The southern state of Louisiana has seven mechanical engineering schools that you can choose to attend. Three schools offer Associate’s degrees, and all seven have Bachelor’s-level programs. All seven schools also offer Master’s degrees in mechanical engineering, and five offer doctoral degrees.

First, you have to decide whether you want to earn an Associate’s degree or Bachelor’s degree. An Associate’s degree only takes two years, compared to the required four years for a Bachelor’s degree, but a Bachelor’s degree may give you more career options. Some of the engineering courses you may take for this degree include Magnetism and Fluids, Heat Transfer, and Introduction to Mechanical Engineering.

If you have your Bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, you might be interested in earning a Master’s degree or PhD in the same field. This can prepare you for research or teaching work in mechanical engineering. Classes you may have to take include Gas Dynamics, Mechanics of Machinery, and Nonlinear Engineering Systems. A Master’s degree takes two to four years to complete, while a PhD may take you between five and seven years.

In Louisiana, the average cost of tuition is $14,200 per semester. This varies significantly, depending on your FAFSA, any financial aid offered by your school, and whether you are a Louisiana resident or non-resident. In general, technical schools and community colleges tend to be less expensive than four-year institutions.

Applying for scholarships can help you pay for your education without taking out student loans. BASF, the Chemical Company recently awarded $15,000 in scholarships to Louisiana State University engineering students. They plan on offering more scholarships in the future. If you are a female student, the SWE Baton Rouge Section of the Society of Women Engineers awards scholarships of $1000 to selected female engineering students.

After graduating from an accredited engineering program, the next step is getting your license from the Louisiana Professional Engineering and Land Surveying Board. First, you have to apply to take the Fundamentals of Engineering exam. After passing the exam, you can send in a license application with a $50 fee. After getting your initial license, you must renew every two years and pay a $120 renewal fee.

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