Are you detail-oriented and skilled in math and science? All these skills can make you a very successful aerospace engineering student. As an aerospace engineer, you can work with aircraft and spacecraft vehicles all over the country. There is one school in Pennsylvania that offers this degree: Pennsylvania State University. The average cost of tuition at this school is $22,000 per year, although there is a quite a bit of variance in tuition rates. You can anticipate an average class size of 17 students, which is small enough to give you one-on-time with your professors and time with your peers.
After learning about the field of aerospace engineering, you're probably ready to get started on your degree. Keep in mind that you need at least a Bachelor's degree to work as an engineer after graduation. This requires the completion of 120 credits, which will likely take you about four years of full-time work.
Your engineering curriculum is going to be demanding, since it has to prepare you for the research, development, and testing aspects of aerospace engineering. You may take courses like Aerospace Systems, Flight Dynamics, Aerospace Structures, and Orbital Mechanics.
Unlike other majors, which may require you to spend most of your time in the lecture hall, aerospace engineering requires a lot of hands-on experience. Your school's engineering lab will become your second home, where you work with peers and professors to learn how engineering materials work.
Many schools give you the chance to work with outside companies and employers. At Pennsylvania State University, you can work on the Wind for Schools project. This project is part of the Department of Education's outreach, so it can really help you in your future career.
Since there is only one aerospace engineering school in Pennsylvania, there's not much difference in tuition rates. There are different rates for residents and non-residents, which may affect how much financial aid you take on. Full-time tuition for residents is $16,090 per year, and it increases to $18,428 per year when you reach your junior and senior years. The tuition rate for non-residents is $28,664 per year. It increases to $32,416 per year once you reach your junior and senior years.
One of the benefits of studying in Pennsylvania is the range of engineering scholarships you can apply for. The Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers awards multiple scholarships every year. You can also apply for grants from the NASA Pennsylvania Space Grant Consortium.
Once you've earned your degree in aerospace engineering, you only have to complete a few more steps to becoming a licensed engineer in Pennsylvania. You have to get your license from the State Board of Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists. When you send in your exam application, you must pay a $25 application fee and a $150 examination fee. You can then sit for your Professional Engineer exam. When you pass the exam, you can legally work as an engineer.
Constantly working on your educational and professional development is the key to staying at the top of your field. Consider joining the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers. You can attend educational events, network with other people in your field, and find new job listings.