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AU vs Bama Engineering

raider25raider25 Posts: 28Registered User New Member
edited February 2012 in Auburn University
Any advice? My son was accepted into both engineering programs. We are from Denver and have no idea what the local reputation of the schools are. Anything you can tell us would be greatly appreciated.
Post edited by raider25 on

Replies to: AU vs Bama Engineering

  • lapaganlapagan Posts: 290Registered User Junior Member
    My S was under the same dilema last year. At the end he chose Auburn. Alabama is funneling a lot or money to their programs and the department is growing extremely fast. To the point that I believe is outpacing the faculty capacity to keep class sizes small enough or giving enough choices.

    To us Auburn is better established program with excellent reputation.
  • audellmomaudellmom Posts: 381Registered User Member
    In terms of USNWR ranking, the AU engineering undergraduate program is ranked 32 among public universities, 41 Nationally; UA is ranked 98th nationally. AU has a broader, better engineering school -- chemE, electrical, aerospace, industrial, wireless are especially notable. Eng. grad school is also strong: Auburn graduate programs achieve high U.S. News rankings | Wire Eagle
    Lapagan is correct, 'Bama is investing heavily in their program, (the new science and engineering facility is quite impressive) but hands down, AU is still stronger, and well-connected. If you haven't already been to Alabama, you should visit both engineering schools. Good luck!
  • raider25raider25 Posts: 28Registered User New Member
    Thanks! That's good to hear. We are going to Alabama the weekend of 2/9 to do a tour of both schools. Auburn already responded for an engineering tour but Alabama's engineering dept hasn't responded yet.

    He wants to major in aerospace engineering so it's great to hear that it's a good school for that as well. One thing I liked about Auburn is that you are admitted as preengineering and then can decide on a major, whereas all the other schools he's been admitted to so far have him go straight into the aerospace track. What if he decides he likes a different engineering focus?

    How do you like the school and town as a whole?
  • audellmomaudellmom Posts: 381Registered User Member
    We are from the midwest, and initially, my D did not have Auburn on her radar screen. She was interested in Emory and Vanderbuilt though, and during our summer "college tour" my husband and I talked her into a side trip through Alabama to see both AU and UA (the scholarships at both were so good, it would have been rather foolish NOT to go visit.) We knew absolutely zero about either university, and as you can imagine, our expectations were pretty low. We saw UA first -- it was very beautiful, historic and had a lot of big, new campus construction projects going on. She was impressed enough to stay cooperative for the trip to Auburn. ;) Once we got there and drove around the town, she was hooked. She loved the downtown area (I was incredibly surprised since we are from a larger urban area) and really liked the laid back feel of the Auburn campus. AU is not as bustling as UA -- the campus is smaller and somewhat quieter. Tuscaloosa is a larger city than Auburn, but there are plenty of places to eat, shop and lodge when visiting. The AU grounds are beautiful, with rolling hills, pine trees and magnolias scattered all around. The campus is also very safe (this was important to us.) The engineering school encompasses almost all the entire north end of campus. The Shelby Center is the newest engineering addition -- WOW. My D is in the Honors College and really likes the class size of her honors courses. You can PM me if you have any other questions (though there are plenty of folks that check the boards who can answer a multitude of queries.) I know you will enjoy both towns and both schools. Have a safe trip when you visit.
  • audellmomaudellmom Posts: 381Registered User Member
    I will add that on-campus housing at AU is an issue; freshmen are not required to live on campus because there aren't that many spaces. Sign up is first-come, first served, so if you decide to attend, register for housing as soon as they allow it. There are a number of different kinds of housing available, including super-suite style halls. There are MANY off-campus living options available, including private residence halls.
  • kmwjeskmwjes Posts: 167Registered User Junior Member
    DS has a very good friend who is a Presidential Scholarship recipient, freshman aerospace engineer major at Georgia Tech (also admitted to CalTech full freight). Auburn (with scholarship) was her school of choice for aerospace engineering, if not for her GT offer.
    While visiting AU inquire about student placement for co-op positions during the course of your students studies. This provides students with critical hands-on experience as well as vital resume building. Also inquire about student placement after graduation and which companies recruit.
    On a side note, Auburn boasts 6 NASA astronauts and Apple's newest CEO, Tim Cook!
    When in Auburn, consider stopping by Toomer's Drug Store for the most delicious lemonade! It really is good!
  • raider25raider25 Posts: 28Registered User New Member
    audellmom: Thanks so much for your post. I'm hearing from a lot of people that Auburn has a "closer community" feel that UA and I'm leaning toward the fact that my son might like it. We have a few big colleges in Colorado but he liked the "feel" of the one in the sleepy college town vs CU Boulder. But Boulder is a whole other world of itself. :-)

    kmwjes: Good pointers. It speaks volumes for Auburn if it was her 2nd choice behind Georgia Tech and was a Presidential Scholarship recipient for the same major as my son. I've heard a lot of positive info about internships during undergrad at Auburn. I'll definitely make sure I ask both schools about that. And 6 astronauts?!! Wow! Pretty impressive!
  • audellmomaudellmom Posts: 381Registered User Member
    Good luck on both your tours, and safe traveling -- I am sure you will be very busy!
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