The key question is whether the added cost is worth the benefits.
Is $15K a year worth having professors know who you are?
Is $15K a year worth having professors and not TAs teach all of your classes?
Is $15K a year worth having professors who are supportive and not trying to weed you out?
Is $15K a year worth having the opportunity to conduct top tier research as an undergraduate?
Is $15K a year worth having face time with leaders in industry minutes from campus?
Is $15K a year worth having hands-on opportunities in labs as an undergraduate?
Is $15K a year worth going to a school that doubled the national employment rate for their engineering graduates in 2011?
Is $15K a year worth having the opportunity to work with top companies like Lockheed Martin in the SkunkWorks Innovation Gym?
There is a lot to consider and cost is definitely a factor. SMU's Lyle School of Engineering is a place that gives you all of the advantages and they are easily accessible. Now, that's a return on your investment!
Engineering is supposed to be challenging. With that said, Lyle retains its students very well. It helps when you have small classes and professors that know students by name. It also helps that they have two programs, Lyle Ambassadors Helping Ambassadors and the Lyle Help Desk (through the Lyle Office of Recruiting and Retention), on top of other SMU wide amenities like the LEC to help students when they are struggling. In short, that is the beauty of coming to a school like Lyle. All the great things (professors, research, Innovation Gym, Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity) are VERY accessible.
My girlfriend just got back from Destination SMU and found out they are requiring engineering students to take three English courses and 2 years(4 semesters) of a foreign language. She has now taken SMU off her list because of the foreign language requirement. She will not be joining me at SMU... She is now trying to decided between Texas A&M and UT. She says they understand engineering is difficult enough without adding to the requirements. She wonders if they will now change their engineering to a BA in Mechanical Engineering. MIT doesn't even require foreign language for its engineering graduates...
I was also at Destination SMU on Monday and at the academic preview session for engineering, the speaker mentioned something that was in the process of being created, but he wasn't completely sure of the details so he then deferred it to Mickey Saloma, who was also unsure about the details, but somewhere in the discussion I also heard something about a new foreign language requirement for all SMU students, among other things. It's definitely real, but perhaps someone should contact SMU to get the exact details (if they even have any). Since it is so new, maybe the requirements will
only affect future applicants, because they really can't just spring something like this on us.
I've already emailed the appropriate people about it. From my understanding it'll be two semesters of foreign language like the rest of the school. That said with the new curriculum it'll be easier to test out of foreign language than it used to be.
How can a student apply to a school if they don't know what the requirements will be for graduation? There is a contract between the student and the school. Students who are choosing to enroll at SMU don't have any idea what it will take to get a degree.
My girlfriend said the speakers were unclear what would be required for next year's freshman class - it sure doesn't sound like they know what they are doing.
Her father is livid. He said it sure doesn't reflect well on the administration's understanding of what is important to educating an engineer.
The confusion stems from the revamping of our liberal arts base that everyone takes. Here's the official word:
"It is a two semester foreign language requirement which is awesome that other schools aren't requiring of their students. Think about it, this is actually is yet another attribute that will help distinguish Lyle graduates to potential employers. They are getting an ABET accredited degree AND MORE!
The foreign language requirement ensures that we are educating well rounded engineers that will thrive in an evolving global market. It is this very global market that will put a premium on the ability to communicate across cultures. At SMU Lyle, our engineering students will have more than just top-notch technical skills. Our students will leave SMU with vital written and spoken communication skills that will help them share their latest innovation around the world"
@johnangle - By test out of the foreign languages, do you mean by stuff like AP exams, or will SMU have its own exams to offer to let people test out of them? I took 3 years of Latin in high school but I decided against taking the AP class/exam, so I'm hoping that I can last least use what I know from those 3 years to get out of 1 or maybe 2 semesters of the foreign language requirement. Even though I hear that the Latin professor at SMU is really fun.