There are seven schools in Alabama that offer mechanical engineering degrees, and all seven of them have Bachelor's, Master's, and PhD programs in mechanical engineering. Two schools also have Associate's programs in mechanical engineering. The average cost of tuition in Alabama is about $5,000 for residents and $12,000 for non-residents.
Course requirements for mechanical engineering programs differ significantly based on which degree you are pursuing. An Associate's degree requires about 60 credits, or two years of full-time study. These programs include lower level courses like Engineering Graphics and Thermodynamics.
A Bachelor's degree requires about 115 to 120 credit hours, which you can generally expect to complete in four years of full-time study. Classes at this level include courses like Introduction to Fluid Mechanics, Dynamics of Machinery, and Machine Design. Some schools, like the University of Alabama, have special learning opportunities. At the University of Alabama, you can complete a mechanical engineering project that involves experimental or analytical engineering work.
Master's degrees and PhD degrees in mechanical engineering have similar requirements. You may have to take courses like Design Measurement and Engineering Management. You may be able to complete a Master's degree in two years, and a doctoral program in five to seven years.
The amount you spend on tuition depends on several factors. The average cost of tuition for residents is $5,000 per semester, and the average cost of tuition for non-residents is $12,000 per semester. Tuition costs range from $2086 per semester at Alabama A&M University to $9,000 per semester for resident students at Tuskegee University.
Applying for scholarships is a great way to minimize your out-of-pocket costs. At the University of Alabama, students with a 3.5 cumulative GPA can receive $1,500 per year for four years. The Jack L. Carr Scholarship awards $1500 per year to engineering students that demonstrate talent and financial need.
After graduating, you can become licensed by the Alabama State Board of Licensure for Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. You have to fill out a pre-application form, at which point you can apply to take the appropriate exam. After receiving your initial license, remember to renew it by December 31 every year. You may also have professional development hour requirements. Joining the Alabama Society of Professional Engineers can help you get some of your required hours.