Which is better? Johns Hopkins vs. University of Pennsylvania - Engineering

My son is deciding whether to ED to JHU or UPenn. He’s interested in Engineering and thinks he might want to major in Materials Science & Engineering. I’ve heard positive things about both schools and I know that both offer opportunities for research. If he applies to UPenn, he will probably try to get into their Management & Tech program but he recognizes that is a long shot and will be fine if he just gets into Engineering.

We’ve already gone through a long list of possible schools and have narrowed down to just these two. Finances will be essentially the same.

Thanks for any insight!

My main question is why either of these? Both have very low acceptance rates, and their engineering programs are not at the level of many colleges with higher acceptance rates, even in engineering. Georgia Tech has a far better engineering program than either of these, as do Michigan, UIUC, and Purdue.

Of these two, Johns Hopkins has the better engineering program.

My son is interested in similar schools for engineering. Are you using US News for Engineering rankings, or something else? Do you know how these programs are ranked?

For undergraduate engineering, JHU is ranked 15th and Penn is tied for 20 by USNews. The schools mentioned by MWolf are all top 10.

My D is a chem e concentrating in materials. I’d highly recommend that any student interested in engineering look at a school’s industry ties, career center, and internship/coop opportunities. Engineering is much more about career readiness than many other fields and work experience during college is essential.

JHU was on my D’s list but wasn’t in her top three because the focus seemed more on med and grad school placement than careers. D will most likely go on to get her MBA but that will be down the road after she’s worked for a few years (and hopefully on her company’s dime). She was much much more impressed with the big state flagships programs. The facilities and opportunities are second to none.

@MWolf My son is being recruited by both schools and really wants to be on a team in college. He has passed the preread for both. His original list included all of the schools mentioned thus far; however, another part of narrowing the list was focusing on schools with Materials Science & Engineering. We’ve visited both schools and he likes the campuses. I don’t want to derail this thread by going into the athletic part of the decision.

Thank you for any specifics regarding either school. We’re familiar with the various ranking sites but are hoping to get more firsthand insight.

I’d personally pick JHU over Penn. We found the students at JHU much more collaborative and down to earth than we expected. D sat in on a few engineering classes before keeping JHU on her list and was pleasantly surprised by both profs and students. We were there a week before exams and students seemed calm and happy. Campus is in a nice part of Baltimore and adjacent to museums. We felt very safe walking around campus and the adjacent neighborhoods.

We heard of different experiences for pre-meds but the engineering students seemed fabulous. Tons and tons of research opportunities as well.

If its lax, Homewood Field all the way. :wink:

@bluebayou Lax is his first love but, sadly, he got a late start and the high academic schools (D1) haven’t been interested (although he’s still holding out hope.) So, this is a different sport…

^^Isn’t Penn D1 for nearly all sports, while The Hop is D3 for everything but lax? If so, wouldn’t D1 be more fun?

I think it would be hard to put meaningful distance between the two in terms of which is “best”. My Engineering spreadsheet is a few years old (for my older D) but the 9 different sets of ratings I collected have those two schools in different orders and the average isn’t meaningfully different.

The typical answer is “wherever he sees himself being more successful/feels like “home” based on campus visits”, which Is obviously quite challenging this year.

Fwiw, my personal preference would be Hopkins.

Yes, Penn is D1 for all sports. JHU is a rare school that plays up to D1 for lax (both men and women). Penn isn’t in a Power 5 conference, but D1 is going to be a different experience in most sports than D3.