so right now i am completely torn between the two. I like the campus and atmosphere more at unc. And the girl to guy ratio is pretty awesome (for a guy). And its more nationally recognized and just a better school overall. Basically, i would much rather go to unc for every reason EXCEPT.....
I want to major in engineering and nc state is best for that. All of my friends and family are telling me to go to unc and they say that if i really want to do engineering, then i can transfer. But idk what to do. Engineering (specifically mechanical/aerospace) interests me the most and unc doesnt offer those, which is why im having such a hard time deciding on where i should go!!!
I was in a similar position a year back. I wanted to do comp engg. and it was a toss-up between Purdue and UNC. I chose UNC comp sci, I managed to convince myself that I would be able to transfer if I needed to. Your situation is different in that you won't be able to study mechanical/aerospace science, which doesn't really exist. You'll have to do something like physics, which is nowhere near as focused as what you want.
Whether you choose UNC or NC State now depends on the sort of college experience you're looking for. If you want the typical non-engineering college experience, go to UNC and transfer. Transferring into NC State, or a similar engineering school cannot be too hard. You'll have the girl-guy ratio in your favor for the first year or two, which you won't get at NC State. Although transferring is rather inconvenient.
But if you want the engineering experience, where mech. engineering majors build machines and aerospace engineering guys analyze wind dynamics over wings (even in their first years), choose NC State. You will be at a disadvantage when you transfer, and will need to do a lot of work to catch up (not just with studies, also with professors and peers).
If UNC didn't offer comp. sci, I'd have gone with Purdue. Its not like engineering colleges don't provide a "college experience", its just a different one.
What i might try to do is go down the materials science path at unc to see if i like it and if i don't, i can always transfer to ncsu for mechanical/aerospace. But like you said, transfering is a pain in the butt and i really want to choose the right school the first time around. Decisions decisions....
IF you really really care for engineering, you would go to some uni that focuses particularly in that field. Think about this...do you want a fun college experience (while trying to substitute for your real passion:major) or do you want to build up your skills elsewhere and prepare for your career? I know that college life matters...but transferring can mean that you would have to attend college for 5 or more years (depending on when you transfer). In addition, most colleges transfer people during their junior year. Plus, materials science does not really align to your preferred pathway. I personally would not waste my time finding a different route. BUT, this is just me, and I completely respect your feelings as UNC's atmosphere is awesome.
If engineering is what you really want then you should go to State. Going to UNC and then trying to transfer into engineering would be a mistake. Unlike UNC, at State you are accepted directly into your major and start taking classes in your major(or needed for your major) right away. You would be way off track if you transferred in later.
It's much better to start off as a freshmen where you plan to stay. You make most of your friends freshman year in the dorms, doing all that crazy freshman stuff. By junior year, most students live off campus and already have their social circles in place.
Believe me when I say there is a lot of fun to be had in Raleigh. You won't miss out on the "college experience" by choosing the school with your preferred major.
BTW, females make up 45% of NCSU's student body not to mention that Meredith College and Peace College.. both all female colleges.. are literally a few blocks from NCSU.
I always tell people torn between the two that UNC is the better choice for everything but agriculture and engineering. Like someone else said, if you want to be an engineer, go to State. If you aren't entirely sure yet, I'd go to UNC.
State is also the better choice if interested in Architecture,Landscape Architecture, Graphic/Industrial Design, Meteorology, Oceanography,Textiles (the world's leading program for textile education), Fisheries,Wildlife and Conservation Biology,Forest Ecology and Management,Watershed Hydrology, Natural Resource Management, Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, Wood and Paper Science and more.
It would seem erroneous to state the the largest university in NC with over 31,000 students is only strong in two areas.
Both are fine schools with strong programs. It's not as lopsided as portrayed here.