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kio_chan176
11-29-2005, 10:09 AM
I'm a just a freshman so this may be weird that I'm thinking about college already. But has anyone heard of any good engineering colleges/universities? I have a list of a few good ones I'm considering going to.

Amherst College
Brown University
Carnegie Mellon University
Columbia University - Columbia College
University of Pennsylvania
Williams College
Yale University

Anybody heard of some other good ones? I'd greatly appreciate any input on this. Thanks. :D

KenWittlief
11-29-2005, 11:07 AM
There are so many excellent engineering universities, it might be more productive to ask if there are any that should be avoided?

the list would be shorter :^)

Anne Shade
11-29-2005, 11:15 AM
It's good that you are starting to think about this early. It'll make it much easier for you come your senior year. There are lots of good engineering schools out there, many more than are on your list. Your goal shouldn't necessarily be to find the top school out there. It should be to find the school that best fits you. Here are a few questions to start you off:

1. What type of engineering do you want to do? (i.e. mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical, etc.)

2. Is there a particular part of the country you want to stay within or out of?

3. Do you want to have a more practical education or more theoretical? (Some engineering programs teach more to one side than the other, some are more balanced.)

4. What extracurriculars are important to you? (i.e. specific clubs, sports, etc.)

5. Do you want to have smaller classes/campus?

6. Is being in the middle of a large city ok or would you rather be in a small rural college town?

7. Are there any special programs that interest you? (i.e. honors colleges, special training, specific courses, etc.)

8. Do you want to co-op during your college years? (There are colleges with great co-op programs, some will help find internships as well)

These are just a few of the questions to start asking yourself in order to find the best fit for you. You'll be able to succeed much more easily in a school where you are comfortable and that has the program that you want. Remember that you're paying for this education, make it work for you. There are many of us here on these forums that can help you answer questions about specific engineering programs (I for one can answer any questions you may have about Georgia Tech). Don't be afraid to ask!!

Ryan Foley
11-29-2005, 11:17 AM
This thread may help you get a good list of engineering colleges and universities.

List of colleges where people from the Class of 2006 applied (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=38508&highlight=Good+Colleges)


There are so many excellent engineering universities, it might be more productive to ask if there are any that should be avoided?

the list would be shorter :^)

Haha, Ken makes a good point. Also, keep in mind that a "good engineering college" to one person, might not be for someone else.

Also, from my experience, keep an eye out for what engineering teams the school may have for various engineering competitions. These organizations are very useful, as they will give you a chance to apply what you are learning, which can really help you understand things better if you find yourself having a difficult time with a certain class.

Also, going off of what Anne said, take a look at the classes each college requires you to take for a particular major. For example. UMAINE's Mechanical Engineering program requires that we take 2 design electives. Almost all of our choices for these electives relate to thermodynamics and heat transfer, whereas at another college, they may have more electives that relate to machine design. So that is something else to watch out for.

sanddrag
11-29-2005, 11:39 AM
You'd be very wise to read some reviews of the math department and math professors while looking at schools. For example, while Cal Poly Pomona is a pretty good engineering school, I find some of their math professors to be sub-par. And we all know, math is very important in engineering. :)

Also, many students have a difficult time getting the engineering classes they need because there are so many students wanting to take them and due to budget cuts or whatever, few classes being offered. You should take a look into how easy or hard it will be to get the classes you need.

kio_chan176
11-30-2005, 10:05 AM
It's good that you are starting to think about this early. It'll make it much easier for you come your senior year. There are lots of good engineering schools out there, many more than are on your list. Your goal shouldn't necessarily be to find the top school out there. It should be to find the school that best fits you. Here are a few questions to start you off:

1. What type of engineering do you want to do? (i.e. mechanical, electrical, civil, chemical, etc.)

2. Is there a particular part of the country you want to stay within or out of?

3. Do you want to have a more practical education or more theoretical? (Some engineering programs teach more to one side than the other, some are more balanced.)

4. What extracurriculars are important to you? (i.e. specific clubs, sports, etc.)

5. Do you want to have smaller classes/campus?

6. Is being in the middle of a large city ok or would you rather be in a small rural college town?

7. Are there any special programs that interest you? (i.e. honors colleges, special training, specific courses, etc.)

8. Do you want to co-op during your college years? (There are colleges with great co-op programs, some will help find internships as well)

These are just a few of the questions to start asking yourself in order to find the best fit for you. You'll be able to succeed much more easily in a school where you are comfortable and that has the program that you want. Remember that you're paying for this education, make it work for you. There are many of us here on these forums that can help you answer questions about specific engineering programs (I for one can answer any questions you may have about Georgia Tech). Don't be afraid to ask!!

1. I hear there's an excessive amount of computer programmers and engineers, and not enough robotics engineers, so that's what I want to be. I want to make land rovers and things like that.

2. I'd like to stay somewhere near the east coast. The west coast is nice, but I'd like to stay closer to home.

3. Practical/theoretical education? I'll have to ask some of my friends about that.

4. Extracurriculars aren't very important, they're fun and all, and I hear colleges love a busy schedule.

5. I really don't care about the size of the campus. I guess a medium sized one would be good. Not too big, not too small.

6. I'd like to be in a town/city with lots of engineering job opportunities around. I guess for experience and maybe internships.

