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Rose-Hulman vs. Purdue

GohantoGohanto Posts: 2Registered User New Member
edited April 2005 in Engineering Majors
I've already been accepted to Purdue for engineering and will most likely get accepted to Rose-Hulman as well, but does anyone know how these 2 schools compare in engineering? I can never find a comparison because Purdue has doctorate work on campus.
Post edited by Gohanto on
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Replies to: Rose-Hulman vs. Purdue

  • macattakmacattak Posts: 206Registered User Junior Member
    Rose Hulman has an excellent reputation in engineering circles. The school doesn't lack for companies recruiting on campus. RHIT is one of the schools that Olin was patterned after. Purdue and RHIT are two very different types of schools though. RHIT is David to Purdues Goliath. If you go to RHIT you should be certain that you are going to stay in engineering of a related science as there aren't any other real alternatives. If you have any doubt, pick somewhere else.
  • AlexandreAlexandre Posts: 21,764Super Moderator Senior Member
    Both are awesome (top 5 schools of Engineering in the Midwest). And they are so different, it should be an easy decision for you.
  • chrisdchrisd Posts: 497Registered User Member
    I've heard that RH, like Olin, has a very open, trusting residential environment--probably something that is only possible at very small schools. Students don't lock everything up, things aren't stolen or defaced.
  • drusbadrusba Posts: 7,872Registered User Senior Member
    Both are highly regarded. Rose-Hulman has the edge over a lot of universities nationwwide for quality of teaching undergrads engineering/science. Professors teach all classes, they are all required to be able to speak English fluently (at most large universities you will find an inordinate number of professors and TA's teaching science, math, and engineering classes though they can hardly speak English) , most classes are small. There are actually a lot of engineering/science undergrad textbooks used at many universities that are authored by RH professors. Even so professors are not required to do research or publish (although most do) and tenure is based on teaching experience. RH's employment placement rate is always close to or at 100%, i.e., those grads seeking jobs upon graduating (rather than going to grad school) get jobs. The campus is small but very nice with everything is kept in first rate condition.

    Nevertheless, at RH you have the risk that if you change your mind about majoring in engineering, science, or math, you will need to head elsewhere. It is also expensive. Males outnumber females 5 to 1 and most of the students are white and from the midwest (it tries hard to recruit minorities with only some success). Also, Terre Haute is just a small city/town with nothing but farmland around it (for excitement you go to the movies, the Dairy Queen, or go bowling) -- however, Lafayette (where Purdue is) is not much different.

    Purdue provides the true large university experience, although that experience is mostly midwestern styles and values. All freshman are admitted to "general" engineering without declaring a major, which you do not do until after the first year. That is a good idea as it allows students to first become familiar with engineering and the departments and to grow a year before committing. It has many support programs to get you through but even so many freshman in engineering do not end up graduating as engineers. It is a "research" university where professors are expected to do research and publish. Many classes are large. That does not mean poor quality and, in fact, it is very good. Also, many prefer the large university experience over the small one. As someone once told me: At the large university you seldom get to know your professors and rarely have the same one twice. At the small university you are likely to know professors personally and have the same professor for two or three different courses over four years. Which one of those sounds better -- being anonymous or being well-known to your professors? Well, it depends on what the professor thinks of you.
  • EllenFEllenF Posts: 736Registered User Member
    Freshman classes at Purdue are large, but after you select a specific engineering major, your classes will be fairly small - usually 20 or fewer students. Once you select your engineering major, you will find that you have a small school feeling within a large school.

    Although Purdue is a research university, most professors leave their doors open and welcome students who want to stop by. Your professors will get to know you and you'll often have the same professor for more than once course, especially if you choose to further specialize within an engineering discipline. (Larger universities have more courses. This permits students to further specialize if they so desire.) Professors invited students to dine at their homes, hired them to babysit, found them engineering-related work-study jobs, talked with them about post-graduate plans, etc. I can honestly say that most Purdue engineering professors are truly interested in their students. A significant percentage of graduates in my major found jobs through contacts professors had with industry rather than going through the placement office. In fact, I got my job after a professor tracked me down in a grocery store! (I was changing apartments so he had been unable to phone me.)

