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Yale Engineering

sic_infitsic_infit Posts: 564Registered User Member
edited August 2010 in Yale University
Engineering at a lot of state schools is better than Yale, according to rankings, but what does this actually mean? Does it mean that professors are worse, the courses not as tough (easy to get good marks), or because engineers at Yale can't go on to good graduate programs in engineering?

If courses are not as rigorous, would it be easier to get good marks, double major, and have a high GPA for graduate admissions?
Post edited by sic_infit on
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Replies to: Yale Engineering

  • An0malyAn0maly Posts: 2,452Registered User Senior Member
    All the Ivy League schools aren't ranked high in engineering, except for Cornell. I've heard this is mainly because the size of the departments is smaller than that at state schools/top engineering programs.

    I think an engineering education at Yale is as good if not better than any other school out there, although schools like Cornell, Stanford, and MIT have better engineering programs.

    The professors are excellent, engineers go on to whatever they want to do, and the courses are definitely tough. In general, engineers have lower GPA's that humanities majors, no matter where you go. The programs at Yale and other comparable schools are lower ranked mainly due to smaller size ;)
  • sic_infitsic_infit Posts: 564Registered User Member
    ^ so its not necessarily easier to handle a course load at Yale for engineering compared to Caltech, MIT, or Stanford?
  • An0malyAn0maly Posts: 2,452Registered User Senior Member
    I can't speak from experience since I'm just going to be a freshman, but I'm pretty sure the rigor will be comparable. Yale is offering 17 courses in Electrical Engineering this semester, whereas MIT might offer around 100 or more. Another edge that students at Caltech, MIT, and Stanford have is that they graduate hundreds of engineers, so a wide variety of engineering firms recruit there. Yale has far fewer graduates, and thus less firms recruit on campus.

    On the flip side though, Yale's student to professor ratio for the engineering/applied sciences is 1:1, whereas it'll be much higher at other schools. If you really want to work for a company that doesn't recruit at Yale, I think the individualized attention would really help you in landing the gig because the professors are top notch and know people, can write superb recs, etc.
  • livorneolivorneo Posts: 138Registered User Junior Member
    When I visited Yale and took the Engineering Tour, our tour guide was a senior (I believe) mechanical engineering major, and he was extremely happy both with the quality of education and the opportunities, internships, and job offers he was receiving. He also said he honestly could not think of a single thing he would change about his experience with the engineering dept. So, although I have not experienced the engineering program myself yet, I believe its quality should be excellent and like all things, it is also what you make of it.
  • objobsobjobs Posts: 192- Junior Member
    I am not going to advise whether or not you should pursue engineering at Yale. But I will challenge some of the (very weak) arguments made by previous posters.

    An0maly wrote:
    I think an engineering education at Yale is as good if not better than any other school out there


    This is an extremely lofty and boastful claim. Care to back it up with better support than the following?
    An0maly wrote:
    The professors are excellent, engineers go on to whatever they want to do, and the courses are definitely tough.


    Because these kinds of generic things could be said about pretty much any decent engineering program.

    An0maly wrote:
    Yale's student to professor ratio for the engineering/applied sciences is 1:1


    I've seen Yalies throwing this factoid around on a number of occasions; but I've never actually seen a source. Now let's assume it's accurate. Leaving aside the matter as to whether or not a 1:1 ratio is necessary or even preferable, I'll give you an analogy. Caltech's overall ratio is something like 5:1. For their English majors, the ratio probably approaches (if not equals or surpasses) 1:1. Would you advise a prospective student to go to Caltech to study English? Why or why not?

    An0maly wrote:
    If you really want to work for a company that doesn't recruit at Yale, I think the individualized attention would really help you in landing the gig because the professors are top notch and know people, can write superb recs, etc.


    I think that going to a school where that company actually recruits would increase your odds of "landing the gig." But then again, that's just me.

    livorneo wrote:
    When I visited Yale and took the Engineering Tour, our tour guide was a senior (I believe) mechanical engineering major, and he was extremely happy

    Uh, he's a TOUR GUIDE. Don't you think that Yale would choose as happy an engineer as possible to give engineering tours? What makes you think that his experiences are remotely representative?
    livorneo wrote:
    He also said he honestly could not think of a single thing he would change about his experience with the engineering dept.


    If he's being "honest," then he lacks imagination or initiative. No engineering program is perfect and cannot be improved upon, let alone Yale's.
  • ripemangoripemango Posts: 956Registered User Member
    YeloPen, he's not arguing for the sake of arguing, at least that's how I see it. This is an important question, I too would like to know how Yale's engineering is. Is there grade inflation, are there many research oppurtunities (probably, with the 1:1 ratio right?), and why is it not highly ranked?
  • YeloPenYeloPen Posts: 523Registered User Member
    ^ Sorry, I deleted my earlier post. I decided that it's not a good idea to argue like that.