7. I'll need to check out some special programs, if anyone can describe any, I'd appreciate it.

8. I'd like to try out an internship. I'll look for some colleges with co-op programs.

Thanks for the help. I guess I should start thinking about those questions more. It doesn't help right now since I'm in the middle of computer class. :D

Stu Bloom
11-30-2005, 10:49 AM
Not from personal experience, but I know that Carnegie Mellon is very strong in robotics. They have been working on projects with the Department of Defense for several years, and their vehicles took 2nd and 3rd places in the recent DARPA Grand Challenge (http://www.grandchallenge.org/) - two of only four vehicles to even finish the race within the required 10 hour time limit. (the Stanford University team WON THE TWO MILLION DOLLAR first prize).

Ryan Foley
11-30-2005, 03:43 PM
1. I hear there's an excessive amount of computer programmers and engineers, and not enough robotics engineers, so that's what I want to be. I want to make land rovers and things like that.

One thing to keep in mind, robotics isnt usually offered as a major. Carnegie Mellon has it as a minor for undergraduates, other colleges may have the same, or as a concentration in another major (most often electrical or mechanical engineering). So "robotics engineer" is a title you'll probably get through a job, not education/ degree. You can work on robots with many majors, you dont need a degree in robotics itself to do so.

However I have the same ambition (robotics engineer), I am majoring in Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering Technology, so I have a foundation in both aspects of robotics. Not sure if I'll take care of the programming aspect through school, on my own, if I do at all.

By the way, CMU is very good for robotics, as Stu said. Stanford also did well in the DARPA challenge. Cornell also seems to have a lot of robotics, including a FIRST team and Robocup team.

Good Luck.

DonRotolo
11-30-2005, 07:45 PM
First, consider the size of school and town you are comfortable with. Since you got to NBTHS, you'll probably do better at a larger school in a smaller community than a smaller school or one in a large city. But, if you are introverted, small school might be better, and if you're street smart, a city might be OK too.

Second, consider the distance. Try to keep it in driving distance (5-6 hours, like Maine to Virginia to Ohio from NJ)

Third, consider costs. MIT might be cool, and get you a great first job, but after 10 years where you graduated from (with a bachelor's, at least) has little impact. If money isn't an issue, then ignore this one.

Fourth, find out about the faculty they have teaching undergrads. Nice facilities are, well, nice, but you don't learn from the facilities, you learn from the profs. The best universities have the best staff, facilities kind of follow but not necessarily.

I went to SUNY Stony Brook, a large school on Long Island. Very inexpensive but top quality. I started at a smaller school in PA, but while they had great facilities, their staff was mostly lower quality, and it became obvious to me during the second year, so I left.

NJIT is OK, but it's in Newark. Whatever you do, don't live at home, the most important part of your education is the part about living on your own. Really. Stevens is just OK.

RPI has a great program, it takes 5 years but you get some great internship opportunities. Rochester is a good school, too. But, no matter where you go, there will always be internship opportunities near the school, so that shouldn't be a big factor.

Anne B's comment about practical versus theoretical is important, if you're the hands-on type you'll be very unhappy at a school with a theoretical focus, and since you like building Robots, it sounds like you're a practical type. But, remember you still need the theory. Doubt you'll find a robotics program in many places, but electrical and mechanical are good choices. Electrical with a biomed minor would be wild, so you can built androids...

Oh, and during the next year or two, convince your parents to do some campus visits (even Rutgers), so you get a feel for the atmosphere you can expect. Then, when its for real, you won't be as intimidated.

Good Luck,
Don

(PS: If Robotics is really that interesting, write to some famous robot people and ask them about their education. JPL has some robots up on Mars, and Roomba sells robots too... Visit their web sites to get names, and send a real US Postal letter for a huge impact)

kio_chan176
12-02-2005, 10:00 AM
Thanks, I'll consider all of that. ^^

Ben Lauer
12-02-2005, 11:55 AM
Here are some links:

http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/engineering/nophd/topprogs_nophd_brief.php
http://www.usnews.com/usnews/edu/college/rankings/brief/engineering/phd/topprogs_withphd_brief.php
http://www.studentsreview.com/top_engineering_schools_ranking.html
http://education.yahoo.com/college/essentials/school_rankings/college/college_rank_eng.html

Those are just some random links I pulled from online. Check them out, talk to people, you have plenty of time to decide.

sciguy125
12-02-2005, 12:17 PM
Something else you might want to consider is accreditation. I was just reading some stuff about professional engineer licensing and found an interesting statistic:

There are about 320 universities with ABET-accredited engineering programs (29 in California) and about 250 colleges with ABET- accredited four-year programs in engineering technology, plus others offering two-year programs.

Source:
"AN INTRODUCTION TO PROFESSIONAL ENGINEERING LICENSING IN CALIFORNIA AND OTHER STATES"
by California Society of Professional Engineers
November 5, 2001

(Yes...too lazy to look up proper citation format)

To me, those numbers seem a little low (not that I'm questioning it). Of the schools listed in California (it's a booklet oriented toward CA), several only had 1-3 accredited programs as of 1999. If your career plans call for an ABET accredited program, you might want to check if your schools have them.

coreyk
12-02-2005, 06:32 PM
Here's a site that may aid you in finding the college that best suits you: http://www.collegeboard.com/csearch/

It's helpful when narrowing down your selections.