Special Courses

The Institute of Agricultural Technology offers special courses periodically in partnership with community colleges and industry stakeholders.

These courses can help expand knowledge through hands-on experiences in specific areas of agriculture and technology. They are open to IAT students, MSU students and MSU Lifelong Education students.

Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Training Program

Drones are increasingly becoming a part of precision agriculture practices. MSU IAT in partnership with Northwestern Michigan College (NMC) developed the UAS in Agriculture Training Program to offer students a hands-on way to:

  • Learn more about drones and the technology,
  • Apply and analyze drone images and data to different agricultural situations, and
  • Prepare students to become certified drone pilots.

During this 3 credit course, students will receive an FAA Commercial Drone Pilot Certificate and receive training on a wide range of drones that are currently being used in the agricultural industry.

Students will fly drones over local row crops, orchards, vineyards and hop farms in the Traverse City area, and will learn how to collect and interpret data that is important to farmers and fruit growers.

Location & Details

This course is divided into two parts. Each part is 5 days and takes place at NMC in Traverse City, Michigan.

  • Part 1: Commercial Drone Pilot Certification is in early January.
  • Part 2: UAS Flight Experience Training is in mid-May OR mid-August.

IAT students can complete this course without interfering with their regularly scheduled semester courses or required internship.

READ MORE: Drone course requirements, eligibility & how to apply