Founded as America's first federally certified school of aviation, Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology have forged a path of innovation in all the disciplines we serve. From robots to rockets and everything in between, we’ve developed future-focused programs to address the current and future needs of the profession and society.
History of Parks College
Founded by Oliver "Lafe" Parks in 1927, just two months after Charles Lindbergh's historic flight across the Atlantic, Parks College became the first federally approved school of aeronautics.
During the World War II era, the aviation college and its subsidiaries were responsible for training one of every 10 Army Air Corps pilots, plus thousands of aircraft mechanics. After the war, Parks realized that future aviation leaders would need a broader, more academic education. He felt the best way to ensure this breadth was to seek affiliation with a major university. In 1946, he gave Parks College to Saint Louis University, and with that, the holder of Air Agency Certificate #1 became part of the oldest university west of the Mississippi. Over the years, Parks added programs in aircraft maintenance management, avionics engineering, electrical engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, biomedical engineering, and civil engineering.
In the fall of 1997, after seven decades in Cahokia, Illinois, the college moved into McDonnell Douglas Hall, a state-of-the-art building on the University’s St. Louis campus, as Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology.
A Message from the Dean
As the dean of Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, I have the pleasure and privilege of leading this outstanding organization at a transformational time in its nearly 90-year history. We are growing and adapting to prepare engineers and aviators to address the changing needs of society.
At Parks, we are motivated by our Jesuit, Catholic mission – to form technically proficient and socially responsible innovators and leaders in engineering and aviation. Our students don’t just learn through lectures. They learn through lab courses, by using the latest equipment and tools to manufacture parts, by building products and by collaborating with faculty on research projects.
This year, we welcomed our largest student body in college history – more than 900 students. Parks College has always been, and will always remain, student-focused. We are here to teach and help develop tomorrow’s leaders. Our faculty hold funding from the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Siemens, Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network, and the Missouri and Illinois departments of transportation, just to name a few — and they all involve students in their research.
We’ve built satellites, race cars, and even concrete canoes. Our students have been named Grand Challenge Scholars and University Innovation Fellows. We’ve signed pipeline partnerships with four different airlines and a diversity initiative for engineering colleges. Clearly, we are doing extraordinary work and being recognized for it.
I consider myself very lucky to work with such dedicated people who want to make a difference in the world and live our Jesuit mission. As we continue to grow and evolve, I assure you that Parks College will remain true to its founding principles. I hope you will continue to follow our progress and support our outstanding students, staff, and faculty.
Michelle Sabick, Ph.D.
Brooke Cagle / Unsplash
Parks College Industry Partners
Saint Louis University's Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology maintain strong relationships with industry leaders — from internship and co-op opportunities for students to helping professionals with continuing education, to collaborating with companies and organizations on research.
We aim to build strong connections not only in the surrounding St. Louis area but in locations around the world in order to strengthen our programs.
Boeing Learning Together Program
Parks College is proud to offer Boeing employees outstanding education at our premier institution through the Boeing Learning Together Program. We offer Boeing employees continuing education unit (CEU) courses at a 15 percent discount off the University’s published rates. Additionally, all part-time master’s and doctoral programs are offered at a 20 percent discount off the University’s published rates.
Air Line Pilots Association
Parks College and the Air Line Pilots Association Education committee have partnered to create a mentoring program that provides industry development opportunities for current and future students.
This cooperative effort allows students to participate in industry development activities, with the goal of improving professionalism among collegiate aviation graduates prior to starting their careers as professional pilots.
The ALPA Education Committee has a “Go Team” liaison that visits the campus every semester to speak with students in the classroom and in a forum setting. In addition, ALPA volunteers are paired with participating aviation students at Parks College to provide guidance throughout their college careers.
Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association
The Greater St. Louis Business Aviation Association Educational Foundation, Inc.’s mission is to promote and advance business aviation through educational programs and scholarships.
Members of the Educational Foundation encourage young people in the St. Louis region to pursue careers in general aviation by providing scholarships and mentoring programs to Saint Louis University and Parks College students.
Parks College of Engineering, Aviation & Technology - Saint Louis University
1 N. Grand Blvd.
MO 63103 St. Louis, Missouri, USA