SALINA, Kan. (AP) _ Interest in unmanned aircraft, often called drones, is taking off.

In response to the growing demand, the Kansas State University-Salina plans to add a major and two minors focusing on the aircraft, and the new courses are scheduled to start in the fall, the Salina Journal ( ) reported.

The school will offer a new bachelor in engineering technology with an emphasis on unmanned aircraft. That course will emphasize design and implementation of unmanned systems. It will include studies in computer science and electronic and mechanical engineering.

Saeed Khan, associate professor of engineering technology and head of the new program, said that the growing UAS industry needs graduates who have “technical expertise and a passion for problem-solving.”

Students previously had to get a double major if they wanted to concentrate on the engineering side of unmanned systems.

The two minors will focus on flying unmanned aircraft, and students pursing them can choose an emphasis in either flight or data acquisition and management.

Currently, those who choose the flight emphasis will need a Federal Aviation Administration private pilot certificate with an instrument rating. But Michael Most, associate professor of unmanned aircraft systems, said the FAA’s proposed rules for flying small unmanned aircraft are less stringent.

The minor with a flight emphasis replaces a certificate program that the school has offered for several years.