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kaitlin01kaitlin01 Registered User Posts: 262 Junior Member
edited April 2011 in Vanderbilt University
How is engineering at Vandy? Particularly interested in ChemE and BME.

It also says in the website that it's possible to get a double major or major/minor in engineering fields. Anyone who has done this? I know it's going to be hard, but is it doable in 4 years?

How are students affected by the lack of co-op programs? How is job placement? Do a lot of companies come to Vandy to recruit?

Does Vandy have a 4+1 program where it's possible to get a bachelors and masters in BME in 5 years?

Lastly, what is the reputation of Vandy (in the south and elsewhere)? I realize the rank of the engineering school is quite low.

Oh and when they say I've been admitted to the school of engineering, it doesn't mean I have to stick with the major I wrote in my application as my prospective major right? I can switch to another major under the same school (VUSE)?

Many thanks :D
Post edited by kaitlin01 on

Replies to: Engineering

  • midmomidmo Registered User Posts: 3,720 Senior Member
    I can't answer all of those questions, but here are a couple of comments:

    1. The Engineering PhD program ranks 37th (see the web site for just whose ranking that is). That doesn't say much about the undergraduate program in general, and it doesn't say much about the specific majors you are interested in. I think I read that the BME rank is pretty high, but I don't remember any particulars at all.

    2. You can change majors. You can change schools altogether. Of course, the requirements will be different for the different fields, so if you switch later, rather than sooner, you might lose some time.

    3. Some students do master's degrees in 5, some do it in 4 if they enter with a whole lot of AP credit. The two I know best who are doing it in 4 are both computer science, though, not strictly engineering, even though they are in the Engineering school. I don't know exactly how formal the program is, but it does require applying during junior year.

    4. There is no co-op program. Most co-op programs end up requiring at least one additional semester to finish the bachelor's degree. My son had no difficulty finding research work for the summers, although that is because he did research t/o the school year. He found summer internships on his own, but there is a placement office to help. I don't know too much about the recruitment office; son has had his job offer in hand since before senior year, through a summer internship. The web site does provide some information about job fair/recruitment days.

    5. As far as I know, there aren't any restrictions against double majors within engineering, but how easy it is to do will depend on the majors. Double majors outside of engineering are not uncommon. Many students have an additional math major.

    6. Reputation--very good in the south, increasingly good everywhere else. Son's job is in CA. When you submit your resume, they look at your course work, your research experience and your letters of recommendation. They don't pull out a map and check on the geography, as far as I know.

    Hopefully you will get some feedback from current or recent students who can give more particulars about the majors you are interested in. CS is the only major that is not awarded a B.E. (it is a B.S), so some of the rules/regs are different.

    A general comment on VUSE. I think the relatively small size of VUSE works to the benefit of undergraduates, for the most part. The administration seems very dedicated to undergraduate education, and they have been very flexible for my son. Many of the larger programs can be pretty impersonal, inflexible and designed to maximize opportunities for graduate students, not undergraduates. One potential negative for small programs is the relative lack of breadth in the type of research available for hands-on experience. If there is a particular area that interests you at this point, it would be worthwhile to look at what kind of research is going on. Spend some time reading the web pages of faculty members, and look at what the allied research groups are involved in. Actually, even if you don't have specific interests at this time, it is worthwhile for prospective applicants to spend some time looking at faculty pages (at all schools, not just VUSE).
  • VandyEng2014VandyEng2014 Registered User Posts: 27 New Member
    If you haven't already seen this, here is the general curriculum for ChemE/BME double majors:
  • kaitlin01kaitlin01 Registered User Posts: 262 Junior Member
    Anyone else who can comment? BME/ChemE students?
  • Swimmer726Swimmer726 Registered User Posts: 668 Member
    I can speak from the perspective of ME - my son finished with a 3.3 in ME in May. He had multiple job offers. The curriculum is solid and thorough. He felt pushed to his limits, but had the support of an amazing faculty. He like the personalized nature of the program. Professors were always available and TA's do help sessions and labs. He was actually asked to be a TA several times and did that. He did a summer of research in nanotechnology with a graduate student - was recommended by a professor there. Right now, he's working in Houston and loves what he's doing. My guess is that all the fields of engineering at Vanderbilt go the same way. I think i heard once that 6% of the world's BMEs went to Vanderbilt - at least that was what they told us early on in his college career. The hospital is right there...

    What we liked was that everyone is approachable and supportive. The facilities are amazing and the Vanderbilt experience is memorable. A kid can really get to know his professors - they welcome and encourage those relationships.
  • dtotheustin09dtotheustin09 Registered User Posts: 266 Junior Member
    I graduated ChemE back in 2009. I'll comment the best that I can but they have since shifted to a more biochemical approach so keep that in mind.

    1) It's entirely possible to double major. The most popular options for my peers were math, chemistry, and other related sciences. There was one guy who did economics and possibly someone else who did psychology/social science. A minor is quite easy to get with all the required classes and electives. The list is long but includes math, chemistry, engineering management, psychology, and so on.

    2) I had no qualms with the lack of a co-op program. I rather like the idea of graduating in 4 years vs 5 like most other engineers I know. I had a summer internship with large companies after my sophomore and junior years. I had a great job placement experience, although I know others were not as fortunate. It all kind of depends. I think the Career Center is a great resource and does a good job. Quite a few companies come to campus and hold information sessions and interviews. That's how I obtained the job I have today.

    3) Yes, Vanderbilt has a 4+1 program. Not sure about BME but I knew several CivE and ChemE students that did it.

    4) I don't consider the engineering school to rank low. Yes it ranks lower than other schools but you can't judge everything on that. Any degree from Vanderbilt is going to be prestigious to an extent. Almost everyone I've encountered has given an expression of high regard when I mention Vanderbilt both in business and personal settings (not limited to the south).

    Hope that helps. Feel free to PM me with any questions.
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