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Clarkson? Mines? Need feedback on Engineering schools.


Replies to: Clarkson? Mines? Need feedback on Engineering schools.

  • MaineLonghornMaineLonghorn Super Moderator Posts: 39,279 Super Moderator
    MODERATOR'S NOTE: Please don't turn this thread into an argument. Posts should be answers to OP's question.
  • G&HMomG&HMom Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    edited August 2017
    Thank you for the feedback and for sharing what you know about the schools!

    @katliamom We visited Mines, and she loved the campus/surrounding area/plethora of activities available within close proximity. However, she toured it during the summer when there were very few students on campus and couldn't get a good feel for the social dynamics and personalities. She is very studious and a hard worker; she is also fairly outgoing/happy and enjoys being involved in different things. (My point here is that she won't be happy at a school where students are so focused academically that they don't want to take a break--or can't due to volume of workload--to do an activity or be involved in a club.) She wasn't able to get a "feel" for whether or not Mines was like that.

    We have not visited Clarkson but someone mentioned that it may be worth looking into for all the reasons @taverngirl mentioned.

    @Much2learn We haven't considered the gender gap issue or male/female ratio--thanks for bringing it up. We know the trend is high % male for engineering so it may open some opportunities for her--but haven't thought of it beyond that. I don't think my daughter feels this is an issue either way from a social/community standpoint (however, perhaps once you are at the school it really is an issue and she simply doesn't realize it?)

    She visited Lehigh. I loved it, but she didn't feel like it was a good fit for her. I am not sure why?
  • G&HMomG&HMom Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    edited August 2017
    @bopper Case Western has shown up in some of our research. Perhaps we overlooked it because we thought it was downtown. I will definitely take another look at it. She has a friend who is there playing on a sports team now. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.
  • CorbettCorbett Registered User Posts: 3,438 Senior Member
    edited August 2017
    Case Western Reserve University was founded in 1967, from the merger of "Western Reserve University" and the "Case Institute of Technology". The former "Case Institute of Technology" was basically a traditional private engineering school.

    So Case Western today is sort of like Rice or Lehigh, in that it was originally a traditional engineering school that subsequently broadened its scope, in this case through a merger with an arts & sciences school. Case Western is still an AITU member, although Rice and Lehigh have dropped out.
  • G&HMomG&HMom Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    Thanks, everyone, for the great info!

    @taverngirl Clarkson was on our list for all the reasons you mentioned. We haven't had a chance to visit, so thank you for your input.

    @katliamom She visited Mines, and she loved the campus/surrounding area. However, she visited it this summer and couldn't get a "feel" for the students or personalities. She is very studious and a hard worker. She is also outgoing and likes to be involved. She truly enjoys being challenged academically, but I also know she won't be happy in an environment where students are so focused that they don't (or can't because of sheer work volume) take a break from time to time to get outside/be involved in other things. We have heard that some engineering schools/programs are like this, and we have avoided those. Wasn't sure about Mines?

    @patatty She loved WashU! She isn't sure she can get in..... You mentioned that your daughter is at Cornell which was another one on our list, but once again, not sure she can get in. These may be her "reach" schools. She hasn't visited Cornell.

    @Corbett Great info. Thank you. We haven't thought too much about the gender ratio other than engineering tends to trend predominantly male. Aside from possibly working in her favor from an admissions standpoint, I don't think she considers this an issue (socially?). Perhaps it is once she is in the environment?

    She isn't interested in mining--just a strong engineering school or a school that has a strong engineering program. One of the smaller schools she considered was W&L. Beautiful campus! But after visiting and talking to a few people, she wasn't sure if the engineering program was well established (like it is at Lehigh). The school itself is reputable, but I think she was worried from an engineering standpoint and felt there may be better programs out there. (I am also paying attention to price! So applying to schools where her qualifications may help with merit or scholarship is a factor too!)

    Thanks again....any other thoughts are appreciated!
  • G&HMomG&HMom Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    I should also add that she has looked at UVA and VT. Her feeling is that VT is too big.
  • twoinanddonetwoinanddone Registered User Posts: 21,848 Senior Member
    I know quite a few female students at Mines. They are engineers, so seem a little more serious than students I know at bigger public colleges but it is not like visiting a no fun zone. When there were only 10% women at mines, the fraternities would invite sororities from CU to weekend parties. All weekend, from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. At noon on Sunday, some kind of bell rang and they went back to studying hard all week. Now that there are 30% women at mines, they don't do that as much.

    It really is a lovely school but it doesn't offer a lot of non-STEM classes. My daughter goes to a STEM school that does offer business, psychology and a few other majors, but she doesn't have time in her schedule to take them anyway.
  • katliamomkatliamom Registered User Posts: 12,875 Senior Member
    edited August 2017

    Assessing a school "vibe" tends to be individual and obviously one person's experience isn't going to be another's. As a whole, Mines is not known to offer a rich social/off-campus life and that is as much true as the fact that Boulder is known to be a party school. Yet obviously, students at both schools find their niche anyway, even if they are -- or aren't -- partiers. That said, I know 2 male students who transferred from Mines to other schools because they thought the school was too small, too focused on STEM and STEM only and too populated by guys who spend all their free time sitting alone in dark rooms playing computer games. Last year, I met two young recent Mines grads - women - at a function in Denver. They did not enjoy their social life at Mines and said they spent most of their free time with students at Boulder and Denver. Both flat out said there were only two good things about Mines: its thorough technical education and the handsome job offer upon graduation.
  • bopperbopper Forum Champion CWRU Posts: 13,904 Forum Champion
    Just to add..like mentioned above, the Western Reserve U was a liberal arts college that combined with Case Institute of Technology so you get the best of both worlds.
  • svcamomsvcamom Registered User Posts: 222 Junior Member
    Take a look at Vanderbilt . They are a small school that has very good engineering and a cute town.
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