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Im currently a freshman at Virginia Tech, studying General Engineering, and planning to major in EE. However, i'm not sure I totally like it here, and are planning on atleast applying to transfer. The schools i'm going to apply to are UT-Austin and UVA. Obviously I (and any engineer) would love to go to UT because their programs are top-notch and its a bigger school, however I live in No. Virginia and do like being with hours of home and I love living in the state. The whole aspect of being in Texas actually makes UT-austin my second choice in transfer schools, putting UVA first. I know UVA has a high level of prestige overall (ranked #2 public school), but I know that they're engineering is #32 compared to #17 VT and #13 UT-austin. However, they're EE program is ranked #21 versus VT #20 and UT #11. So in reality, within my degree, the schools are very close to each other.
The reasons I want to transfer is that I hate the fact that its ONLY engineering at VT, and for senior year, you simply work on a senior project or do research, then document it in classes, whereas at UVA and UT, you actually write a senior thesis while doing project/research. Also, i'm a strong student in liberal arts, and theres no way to use that strength at VT, whereas UVA's engineering program is more liberal arts approached, and theres more room for electives and liberal-arts type classes, and I think getting a broad education as well as a good engineering education is important.
So, is it a valid argument to want to go down in rankings in engineering overall, yet only a few down in my actual major, but go to a better public university that offers a broader education?
By the way, i probably will have a 3.3 (C in chemistry...this is why im doing EE =P) for the fall, and VA resident and female, and i had a 4.2 senior year, 1380 SAT, so i think UVA is a match as long as i write killer essays (which im going to...again, i destroyed high school english and history class essays, and lovelovelove writing) and good recs, especially since they try to take 75% in-state, AND about 50% of E-school transfer applicants, and coming from VT