Engineering is a very viable field because there are many possible career paths. If you’re looking to kickstart your career, we have created a list of the best engineering schools in the Midwest. There are several engineering schools in the Midwest from which to choose, particularly in Illinois and Michigan.
We have curated an extensive list of schools by their Midwest engineering school rankings. Keep reading to learn more about these schools, what their best programs are, and how you can apply.
How to Choose a Good Engineering School in the Midwest
To choose the best engineering school in the Midwest for you, you should consider location, career goals, and the student-to-faculty ratio. While this is not an exhaustive list, these factors are the most important when selecting your desired graduate and undergraduate programs.
The school’s location is essential for those looking for an affordable college opportunity. Out-of-state tuition can be two to three times more than in-state tuition, not to mention housing and transportation fees that come with studying out of state. Finding a school in your home state is an excellent way to save a little money.
When considering the best engineering schools in the Midwest, you also need to consider your career goals. Knowing exactly what career path or program you wish to pursue makes it easier to find a college that meets those goals.
Your school’s student-to-teacher ratio lets you know how small or large your classes are. Smaller class sizes with a 9:1 student-faculty ratio give you better access to your teacher than a school with a 20:1 student-faculty ratio. You want to ensure you’ll receive the attention and support you need.
Midwest Engineering School Rankings: What Schools Have the Best Engineering Programs in the Midwest?
|Engineering School||Top Undergrad Program||Top Grad Program||US News Ranking|
|University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign||Bachelor of Science Aerospace Engineering||PhD in Aerospace Engineering||#6 (tie)|
|University of Michigan – Ann Arbor||Bachelor of Science Engineering Space Science and Engineering||PhD in Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering||#6 (tie)|
|Purdue University||Bachelor of Science Nuclear Engineering||Nuclear Engineering PhD||#10|
|Northwestern University||Bachelor of Science Industrial Engineering||PhD Industrial Engineering||#15|
|Ohio State University||Bachelor of Science Industrial and Systems Engineering||Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering||#27|
|University of Notre Dame||Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering||PhD in Chemical Engineering||#36|
|Michigan State University||Bachelor of Science in Environmental Engineering||Master in Science Mechanical Engineering||#45|
|Michigan Technological University||Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering||PhD in Materials Science and Engineering||#63 (tie)|
|Missouri University of Science and Technology||Bachelor of Science Architectural Engineering||Master of Science in Explosive||#63 (tie)|
|Illinois Institute of Technology||Bachelor of Science Architectural Engineering||PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering||#86|
Midwest Engineering Schools Ranking Methodology: How We Ranked the Best Engineering Schools in The Midwest
To rank the best engineering schools in the Midwest, we used US News & World Report’s breakdown of the best engineering program as a guide. We also took into consideration the subject-specific rankings conducted by Times Higher Education, as well as factors such as graduation rate, acceptance rate, and affordability.
Best Engineering Schools in the Midwest Explained
The best engineering schools in the Midwest offer a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in engineering. The best can be challenging to get into, but their top-qualify programs make them the most desired public and private schools in the region.
Best Undergraduate Engineering Schools in the Midwest
Finding the best undergraduate engineering schools in the Midwest can be daunting, especially if you aren’t sure you can afford them or don’t feel ready for a bachelor’s degree. We have compiled the top undergraduate engineering degrees to help you start your academic journey.
Best Engineering Associate Degree Schools in the Midwest
- Lewis and Clark Community College | Associate in Engineering Science. The Associate Degree in Engineering science prepares students to pursue a degree at the University of Illinois in nuclear, aeronautical, or agricultural engineering.
- Columbia College | Associate in Science in Pre-Engineering. Columbia College’s pre-engineering course prepares students for their bachelor’s degree. They will study differential calculus, chemistry, differential equations, and calculus-based physics.
- Saint Paul College | Associate of Science Engineering Broad Field. Students at Saint Paul College get a broad education in engineering. This 60-credit associate degree covers digital electronics, thermodynamics, and circuit analysis.
- Northwest State Community College | Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering Technology. Northwest State’s Associate of Applied Science in Mechanical Engineering degree program teaches students about the design and installation of mechanical equipment. The program prepares students to pursue a higher degree after graduation by giving them knowledge of mechanical systems.
- Parkland College | Associate of Engineering Science. The 60-credit Associate of Engineering Sciences gives students a solid foundation in core engineering courses. Students who graduate with this degree can transfer to a four-year bachelor’s degree and major in one of six branches.
Best Engineering Bachelor’s Degree Programs in the Midwest
- University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign | Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering. The aerospace engineering bachelor’s program focuses on the development, research, integration, and production of systems. The 128-credit program can be completed in over four years.
- University of Michigan – Ann Arbor | Bachelor of Science in Climate and Meteorology. This climate and meteorology bachelor’s degree teaches students to understand weather patterns and gather information to inform the public. This program requires four years of study and 128 credit hours.
- Purdue University | Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering. Purdue’s nuclear engineering bachelor’s degree focuses on climate change and power needs. Students learn how these changes and conditions threaten fossil fuel sources and alternative energy options.
