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Rochester Institute of Technology has a top ranked engineering program?

aznsens8ionaznsens8ion Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
I got a letter today from RIT and in the letter it mentions that the school's college of engineering "has been ranked 4th in the nation by US News and World Reportand is now competing favorably in the doctoral degree category". is this true? even if it had been ranked that high, why is it so low now? (its about 70th)
Post edited by aznsens8ion on

Replies to: Rochester Institute of Technology has a top ranked engineering program?

  • world changerworld changer Registered User Posts: 2,503 Senior Member
    Are you sure you're not getting RIT confused with URochester?
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,523 Senior Member
    RIT has never been ranked 4th in the doctoral degree category. It might have been ranked 4th when it was in the masters degree category a few years ago. RIT just started its first PhD program, I think.

    Where else have you applied? Which type of engineering interests you? How did you do on the math SATs?
  • Charlie's WorldCharlie's World Registered User Posts: 493 Member
    RIT is third tier engineering. Look to UR, RPI, or maybe CWRU which gives nice aid packages. CMU is in the great city of Pittsburgh but will not dole out the $$$ like the school in far less appealing Cleveland.
  • aznsens8ionaznsens8ion Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
    ok thanks for the tips, but ya its RIT for sure and they claim that they had a 4th ranked engineering school (for bachelors im asuming). It must have been back in the 70s or something lol. I am also applying to most of the top ranked schools. Im only applying to RIT because they are waiving my application fee, so it doesnt hurt to apply. Do you know anything about Illinois Institute of Technology? they gave me a generous scholarship, but I dont know if it has a good engineering program.
  • Charlie's WorldCharlie's World Registered User Posts: 493 Member
    IIT is decent-- maybe on the same tier w/ RIT. Have you chked out Rose-Hulman if you're interested in the midwest?
  • aznsens8ionaznsens8ion Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
    no, is that a good school? ill take a look at it.
  • realized_fearrealized_fear Registered User Posts: 5 New Member
    It was ranked 4th overall in engineering by USNEWS for schools where masters are the highest degrees.

    You can refer to another post here

    To sum it up, RIT isn't ranked favorably because it has many mandatory 5 year programs, so four year graduation rates are extremely low. Also, teaching students is the primary focus and research is an after thought. Another strike against it.

    My take on the school is that it is much more respected in the industry than in academic circles. So if you want a job right out of school, this is the place. If you want to go for advanced degrees, you can definitely do better at a research school.
  • 20LEGEND20LEGEND Registered User Posts: 1,359 Senior Member
    I'd go for GT if I were you.
  • aznsens8ionaznsens8ion Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
    ok thanks for clearing that up, so which one do u guys think is better, IIT or RIT? im not applying to GT, i dont really want to live in georgia
  • 20LEGEND20LEGEND Registered User Posts: 1,359 Senior Member
    Very different schools. IIT is extremely small, in Chicago. RIT is fairly big.

    Both schools give out decent merit aid. Can you apply to both ?
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,523 Senior Member
    I think Illinois Inst Tech has a higher grad rate than RIT, 69% vs 59%.
  • taxguytaxguy Registered User Posts: 6,625 Senior Member
    Read my post about that deals with "overview of out visit to RIT." It is the sticky thread found at the top of the forum there.

    RIT is a great school for academics. Don't let anyone on these boards convince you otherwise. They also have a strong coop program that will give you some nice experience for your resume. In fact, I have rarely seen anyone on any forum knock the academic side of RIT. In fact, most schools that have coops aren't usually strong academically. RIT is strong in most areas academically too.

    Even in rankings by US News, one of the most important components is the Peer rankings,which is very high for RIT. Thus, it is well-regarded by other academic institutions.

    Their problems,which hurts them in the overall ratings and in forums, are several things unrelated to their academics:

    1. Because they have coops, their 4 year graduation rates are very low.
    2. Most kids complain that there isn't much to do at RIT. It isn't near anything, and there isn't much to do on campus.
    3. The weather is a killer. It is VERY cold and snowy. Thus, kids don't want to go outside and do things.
    4. RIT is a hard school. Their work and expectations are akin to Carnegie Mellon. The catch is that their average student isn't on the level of CMU, at least on paper. Many kids are surprised at this and transfer out or drop out,. which hurts RIT's rankings.

