These Are the Top-Rated Engineering Colleges in the Country!
The number of students pursuing undergraduate degrees in engineering continues to grow. The demand for these professionals is growing too, according to the Bureau of Labor of Statistics which expects to see a 6% increase in demand. High schoolers who are set on pursuing this major need to start thinking about the best engineering schools to attend. Get to know more about the best engineering colleges.
Due to the sheer popularity of the major and the ever-growing demand for engineering professionals, you’ll have no trouble finding engineering classes, degrees, and programs throughout the United States. However, there are some institutions that are distinguished among others due to the world-class engineering programs being offered to students.
Keep in mind that the best engineering schools aren’t necessarily the most well-known schools. On the other hand, the most well-known schools don’t always have great engineering programs.
Beyond that, you also need to take other factors into consideration to make sure the school is a good fit. These factors will be determined by your preferences.
Let’s take a closer look at the best engineering colleges, along with some tips for getting into these prestigious schools, so you have the best opportunity to succeed in your academic and professional career.
1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology – Cambridge, MA
MIT is widely regarded as one of the top engineering schools in the country and regularly has a spot within the top rankings of engineering schools in the country. The U.S. News and World Report regularly position MIT within its top 5 engineering colleges and universities despite the harsh competition.
Compared with other doctoral institutions, MIT’s undergraduate engineering program continues to outperform the competition. It’s ranked first place in six out of 12 total engineering disciplines even though most institutions don’t even rank for a single one.
Here are the six engineering specialties for which MIT is ranked at the top:
- Aerospace engineering
- Chemical engineering
- Computer engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Materials engineering
- Mechanical engineering
MIT boasts nearly 20 research centers where undergraduate engineering students can explore various topics such as ocean engineering, cancer research, and soldier nanotechnologies. University programs such as Transportation@MIT, allow transportation-focused engineers to examine issues with travel.
MIT also offers a Career Reengineering Program where potential students already working in an engineering field can attend school while completing their job.
2. Stanford University – Stanford, CA
The Stanford School of Engineering has been widely regarded as a leading engineering program throughout the country due to its competitive research opportunities, world-class staff, successful graduates, and excellent curricula. The Stanford Engineering faculty represent some of the best engineers in their respective fields.
The primary goals of Stanford’s undergraduate program in engineering are to provide students with an opportunity to grow intellectually within the engineering discipline, develop an understanding of technology’s social impact, and attain a professional level of engineering competence.
Stanford’s engineering curriculum is somewhat flexible, allowing students to determine the specific courses they want to take. If you have a clear idea of what you want to study in terms of engineering, you’ll find the freedom and varied options you desire at Stanford.
The School of Engineering provides two kinds of Bachelor of Science Degrees: a BS in Engineering and a BS for Individually Designed Majors in Engineering (IDMENs). Within these two degrees, there are eight more “sub plans” including:
- Aeronautics and Astronautics
- Architectural Design
- Biomechanical Engineering
- Biomedical Computation
- Engineering Physics
- Product Design
3. California Institute of Technology – Pasadena, CA
Caltech is a highly esteemed engineering and science research institute with decades of recognition as a leading school. It features some of the world’s best research facilities, ensuring engineering students will get the practical hands-on experience they need to become functional and competitive in the professional space.
There are seven primary engineering departments at Caltech each with various subcategories:
- Aerospace (GALCIT)
- Andrew and Peggy Cherng Department of Medical Engineering
- Applied Physics & Materials Science
- Computing & Mathematical Sciences
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Science & Engineering
- Mechanical & Civil Engineering
There are numerous research centers spread through CalTech’s campus where undergraduates have the opportunity to carry on research with fellow students, teaching aids, and even professors.
For example, there’s always something exciting happening at the Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering and the Center for the Science and Engineering of Materials.
4. UC Berkeley – Berkeley, CA
Berkeley’s College of Engineering is routinely recognized by US News & World Report as one of the best engineering schools in the entire country.
It’s a premier school with a history of producing some of the most successful engineers and founders in history with several alumni heading the leading companies in the world such as Tesla, Google, Boeing, Apple, and Intel.
Undergraduates will have no trouble finding a specific engineering program that piques their interest with a total of nine different departments from which to choose:
- Bioengineering (BioE)
- Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE)
- Development Engineering (DevEng)
- Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS)
- Industrial Engineering and Operations Research (IEOR)
- Materials Science and Engineering (MSE)
- Mechanical Engineering (ME)
- Nuclear Engineering (NE)
- Engineering Science (ES)
4. Carnegie Mellon University – Pittsburgh, PA
Despite being smaller than some of the other schools on this list, Carnegie Mellon earns its position as one of the best engineering colleges in the country. Its College of Engineering, formerly called the Carnegie Institute of Technology, provides students with various engineering programs including:
- Biomedical Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Civil & Environmental Engineering
- Electrical & Computer Engineering
- Engineering & Public Policy
- Materials Science & Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
The engineering department seeks to fulfill the school’s overall mission of “changing the needs of society by building on its traditions of innovation, problem-solving and interdisciplinarity”.
Students can choose from a wide range of different majors, minors, and courses to fulfill the requirements of an engineering degree from Carnegie Mellon leaving a lot of room for personal preference.
5. Harvey Mudd College – Claremont, CA
In the world of engineering colleges, this small private college can be easily overlooked. However, it has an outstanding reputation. Students there work hard, as proven by the exceptionally high rate of students who go on to obtain a Ph.D. Graduates go on to work in the field for some of the best-known companies in the world.