- Northwestern University | Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Engineering. This biomedical technology engineering bachelor’s degree focuses on research on top of the core curriculum. It takes four years to complete.
- Ohio State University | Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering. This bachelor’s degree requires two civil engineering capstones during the student’s senior year. Students take 131 credit hours to complete their degree.
Best Online Associate Degrees
Best Online Bachelor’s Degrees
Best Graduate Schools for Engineering in the Midwest
Receiving a graduate degree from one of the best graduate engineering schools in the Midwest guarantees a secure career and high-paying salary. While most jobs accept candidates with bachelor’s degrees, employers tend to prefer highly-educated candidates. Let’s look at some of the top master’s and PhD programs in the Midwest.
Best Schools for Master’s in Engineering in the Midwest
- Purdue University | Master of Science in Environmental and Ecological Engineering. Purdue’s Master’s Degree in Environmental and Ecological Engineering focuses on ecological and environmental issues. Students learn about global environmental challenges currently faced. The program has a non-thesis and thesis track.
- Ohio State University | Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Students can choose between a non-thesis or thesis Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Students have six years to complete 30 to 33 credit hours. Non-thesis students must complete an approved project in place of a dissertation.
- University of Notre Dame | Master in Science in Computer Science and Engineering. This Master’s Degree in Computer Science and Engineering takes one year to complete. It is for students who would like to advance in their careers and get a higher-earning potential. It does not lead to a PhD.
- Michigan Technological University | Master of Science in Mining Engineering. The Michigan Technological University offers a twelve-month, 30-credit Master’s Degree in Mining Engineering. Students can choose to complete their three semesters through the report path or thesis track.
- Illinois Institute of Technology | Master of Engineering Artificial Intelligence, Computer Vision, and Control. This master’s degree focuses on issues with control systems, embedded systems, and AI frameworks. It is ideal for students who want to work with computer vision or artificial intelligence.
Best PhD in Engineering Universities in the Midwest
- Purdue University | Nuclear Engineering PhD. Purdue University offers a dual degree opportunity, completing a master’s degree and PhD simultaneously. According to the school’s website, 93 percent of students in the program receive financial aid.
- University of Michigan – Ann Arbor | PhD in Climate and Space Sciences and Engineering. This PhD program requires that candidates take a qualifying exam after completing the program’s first two years. Before beginning their dissertation, students need to complete 24 hours of coursework.
- University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign | PhD in Aerospace Engineering. This PhD in Aerospace Engineering is a continuation of the school’s master’s program. The 24-credit program focuses on the physics and mathematics needed to qualify for a PhD.
- Northwestern University | PhD in Industrial Engineering. Northwestern University’s industrial engineering PhD mostly consists of core classes. At the end of the first year, students must pass an exam to continue their doctorate.
- University of Notre Dame | PhD in Bioengineering. The University of Notre Dame’s PhD in Bioengineering requires 27 credit hours in addition to the dissertation. Depending on what their advisor suggests, some students may need to take a few more courses.
Best Online Master’s Degrees
Best Online PhD Programs
Admission Requirements for Engineering Schools in the Midwest
The admission requirements for engineering schools in the Midwest are different for undergraduate and graduate schools. While the requirements will vary between schools, we highlight below the basic admission requirements for all schools.
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Engineering Schools in the Midwest: Undergraduate Admission Requirements
- High school transcripts. If still in high school, a mid-year senior report is necessary at the time of application
- ACT/SAT scores
- Admission essay
- Personal statement
- A minimum GPA. Most programs require at least a score of 3.0 for consideration
- Letters of recommendation from teachers
- Prerequisite courses in math/science
Engineering Schools in the Midwest: Graduate Admission Requirements
- Bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline
- Minimum GPA of 3.0
- Official transcripts from all schools attended
- GRE scores
- Letters of reference, work experience, or letters of intent
- Personal essay
- Application fee
Is It Hard to Get Into a School for Engineering in the Midwest?
Yes, it can be difficult to get into the best engineering schools in the Midwest. Schools like Northwestern University only have a nine percent acceptance rate. However, some community colleges have an open admission policy. These schools could be a good starting point for new students to get foundational knowledge and training.
Easiest Colleges to Get Into in the Midwest for Engineering
- Sitting Bull College | Acceptance Rate: 100%. Sitting Bull College has an open admission policy. Its pre-engineering program gives students the basics of electrical and mechanical engineering. The associate degree prepares students to transfer to a four-year school.
- City Colleges of Chicago-Malcolm X College | Acceptance Rate: 100%. Malcolm X College, part of the City College of Chicago, offers an Associate Degree in Engineering Science that prepares students to transfer to a four-year degree. All applicants will take engineering physics and can choose additional engineering electives.
- University of Iowa | Acceptance Rate: 84%. The engineering school at the University of Iowa offers seven engineering programs. With an 84 percent acceptance rate, they accept most students with a high GPA and good test scores.
- Marquette University | Acceptance Rate: 82%. Marquette University offers students a shot at getting their Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering. They offer programs in civil, biomedical, mechanical, electrical, and computer engineering.
