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In a big dilemma...please give your thoughts

shoebox10shoebox10 Registered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
edited December 2006 in Engineering Majors
Im currently a freshman at Virginia Tech, studying General Engineering, and planning to major in EE. However, i'm not sure I totally like it here, and are planning on atleast applying to transfer. The schools i'm going to apply to are UT-Austin and UVA. Obviously I (and any engineer) would love to go to UT because their programs are top-notch and its a bigger school, however I live in No. Virginia and do like being with hours of home and I love living in the state. The whole aspect of being in Texas actually makes UT-austin my second choice in transfer schools, putting UVA first. I know UVA has a high level of prestige overall (ranked #2 public school), but I know that they're engineering is #32 compared to #17 VT and #13 UT-austin. However, they're EE program is ranked #21 versus VT #20 and UT #11. So in reality, within my degree, the schools are very close to each other.
The reasons I want to transfer is that I hate the fact that its ONLY engineering at VT, and for senior year, you simply work on a senior project or do research, then document it in classes, whereas at UVA and UT, you actually write a senior thesis while doing project/research. Also, i'm a strong student in liberal arts, and theres no way to use that strength at VT, whereas UVA's engineering program is more liberal arts approached, and theres more room for electives and liberal-arts type classes, and I think getting a broad education as well as a good engineering education is important.
So, is it a valid argument to want to go down in rankings in engineering overall, yet only a few down in my actual major, but go to a better public university that offers a broader education?

By the way, i probably will have a 3.3 (C in chemistry...this is why im doing EE =P) for the fall, and VA resident and female, and i had a 4.2 senior year, 1380 SAT, so i think UVA is a match as long as i write killer essays (which im going to...again, i destroyed high school english and history class essays, and lovelovelove writing) and good recs, especially since they try to take 75% in-state, AND about 50% of E-school transfer applicants, and coming from VT
Post edited by shoebox10 on

Replies to: In a big dilemma...please give your thoughts

  • dr_reynoldsdr_reynolds Registered User Posts: 536 Member
    I think the best advice is not to worry about the rankings.
  • shoebox10shoebox10 Registered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    im trying not to, especially since theyre all sooo close and all in the top 30, and top 20 for EE...im just trying to get some arguments to convince the parents this is a good move
  • GatorEng23GatorEng23 Registered User Posts: 1,571 Senior Member
    How does funding for you look like between the three schools?
  • redbeardredbeard Registered User Posts: 308 Member
    Shoebox, my son is a senior at UVa. (Okay, they call it a "fourth year" but I'll use non-UVAspeak for us normal people). We had a choice between UVa and tech. I paid a lot of attention to the senior year at the two schools: the quality of the capstone and thesis experience. I'm really glad I did. His capstone group is challenging and very topical. It's funded by an NSF grant, and the group has four students. They meet with a prof several times a week.

    They take the thesis seriously. He's had to rewrite several times and, when he's done, it will be something he'll be very proud of. Right now, he's working his tail off.

    My attitude is that fresman year is about the same everywhere. Engineering schools really distinguish themselves in the final year. I'm sure you'd be happy with UVa.

    And, of course, this is a much bigger consideration than the 'rankings' beauty contest.
  • shoebox10shoebox10 Registered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    gatoreng23 - im in-state for VT and UVA, and VT and UVA are i think less than $1000 difference...UVA and VT are not financial issues, as i have loans (a whooping grand a year...its incentive to keep up the grades because no Cs and my parents pay it off)...UT ill have loans, obviously, but my parents make enough money that im pretty open to wherever (dont hate me, please...im still a first-gen. college kid) as long as i pick up some scholarships and take out loans

    redbeard- thats what i LOVE about UVA's engineering: the senior year thesis...i just think that it would prepare me for anything...while tech too does "senior projects" its more team-based and theres less individual reward...i think writing a senior year thesis is an exceptional idea, as it ties in both engineering and english/writing skills, and you need both in the real world..that right there is what hooks me about UVA: not only do you get a solid engineering education, but you get an excellent, broad education...
    as for the rankings, the rankings honestly do not mean anything to me, personally, i just like to have some data to back up my argument that UVA is just as good as VT when it comes to EE...

    PS- as of today, it looks like my final GPA for first semester will be around a 3.3...is this going to keep me out of UVA?? 4.2 senior GPA, 3.6 HS (i had 5 APs senior year, and its the only year i had straight As and a B+ every quarter, except for the last, which was all As =P...im such an idiot for screwin off during junior year), 1380 SAT, female, INSTATE
  • boomer01boomer01 Registered User Posts: 891 Member
    You are in-state, you shouldn't have a problem transferring.
  • nshah9617nshah9617 Registered User Posts: 1,005 Senior Member
    Well, UT-Austin is a wonderful school in engineering and anything else. There are similar programs at UT; you can write a thesis for any major or you could a dual Plan II and Engineering degree.

    The only downside is that you are an out of state student and will therefore have to pay hefty fees.
  • shoebox10shoebox10 Registered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    Yeah, UVA as of right now is my first choice (as in if i got into UVA, i'd go, in a heartbeat)
    im set on applying, just because I know that I could get a very well rounded education at UVA that is supurb, and the rankings really dont matter much since they all are within 10 of each other, and all in the top 20s for EE
  • GatorEng23GatorEng23 Registered User Posts: 1,571 Senior Member
    shoebox, I think you will be able to transfer fine.
  • shoebox10shoebox10 Registered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    eh, GPA only looks to be a 3.2, maybe 3.3 first semester =( i think this is going to hurt me, especially since im a soph-transfer with only a 3.6 HS
  • redbeardredbeard Registered User Posts: 308 Member
    SB10, I'll let you in on a little secret. UVa's e-school is most concerned about the bright kids who move over to "the college" from the e-school. They implored us lowly parents to help motivate students to stay in engineering. (That's a sign of how desperate they are. They normally don't recognize our existence as parents.)

    So, if I understand you right, you'd be transferring into the e-school as a survivor of Tech's weed-out process? I think your chances are excellent.

    And, if you're planning on double-majoring with something over in the college, your only problem would be too many choices. My son double-majored in econ. I think he enjoyed every course--it's a great compliment to an engineering degree. Of course, music or history or astronomy are also choices. And, since you're in the e-school, you have no language requirement.

    You should know, however, that UVa's engineering school has fewer choices than big ol' Tech. The traditional majors are all available, of course. UVa has recently expanded bioengineering into a department. Systems engineering, one of UVa's largest majors, is not offered at Tech. And, UVa 'demoted' the aerospace department into the mechanical engineering dept. There are some good choices here and--in my opinion--some bad choices. Bottom line: engineers need to pay attention to the 'market signal' and not the major-of-the-month.

    Best of luck--I'll be happy to answer any questions.
  • shoebox10shoebox10 Registered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    im digging up this post again because now im down to the "apply or not apply" time, and this is also where i have to convince my parents this could be a good move...
    all the stats are the same, except for a 3.1 first semester GPA (i got a B- in geology =( however, my major-classes gpa is a 3.3, all As/Bs)...im taking 17 credits next semester, and i'll have all of UVA's e-school requirements completed, plus two extra math classes...im now a VT SGA senator (3am application whim after i was recommended by my advisor, and i got it haha), and are working in the math emporium as a tutor (paid) next semester..

    so, is UVA a smart move from VT for EE?
  • amnesiaamnesia Registered User Posts: 2,153 Senior Member
    your gpa is solid
  • shoebox10shoebox10 Registered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
    im not worried about my chances, im worried about if this is a good move or not
  • shoebox10shoebox10 Registered User Posts: 3,559 Senior Member
This discussion has been closed.