Earning a mechanical engineering degree is a great way to start your career as a mechanical engineer. There are two schools in Montana that offer mechanical engineering programs: Montana State University and Carroll College. Montana State University offers Associate's, Bachelor's, Master's, and doctoral programs. Carroll College has an Associate's program and a Bachelor's program.
If you plan on earning an Associate's degree in Montana, you can expect to spend about two years in school. This is how long it takes most students to complete the 60 required credits for the degree. A Bachelor's degree can prepare you for licensure as a professional engineer. This degree requires you to complete 120 credits, which may take you between four and five years. Courses you might take at this level include Introduction to Materials Science, Applied Mechanics, and Component Design.
After completing your Bachelor's degree, you can either decide to begin working or to continue your schooling. A Master's degree takes about two years and contains 30 credits. Required courses include Theory and Design of Control Systems, Laser Processing, and Statistical Thermodynamics. A PhD takes between five and seven years, due to the addition of a thesis.
In Montana, the average cost of tuition is about $16,500 per semester. Tuition at Carroll College is $27,300 per semester. At Montana State University, tuition for residents is about $6000 per semester. For non-residents, tuition is $16,000 per semester.
Applying for scholarships is a great way to reduce the amount you have to pay for your education. Joining the Montana Society of Engineers may allow you to apply for Montana-based scholarships. In addition, the Montana Broadcasters Association funds a variety of scholarships, including those in the field of engineering.
After you have completed your mechanical engineering degree, then next step is taking the Fundamental of Engineering exam. Passing this exam demonstrates your knowledge and experience in engineering. After you have successfully pass the exam, you can apply for your license from the Montana Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. Engineering licenses must be renewed by June 30 of even-numbered years.