CS programs that integrate engineering

Just starting college search for our S. He’s been heavy duty into coding and hardware since he was 12, and has been planning to study CS at college. But lately he’s also developed an interest in mechanical engineering (been using CAD to design things to print 3D). Loves the logic of coding, but also likes to put his hands on things. Looking at some CS programs I see some are really focused almost exclusively on coding, while others integrate and even require some engineering (North Carolina State is one; WPI is another, though much smaller). Maybe this is more likely at schools where CS is part of the school of engineering. Would love some leads on schools where CS is somewhat integrated with engineering. Also, we’re looking within about a 7 hours drive of suburban DC (we’re in MD), and S is a solidly B student–so not likely schools like CMU. Thanks so much for any recs!

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Ha, when I started to read your post, the first school I thought of was WPI. But I see that you already have that on your list! In general, I think schools that have a focus on robotics might be a good fit. It sounds like the kind of work you are describing he enjoys is more “light“ mechanical engineering plus programming, which fits very well with robotics. My S24 enjoys fixing and building things, but when he looked into a mechanical engineering degree, he saw that it had way more intense math than he preferred, and a lot less actually putting his hands on stuff. Your son might find that he does like that more math-intense mechanical engineering work, but if not robotics might be a nice compromise.


Maybe you are looking for a Mech major and a CS minor. You can’t do the other way – can’t do a Mech minor.


University of Dayton allows students to enter as undecided engineering students so he’d have a chance to figure out which degree he’d want to pursue. It is a private university that offers good merit aid.

They offer MechE, CompE, CS, EE and other engineering degrees.

Thanks! Great insights and intel! Would love to hear from more.

MechE with a Mechatronics concentration.

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My S23 is also an adept programmer who enjoys building things. He didn’t want to major in CS and instead has chosen to study MechE with a concentration in robotics.

Some colleges that might be good fits depending upon the rest of your child’s profile are GW, Stevens, Pitt, NJIT, and JMU. I’m sure other posters will chime in with additional recommendations.

Just to clarify for the OP, Robotics is a subset of Mechatronics. Make a Venn diagram of ME, EE and CS, and Mechatronics is the intersection. Think mechanical things controlled by microprocessors. Classic robots, printers and copiers, smart phones, etc. all fall into that category. Depending on the school, it is approached from ME or the EE.