Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Minnesota or Wisconsin

aswat12389aswat12389 Registered User Posts: 296 Junior Member
edited April 2007 in Engineering Majors
So, I've been admitted to both schools and intend on majoring in electrical engineering. I've asked to teachers whose opinions I respect which school they think is better and one said Minnesota, the other said Wisconsin. Does anyone else have any thoughts on which school is better in terms of reputation, career placement alumni network, and facilities. Money is not a major consideration either way as I am a Minnesota resident and tuition at either school comes out to be about the same. Also, any comments on campus life, location etc. would be appreciated as well. Thanks.
Post edited by aswat12389 on

Replies to: Minnesota or Wisconsin

  • greennbluegreennblue Registered User Posts: 1,736 Senior Member
    In terms of academic reputation, Wisconsin wins easily.
  • Vespucci_044Vespucci_044 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    In terms of engineering I don't think there is much of a difference. Wisconsin is ranked only a few places higher, but both are strong engineering schools. Campus life in Madison is rivaled by few (if you enjoy the out going social life).

    I am going into Chemical Engineering at UMN, but have also thoroughly considered Madison. Both schools seemed to have about the same gen. engineering reputation, but UMN was much ranked high in ChemE.

    Personally I preferred the campus of UMN over that of UWI. UWI campus is very spread out whereas UMN is nicely concentrated providing easy access to all classes.

    I also think that UMN has more research opportunities for engineering. (especially ChemE and MechE). But you will get an outstanding education no matter which school you decide to attend.
  • aswat12389aswat12389 Registered User Posts: 296 Junior Member
    Vespucci, Was there one reason why you choose the U of M over other schools? Did you get a chance to visit? What did you think of the dorms?
  • Vespucci_044Vespucci_044 Registered User Posts: 21 New Member
    Yes I got a chance to visit both UWI and UMN. There wasn't one particular reason why I decided to attend UMN. Like I said I was impressed with UMN's campus layout; it seemed more organized and accessible than UWI. Other than that they have a strong engineering program (especially for my major: ChemE) and the research opportunities are huge.

    The dorms seemed to be about the same for both schools. Both schools have very nice buildings and facilities. Overall both are excellent schools academically.

    *Keep in mind that one of my major reasons for attending UMN is its strong ChemE program. You are looking to major in EE and I believe UWI ranks higher in that disipline. But once again you will get a great education no matter which school you decide on.
  • aswat12389aswat12389 Registered User Posts: 296 Junior Member
    Yeah, Minnesota is 24 and Wisconsin is 14. I guess in my mind that is not a huge difference considering there are hundreds of EE programs. Besides I'm Still undecided between EE and ME and MN is 14 and WI is 18 in ME and overall MN is 19 WI 13. All of those seem like splitting hairs to say one is clearly better than the other. What are other people's opinions.
  • aswat12389aswat12389 Registered User Posts: 296 Junior Member
    Bump... Anyone?
  • ArPlaquetteArPlaquette Registered User Posts: 32 Junior Member
    UMN Engineering specializes in ChemE and UWisco has an overall stronger engineering school, so I'd go with UWisco if you are splitting hairs at this point.

    I haven't visited either campus, though, so I cannot give a solid response to your query.
  • LookingFowardLookingFoward Registered User Posts: 102 Junior Member
    Wait, isn't it some like 3rd place for UMN and 4th for UWI in ChemE? Not really a difference at all, at least in terms of rankings. I personally like UWI better, as the atmosphere is a lot more friendly it seems. Too much partying, it seems, but nice nonetheless.
  • barronsbarrons Registered User Posts: 24,858 Senior Member
    UW grads have more school pride and the school is more geographically diverse. Also better sports and campus social life. Many UM students are commuters.
  • dallas808dallas808 Registered User Posts: 768 Member
    Let me begin by saying both engineering schools are very well regarded and recruited. ChemE at both places are among the most rigorous programs (top 5) so to argue one is "better" than the other is like debating "MIT vs Berkeley for CS". If you survive the training at either place, you will do just fine.

    OP: Both ECE programs should provide nearly identical experience and for that matter most of the top 20/25 ECE programs. Generally, the difference lies on the specialization of their graduate programs which indirectly influence one's undergrad research experience. ECE @ UW continues to receive great funding and produces breakthrough results at all core ECE areas, be it power or VLSI.

    Honestly, these stuffs should never be a major concern for most freshmen. You are better off worrying about the "fit", social life etc. So visit both places.

    But, if by any chance you already speak the ECE language very well, PM me and I will hook you with my former ECE advisor @ UW so you two can chat offline.

    If research is in your future, you should know that a hallmark of UW is that any undergrad may pursue his/her own independent research. The key is to find a professor who is willing to direct you and many do! You don't even need to be in the honors program to do this. So, there's something to keep in mind.

    Also read #8 at http://talk.collegeconfidential.com/showthread.php?t=325529
  • GolfingMomGolfingMom Registered User Posts: 252 Junior Member
    "If research is in your future, you should know that a hallmark of UW is that any undergrad may pursue his/her own independent research. The key is to find a professor who is willing to direct you and many do! You don't even need to be in the honors program to do this. So, there's something to keep in mind."

    You can do this at Minnesota also. If you are undecided, I would compare the ability to transfer from EE to ME at both schools and first two years of classes.
    Have you applied for housing at either? Is housing guaranteed at UWI?

    Is there a GPA requirement to get into either upper division program?
  • dallas808dallas808 Registered User Posts: 768 Member
    Good points, Golfingmom. I afraid OP is going to have an even tougher time to decide. ;) BTW, UW had its annual Undergraduate (Research) Symposium yesterday. You can get a feel of various undergraduate research projects from the abstract here http://www.learning.wisc.edu/ugsymposium/UG_book.pdf
    I would compare the ability to transfer from EE to ME at both schools
    Usually not an issue to change department @ UW.

    OP: I think you want to dig in more on the first-year programs at both places. Do they expose you enough to make an educated decision? UW has a dedicated team of advising and tutoring staffs (the EGR office). The three "intro-to-engineering"-type required courses are very inter-disciplinary.
This discussion has been closed.