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Engineering at Harvard?

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Replies to: Engineering at Harvard?

  • retiredfarmerretiredfarmer Registered User Posts: 643 Member
    edited November 26
    A large part of a broad education is the development of an open ended intellectual perspective. It is not necessarily the completion and recitation of a specific set of courses. A broad education is about "learning how to learn" as no program is going to give you all the SPECIFIC tools you are going to need to design a solution. A basic component of this attitude is an open minded respect for the unknown and the fortitude to plug ahead into the unknown. Listening respectfully and independently by exploring other disciplines and the other team members' approaches builds a tool kit which cannot be defined by a specific set of courses.

    At the risk of loosing some readers, an old hunter recently reminded me that there is more than one way to dress a dear.
  • GourmetmomGourmetmom Registered User Posts: 2,725 Senior Member
    edited November 29
    @retiredfarmer I think you're referring to the five year masters program in engineering. An Sc.B. at Brown is a four-year program. Because Brown does not have a core curriculum and only concentration requirements, most engineering concentrators have enough room in their schedule to take a range of non-STEM classes and most would say that they have a liberal education after four years. Also, many students do joint concentrations, and it is quite common to earn an Sc.B. along with an A.B. in four years.
  • blevineblevine Registered User Posts: 856 Member
    As a young program, not long ago Harvard was not yet accredited in engineering, and this accreditation process is by major. Takes at least 4 years to be accredited, you have to graduate students in each major before you can be accredited. This means someone has to graduate from a non-accredited school... brave souls.

    The selling point to small engineering programs in liberal arts colleges (Swarthmore, Union College NY too) is you get the fundamentals in math/science/etc, and if you do well can easily go to grad school for more specialized topics.
    Going straight into the job market is a different story, I think an established engineering college with more alumni in the field, and more upper level courses would be better.

    No matter what school you attend, there are so many engineering course requirements, there are less credits allocated to liberal arts coursework, regardless of the quality of those liberal arts courses. No doubt Harvard, Cornell and Penn would have great liberal arts courses, but you'll only take so many regardless. But you will get the better, more practical engineering education at Cornell or Penn. If you are comparing to MIT, RPI, etc, well then maybe the liberal arts courses are indeed inferior to Harvard. That's why Cornell/Penn or other large universities that are well established in both engineering AND liberal arts would be your best bet.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 72,076 Senior Member
    edited November 29
    Gourmetmom wrote:
    An Sc.B. at Brown is a four-year program. Because Brown does not have a core curriculum and only concentration requirements, most engineering concentrators have enough room in their schedule to take a range of non-STEM classes and most would say that they have a liberal education after four years.

    Because ABET accreditation requires general education requirements, Brown does require engineering majors to take 4 humanities and social studies courses, though this is a smaller percentage of the overall degree requirements than at some other schools like MIT, Caltech, and Harvey Mudd.

    In terms of total liberal arts courses, note that ABET-accredited programs also need to have 1/4 of the degree requirements as math and natural sciences, in addition to the general education requirements.
    blevine wrote:
    As a young program, not long ago Harvard was not yet accredited in engineering, and this accreditation process is by major.

    Harvard's engineering science program has been ABET accredited since 1962, but its EE and ME programs have been ABET accredited only since 2013.

    http://main.abet.org/aps/AccreditedProgramsDetails.aspx?OrganizationID=705&ProgramIDs=
  • IncorE206IncorE206 Registered User Posts: 51 Junior Member
    edited December 3
    chercheur wrote:
    I would not select Harvard for engineering. There are so many other colleges that are great engineering schools.

    The worst decision to give someone wanting to major in Engineering. I would have to disagree with you on that. If someone graduated from Harvard University in Engineering and they are applying for a position you are not going to hire them than?
    happy1 wrote:
    Harvard is not especially well known for engineering. That said, it is not worth worrying about until you are accepted.

    The same I would have to disagree with you. Everything at an ivy league college is good. I don't care if Harvard's Engineering program is not ABET accredited. There is a reason that Harvard don't accredit there engineering programs. One reason is because they don't want ABET to tell Harvard how to teach not because the engineering programs in Harvard is not eligible for accreditation. I don't care what the other threads say, also. I wouldn't question the engineering program in Harvard.
    HPuck35 wrote:
    Bottom line; I wouldn't rule out engineering at Harvard, although there is a school both down the street and down the river that would be better for engineering. I'd just keep my options open.

    That would be the correct attitude to approach things. Harvard Engineering is not bad.
  • KnowsstuffKnowsstuff Registered User Posts: 1,467 Senior Member
    I would think this question might be answered better on the engineering forum on CC. Those people tend to be in the trenches and would know.
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