    It is an important question, but arguing against points and not bringing up opposing evidence is pointless ... and if you want to know those things about Yale's engineering program, his response is certainly not helping you find those things out. His statements are as sweeping as those he's arguing against and many are based on faulty logic.

    I'm pretty sure there's no grade inflation in engineering; just because the program isn't ranked as highly doesn't mean it's going to be easier. In fact, seeing all the complaints and such about science and engineering classes I could argue the opposite: it's ranking is low because it's program is tiny because many people aren't ready for the rigor. And in my honest opinion, rankings are bogus. There's a ranking out there based on research impact per paper and Yale engineering is ranked number one. I'm not saying that it's a legit ranking, but it just goes to show you how weird rankings are.

    As for research opportunities, I've talked to some science and engineering students at Yale and they say they're abundant, especially in engineering because, as you mentioned, the ratio is 1:1. They also told me that the $1 billion grant to science and engineering would help with those opportunities, especially paid ones.

    As for Yale's engineering ranking, like I said, I don't think rankings are very useful. They're based on things like program size and just because Yale's program is small doesn't mean it's bad. It's also based on things like reputation; reputation is certainly important but I'd say it's based mostly on famous alumni and people doing groundbreaking research and stuff which really has little to do with your undergrad experience and teaching quality. Harvard has so many famous professors doing world-famous research, yet it's notorious for having poor teaching.

    I'm not claiming that Yale is a better engineering school than say, MIT or Stanford. I'm just saying that I think it's perfectly fine to attend Yale for undergrad as an engineer and that it's made out to be a lot worse than it really is just because of its ranking.
  • objobsobjobs Posts: 192- Junior Member
    YeloPen wrote:
    Quote:
    This is an extremely lofty and boastful claim. Care to back it up with better support than the following?

    Care to give reasons that it's NOT a good program?


    I never argued that Yale engineering is not a "good" program; in fact, I remained fairly non-committal on this issue. I only said that the above poster provided no good evidence that "an engineering education at Yale is as good if not better than any other school out there."

    YeloPen wrote:
    Quote:
    Because these kinds of generic things could be said about pretty much any decent engineering program.

    Then Yale is a decent engineering program?


    Did I ever say that it wasn't? Again, I just questioned the (poorly supported) claim the Yale's engineering program is "as good if not better than any other school out there."

    YeloPen wrote:
    Quote:
    I've seen Yalies throwing this factoid around on a number of occasions; but I've never actually seen a source. Now let's assume it's accurate.

    Then you really haven't done any research on Yale, huh? Don't try to discredit stats


    I didn't try to "discredit" the stats. I even assumed their accuracy. I just doubted their relevance.

    YeloPen wrote:
    Quote:
    Leaving aside the matter as to whether or not a 1:1 ratio is necessary or even preferable, I'll give you an analogy. Caltech's overall ratio is something like 5:1. For their English majors, the ratio probably approaches (if not equals or surpasses) 1:1. Would you advise a prospective student to go to Caltech to study English? Why or why not?

    Nobody said that student:faculty ratio alone makes a great program.


    I never accused anybody of saying that. I was trying to suggest that it may not make any more sense to study engineering at Yale than English at Caltech. Student:faculty ratios, be d@mned!

    YeloPen wrote:
    Quote:
    I think that going to a school where that company actually recruits would increase your odds of "landing the gig." But then again, that's just me.

    I certainly don't disagree here, but since we're just arguing for the sake of arguing, I know several people doing engineering at Yale and they're having no trouble landing gigs with great companies.


    Good for them. But what about the ones who do have "trouble?" They probably would've encountered less trouble at some of Yale's peer institutions where a higher number of great engineering firms recruit.

    YeloPen wrote:
    Quote:
    Uh, he's a TOUR GUIDE. Don't you think that Yale would choose as happy an engineer as possible to give engineering tours? What makes you think that his experiences are remotely representative?

    Of course there's going to be a bias because he's a Yale-selected tour guide. But since we're arguing because it's cool, what makes you think that his experiences are not representative?


    Because, like you said, there is selection bias. Sure, it's possible that the tour guide's opinions could be representative of that of other Yale engineers, but it's highly unlikely (for practical purposes). Thus I have little to no reason to believe that the typical Yale engineer cannot "think of a single thing he [or she] would change about his [or her] experience with the engineering dept." If so, then that's another dilemma altogether.

    YeloPen wrote:
    Quote:
    If he's being "honest," then he lacks imagination or initiative. No engineering program is perfect and cannot be improved upon, let alone Yale's.

    What does this contribute to the discussion?


