Getting into engineering school takes a fair bit of planning. As a high school graduate or undergraduate student interested in building a career in the engineering field, demonstrating your academic and professional worth is how you get accepted into engineering school. In this article, we’ll guide you in formulating a workable plan to achieve your academic and career goals.
If you’re wondering how to get into engineering school, you’re in the right place. While a high grade point average is a major part of the admissions requirements, it’s not the only factor that qualifies you for an engineering degree program. Read on to discover the eligibility requirements for engineering programs and find out how difficult it is to get into engineering school.
How Difficult Is It to Get Into Engineering School?
Getting into an engineering school can be difficult. As an applicant, you’ll most likely be facing a competitive application process. Judging by the latest report from the California Institute of Technology, which has a three percent acceptance rate, admission into one of the top engineering schools might seem impossible for the average student.
That being said, this shouldn’t deter you from applying to programs you think are a great fit for you. Several factors affect your admission application’s success. Most schools are looking for applicants who can be trained to efficiently match the ever-growing engineering demands of the real world. As long as you meet the requirements listed below, you have a good chance of getting into a school.
Common Engineering School Requirements
- Eligibility Requirement. Most schools let students specialize in an engineering major in their undergraduate degree. To do so, you’ll need a high school degree or equivalent. For graduate programs, most schools prefer that applicants apply directly from the department they are interested in. Each department has its set of entry requirements.
- Course and GPA Requirement. Most schools don’t have a specific GPA range for students pursuing an engineering degree. However, you should have a GPA between 3.0 and 4.0 and have completed your physics, math, and general studies courses during high school. For a graduate program, you need to complete applied science courses, advanced math courses, and several engineering courses.
- Online Application Requirement. Most schools require two or more applications. Applicants are expected to apply directly on the school’s website or through an application service such as the Common App. Your online application form usually contains boxes for personal information and attachments. You’ll most likely need to pay a non-refundable application fee for processing your application.
- Standardized Test Score Requirement. While a standardized test score is not a requirement for all schools, most schools use ACT or SAT scores to assess the academic competence of their applicants. The higher your marks, the better your chances are of being able to attend a prestigious engineering school.
- Teacher Evaluation Requirement. The teacher evaluation requirement mostly refers to letters of recommendation. Most colleges of engineering require that they be written by your math or science teachers who can attest to your academic potential. Generally, you’ll need at least two letters of recommendation.
- School Transcript and Record Requirement. A school transcript is written by the applicant’s school counselor. This report contains information about your student record and lists your GPA and class rank. Most schools ask that a counselor’s report accompanies the school report. It contains a written assessment of your academic competence and progress.
- Additional Requirement. You might be asked to include a resume, but this mostly occurs during graduate applications. Some schools also include interviews as part of their admissions process. Up to three recommendation letters and personal essays might be required for graduate applications.
How to Get Accepted Into Engineering School: A Step-by-Step Guide
To give your engineering college applications a boost, you’ll need to properly plan your application process. As an aspiring engineering student, make sure you know the engineering admission requirements for the schools you want to attend. It will help you relieve stress during your college application process. Here are some of the steps you should take to do so.
Step 1: Do Your Research
Conduct proper research on the undergraduate and graduate engineering schools you wish to attend. Each school has its own unique requirements and engineering specialization. Researching these schools will help you decide which school and program can help you achieve your career goals. If you need to take a standardized test for that program, preliminary research will help you prepare on time.
Step 2: Organize Your Application Documents
Don’t wait until a few weeks before the application deadline to compile your admission documents. Start as soon as the applications are out. Official transcripts typically take a while to arrive at the schools you’ve applied to, since it has to be verified. Ensure you review each school’s evaluation requirements before sending out recommendation requests.
Step 3: Complete Your Online Application on Time
While there are several notable application services available to engineering applicants, stick to those recommended by your school. Avoid late applications. Most schools practice rolling applications, so the earlier your application gets to the school, the higher your chance of admission. Start the school’s supplemental application along with the electronic application.
