Colorado School of Mines vs Northeastern Univeristy

Hello everyone

Would you please be so kind to tell me which university is better in terms of engineering programs ? I got accepted to both and I’m finding it really hard to choose. I’m being sponsored by my government so costs don’t really matter. Thanks :slight_smile:

They are both well respected for engineering programs. You should not be choosing between these two schools on that basis, unless you want to study a branch of engineering that only one school has. For example, CSM would obviously be better for Petroleum Engineering, since NU doesn’t have PetE.

There are huge differences between these schools in other respects. For example:

  • size (CSM is small, NU is much larger)
  • location (CSM at an elevation of 5800' in the mountains of Colorado, NU in the City of Boston)
  • specialization (CSM specializes in engineering and earth science, NU is much more comprehensive)
  • gender balance (CSM is 72% male and only 28% female, NU is split evenly)
  • diversity (18% internationals at NU vs. 4% at CSM, Boston much more diverse than Golden)
  • educational philosophy (cooperative education required at NU)
  • regional reputation (CSM better known in the Western US, NU better known in the Northeast)

These non-academic differences are much larger, and will have a far greater impact on your college experience, than any differences in engineering reputation.

Great post by @Corbett - my only addition would be that in engineering both will be known in both regions - the regional strength is more relative to themselves than each other. I think as far as choosing, you will have no problems getting a job on either coast with either degree. I think the biggest differences are in location, social environment, academic philosophy, and size. Of course, figure out which ones are most important to you and then weight accordingly.

Thank you guys

Is one better recognized in your country by the employers who are likely to hire you after graduation? That should be your main focus. Are you arleady committed to work in a particular job after graduation? Then find our which place that organization wants you to attend.

CSM is going to be an environment more immersed in technology and engineering than Northeastern. If that is your “tribe”, that could be appealing. I suspect class sizes may be smaller at CSM, but you could check that online.

You may be the only person out there that has to make this decision. Since the two schools offer totally different environments and are located far apart, there are probably very few Americans that apply to both of them.

These two schools have almost nothing in common, except that they both have good reputations for engineering. You don’t to look too closely at the two campus pictures below to see the differences:

@happymomof1 they are both viewed as excellent schools by all major " super-companies " in my desired field of work. CSM is recognized by the most respected company in my country and even some students from Mines do their co-op/summer training at this company. Northeastern on other hand is also very highly sought and their graduates seem to be distinguished between job applicants.
@Corbett I really understand why you find this odd, but i’m really just interested in the academic rigor of each university. All other things come later on the list. Say if I was to choose chemical engineering as my major, which university would offer a better program in terms of depth in knowledge ? Which would give me a better opportunity to excel in my field of work? Sorry for not being clear.

Are you an incoming graduate student? To my knowledge undergraduate admission decisions have not come out yet for Northeastern.

For depth of knowledge, read trhough the course decriptions in the university catalogs on their websites, and then run a quick search for each course syllabus. (E.g. Syllabus chem eng 101 colorado school of mines 2017). You also can read through each professors individual website to learn more about their specific research and teaching interests. For full publication lists, see

If you are an undergraduate and thinking ahead to possible grad school admissions elsewhere, it is perfectly OK to ask the chem eng department at each of these universities where their grad go for an MS, MEng, or PhD.

Do you get a living allowance as well as your tuition and fees? Does that differ by local cost of living? I expect that the cost of living is a bit lower at CSM than at NU, but travel to and from there, may be a bit more, so do take that into account.

From the looks of it, either of these places will get you a good return for your government’s investment, so it is OK for you to choose based on other factors including weather, travel time, number of current and past students from your country, etc.

Both schools will provide all of the “depth of knowledge” that you need for a general ChemE education. If you were interested in a very specific subfield of ChemE, then there could perhaps be a professor specializing in that subfield at one school, but not the other. You would have to review the course catalogs and faculty biographies at both schools to determine if this is the case.

Both schools will give you the “opportunity to excel”. But you will maximize your chances of excelling by going to the school where you feel happiest, most comfortable, and best able to grasp those opportunities. Remember, you will be spending multiple years away from home, in or near your school, for 24 hours a day. If you love being in a big city, then you might be miserable for years at CSM. Conversely, if you value a natural environment, then you might be unhappy spending years surrounded by concrete and asphalt at NU. You will not reach your full academic potential at either school, if you feel unhappy and out of place there.