    I believe that I gave the OP food for thought. But you've made it (perfectly) clear that you don't think what I've said contributes to the discussion. So, in your mind, you've already answered your own question.
  • objobsobjobs Posts: 192- Junior Member
    YeloPen wrote:
    Sorry, I deleted my post.


    Too late...
  • YeloPenYeloPen Posts: 523Registered User Member
    ^ haha, it's all good.

    I just don't see the point in arguing as you have done. Although you did not mention it explicitly, by arguing against points made earlier about Yale's engineering being a great program, you suggest that you think otherwise (whether or not that may be the case). Perhaps the claims made were sweeping and unsupported, but by not bringing up opposing evidence yourself, assuming that they're true and that they're false are equally reasonable.
    Because, like you said, there is selection bias. Sure, it's LOGICALLY possible that the tour guide's opinions could be representative of that of other Yale engineers, but it's highly unlikely (for PRACTICAL purposes).

    There's only a significant selection bias if you know that the rest of the engineers at Yale have a significantly different opinion. And I don't think it's logical to assume that other Yale engineers aren't very satisfied with their experience too.
    Thus I have little to no reason to believe that the typical Yale engineer cannot "think of a single thing he [or she] would change about his [or her] experience with the engineering dept."

    Again, these are commonly made statements that should not be interpreted literally to mean that the department is perfect, but rather that the person is generally very satisfied with his/her experience.
  • An0malyAn0maly Posts: 2,452Registered User Senior Member
    This is an extremely lofty and boastful claim. Care to back it up with better support than the following?

    I think Yale's engineering is comparable to a lot of good programs, but with a smaller size and smaller course offering, and it's better than most of the other schools who can't offer as many opportunities. I didn't mean to claim that Yale engineering is better than any other school out there, because that is clearly wrong.

    Good for them. But what about the ones who do have "trouble?" They probably would've encountered less trouble at some of Yale's peer institutions where a higher number of great engineering firms recruit.

    At the same time, however, there is less competition. Let's say you want to work at Boeing. They recruit at MIT, and there are MANY engineers who would want those jobs. Thus, Boeing would allot more spaces for MIT grads because of the higher demand. At Yale, there's only going to be a couple of people who want a Boeing job, so Boeing would similarly take less Yale grads. It basically boils down to many slots/many applicants versus few slots/few applicants.

    I don't think a Yale engineering education is better than a MIT/Stanford/Caltech education, but I do believe it's as good as. Are there going to be as many opportunities? Probably not. A university can only allot so much for 100 engineers versus 1000 at MIT. Nonetheless, I think there are a vast amount of opportunities at Yale - enough to satisfy all the engineers - but definitely not as many as MIT.

    If somebody asked me whether to go to Yale or MIT for engineering, I'd ask them what their orientation is. MIT kids love science/technology and can be content doing it all day long. They have other strong departments but they are KNOWN for engineering. If a kid wants his main focus to be engineering and to spend a good amount of his time doing that, then he should go to MIT.

    On the other hand, Yale's main strength is humanities. If a kid wanted an engineering education but also a very broad liberal arts curriculum, then I'd say Yale is the better choice. It's not like you're going to be any less of an engineer.

    Furthermore, if you think you want to do engineering but aren't sure, I'd say Yale is a better choice.

    I'm majoring in Computer Science, and I turned down Carnegie Mellon and some other great schools for Yale. If financials weren't a factor, I would still do that. CMU is a great school that's known for CS, and it's got a wonderful program - higher ranked than Yale. Nonetheless, I felt I would have a better overall curriculum at Yale, and I would have liked this place more. If I was interested in spending my time doing CS 100% of the time, then I would've picked CMU. It's really about what your goals are for your education.
  • objobsobjobs Posts: 192- Junior Member
    I was going to address your "less competition" argument. But I suspect that the OP has not been totally serious with his or her inquiries about Yale:


    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/1065355046-post82.html

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/1065357883-post89.html
  • sic_infitsic_infit Posts: 564Registered User Member
    ^ no I seriously do want to know how strong Yale's engineering is.
  • objobsobjobs Posts: 192- Junior Member
    Why would someone like you be interested in such an "easy" major as engineering?

    sic_infit wrote:
    oh yeah, im sure majoring in engineering is hard *sarcasm*

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/1065368360-post20.html

    sic_infit wrote:
    yeah right caltech is stressful. i can get an A+ in any high school math/science there is, why would caltech be any different

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/1065092276-post8.html

    sic_infit wrote:
    Caltech would not be any different, piece of cake I would get A's.

    http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/1065367505-post18.html


    If Caltech's gonna be a "piece of cake" for you, what's Yale (engineering)?
  • sic_infitsic_infit Posts: 564Registered User Member
    those are sarcastic, i have a double CC personality and the other me happens to be a troll,
    now please I'd like to hear more input.
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