Step 4: Prepare for Your Interview
Track your application to know when you may be contacted for an interview. Take the time to prepare for it. Your interview is an opportunity for the admissions committee to review your fit into the program. They’ll assess your passion for engineering and your professional accomplishments in the engineering field. Interviews are more common when applying to graduate programs.
Step 5: Check and Confirm Your Admission Status.
You can access your admission record using your application service account or the school’s official website. You can also request your admission status by contacting the admissions office. The admission department’s decision usually comes with a requirement guideline and deadline for acceptance. Your offer package includes your degree program type and financial aid details.
How to Choose the Right Engineering School
When choosing the school you wish to complete your undergraduate or graduate studies at, consider schools with programs that have specializations in your desired engineering discipline. Review their career development programs, student-faculty ratio, financial aid options, and tuition costs.
Top Tips for Getting Into Engineering School
- Build Your Competence in STEM Subjects. Taking advanced courses in science and math in high school can boost your chances of getting into an engineering undergraduate program. When applying to graduate programs, your official transcript needs to contain courses that show a strong foundation in math, physics, and engineering.
- Know the School’s and Program’s History. Before sending out applications to any college of engineering, do some research. Check the school’s acceptance rate, engineering college ranking, retention rate, and graduation rate. Check the success rate of the alumni network. This knowledge might also be useful during your interview.
- Don’t Write a Generic Personal Statement. Application essays are an ideal way for colleges to learn about what kind of student you are. Your personal statement should explain your career aspirations and how a college education from that school can help you achieve them.
- Build a Strong Resume for Graduate Programs. To be admitted into graduate programs in engineering, you need to be able to convey your passion for engineering. Ensure the accomplishments on your resume suit the program you’re applying to. For a prestigious college of engineering, your GRE score and work experience matter a lot.
- Choose a specialization as soon as possible. As early as your freshman year, you should start deciding which branch of engineering you want to specialize in. You can speak to current engineering students and your academic counselors to help you make an informed decision. This will help you pick courses that’ll help you build competence in your chosen engineering discipline.
Will I Get Accepted Into Engineering School?
Maybe. The acceptance rates of engineering schools vary widely. It’s also easier to get into an undergraduate engineering program than a graduate program. To get into a graduate engineering program, you need strong grades in math and advanced science courses.
Keep in mind that an engineering college degree isn’t the only way to launch an engineering career. Coding bootcamps have a higher acceptance rate and better career services for aspiring software engineers.
Is Getting Into Engineering School Worth It?
Yes, it is. The field of engineering supports an array of lucrative specializations. As an engineering student, specializing in computer engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, or civil engineering can let you earn a high salary and open up many opportunities for your career’s growth.
The average annual salary for engineers is $73,524, according to ZipRecruiter. Depending on your engineering specialization, you could earn more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, you can earn as high as $208,000 as a petroleum engineer.
How to Get Into Engineering School FAQ
To become an engineer, you’ll need a bachelor’s degree from an accredited university or a professional certificate from a recognized educational institution like a coding or software engineering bootcamp at the minimum. Either of these educational platforms can help you build the practical skills necessary to solve real-world problems in the industry.
Based on the career review by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, petroleum engineers earn the highest salaries, especially in managerial positions. According to the review, this field only requires a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering with a specialization in petroleum engineering. However, several careers in computer engineering have high salary averages, particularly machine learning engineering.
Most people agree that electrical engineering, aerospace engineering, chemical engineering, biomedical engineering, and computer engineering are amongst the hardest engineering disciplines in the field, although this depends on the technical competence and analytical skills of the individual.
Yes, it is a good career path. Engineers are some of the most essential workers in every state. Engineering is one of the major facilitators of economic growth and advancements and, as such, engineers enjoy high wages and recognition. Regardless of which field you specialize in, you are bound to get a good salary, have work autonomy, and get engaging work.
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