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Environmental Engineering

dbk2024dbk2024 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
I recently learned that there is a completely new environmental engineering major at Harvard for 2019. I am very interested in this field, and I was wondering if admissions officers would more readily admit someone who wants to pursue environmental engineering, given that it is brand new and they will likely need people to fill it.

I'm a current junior, in my high school class of 2020, which means it would only be the second year this major exists by the time I would theoretically enter Harvard.

Replies to: Environmental Engineering

  • MWolfMWolf Registered User Posts: 565 Member
    edited March 3
    If you are interested in Environmental Engineering, I would go to a University which has a college of engineering. Despite multiple attempts at trying to make sure that it seem that Harvard Is The Best At Absolutely Everything, there are a large number of places with better engineering. The only Ivy that I would trust to be top in Engineering is Cornell.

    If you really want to go to a top Environmental Engineering school, and you live in TX, IL, MI, VA, IN, CA, or GA, you have in public schools which have better Env. Eng. programs than Harvard. Overall, If you want to go to a top engineering school, you go to MIT, Stanford, Caltech, GT, UIUC, UMich, UT Austin, Harvey Mudd, etc, NOT HYP, nor any other Ivy except Cornell.

    Being Accepted To Harvard because Harvard should not be more important than getting the best available education in your field. You are proposing to do your undergraduate in a department that is new and likely still not doing very well, in a school which is not known to be the best in the field, simple because of the fact that it has a good brand name in other, unrelated fields. If you are interested in engineering, you should be dreaming of MCS, not HYP.
  • dbk2024dbk2024 Registered User Posts: 6 New Member
    @MWolf

    Thank you for the response.

    Yes, I understand that Harvard's engineering lags far behind its other programs. I am certainly considering other schools that you mentioned, but I was just curious what effect applying for a new major might have on chances of acceptance.

    I am also not 100% set on studying environmental engineering. I am a bit torn between math/physics as well, and these are areas in which Ivies are relatively strong, hence my consideration of Harvard among other Ivies.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you that quality of education should play more of a role than prestige.
  • gibbygibby Registered User Posts: 10,677 Senior Member
    edited March 3
    If a high school student indicates they are interested in medicine, for example, an Admissions Office looks for evidence of their interest in their choice of EC's outside of the classroom and what that student has done during their summers to foster their interest. Ditto when a student says they are interested in environmental engineering, math/physics, music, theater, dance, studio art or any other major. Where's the proof??? That's what AO's are looking for at Harvard and virtually any top college.

    Saying you are very interested in studying environmental engineering's without the demonstrated YEARS of related EC's and summer activities will NOT help your chances one iota at Harvard or any other college. However, if a student has shown exceptional interest in a particular area of study -- and has the afterschool EC's and summer activities to back it up -- then an Admissions Officer might take that student seriously about their interest. And, if that area of deep interest also aligns with a new major in an area of study at a college -- THAT might kick a student over the fence into the admit pile. But as I previously stated, AO's are looking for the proof!

    Looking at your EC's list from your post history, you have one activity related to environmental engineering, so IMHO your interest would not be sufficient for an AO to say "Wow, this kid seems to be singularly focused on environmental engineering and doesn't appear that s/he will change their mind about it."
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