Engineering: Teaching College vs. Research University

<p>Hello, all. This post is basically a continuation and generalization of a previous one that I'd started on the Georgia Tech board. The main question I have is this: for a better undergrad engineering experience, should one choose a prestigious research university like MIT or Georgia Tech, or should one choose a smaller teaching college like the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology or Harvey Mudd College?</p>

<p>I've been struggling with this question for a good few weeks. Fortunately, I have a lot of time to decide for myself, but I'd like to help my friends out with their ED decisions, too. I have at least three who are on the fence.</p>

<p>As far as I see it, the pros of the large unis are thus: they're highly prestigious, and the name recognition might go a long way in the application process. They've got some extremely brilliant professors. They also have great opportunities for undergrad research. The cons that I see are these: the professors may become too absorbed in their reserach that they don't have enough time or passion for class. The class sizes are typically larger at the unis than at the smaller colleges. TA's often don't care as much about teaching as they should.</p>

<p>The pros and cons of the small teaching colleges are pretty much the opposite. While the smaller colleges like Rose and HMC don't have the name recognition, prestige, or research opportunities of the large unis, they often have extremely knowledgeable professors who jump at the chance to teach. The class sizes are smaller, and the competition is less cutthroat.</p>

<p>What are your personal opinions about this debate? I'm still trying to sort through it. I've already been accepted to Rose-Hulman, and my stats should get me into Ga. Tech without much trouble. What do you say?</p>