*Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Aerospace Engineers, on the Internet at https://www.bls.gov/ooh/architecture-and-engineering/aerospace-engineers.htm (visited March 24, 2022).
Finding online aerospace engineering degrees for undergraduate students is difficult. Instead, you may be better able to find Bachelor of Science degrees in Aerospace Engineering programs that allow you to transition more easily into an MS program. These are known as combined-degree programs and enable highly talented students to earn both degrees in less time. You would be able to count one graduate course toward both your BS and MS degrees. In this way, you can shorten the time before graduation by at least one semester. You’ll also save money.
To achieve this, you would sign up for nine credit hours of approved graduate AE courses in your junior and senior years. They will satisfy your bachelor’s requirements—and, if you earn a B or higher, you’ll also satisfy graduate degree requirements.
At one state university, in-state tuition for a bachelor’s in aerospace engineering is $429/credit hour. For the semester, it’s $5,148, and for the fall and spring semesters, $10,296.
Out of state residents pay $1,128/credit hour. Total tuition for one semester is $13,536, and two semesters run $27,072.
International students also pay $1,128/credit hour. Per semester, they pay $13,836, and for two semesters, $27,672.
That would make the total for a four-year degree between $42,000 and $ 110,700.
Once you know what you intend to major in, you need to choose a school that carries that major. It’s easy to find this information. Go through the undergraduate catalog and find the Engineering section. Look for aerospace engineering. If it isn’t there, verify this by calling the admissions office.
Once you have verified the presence or absence of a major at a particular university, just cross it from your list and move on to the next one. However, it is important to make that call, as they may have classes that will allow you to move on to an aerospace engineering graduate degree, which is your end goal.
Currently, freshmen students have less than a 50% chance of graduating within four years. Over the past several years, it has become ever more common for students to linger in their undergraduate programs for longer than four years. For some, it’s just not very important for them to complete this important milestone in a finite timeframe. For others, life circumstances get in the way and force them to extend their time in school. Other students are involved in other school programs that force them to split their focus.
Whatever the cause, it gets expensive to stay in school for five or six years, or even more.
Engineering programs (electrical, computer, mechanical, structural, and civil) should receive accreditation from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology, or ABET, Inc. ABET accreditation is well-regarded in all engineering disciplines.
Once you get closer to graduation, you need to begin thinking of finding a job in your field. But when will you be able to do so? You have study sessions, tests, papers to write, and classes to attend.
Most colleges and universities provide a career services office, whose employees specialize in job search and career development. If your resume needs updating or a full overhaul, a counselor in the office can help you with this. You’ll get the same help with cover letters. Once you start getting interviews, your work with career services isn’t finished. Go back and ask for help in practicing good interview skills.
If you want to look at as many job or career possibilities as you can, then job fairs are the perfect place to start. You’ll be able to take copies of your newly revamped resume and meet the representatives of several companies.
If you’re still more than two years away from graduation, the career services office can help you find internships in your major. These will help you to gain the experience you need when you graduate—put every internship on your resume.
Once you’ve been working for a while, you may be interested in professional development. Your career services office at your alma mater can help you find these opportunities as well.
Do those college and university rankings really matter? Isn’t it enough to find a good engineering program at a good state university so you’ll have the knowledge you need post-graduation?
Actually, yes, rankings matter; entire university rankings, as well as program rankings. For instance, if the university is a middle-of-the-road institution with a top-notch engineering program, you’ll be able to benefit.
Those rankings published in Forbes, Money, and U.S. News all discuss those high-ranked universities. They use several areas to come to a decision on whether a university ranks highly or not. Read those magazine rankings, visit the institutions you’re most interested in, and decide which universities would best fit your future goals.
College, community college, and university engineering programs are accredited by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET). ABET is a non-profit and non-government agency that confers accreditation on educational programs in computing, engineering technology, engineering, natural science, and applied science.
Accreditation of these programs informs students interested in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers that they are receiving high-quality educations. The professionals that make up ABET have set the quality standards used to measure a university’s educational programs.
In addition, choosing an accredited university and program means that students will be able to apply for and use financial aid.