Baylor University and Southwest Airlines Announce Destination 225° Partnership

April 26, 2023

Contact: Kelly Craine, Baylor University Media and Public Relations, 254-297-9065
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WACO, Texas (April 26, 2023) – Baylor University announced today that it has joined the Southwest Airlines® Destination 225° program, the airline’s pilot training program, as a university partner. The pathway program offers qualified collegiate aviators an opportunity to become a Southwest® First Officer. 

Southwest Airlines Destination 225, Pilot pathways for all

Through Baylor’s Institute for Air Science, Baylor offers a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Sciences (B.S.A.), including majors in Aviation Sciences (Professional Pilot Concentration) and Aviation Administration in conjunction with Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business, that prepares students for numerous careers in the aviation industry.

“At Baylor, we want our students to have the best possible career opportunities after graduation,” said Trey Cade, Ph.D., director of the Baylor Institute for Air Science. “This partnership with Southwest Airlines and its Destination 225° program provides a tremendous opportunity for our aviation students to more easily transition to an airline career, especially at a major airline consistently recognized as one of the best employers in the country.” 

Trey Cade, Ph.D., Director, Baylor Insititute for Air Science
Trey Cade, Ph.D., Director, Baylor Institute of Air Sciences

Destination 225° University Pathway Candidates build post-graduate flight instruction time within the Baylor Institute for Air Science flight program to become competitively qualified to interview for a first officer role at a partner career in the program. Candidates receive consideration for a Southwest First Officer position after building their flying experience at a partner carrier. Participants in the Destination 225° program receive ongoing career mentorship from a Southwest Pilot during their university studies and early flying career.

“We’re excited for Baylor University to join Southwest’s pilot pathways program, Destination 225°, through our university pathway,” said Lee Kinnebrew, Vice President Flight Operations at Southwest Airlines. “We’re passionate about inspiring the next generation of professional pilots and look forward to supporting Baylor students who join the Southwest Family in the years ahead.”

Baylor joins current Destination 225° University Partners Angelo State University, Arizona State University, Auburn University, Kent State University, Southeastern Oklahoma State University, Texas Southern University, University of Nebraska at Omaha and University of Oklahoma. These partners work with Southwest to train and support collegiate aviators accepted into the university pathway. For more details about Destination 225° and the program’s partners, visit


Baylor University is a private Christian University and a nationally ranked research institution. The University provides a vibrant campus community for more than 19,000 students by blending interdisciplinary research with an international reputation for educational excellence and a faculty commitment to teaching and scholarship. Chartered in 1845 by the Republic of Texas through the efforts of Baptist pioneers, Baylor is the oldest continually operating University in Texas. Located in Waco, Baylor welcomes students from all 50 states and more than 90 countries to study a broad range of degrees among its 12 nationally recognized academic divisions.


Created in 1991, the Baylor University Institute for Air Science advances the University's mission through research, public service and the education of a new generation of pilots. The program offers a Bachelor of Science in Aviation Sciences (B.S.A.) degree that provides a balance of aeronautical theory and application combined with an impeccable college education on a tradition-rich campus. The program’s Aviation Administration major, in partnership with the Hankamer School of Business, adds more flexibility for students seeking careers in aviation, while a secondary major and minor allows options and professional career opportunities for students majoring in other areas. The Institute for Air Science is a member of the Aviation Accreditation Board International, Women in Aviation International and the University Aviation Association, a professional association that fosters excellence in collegiate aviation education. For more information, visit the Baylor Institute for Air Science website.