Aeronautical engineering?

I would be more inclined to hire a kid who attended UT, Illinois, Michigan, etc. than one that went to a more prestigious college without a strong engineering school. The name doesn’t matter at all. I was kind of smug about my academic abilities until I got to UT and realized there were a lot of smart kids there! I wasn’t the smartest, by a long shot, even though I had impressive credentials.

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Even though I am rah, rah Michigan I wouldn’t limit it without a look if your able to. Everything you described will be there for your child.

I think there a few associations that might make sense for your child and to find their peeps. According to my son who just graduated, people just don’t care. Be whomever you want to be as long as you root against Ohio State… Lol

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The juxtaposition of “UT, Illinois, Michigan” with “the name doesn’t matter at all” is pretty humorous.

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Well, I’m talking about what most laypeople think. UT versus Dartmouth, for example.

Having experienced both, I don’t feel there’s a real distinction there. To me, 200, and really 125-150 is about where classes don’t feel giant anymore.

My Calculus classes had 400 students. My son’s were capped at 32, and he went to a well known, well respected engineering program.

I think this is what ranking has done to us collectively and why I pay very little attention to “prestige.” My son narrowed down to three schools once his acceptances came through, one that was very selective, one that let in about 50% and one that let almost everyone in. He agonized over all three until two days before the deadline. He chose the most selective one, but it had nothing to do with that. It’s because it was the sunniest, and he was tired of cloudy, rainy Oregon. He had the stats to go anywhere.

The bottom line is that it shouldn’t be on the list if the student somehow sees it as less than.

Good luck!


I recommend looking at the “Engineering by Numbers” document to see different trends in engineering. In 2017, 21.3% of engineering degrees are awarded to women. I would not be surprise if we’re getting close to 1 in 4.

30% to 50% of degrees are awarded to women in several different engineering majors.

You can also get a lot of info from the program online profiles. Such as enrollment by major (and demographics), faculty (demographics), which majors are offered, how popular are those majors, etc.

I found with my daughter, the issue wasn’t other (male) students, but her own self-confidence. It took her a few semesters to figure out she could hold her own with the other (smart) engineering students.

She is now working at a male dominated facility and she has ran into the “boys will be boys” mentality, but she’s learned how to handle it. In fact, I think she’s enjoying slapping them around when they cross the line, a bit too much.


I encourage parents to have their daughters talk to women engineers instead of just assuming anything about what school or work will be like.

See the thread about Women in Engineering in this forum. Almost every woman who replied had positive stories.


I will agree that engineers, especially younger engineers, tend to be more progressive and accepting. I have written on the Women in Engineering thread that I have had few (to no) issues in my almost 30 years career in civil engineering. Engineers nowadays tend to be educated and more accepting of women. But, I do not have experience with LGBTQ. You might find more resistance to that, but I would think the younger the engineer, the more accepting in general it will be. The biggest negative trait I find in male engineers are the “know it all” types who must talk endlessly about how much they know. I usually roll my eyes and zone out during such discussions. As someone else mentioned, she will need to learn to be assertive if she isn’t already. I was not. I am not naturally, but I have grown considerably. Being old helps. :wink:

The only thing that gives me pause is if she would be working for the military and/or military contractors. I could possibly see issues there - not from the engineers, per se, but possibly other positions. But I really do not know, as I have not worked in those arenas myself.


I usually recommend to students interested in aerospace engineering that they strongly consider mechanical engineering. Aerospace is a cyclic industry and when they are hiring they hire ME students, but when aerospace isn’t hiring it’s tough on those grads. However, if her choice is between Aerospace Engineering and Astronomy, ME might be too far away from her interests. Still, some schools do good aerospace work in ME departments, so look at faculty interests.

There are a lot of engineering programs that are working hard to both recruit a more diverse student body and change the environment so that it is more inclusive.

Wherever your daughter winds up, make sure she googles “imposter syndrome” before she leaves for school. Women are particularly likely to feel it, and are usually shocked to hear they aren’t the only one to feel it.

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I sure prefer the way ASEE used to organize their profiles where all the information for a school was in one spot. I can’t seem to find all the same information under the new organizational format.


LGBT shows polling responses on LGBT-related questions, though there could be variation in different regions and contexts. Note also that polling indicates a difference in attitudes toward LGB versus T.