an undergraduate (bachelor's) degree within the last three years or are currently enrolled in a graduate (master's) degree program
  • Undergraduate (bachelor's) and/or graduate (master's) degree must be in one of the following areas of study: business, accounting, finance or economics, or related field of study
  • No prior professional experience in the aviation leasing or finance industry
  • 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
  • Resume/CV
  • English proficiency test scores (e.g. TOEFL, etc.) for applicants whose primary language is not English

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


The tuition for the 2022-2023 ISTAT U Online Program is US$4,836 (US$804 per credit hour). If you are interested in receiving scholarship support from the ISTAT Foundation to cover a portion of the program tuition, please be sure to indicate your interest in the application. 

Program Dates

FIND 695A: 16 October 2023 – 17 December 2023
FIND 695B: 8 January 2024 – 10 March 2024
FIND 695C: 27 May 2024 – 28 July 2024

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

Helping Students Thrive

It was a unique experience to be a part of ISTAT University, and I enjoyed every minute of it. The course is structured in such a way that you understand different aspects of the commercial aviation industry through theoretical learning of the basics, but also get the opportunity to meet industry experts and learn from them through their sharing of experiences, guest lectures, topic focused interview videos, tailored case studies and class discussions. Being exposed to professionals in the industry and getting the chance to attend the events that ISTAT hosted was a bonus to the course. It allowed me to network and establish industry relations for a future in aviation. ISTAT U prepared me for the industry and gave me a strong understanding of the workings in commercial aviation leasing and finance.

– Ashwini Krishnan, MsC, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona Beach Completed ISTAT U 1.0 in December 2019

The ISTAT U 2.0 Program provided me with a deep understanding of the fascinating world of aircraft leasing and the wider aviation finance ecosystem. I particularly enjoyed the unwavering support of leading industry executives, who provided unparalleled insights through weekly interviews and presentations. As a graduate of the ISTAT U 2.0 Program, I continue to benefit from a valuable network of likeminded individuals and the course’s excellent reputation. The completion of this course has also opened up attractive employment opportunities, enabling me to apply and showcase my knowledge on a daily basis.

– Basil Gygax, Msc, Cranfield University Completed ISTAT U 2.0 in May 2020





Education Committee

The 2023 Education Committee is comprised of Bruce Dankberg (Chair), Damon D'Agostino, Brian DePuy, Paul Goodfellow, Bryan Lange, Robyn Mandel, Robert Neal, Mike Platt, Murrae Ross- Eskell and Jean Stein.