Commercial aviation students at UND's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences have seats waiting for them in the cockpit of airline, United Airlines.

The UND Career Pathway Program (CPP) with United offers defined steps for aviation students to become United Airlines pilots, as long as they continue to meet a set of University and airline eligibility requirements.

The announcement was made jointly by UND Aerospace officials and United Airlines before about 350 prospective students and their parents during a student orientation event.

The program is slated to kick off at UND in the fall.

"As we celebrate 50 years of aviation education excellence at UND, the Odegard School is very proud to offer this innovative program to our students," said Paul Lindseth, dean of the Odegard School. "The program helps solve our ongoing need for flight instructors while providing United Airlines with experienced and well-trained first officer candidates."

"The United career path program helps enable us to operate our fleet efficiently and continue to provide our customers with a safe and reliable travel experience. Additionally, it offers talented students like the ones at the University of North Dakota with the opportunity to be a part of a great team at a global airline that is focused on putting the customer at the center of everything we do," said Captain Mike McCasky, managing director - Flight Training at United Airlines.

Once a UND student is accepted in the CPP, no further structured interview is required with United Airlines. As long as United Airlines is hiring pilots, UND students who maintain eligibility would be offered conditional employment with the airline.