Engineering is a popular field with a wide range of options for a successful career. Knowing the best schools for engineering, either to begin or continue your formal education, can help guarantee that you get the best education and stand out to employers. This article ranks the best engineering universities and provides details on the programs they offer.
There are many schools that offer undergraduate engineering programs. The best engineering colleges also tend to have a wide variety of engineering programs for graduate students looking to take their studies to the next level. After a closer look at these top schools, we’ll share how we selected them for our list.
Best Engineering College and University Rankings: Top 10 Engineering Schools at a Glance
|US News Ranking
|University of Chicago
|University of Florida
|University of Houston
|University of Michigan – Ann Arbor
|University of Washington
Engineering School Rankings: Best Engineering Colleges and Universities
The best engineering colleges and universities have a long history and reputation of providing quality education in the field of engineering. Some of these schools began with a focus on engineering, while others added engineering programs as they grew. Below is a list of 10 top-ranking universities with strong engineering programs.
The Best Schools for Engineering: Types of College Degrees and University Programs Offered
Universities offer various post-secondary programs and degrees in engineering, including certificates, associate degrees, bachelor’s degrees, master’s degrees, and doctorates. The shortest of these programs is a certificate program, while the longest program is a doctorate.
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Comparing Popular Degree Options
Best Engineering Schools: Other Engineering University Rankings
As you continue to explore your options for engineering studies and look into the best engineering schools, one aspect you will want to consider is engineering university rankings, whether for undergraduate, graduate, or postgraduate degrees. Let’s look at a few categories below.
Best Online Engineering Schools
- Arizona State University. Arizona State University is a school that has been repeatedly recognized for innovation in education and research. It has consistently received top 10 rankings in various higher-education categories. As a school offering online education, ASU provides distance learners with the same quality of education as its on-campus students.
- Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins University has long held a strong reputation as a leader in research and innovation. The university offers a wide variety of engineering-based degrees at the master’s level in both traditional and emerging fields in engineering.
- Old Dominion University. Old Dominion University has been a pioneer and leader in distance learning nationally, offering online education for more than 35 years now. The university also offers a wide variety of online programs, at all levels, including undergraduate, graduate, and post-graduate.
Best Community Colleges for Engineering
- Cincinnati State Technical and Community College. Cincinnati State Technical and Community College is a two-year community college that is autonomous and comprehensive. You can get college credit for relevant life experiences. The college also has strong partnerships with four-year colleges and universities enabling students to transfer smoothly into a full degree program.
- Pittsburgh Technical College. Pittsburgh Technical College provides hands-on project-based education, providing students with the relevant experiences and skills required by employers. All students participate in internships or employer partnership programs before they graduate.
- Texas State Technical College. Texas State Technical College is a two-year institution offering certificate and associate degree programs in more than 20 fields. The most popular programs offered are in engineering technologies and other engineering-related programs. Additionally, students can benefit from earning credit for life experiences and from using the school’s extensive placement services.
Best Undergraduate Schools for Engineering
- Massachusetts Institute of Technology. MIT is a university that offers undergraduate, graduate, and doctoral degrees with a focus on technological and scientific research. With a history of excellence and quality education, the university is ranked second nationally by US News & World Report.
- Stanford University. Stanford University is a prestigious university offering quality education out of seven schools. Its school of engineering has long been at the forefront of innovation and research. The university seeks to empower students to make meaningful contributions in our complex world.
- University of California, Berkeley. UC Berkeley offers both undergraduate and graduate programs in various engineering fields. By applying creativity to emerging technologies, students are at the forefront of innovation, leadership, management, and entrepreneurship.
Best Graduate Schools for Engineering
- California Institute of Technology. California Institute of Technology is known for its engineering and science programs. It offers more than 30 graduate programs in its engineering schools, ranging from biology- and chemistry-based engineering, to physics, mathematics, and science-based studies.
- Georgia Institute of Technology. Georgia Institute of Technology offers one of the best engineering programs nationwide. Its engineering graduate program offering is in a variety of fields including aerospace, biomedical, chemical, civil, and environmental engineering. Its graduate programs are ranked seventh by US News & World Report.
- University of Illinois. The University of Illinois is a public university offering a wide variety of graduate programs. Its engineering offering includes plasma, aerospace, railways, and autonomy and robotics. The university’s Master of Engineering (MEng) program is geared toward students wishing to pursue professional careers.
Best Engineering Schools With Dual Degree Programs
- Columbia University | Combined Plan. The Combined Plan program allows students to pursue a Bachelor of Arts degree of their choice for three or four years and combine it with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering for an additional two years.
- Dartmouth | Dual-Degree Program. The dual-degree program at Dartmouth is designed to allow students pursuing Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees at other universities to also earn a Bachelor of Engineering degree by completing an additional year at Dartmouth after finishing their BA program.
- University of Notre Dame | Engineering Dual-Degree Program. The engineering dual-degree program at the University of Notre Dame enables students to earn a Bachelor of Science in Engineering as they pursue undergraduate studies at another university.
Best Schools With Accelerated Engineering Programs
- Drexel University | BS/MS in Engineering. Drexel’s accelerated program allows students to accelerate the attainment of their engineering master’s degree as they pursue their bachelor’s degrees. The program applies to engineering programs such as mechanical, civil, chemical, architectural, and environmental engineering.
- Northeastern University | Accelerated Bachelor/Graduate Degree Programs. Northeastern University offers students an opportunity to earn graduate credits as they pursue their bachelor’s degrees. Students take the relevant courses and apply the credits toward both their undergrad and graduate programs.
