Unmanned Systems Degree Program

Mission & Vision

The Indiana State University (ISU) Center for Homeland Security and Crisis Leadership and the Department of Aviation Technology collaborated on putting together this proposal for the Center for Unmanned Systems and Human Capital Development. The focus of the project is an unmanned systems outreach center to support human capital development for the 21st century in the areas of homeland security, civil authorities, and commercial enterprises.


Capabilities in unmanned systems provide new methods to address problems such as disaster response, crisis management, crop yield improvement, construction, and generally repetitive, dirty, or dangerous missions.. However, the most important component in any unmanned system is the human element. The industry term is “unmanned”, but the systems are completely dependent upon humans. People must operate, maintain, and support the vehicles, communications networks, computer systems, and other infrastructure elements in support of operations, research, testing, and development.


In collaboration with the departments of Criminology, Electronics and Computer Technology, and Earth and Environmental Sciences at ISU and our external partners for community engagement, we can create an education and training environment unequaled anywhere. Our goal is to create effective leaders, operators, communicators, data analysts, and researchers while supporting many of society’s needs. Sources within the U.S. Air Force state that no other university programs reach across these types and categories of unmanned systems and components with a concentration on experiential learning for human operations and research. By focusing on community engagement and public service, this project aligns with the ISU mission and vision while addressing strategic plan goals. We believe the unique contributions and individual strengths of these programs can harmonize and bring great recognition and national distinction to our university. 


The Center for Unmanned Systems and Human Capital Development will directly support the following goals of the ISU Strategic Plan, The Pathway to Success:


  • Goals One and Four, to increase the student enrollment at ISU by creation of a new education and training program that will prepare students for careers in an exciting and dynamic industry; and, to bring greater prominence to the University by use of advanced technology to address current and future social issues.
  • Goal Two, to provide significant experiential learning within their major through hands- on training and internships.
  • Goal Three, to foster community engagement and social well-being by involving students and faculty in real-world events, exercises, and research in challenging areas.
  • Goal Five, to expand and diversify revenue sources through partnerships and new markets for certificates in unmanned systems technologies.