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.
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.
Georgia Institute of Technology – Atlanta, Georgia
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 biomolecular, and aerospace engineering.
- 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.
Lehigh University – Bethlehem, Pennsylvania
Lehigh University is a private school of higher education located in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. The University accepts 50% of those who apply and has a high graduation rate of over 85%.
Because of its location students have the ability to take relatively short road trips to New York City or Philadelphia. They also have the town of Bethlehem, where they can avail themselves of the charms of a town that Money Magazine called one of the best 100 places to live.
However, for the students of Lehigh University’s P.C. Rossin School of Engineering and Applied Science diversions are usually unnecessary because so many of the undergraduate students take double majors!
The statistics regarding undergrads are particularly interesting. Because it is considered a small school, Lehigh has a larger than the usual number of students working on research projects. In the School of Engineering, undergrads have greater access to senior professors and their work.
Female students are more prevalent than in the average school. In fact, 33% of engineering students are female as opposed to the national average of 18%. Also, 40% of undergraduate students are able to conduct research. The college offers a real-life experience through a co-op program in which many students participate.
The Rossin College of Engineering offers many options for engineering students. They include:
- Industrial and Systems Engineering enables graduates to work in a number of fields in addition to the traditional field of manufacturing. Tools learned through this major can be applied in many areas of business, from the private to the public sector.
- Bioengineering is especially relevant in today’s world. In this field, the focus is on advancing human health through bio-inspired technology and the creation of new techniques.
- The department of Civil and Environmental Engineering offers educational and research programs in structural, environmental, water resources, and geotechnical engineering. This program is considered one of the best at engineering colleges.
- The Computer Science and Engineering program is a very in-demand one in this age of rapidly growing threats in cybersecurity. Through a strong educational and research, emphasis students get a thorough background for jobs in this field.
- Other majors available to students at the Rossin College of Engineering include Chemical and Molecular Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics.
Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering – Needham, Massachusetts
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:
1. 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 micro-fluidic devices to jet engines. They also develop tools to design and analyze the mechanical strength of structures and the motion of mechanisms.
2. 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.
3. 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.
Purdue University – West Lafayette, Indiana
Purdue University is one of the larger engineering schools. Located in West Lafayette, Indiana, Purdue is considered the number 5 top innovative school in the United States. An interesting fact in these days of high student debt upon graduation, 59% of Purdue graduates are debt-free when they complete school.
Located only 65 miles from the state capital of Indianapolis and about 110 miles from Chicago, students can find interesting places to visit if they are willing to travel a bit. The city of West Lafayette is considered a very healthy city with many parks.
Purdue excels in both academics and athletics. It was the first school to offer a program in aeronautics, counting Neil Armstrong as a grad. For many years Purdue’s School of Engineering has been ranked high in providing top-level programs in many fields of engineering. It is among the top ten engineering schools.
As a highly noted school among engineering colleges, Purdue has a huge number and a variety of majors and programs it offers to students. Among them are:
1.An interesting and unique degree program is a joint degree in business and engineering. In conjunction with the Purdue School of Business, a student will get a combined degree with expertise in both business and engineering, all from one university.
2. Another interesting and relatively unique major is the Bachelor of Science in Construction Engineering program. For a future in the construction industry, many sources say that the program at Purdue is the best of all engineering colleges.
Coursework is 80% in construction and 20% in business management. Internships with construction companies add to the experience.
1. Nuclear Engineering majors are trained to address the increasing need for power and the reduction of reliance on fossil fuels. There are new and increasing demands for safe and sustainable fuel sources. Students are equipped to tackle these issues and have the tools needed to make advances in nuclear science.
2. Other programs follow the track of most major engineering colleges and include fields such as civil, environmental and ecological, aeronautics and astronautics engineering.
Harvey Mudd College – Claremont, California
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
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