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UIUC or UPenn for engineering o.O

explodapopexplodapop Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
edited June 2008 in International Students
Hey, first post here.. :-)

So, this is my case, briefly put:
Currently at the University of Oslo (Norway). Applied to U. Illinois Urbana-Champaign, UPenn and Cornell as transfer. Major chemical engi, except UIUC (materials science and engi). I wouldn't mind studying either, as applied chemistry is basically what i want to study.

Accepted by UIUC and UPenn, still waiting for cornell's response. If I get accepted there, i'm going there. If I don't.. I really dunno what to pick. And time is running out to decide.. >.<. I'm confident that both unis can offer strong engineering programs, although UIUC is the more reputable within engineering. But then again, the college experience isn't only about outside reputation and rankings.. (yes, I am aware that overall UPenn is ranked higher than UIUC :P).

Any comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
Post edited by explodapop on
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Replies to: UIUC or UPenn for engineering o.O

  • lisieuxlisieux Registered User Posts: 357 Member
    I was told that for undergrad, the overall prestige of the university holds a larger importance than the excellence of the major/school itself, since in undergrad, the difference in the so-called "excellence" is negligible. What is also important is how familiar your future employer would be with your choice of uni. UPenn is obviously much more reputable than UIUC.

    I would have chosen UPenn in a heartbeat.

    (Anw I got offered UIUC's Civil Eng.)
  • pearlygatepearlygate Registered User Posts: 581 Member
    If you're an international student choose Upenn, if not UIUC.
  • ExplorerCYExplorerCY Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    that is completely false. UIUC is a much higher ranked engineering school that UPenn. if you want to study business or liberal arts, go to Penn. however, if you want to go to a university that is highly respected in the engineering community (which is really what matters when getting a job) go to UIUC.

    if you want to focus more on chemistry in general when you graduate (not chem/materials eng.) then it would be a toss up
  • ExplorerCYExplorerCY Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    but never go anywhere just for the rankings. feel at home.
  • lisieuxlisieux Registered User Posts: 357 Member
    f you want to go to a university that is highly respected in the engineering community (which is really what matters when getting a job) go to UIUC.

    Not true, especially if you are an international. That boils down on how much the engineering employers in your country are familiar with the US universities. In my country, I am very sure that the engineering employers almost never hear of UIUC. Thus UPenn will be a better choice. You can't just spend hundreds of thousands of dollars just to go to a university that people will go, "Huh, where is that?" (How bad can UPenn's engineering be anyway? Not a snide remark, I am just wondering.)

    But I agree with the last advice of choosing based on where your heart wants to go.
  • ExplorerCYExplorerCY Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    i don't even think it is ranked on us news' rankings.
    and how would want to work outside the US? are there other countries out there?
  • lisieuxlisieux Registered User Posts: 357 Member
    ^ Sigh. *shakes head*
  • ExplorerCYExplorerCY Registered User Posts: 757 Member
    obviously a joke
  • lisieuxlisieux Registered User Posts: 357 Member
    Lol, okay.
  • aj16aj16 Registered User Posts: 614 Member
    When is comes to recruiting for engineering specifically, UIUC definately has the upperhand. Engineering and software powerhouses like Microsoft, Google, Apple, Lockheed, Boeing etc. regularly recruit TENS of students from UIUC and even pay them 100,000$+ a year. Bill Gates actually stated that UIUC is the most recruited school in the nation by Microsoft after MIT and Stanford. Can UPenn boast the same??
  • lisieuxlisieux Registered User Posts: 357 Member
    Well, I guess that boils down to where you want to work afterwards. Since it's Europe, I guess they should be more familiar of the US schools better than Asia. :)
  • explodapopexplodapop Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    pearlygate: why UIUC if American, UPenn if not? I know UPenn has a lot more international kids, but but but..

    thanks for all the replies! UIUC is very well known in academia (at least by the professors I've spoken to), and the job market for engineers in Norway is quite insane.. The few industry representatives I've talked to all said that once the school is above a certain level, grades + related experience matters the most.

    when i applied UPenn > UIUC, but now i really don't know. hope i get into cornell so i won't have to think ^^
  • pearlygatepearlygate Registered User Posts: 581 Member
    I'm just seeing it from tuition POV. In UIUC you'd pay about 5 times tuition vs in state resident, whereas at upenn you'd pay the same as your fellow American cuz it's private. It's more fair in terms of tuition (won't u get annoyed if someone next to you pays 5 times less than you?). Also at Upenn when you graduate you can have more choice in terms of where to work (mostly IB though). If you are solely interested in doing engineering work in the US then go for UIUC. Otherwise Upenn is better.

    Side Note: I agree UIUC engineering kicks ass and Upenn engineering is much worse compared to UIUC. The breadth, variety of courses offered, the number of engineering companies that visit UIUC is a lot more than Upenn and I think generally you'd be much happier at UIUC as an engineering student but brand name does matter so...
  • fiona_fiona_ Registered User Posts: 1,811 Senior Member
    Pearlygate - UPenn is not exactly cheap either. LOL.

    UIUC engineering is much better than UPenn. A*Star (science statutory board) sends a whole bunch of scholars there.

    Anyway, you'd also have to consider what kind of environment you want. UIUC's near the cities of Urbana/Champaign (popn: 180,000) while UPenn's smack in Philadelphia (popn: 1,400,000)...
  • explodapopexplodapop Registered User Posts: 38 Junior Member
    Yea, I am aware of the difference in environments aswell ofc, but I won't have a problem with either (sure, the cornfields might get old pretty fast, but that doesn't matter if the people around me are awesome!). I to UPenn as it seemed really international, but so does the UIUC engi department atm :p

    btw, the norwegian state gives me a ~24k stipend if I attend one of the better unis in the usa (not merit based, just pass your exams and get in) so the difference in tuition is 4k vs 11k ;-). + travel/room ofc.

    Going for UIUC; seems a better fit for my personality overall. Especially cause the idea of working as an IB/in consulting/finance makes me sick in my stomach (the "dark side" has yet to overtake me. maybe in 15 years). Thanks everyone!
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