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Can you recommend an engineering program?

snow99snow99 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
edited October 2011 in Parents Forum

Do any of you have an engineering program that you would recommend? Any hidden gems out there? If you have a school and program that you love, please let us know and why.

We are having a hard time in differentiating between the programs out there. Everyone has to take Calc, Physics, DiffEQ etc but after that what makes one better than the other?

How say does University of Wisconsin differ from Rice or Union or Purdue?

Some seem to get more hands on experience earlier. Does that matter? We were told at WashU that the kids aren't really ready for the design and hands on until junior year.

Many thanks for any insight. I know this is a very broad question.
Post edited by snow99 on

Replies to: Can you recommend an engineering program?

  • ADadADad Registered User Posts: 4,920 Senior Member
    Rose-Hulman. Rated #1 among nonPh.D.-granting engineering programs for many years. Small school, strictly focused on undergraduates. Small classes, taught by professors.
  • thumper1thumper1 Registered User Posts: 63,457 Senior Member
    Make sure the school has ABET accreditation.

    Do you have a geographic preference? Will you need financial aid? Do you want urban/rural/suburban? How large a school?

    There are tons of variables for engineering schools beyond the courses (which are fairly standard for ABET accredited schools).

    As all here know...DD got her engineering degree at Santa Clara University. We feel it's a hidden gem because it does not appear on the USNews rankings for universities or LACs....it's a "masters university". DH who is an engineer felt that DD's program of study was excellent.
  • snow99snow99 Registered User Posts: 17 New Member
    Thanks for the replies. Our child is very open to different schools - prefers a medium school but would consider a large school that had a demonstrated means for creating a smaller community. Would consider either urban or rural.

    The two things that are seen as real negatives are schools that don't have much of a campus (ie NYU) or where the male/female ratio is skewed (ie Rose-Hulman).

    Has pretty good grades with good test scores.

    I would love to hear more about Santa Clara and what you thought the highlights are.

    Does anyone have experience with a school that has a skewed male/female ratio such as Rose-Hulman and how heavily does that influence student life?

    Thanks again!!
  • menloparkmommenloparkmom Registered User Posts: 11,951 Senior Member
    "would consider a large school that had a demonstrated means for creating a smaller community. Would consider either urban or rural."

    Consider USC- beautiful campus, large, diverse student body, great engineering program, great overall U with 20 different schools, fantastic financial aid as well as merit aid programs.
  • MomfromKCMomfromKC Registered User Posts: 378 Member
    If he is going to go into an engineering program he is only going to see 20-25% women in his classes. Yes, it does influence student life. I loved UMR (now Missouri University of Science and Technology ) 5,000-7,000 students (It goes up when the economy goes down.) Almost all engineering and sciences students. Offers MS and PhD degrees. Strong co-op program. Strong Greek system. Campus wide celebration of St. Pat's timed prefectly at the end of winter! The campus kinda spreads into the town. It also offers many niche areas of engineering. I had classes as large as 150 and as small as 6. I only remember 2 TA's the entire time I was there. They keep the math classes small which is really important. The physics classes were large, but their labs were small. They have the largest job fair every Fall and tons of on campus interviewing. I also have great respect for Georgia Tech and Colorado School of Mines. And then of course there are MIT and CalTech.
  • ucbalumnusucbalumnus Registered User Posts: 62,870 Senior Member
    Skewed male/female ratio tends to be common in engineering-oriented schools and engineering divisions of more general schools (though the more general schools often have more balanced ratios overall).

    Which state of residency, and are there cost constraints involved?
  • RacinReaverRacinReaver Registered User Posts: 6,608 Senior Member
    Keep in mind that different departments within engineering tend to have their own ratios. In my experience, computer/electrical engineering tend to be male dominated, while majors like biomedical and materials tend to be more balanced (in my year for materials science there were almost twice as many girls in the class to guys!).

    Does your son mind being in the middle of nowhere or would he prefer to be near a city? Does he want a school that's almost all STEM people or a mix? Does he want the school to have a general tech slant but not be entirely engineering? Is he interested in having extensive research opportunities on campus, or does he want to work at companies over the summer? Would he prefer to stay within a distance drivable by car, or is cross-country not a problem?
  • MidwestMom2Kids_MidwestMom2Kids_ Registered User Posts: 6,673 Senior Member
    In my neck of the woods (Northeastern Ohio), I hear good things about the engineering program and the quality of life at the University of Rochester.

    Purdue is really well known around here too. (Although a friend told he that his brother took engineering at Purdue and had grad students teaching the majority of his classes.)
  • megan12megan12 Registered User Posts: 638 Member
    We liked Lehigh University in PA. It's mid-size, on the smaller end, and they have combination programs - engineering and business, etc. Really nice campus too.
  • collegeshoppingcollegeshopping Registered User Posts: 1,935 Senior Member
    University of Texas Austin's Cockrell School of Engineering certainly should be mentioned. Yes, large school, but with FIGs (Freshman Interest Groups), and Freshman Research Opportunities, it certainly has its fair share of positives. And girls...they say the most beautiful girls in Texas go to UT....they may not be engineering majors....but they are every where and well represented. And come on...it's Austin!
  • mathmommathmom Registered User Posts: 29,604 Senior Member
    I gather its engineering is limited but GW's engineering school has a 50/50 M/F ratio. :) Like NYU it also has no campus.

    Carnegie Mellon has lots of cross connections with arts and fabulous robotics.

    WPI seemed to have particularly happy students and runs on a 3 courses at a time, trimester system.

    I know a number of happy engineers at Tufts. It's a small program within a large university so while the engineering program may be somewhat skewed male - the rest of the campus is not. My son roomed with an engineer last year.
    At the undergraduate level, the School of Engineering has an average net student attrition rate of zero, whereas the average American engineering school loses about a third of its class. In part, this is due to our remarkable undergraduate advising system and the close integration of engineering students with those of its sister School of Arts and Sciences. The School of Engineering also has an excellent track record and an ongoing commitment to increasing the number of women and underrepresented groups among its students and faculty. For example, women currently account for 31%, 26%, and 18% of the undergraduate students, graduate students, and full-time faculty, respectively.
    from http://engineering.tufts.edu/about/index.htm
  • turbo93turbo93 Registered User Posts: 2,815 Senior Member
    Snow, it depends a bit too on geography and specialty. I'm a Purdue and Cajun State U. graduate among other schools and partial to South schools :-) Purdue is awesome, mostly because of the faculty and depending on program the facilities - The traditional 'college scene' is a bit muted. Decent male/female ratio - not good tho.

    The people who complain about TA's teaching probably speak of the side classes, Calc, Phys, Chem, and the like. Or worst case freshman or sophomore engineering recitations etc. I don't think it's as widespread as people say it is.

    Start with the specialties and see which specialties your student likes, and shop there. Not all programs have all 'great' specialties. In general, larger schools have bigger (and richer) engineering programs, so pretty much any Big 10 school, a lot of Southern great programs (Duke, NC State, Georgia Tech, Auburn, the usual Texas schools).

    The male/female ratio should be decent at some of the larger state schools - and each has their own personality. With decent grades and test scores there are lots of options.

    We have a few people from the smaller schools (Rose Hulman for example) and their grads are absolutely great - Rose is a very 'personal' school from what I have been told.

    So, start thinking about specialties and see who has brand name professors there. At the end the profs make or break the program. At Purdue we had some incredible profs that are quite famous in the field (books, research, and the like) and they really inspired us.
  • mihcal1mihcal1 Registered User Posts: 1,373 Senior Member
This discussion has been closed.