- Missouri University of Science and Technology | Acceptance Rate: 81%. According to its website, Missouri University of Science and Technology is among the top five engineering schools in the Midwest. Their high acceptance rate allows a wide variety of students to benefit from their undergraduate and graduate engineering courses.
How to Get Into the Best Colleges and Universities
Best Online Schools for Engineering in the Midwest
The best online schools for engineering in the Midwest include the University of Wisconsin, University of Illinois, University of Minnesota, Ohio State, and Purdue University. Their graduate rates range from 87 percent to 75 percent.
|School||Graduation Rate||Top Online Engineering Program|
|University of Wisconsin-Madison||87%||Master of Engineering in Engineering Management|
|University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign||86%||Master of Science in Aerospace Engineering|
|University of Minnesota – Twin Cities||80%||Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering|
|Ohio State University||77%||Master of Engineering Management|
|Purdue University||75%||Master of Science in Nuclear Engineering|
The Most Affordable Colleges for Engineering in the Midwest
The most affordable colleges for engineering in the Midwest are Fort Hays State University, Wayne State University, Bismark State College, Southeast Missouri State University, and Witchita State University. Take a look below to find the most affordable university for you.
How to Attend the Top Engineering Schools in the Midwest With Financial Aid
To avoid going into debt after graduation, it is wise to consider the top engineering schools in the Midwest that accept financial aid. Midwest students can apply for federal financial aid by filling out the free application for federal student aid. They can also contact their state’s higher education compact to gain assistance through loans, grants, or scholarships.
Best Engineering Scholarships for Midwest Students
- Dakota Corps Scholarship | Amount: Full Tuition. The Dakota Scholarship Program is available to South Dakota High School graduates with a minimum GPA of 2.8. Students also need an ACT score of 27 or greater and agree to stay in South Dakota for the duration of the scholarship.
- Science, Mathematics, and Research for Transformation Scholarship | Amount: Full Tuition. The Department of Defense’s SMART Scholarship pays tuition and fees for eligible recipients. To apply, students must be at least 18 years of age and request at least one year of degree funding. Students need a minimum GPA of 3.0 and be willing to work for DoD upon graduation.
- Niche Scholarship | Amount: $2,000. The Niche scholarship is open to all students in high school or college. Students must be at least 18 years old and currently attending a school on the niche.com website. There is no essay requirement to apply.
- TMC/SAE Donald D. Dawson Technical Scholarship | Amount: $1,500 The Society of Automotive Engineers and the Maintenance Council of the American Trucking association offers a $1,500 scholarship to first-year students pursuing an engineering degree. Students must have a 3.25 GPA and two letters of recommendation.
- Horatio Alger State Scholarship | Amount: $10,000. The Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans offers eligible students a $10,000 scholarship. To apply, students must be at least a high school junior, complete a bachelor’s degree, and have a financial need. They must maintain a minimum GPA of 2.0 during their studies.
Midwest Employment Outlook for Engineering
The Midwest’s employment outlook has seen a growth of 1.4 percent between May 2021 and May 2022, as reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The area has seen a reduction in unemployment by 30.9 percent during the same period.
According to Statista, the annual revenue for engineering services will have increased by $2,300.77 from 2012 to 2024. Not only are engineering school graduates almost guaranteed a job placement after graduation, but they also can expect high salaries.
Highest-Paying Engineering Careers in the Midwest
|Engineering Job||Engineering Degree||Average Salary in the Midwest|
|Petroleum Engineer||Bachelor’s degree||$130,850|
|Aerospace Engineer||Bachelor’s degree||$122,270|
|Nuclear Engineer||Bachelor’s degree||$120,380|
|Electronics Engineer||Bachelor’s degree||$101,780|
|Mining and Geological Engineer||Bachelor’s degree||$97,090|
Best Engineering Jobs in the Midwest Explained
The best engineering jobs in the Midwest offer high salaries and require the best education. If you want to know about the different types of engineering jobs and their salaries, keep reading below for a breakdown of the best engineering jobs in the Midwest.
Does It Matter What Engineering School in the Midwest I Go To?
No, it does not matter what school in the Midwest you go to for engineering. Employers are more concerned with what type of engineering degree you have. They look for students with experience who have worked with reputable companies or people.
Despite the college having little input on your career, it is still important to consider a school that best suits your personal and professional goals. Choose a school and program that will not only provide quality education but will nourish your mind and fulfill you.
Additional Reading About Engineering
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Best Engineering Schools in the Midwest FAQ
Electrical engineering is among the hardest engineering majors. Much of engineering is studying abstract concepts. Electrical concepts can add a layer of complexity to the already demanding engineering field.
One of the best engineering majors for future employment is civil engineering. These professionals determine the size of structures and ensure the buildings are adequately developed. They test construction materials and soil structures before building.
Mechanical engineering majors are some of the most popular degrees sought in the engineering field. According to PayScale, students with a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering make $70,000 a year.
Yes, an engineering degree is one of the most challenging degrees to study. You have to approach each problem with logic, common sense, and patience to solve it. However, those with strong work ethics will do quite well in an engineering degree.
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