Virginia Tech VS Texas A&M Mechanical Engineering

Hi all,

I’m an international student, who’s recently been accepted to Virginia Tech and Texas A&M Engineering. I’d like to major in Mechanical Engineering, and I really don’t know where to choose. Simply looking at rankings, both these schools are ranked #13 engineering schools according to the U.S. news, so I don’t think the rankings are very helpful.
Here’s my question: Where should I choose.

Cost: Since I’m an international, there’s no huge difference. But I’ve heard that Texas A&M allows international students to pay in-state tuition if they earn initial $4,000 or sth (not 100%sure tho).

Living: I like vibrant urban areas, but I guess both schools are in the middle of nowhere. I don’t like natures and quiet and peaceful places.

Employment: I want a college that has a larger network and being employed better.

Thank you all. I’d appreciate any opinion really. Please help me out!

College Station is bigger than Blacksburg, and less than 2 hours away from Houston. If you vibe city life and larger alumni network then TAMU may have an edge over VT. Saying that I am still bias toward VT. This is probably one of the only chances in life you get to spend 4 years in a small town with moderate school size and access to nature and mid Atlantic states. Texas is quite humid all year round and you have to drive at least 5 hours each direction to get out of Texas. Just my two cents. Congrats and good luck.

Were you awarded a scholarship at either one?

You’re right, neither is in a vibrant urban area. Both will have on campus activities, loyal alumni and very active college communities.
TAMU will have fanatic football fans.
Both have a good network and career center for your OPT, with TAMUs reach extending throughout Texas and VTech’s extending in the Mid-Atlantic and on the East Coast.
Weather is different:
In College Station, summers are very hot (90-100) with often oppressive humidity. It’s often cloudy but even in the winter the temperatures don’t go below 35-40°.
In Blacksburg, you have all 4 seasons. Overall, its more temperate, which may be a plus or a minus depending on where you’re from. There’s little bit of snow in winter, Fall and Spring are generally very nice, and in the summer it’s ~85-90.

Virginia Tech secondary admission to major is probably less competitive than Texas A&M (at VT, 3.0 college GPA → automatic admission to major of your choice, but Texas A&M requires a 3.5 college GPA).


As does VT, if that makes a difference. I doubt TAMU beats them in it actually, though many schools probably “tie” for having fanatic fans, esp large schools with a good team. :wink:

To the OP - where are you hoping to work afterward? VT is much more prominent in the east and I’d imagine TAMU would be in the southwest if you’re looking at staying in the US.

(Joke aside: I don’t know if any college in the Mid-Atlantic can beat Texas football fans for, eerr, loud enthusiasm. :scream:)

Who knows, but it’s hardly like comparing them to some schools where you can ask students where the football field is and get a blank stare, followed by, “we have a team?”

Big schools with good teams all have multiple fanatic fans, both students and the community. There are several who claim to have the most rabid fans. It drove a couple of my guys away from considering those schools as we aren’t sports fans and it got irritating to hear so much sports talk.

OTOH, one of my guys got turned on to a school when he walked through a dorm and saw the sign, “We’re not nerds. We’re intellectual bad—es.”

But… back to the OP, both schools are excellent for engineering - hence why I suggested considering where you might want to live later if that’s a consideration. You just might have to cover your ears on football days if you aren’t interested in the sport. Plus they’re both big enough that you ought to be able to find others who aren’t interested if you don’t care for it - just hang out in the lab or library then to find more like-minded students. BTDT

Both are very good schools. International students paying in-state tuition would be quite surprising. If true, this could certainly tip the balance.

(fwiw, B/R lists them at #16 and 17 - The 25 Ultimate College Football Fanbases | Bleacher Report | Latest News, Videos and Highlights)

From VT, one can take a train and be in Washington DC in half a day and NYC in a day.

:laughing: :rofl: :rofl:
Very true. I’ve tried to be diplomatic though.
I attended one of these colleges, too, so I tried to word the “football fan” thing nicely.
I have also lived in a town that’s football-crazy and you can totally live without ever going to a game, which is an excellent time to go grocery shopping and not have crowds since they’re all tailgating in the parking lot or at the game. :smiley:
At large schools, there are so many groups that even if you don’t like whatever the big sport is, you’re sure to find your crowd. The “Activity Fair” at the beginning of the year is not-to-be-missed by freshmen.

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