    Some have suggested Georgia Tech,which is well regarded. The problem with a state school these days is that they are subject to state budget cuts. I have seen this with my daughter at Cincinnati and REALLY don't like that. Budget cuts aren't as pervasive for the good private schools.

    Bottom line, RIT probably isn't as well thought of as schools like MIT, CalTech, RPI etc. However, if you want a strong school for academics, great coop for experience at a very reasonable price for a private school, RIT is a fine choice AS LONG AS you were willing to deal with the cold!
  • realized_fearrealized_fear Registered User Posts: 5 New Member

    not to be disrespectful, but i would highly suggest you do more research before you make statements for or against a particular school. in this case, rit. students would benefit for better researched and more insightful replies!

    let me clarify. rit's usnews doctoral engineering ranking of circa 70th is right in the stratosphere of schools such as university of rochester which you seem to advocate. this is impressive considering there are only a handful of doctoral programs available. the engineering program is definitely not third tier! it was ranked NATIONALLY, not regionally, for programs whose highest degree is a masters and beat out schools such as cooper union, the air force academy, and harvey mudd.

    the doctoral rankings are relatively low because there are so few doctoral programs! the school is just starting to add doctoral programs as of late 1990s early 2000s. furthermore, the school is just a really quirky univesity that doesnt follow a lot of the standard conventions of a good school. it get's penalized heavily for this.

    secondly, i believe i mentioned this in other posts but the four year graduation rate is low because it is not a four year school! there is approximately 1 year of mandatory coop (requirement for graduation).

    taxguy is right on the mark in saying that the quality of student is not up to par with that of CMU. the student body is well above average but falls short of elite schools. the overall average SAT of the school is 1220. the average SAT score for engineering school is slightly higher. when i was in the engineering school it was just shy of 1300. there IS alot of fall out in the engineering programs. i do believe that the students that do make it through to the end are on par with students from the elite universities. this is one of my major criticisms with the school. they need to tighten up admissions to be more in tune with the level of coursework.

    i can't speak on behalf of other schools/programs for this. but myself and my classmates are doing very well in the real world. You don't know how many RIT kids I bump into here at Intel. Some of the other companies that my friends are at are IBM (software dev), Samsung (software dev), Bose (firmware engineer), ATI (now AMD) (physical designer), and Microsoft( SDET or software design engineer in test).

    as far as advanced degrees are concerned, RIT sends less kids directly to grad school as the focus is on obtaining a career. however, some of my friends have found success in this arena as well. another one of my friends is doing a PHD program in bioinformatics at Yale (information technology BS and Bioninformatics MS from RIT). another is doing a PHD in EE at berkeley. i'm currently in the hunt for a PHD program since my company is sponsoring me. mind you, these aren't exceptional cases out of a large student body. these are the paths of a very small cricle of people close to me.

    furthermore, being a teaching institution rather than a research institution has its benefits despite being ranked poorly. i knew all of my professors and still maintain contact three years after graduation. i was by no means a teachers pet either. i was probably the biggest slacker to make it through the computer engineering program =). classes were small (between 15 and 25 typically) and their expectations of me were brutally high. you will find that some professors in research institutions treat teaching as an after thought. at rit, the professors are there for the sole purpose of teaching and leading students.

    this was long but i hope it was helpful. do your research and look at schools as more than just the sum of its parts or a number on a list!
  • aznsens8ionaznsens8ion Registered User Posts: 181 Junior Member
    wow seems like most of you have strong opinions about RIT, which I agree with. It seems like a very good school, but I am planning on going to medical school after I graduate with a bachelors degree in some sort of engineering, so that extra year might not work well with my plans. Also, is the campus life really that bad? I figured that its in a town with about 4 other colleges, there would be a lot of things to do, I guess not. Well I applied to IIT and RIT, RIT has not replied yet, but as i mentioned, IIT gave me a good amount of money, so Im definitly considering IIT as well.
  • collegehelpcollegehelp Registered User Posts: 6,523 Senior Member
    I am glad you and your friends found good jobs after graduating from RIT. I am not really trying to criticize RIT at all. I am just trying to help prospective students make informed choices.

    I think all schools are ultimately career-oriented, not just RIT.

    I think the graduation rates in US News are 6-year graduation rates, so coop would not account for RIT's lower grad rate.
This discussion has been closed.