If you are excited to become a mechanical engineer, there are four schools in Virginia that can help you reach this goal. One school has an Associate's degree program and all four schools have Bachelor's degree programs. Three schools have Master's degree programs and PhD programs.
A Bachelor's degree is the most readily available engineering degree in Virginia. You must earn 120 to 130 credits in order to graduate with this degree. Some of the courses that may be included in your curriculum are Heat Transfer Laboratory, Mechanics of Solids, and Manufactory Processes. An Associate's degree takes about two years, and credits from this degree can often be transferred to a Bachelor's degree program.
If you want to earn a higher-level degree, you can choose between a Master's degree or PhD. A Master's degree is comprised of 30 credits, and a PhD involves coursework in addition to writing a thesis. A Master's degree takes about two years to complete, and a PhD takes between five and seven years.
While tuition rates vary from school to school, the average cost of tuition in Virginia is $13,900. If you attend a two-year college or public college, your costs may be significantly lower than this.
You can also lower your school bills by applying for scholarships and grants. In Virginia, you can apply for the Gloria Wille Bell and Carlos R. Bell Scholarship. This scholarship is worth up to $80,000, and it is only open to students in Virginia, Illinois, and Michigan. The Virginia Department of Transportation has the Engineer Scholar Program. Through this program, they award scholarships to Virginia students every year.
As you prepare to begin your engineering career, you can apply for your license from the Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation. The first step includes passing a rigorous exam. This exam is offered twice per year. After you pass your exam, you can fill out your application, send it to the board, and wait for your license in the mail.