Mudd is part of the Claremont Colleges located in Southern California. Students are allowed to cross-register, and most live on campus. With a small enrollment of about 740 students, Mudd students make friends across many areas of study. If they need more diversions than the quiet area where Mudd is located, Los Angeles is only 30 miles away.
An interesting facet of Harvey Mudd is its engineering clinic. Here juniors and seniors work with faculty advisors and outside engineers to solve real problems for clients in the private and public sectors.
Clinic students plan and execute their assigned projects while faculty coach, advise, evaluate and provide feedback. Liaison engineers ensure that the projects are in line to meet the goals of the companies they represent.
They are also there to ensure that the work in the clinic approximates real-life work situations. This takes the work from theoretical to practical. Because the clinic is able to attract a full range of clients, students get wide-ranging training making a Harvey Mudd degree even more attractive.
A Mudd engineering degree offers coursework in:
- Engineering and Computer Science
- Biology and Chemistry
6. Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, GA
The Georgia Institute of Technology, better known as Georgia Tech, is located in the heart of Downtown Atlanta. That can be good or bad. It means that students have access to all that living in the downtown area of a large city, but it also means that students can be distracted by that same access.
Nevertheless, Georgia Tech has been recognized as a member of AAU, The Association of American Universities. This prestigious organization accepts schools based on their being solely and strongly focused on research.
When the school is accepted as a member, it means they are well respected by their colleagues in other schools. All of Tech’s engineering departments are considered to be the best at what they teach, and there is a major for every engineering interest.
Georgia Tech features engineering majors across all eight colleges in the College of Engineering. Over 60% of students at Tech study engineering in one of these programs:
1.Aerospace Engineering at the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering is one of the oldest and largest such programs in the country. If students want to learn to build and fly all types of aircraft or if they dream, like so many today, of going into outer space, this school focuses on problem-solving.
With these skills, a student can consider careers with aerospace firms and research labs run by the US government. Students learn such varying subjects as engineering sciences as well as areas of aerodynamics, aircraft, and spacecraft structures.
They can also learn flight mechanics and control (how to fly a plane), avionics, propulsion, and how to design aerospace systems. With such a heavy influence of flying to outer space as tourists and civilians, they will be high demand for such engineers.
2. Biomedical Engineering at the Coulter Department of Engineering includes studies at this school as well as at the Emory School of Medicine. By integrating both schools and the two fields students are able to support both the life sciences and engineering to accommodate the interests of its students.
They study to support issues like prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of disease. People with degrees in bioengineering can be trained to act as part of interdisciplinary teams with other engineers, scientists, and healthcare professionals. The Coulter School cares about improving health and breakthroughs derived by innovation and translational research.
3. Students can also study other fields of engineering such as mechanical, polymer, and fiber materials, industrial and systems engineering, electrical, computer, civil, environmental, chemical or molecular, and aerospace engineering.
3. Additional schools at the College of Engineering include Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Industrial and Systems Engineering, Material Sciences and Engineering, Mechanical Engineering which includes the departments of Medical Physics and Nuclear Radiological Engineering.
7. Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering – Needham, MA
One of the most recently opened engineering colleges, this private school is located in Needham, Massachusetts, a suburb of Boston. The college focuses on engineering. It is known for its small size and project-based curriculum.
It is also recognized among engineering colleges for its large endowment funded mostly by the now-closed F.W. Olin Foundation. The school is only a short transit ride away from downtown Boston so students have the incredible opportunity to enjoy one of the most vibrant cities in the United States.
While only a decade or so since its founding, the school is recognized by many and respected by such top-list assemblers as Newsweek, Kaplan, and U.S. News.
As a solely engineering school, Olin students take the majority of their coursework in the sciences and math. If a student desires to take courses outside of this realm, they can cross-register at a number of local schools, including Babson College, Wellesley College, and Brandeis University.
A very interesting and unusual situation at Olin is the philosophy that engineering education should be open to all who want it. Therefore every student who applies is considered without looking at their family’s financials, and everyone who enrolls automatically gets a scholarship for half of the tuition.
Olin differs as well from other engineering colleges because students are valued not for the classes they take in their majors but for the knowledge they accumulate.
The curriculum is shaped to provide technical depth in areas that are most relevant to the student’s interest but also to round out their education with selected important classes that help them to do exactly that. All students take classes in computer software, electronics, and mechanical systems.
Among the engineering courses available include:
- Mechanical Engineering offers a course called Design Nature which requires each student to design a toy that hops or swims. This provides students with actual experience in the fields of mechanical engineering and mechanical design. By building a prototype of the toy, students practice fabrication. They also learn how to model and predict the behavior of a system, like a monkey swinging from tree to tree. This major gives students the opportunity to design, build and analyze mechanical and thermal systems. Students apply the theories of energy, heat, and fluid flow to systems ranging from microfluidic devices to jet engines. They also develop tools to design and analyze the mechanical strength of structures and the motion of mechanisms.
- Electrical and Computer Engineering is a part of every student’s coursework. However the major itself involves providing more opportunities to analyze, design, and build computing and communications systems. Students apply the principles of linear systems, circuit theory, microelectronics, computer architecture, communication theory, software engineering, and signal processing to understand and realize such systems.
- The Engineering major allows students to design their own curriculum by choosing the classes, along with college-wide requirements making up a cohesive plan of study.
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