    I don't mean to say that Purdue is better than Rose-Hulman (my son is looking at both), just to correct some misconceptions.
  • GohantoGohanto Posts: 2Registered User New Member
    thanks for all your help, I think I'm going to end up going to Rose-Hulman for a year at least, I can always tranfer to Purdue from Rose, but I don't think it would be very easy to go from Purdue to Rose just because of private vs. state. thanks for the all the input on both sides
  • dr_reynoldsdr_reynolds Posts: 536Registered User Member
    You made the right decision to go to Rose-Hulman. I got my M.S. and PhD from Purdue and you would have gotten huge classes, teachers who can't speak english and professors that are unavailable. You will get a much better classroom experience at Rose-Hulman. I have several friends that teach there - it is an excellent school. The school I am teaching at is trying to model their program after Rose-Hulman.

    Yes, some Purdue professors are good teachers, but most spend about 90% of their time doing research. I spent 7 years at Purdue, I should know!

    Of course Purdue is no different from many other research universities...once you've seen places like Rose-Hulman you'll know what a great engineering school is supposed to be! Professors who love to teach?! What a concept!
  • PLANTREEPLANTREE Posts: 194Registered User Junior Member
    dr_reynolds,
    My son is a HS junior and is seriously considering Ros Hulman. However, I am concerned with the diversity issue. Not race, but religious. My son is an orthodox jew and from my understanding there is no, or practically no, jewish students on campus or at Indiana State. Hilel.com doesn't list either school and the nearest orthodox synogogue is in Indianapolis, 70 miles away. Almost every other aspect of the school is what my son is looking for (not the male/female ratio either). The other small school he will definitely apply to is Olin, but they are extremely selective. Any comments or suggestions are welcomed.
  • dr_reynoldsdr_reynolds Posts: 536Registered User Member
    Well it sounds like the the diversity issue might be the key for him. Perhaps another school would be a better fit.
  • kierkekierke Posts: 81Registered User Junior Member
    macatalk, where did you find out that Olin was patterned after RHIT?

    Fake edit: yeah, I just realized I'm responding to a 2 month-old message
  • macattakmacattak Posts: 206Registered User Junior Member
    Because of the success of the curriculum, the schools development/venture capital relationship with high tech businesses, and the history Rose has with Olin, the dean of faculty and VP of student affairs at RHIT was hired by the Franklin W. Olin Foundation as the academic consultant during the design of the college. He wrote the academic plan that secured the charter from the Commonwealth of MA. Several other schools were surveyed and aspects of those schools were included in the plan as well.
  • dr_reynoldsdr_reynolds Posts: 536Registered User Member
    In my opinion, if you want the top two schools to get an undergraduate education in engineering it would have to be RHIT and Olin. Olin is the newcomer but they are doing everything right by focusing on teaching. They have a lot of top people and great students. Since they are not established I'll put RHIT #1 right now. Sometime I'd like to see where I teach (University of Arkansas - Fort Smith) in the mix as well. We are also focusing on engineering education as opposed to engineering research.
  • chrisdchrisd Posts: 497Registered User Member
    I think Harvey Mudd would be in the same group w/ RH and Olin. . . .small undergrad schools devoted to engineering.

    Olin is set on having a 50/50 male/female student ratio, and they are coming close to that already. That is quite a difference from any other engineering program.
  • macattakmacattak Posts: 206Registered User Junior Member
    The 50/50 goal does make it harder for males to get in Olin. Harvey is a great school as well.
  • hhn3hhn3 Posts: 1Registered User New Member
    dr_reynolds, I notice that you are a Rose-hulman fan. My son will probably be going there next year (probably in EE). It seems like a great school, but almost no one here (except a few people in engineering) have heard of it. I was wondering if its reputation in engineering circles is as good as we have been led to believe. We did have the opportunity to talk with engineering deans at uiuc and cornell, and they were both pretty enthusiastic about rose. Do you know people who have gone there or taught there? Do most people in engineering circles share your enthusiasm? Thanks for any info.
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