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Rice vs Northeastern Computer Engineering

bmj012bmj012 0 replies1 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1 New Member
Hi, currently my college choice is coming down to choosing between Northeastern and Rice.

At Rice I was accepted into the college of engineering for electrical and computer engineering. However, my family did not qualify for any need-based financial aid, so it will cost around 65kish a year to attend the university. I visited during their overnight and absolutely loved the community, campus, and professors I talked to.

At Northeastern, I was accepted into the honors college and the combined computer engineering and computer science major. They gave a $30,000 honors scholarship, so it will cost approximately $40k a year to attend it. I really like the coop programs they have and feel that it would be a good connection to industry. I don’t dislike the community at all, but don’t really feel any major pull towards it other than it being in my home city.

I know Rice has a really good name with major employers, and will probably provide a more wholesome experience. My family CAN afford to pay full-price at Rice, but I am not sure if it is even worth it compared to this other option. I feel like the industry-favor that will be gained in doing many internships/coops at Northeastern might make up for the difference of Rice being a top-tier engineering school.

Should I save money and go to Northeastern? Or would studying in this field at Rice actually give me an advantage when it comes to job prospects in EECE or CS fields?

Thanks!
13 replies
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Replies to: Rice vs Northeastern Computer Engineering

  • airway1airway1 649 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 652 Member
    Rice should be your first choice if you can afford it. Ranking Rice engineering is way higher plus they would lead when it comes to alumni network. Plus it’s as if having a coop program is the only way to gain a job or experience. I’m always confused why the coop is considered a factor. Schools started coop programs as a way to attract students when they were less selective and now it sounds as if coops are an advantage
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  • Houston1021Houston1021 1030 replies11 discussionsForum Champion Rice Posts: 1,041 Forum Champion
    edited April 23
    Have a frank talk with your parents. Are you planning to go to graduate school? If so, your family might rather save the money to fund your graduate education. However, If your family can afford to pay the difference, you feel Rice is the best fit, and your family is in agreement, attend Rice.
    edited April 23
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  • PengsPhilsPengsPhils 3970 replies28 discussionsForum Champion Northeastern, Forum Champion Math/Computer Science Posts: 3,998 Forum Champion
    @airway1 Northeastern started co-op over 100 years ago when Harvard had an over 75% admit rate. Rest assured it was not started as a way to attract students, nor were most such programs at schools generally. Co-op's absolutely come with their advantages, but of course, are not the only way to approach academia and industry/career. Its popularity in the past decade is another story entirely.

    You can read more of the history here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cooperative_education
    Ranking Rice engineering is way higher plus they would lead when it comes to alumni network.

    Rice certainly is a great option for engineering (and CS too) but it is not some magic bullet that makes it leaps and bounds over Northeastern. How much of a premium it is worth is up to OP really here.
    Or would studying in this field at Rice actually give me an advantage when it comes to job prospects in EECE or CS fields?

    The career prospects are going to be similar between these. That said, if you feel like you "fit" better at Rice to the point where it is worth the cost difference, that may be more important than the career differences.
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  • ricegradricegrad 25 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    edited April 23
    In the US News rankings for undergraduate engineering programs, Rice is #18 while Northeastern is #48. That's broadly similar to their overall academic rankings and suggests that while either would be a solid choice, Rice would have the edge.

    It's true that money plays a role in where you go to school. However a number of universities much cheaper than either Rice or Northeastern rank higher in undergraduate engineering than both of them, including Georgia Tech, Illinois, Purdue, Texas, Virginia, Texas A&M, and Wisconsin. Not considering them tells me money probably isn't a driving factor for you, and if that's the case, then Rice seems like the clear winner over Northeastern.
    edited April 23
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8818 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,896 Senior Member
    Do you know where you'd like to work after graduation ? It seems like Northeastern will provide more opportunities in the Northeast (no pun intended), especially if you end up doing co-ops at jobs you like.
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  • eyemgheyemgh 5496 replies120 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 5,616 Senior Member
    @ricegrad said: "In the US News rankings for undergraduate engineering programs, Rice is #18 while Northeastern is #48. That's broadly similar to their overall academic rankings and suggests that while either would be a solid choice, Rice would have the edge."

    I don't buy this and I don't think many engineers would either. I'm in no way saying Rice is a bad program or that Northeastern is better. They are different. There are some odd anomalies in the upper echelon of USNWR's engineering rankings though. Since the engineering methodology is 100% based on reputation, some schools that are highly ranked overall have their engineering programs punching above their weight. Northwestern, the 14th best program in the nation? I don't think so. Columbia and Rice tied with Washington and UCLA at 18? Glaring is Harvard and Penn at 24 tied with UMD, Penn State and Minnesota. I'll take the state schools any day of the week. All of them outrank RPI, UC Davis, UCSB, Colorado, and Florida. Here's where it gets really silly. Yale outranks Arizona State, Case Western, and Colorado School of Mines. So, long story short, take USNWR engineering rankings with a block sized dose of salt.

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  • IWannaHelpIWannaHelp 387 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 389 Member
    edited April 24
    @eyemgh
    There’s nothing “interesting” about Northwestern being ranked higher than RPI, UC Davis, UCSB, Colorado and Florida. Most of NU’s engineering departments are ranked in the top-20 in GRADUATE rankings which have nothing to do with college ranking. I did grad school in engineering and none of these state schools you seem to value so highly were under my consideration (the state schools that I got accepted to were Texas, Berkeley, GA Tech and Washington). RPI, UCD, UCSB, CO, UF have LESS ranked departments in the graduate rankings than Northwestern. I am just puzzled what made you think those schools are better?? OTOH, Rice is known to provide pretty decent engineering programs at the undergrad level.

    Here’s how NU departments were ranked last year by USN graduate rankings. It did even better in NRC rankings that came out a while back:

    Industrial / Material 4th / 2nd
    BME / Civil / ME / ChemE Between 11th and 14th
    Env / EE / CompE Between 25th and 30th

    So every department was in the top 30 and most were in the top 15. The same can’t be said for many of the schools you listed.
    edited April 24
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  • colorado_momcolorado_mom 8818 replies78 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 8,896 Senior Member
    Families can use rankings to get an approximate idea of a school's reputation. But I think career placement info is even more useful (but admittedly hard to compare).
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  • ricegradricegrad 25 replies0 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    "Approximate" is a great word to use here. Rankings are always going to be a better starting point than any single person's subjective assessment, but they're just that -- a starting point.
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  • airway1airway1 649 replies3 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 652 Member
    @iwannahelp we are talking about northeastern not northwestern lol .. I think
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  • coolguy40coolguy40 1930 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    No bachelors degree is worth $250k, especially for an employable degree like computer engineering. You could take a full ride at a state flagship and be just as employable. That being said, you're better off at Northeastern. If your parents can pay the rest and get you out of school debt free, you're that much more ahead. Rice would just be throwing away your money.
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  • IWannaHelpIWannaHelp 387 replies2 discussionsRegistered User Posts: 389 Member
    @airway1
    I know that but since there was a post implying Northwestern isn’t as good as even places like UCD/UMD in engineering, I want to address this in details because it’s so far off and baseless. Sorry to hijack the post a bit. Notwithstanding what I said about Rice, I also think it’s wise to go with the money in this case given the price difference. Northeastern is a decent school.
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