- University of Central Florida | Accelerated BS-MS Program. The University of Central Florida offers undergraduate students in their junior or senior years an opportunity to take 12 graduate credits toward their graduate degree. This shortens the time that would have been required to earn both degrees had they taken the programs separately.
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Is Graduate School for Engineering Worth It?
Yes, it is worth going to graduate school for engineering. Due to the design of graduate engineering programs, you will be able to contribute significantly to the engineering industry through the research work and innovative projects you undertake. You will also be eligible for better jobs with higher salaries after you graduate.
What Jobs Can You Do With an Engineering Degree?
The jobs you can do with an engineering degree are varied. Engineering fields you can enter include civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, aeronautical engineering, and others. Some of the best engineering schools, such as Boston University, Brown University, and Columbia University, offer programs that produce graduates who are in very high demand.
How Much Can I Earn With a Degree in Engineering?
You can earn between $80,000 and $101,000 per year. A degree in engineering allows you to earn a high salary, depending on your field of specialization. Within each specialization, you can find a wide range of salaries.
Salary comparisons according to PayScale show that a mechanical engineer earns an average of $82,000 per year, an aerospace engineer earns about $85,000 annually, a biomedical engineer will earn about $80,000, and an electrical engineer could earn an average salary of $101,000.
Highest-Paying Engineering Careers
|US News Ranking
Best Jobs With an Engineering Degree
The best jobs with an engineering degree are in aerospace, chemical, electrical, nuclear, and petroleum engineering. However the types of engineering jobs and their correlated salaries differ depending on the actual degree you hold and the roles you are qualified to take on.
An engineering master’s degree graduate, for example, will earn a higher salary than a professional with an engineering associate degree. Also, the roles available to associate degree holders are often entry-level jobs, while those available to master’s degree holders would be at the senior or managerial level.
How Can I Pay for Engineering School?
You can pay for engineering school in a variety of ways, such as via scholarships, grants, and loans. Most of these sources of funding will have conditions you must meet in order to qualify.
- Scholarships. A scholarship is a form of financial aid that is awarded to students based on certain criteria such as academic performance, financial need, skill in a particular sport, or aspects of diversity and inclusion. Scholarships do not need to be repaid.
- Grants. A grant is a form of financial aid that is awarded by an organization, such as a business, charity, or government institution, tied to a specific area of study that ultimately brings back a benefit to society. Grants don’t need to be repaid.
- Loans. An educational loan is money given to you to finance your education. Loans can be provided by private institutions or the government. You will be required to pay it back, often with interest based on the rate given at the time of receiving the loan.
- Employment. Students will often opt to work a part-time job to avoid debt from student loans. Many schools offer jobs specifically for their students and sometimes you can even find work within your particular department as a teaching assistant or research assistant.
How to Pay for Your Chosen School Education Path
Choosing the Best Engineering School for You
To choose the best engineering school, consider important factors such as the reputation of the school, accreditation of the engineering program, curricular content, student-to-faculty ratio, cost, and faculty credentials. These key factors play a part in the quality of education you will receive, the level of support you will receive, and your future options in terms of employment or further study.
Accreditation is always a great place to start in your search for the right school. Accreditation of the school and the program, which are often two separate things, is the best indicator that they have met the necessary academic and industry standards required to issue degrees. Make sure that the accrediting body is a recognized agency.
The curricular content offered through a degree program is important because it plays a critical role in your future opportunities. Evaluate the curriculum based on your career and education goals. Some aspects to consider are whether you will be able to learn subjects that are of interest to you, how in-depth the courses are, and if there is a sufficient variety of courses to engage broader perspectives.
The credentials of the teaching staff are very important, as you want to be taught by instructors who not only are knowledgeable in their field but also have a level of expertise and authority. Knowing that the faculty has the right credentials gives you confidence that the education you are receiving is of the highest quality.
How to Get Into the Right School for Your Profession
Does It Matter What College I Go to for Engineering?
It does not matter much what college you go to for engineering as long as the school meets standard education qualifications via accreditation. Degree programs tend to be similar in their course offerings. For example, the introductory class in statistics at one university is likely to cover the same content as another.
However, the question is best answered by considering what your end goal is. Differences between schools such as their specialized courses and areas of concentration, teaching faculty, and student-to-faculty ratio all make a difference in the overall student experience and educational value they provide.
Engineering University Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Schools for Engineering
We ranked the best engineering schools by consulting the university rankings made by US News & World Report and Times Higher Education. To further refine our engineering university ranking methodology, we gave special consideration to things like reputation, graduation rate, student-to-faculty ratio, and breadth and depth of engineering degree program offerings.
Additional Reading About Engineering
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Best Engineering Schools FAQ
An engineering degree at the associate level takes one or two years to complete. At the bachelor’s level, four to five years are required to complete the degree, depending on the area of specialization. Master’s degrees take one to three years. Doctorate programs take the longest to complete because of the research involved, with many students taking six years or more to graduate.
You can prepare for your job interview by reading up on some of the common interview questions in your field. At an interview for a mechanical engineer position, for example, your interviewer will probably be asking questions that reveal your unique skillset and your ability to solve complex problems that the company may face.
You should pursue an accelerated degree if you are motivated to complete your studies in less time. However, it is always advisable to speak to an academic counselor or advisor to help you weigh your options.
The best engineering school is an accredited one that offers the specific engineering program you would like to pursue. You can make this decision based on some of the factors addressed earlier, including the cost of the program. You can always start at a community college and work your way to a full degree, dual degree, or accelerated program.
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