Do you want to use your technical and science skills to work on the aircraft and spacecraft that power our country? If so, look into an aerospace engineering degree from an Illinois school! There are two schools in Illinois that offer this degree—one in Chicago and in Champaign. The average cost of tuition in this state is approximately $20,200 per year. One of the big benefits of studying in Illinois is the very small class size. The average class has just 16 students, which makes it easy for you to ask questions and get help from your professors.
When you decide to study aerospace engineering in Illinois, you are committing yourself to a field of study that is constantly expanding and pushing the limits of our knowledge. Engineering is heavily based in math and science, so you may be expected to complete some advanced math and science courses before moving onto engineering courses.
The curriculum at your school is designed to facilitate your growth in many different ways. You'll learn about the design, technology, testing, and research of aircraft and spacecraft. Since you have to be knowledgeable in so many aspects of engineering, you have to take multifaceted courses like Aerospace Systems, Mechanics of Materials, Aerospace Structural Dynamics, and Applied Aerospace Structures.
Hands-on experience is essential in this field, so get acquainted with your school's engineering lab. You can plan on working with materials, seeing how they interact, and exploring what affect they have on aircraft.
Research is an important part of aerospace engineering, so you may be expected to conduct or analyze research as a student. The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign offers research opportunities in the field of dynamical systems and structural dynamics.
Tuition costs differ based on how many credits you take, if you are a resident or non-resident, and what you are studying. At the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, tuition rates go from $15,258 to $20,178 for residents. Tuition for non-residents is between $29,640 and $34,560 per year. The fees for international students tend to be higher, in the neighborhood of $30,000 to $38,000 per year.
There are many scholarships you can apply for to help lower your out-of-pocket expenses. For example, the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers awards the Foundation Scholarship to multiple engineering students every year. They also award the Peppy Moldovan Scholarship, worth $1,000, to female engineering students in Illinois.
Once you have successfully graduated with your aerospace engineering degree, it's time to get licensed by the Illinois Board of Professional Engineers. This process involves filling out an application and paying a $20 application fee. You can then pay your $250 exam fee and sit for the Professional Engineer exam. When you pass this exam, you can legally work as an engineer.
It's important to stay up-to-date with changes in the industry, since engineering is always exploring new technological advances. Consider joining the Illinois Society of Professional Engineers. They offer state-approved continuing education courses, seminars in various engineering fields, and review courses. Attending regular seminars and training courses can keep you at the top of your field throughout your career.