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Determining Culture of Engineering Programs

CC AdminCC Admin 29515 replies2992 threadsAdministrator Senior Member
This discussion was created from comments split from: Women in Engineering.
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Replies to: Determining Culture of Engineering Programs

  • ssshenssshen 22 replies1 threads Junior Member
    My daughter has applied to eight large public universities for BME. She has been accepted to two Big Ten BME programs, and is waiting to hear on the others. We have visited each school and have learned lot about the overall school vibe, but trying to get to the culture of the engineering programs is a little tougher. For example, which are more weed out programs, which are more supportive. Are the students truly collaborative or not? As she starts to narrow her choices, I’m wondering if there are any tips that’d you’d offer about finding about the culture of these programs? Thank you in advance
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8288 replies70 threads Senior Member
    @ssshen Are some of these schools close enough to sit in on some engineering classes? You can tell a lot by watching how students and profs interact with each other.

    Your D can also ask departments for her intended major how courses are graded, average GPA, number of As, etc....

    It also matters if there is a competitive GPA based transition to major after first year vs a direct entry into BME.

    Is there a first year collaborative project design class at the schools on the list?

    What do current students say? If you weren’t able to visit, it’s possible to ask admissions to talk to a current BME student. Your D can also ask to do an overnight for the schools where she’s been accepted.

    Definitely agree that there is often a disconnect between what is advertised and the student experience so it’s wise to dig deeper.
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  • ssshenssshen 22 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Thank you! These are great tips. I’ll hate these with her! Of the schools, only two are nearby, most are a 6-hour+ drive or plane ride. Most of the schools aren't direct admit to BME, but direct admit to engineering.
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  • momofsenior1momofsenior1 8288 replies70 threads Senior Member
    @ssshen have your D find out the GPA threshold to transition into her major. At Purdue, where my D goes to school, that was the most competitive major to get into last year. Some of her friends made the published cut off but still end up being closed out of the major as it was capped at 100 students. They are now doing mechanical engineering with a BME concentration so will be just fine but still something to consider.
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 9131 replies80 threads Senior Member
    Good hints above.

    Per BME, if you have not already done so check out the various threads BME here. Depending on her goals, it may be worth considering other engineering fields with aim to work in Biomed industry.
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  • ssshenssshen 22 replies1 threads Junior Member
    Great ideas! Thank you again!
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  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus 79704 replies712 threads Senior Member
    In terms of "weed out", check:

    A. Does the student have direct admission to the major?

    B. If the answer to A is yes, is there a progression requirement involving grades or GPA higher than 2.0 or C?

    C. If the answer to A is no, what are the criteria for entering the desired major?
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5618 replies122 threads Senior Member
    Unfortunately, the best time to have asked that question was before she determined where she was going to apply. That's when questions regarding class size, who teaches them, research and club opportunities, direct admit to major, grades required to get into a major where it's competitive, etc. are best asked. There's no reason to apply to a school that isn't a "fit." Since that ship has sailed, I wouldn't worry too much about it. She chose the schools she chose for a reason. Her success will be far more dependent on what she does no matter where she lands. Her gut will guide her to the best answer for her.
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