On my college search, I researched a lot of different stuff online, narrowing down my selection to about 5. Those were MIT, Northeastern, RPI, Stevens Institute of technology, and University of New Haven (if I decided I wanted to stay home). I visited all of them, went on the campus tours, etc. and decided that I liked Northeastern and RPI the best. MIT was nice, but I didn’t think I’d be able to get in. I didn’t like the location of Stevens, and UNH was… not my thing. I applied to all of them except MIT and was accepted to all of them. Northeastern and RPI were my top two choices, and I had comparable offers of Financial Aid from both of them. Ah, that’s another thing. Start the Financial Aid Process EARLY! It’s a real pain in the anterior.
In the end, Boston and Coop and the University FIRST team ended up winning out over RPI.
I guess I’ll just give you an overview of stuff. Here at Northeastern University, all engineering students have a common freshman year.
Intro to Engineering
Elective (one of the few you’ll ever get)
During the second semester, before registering for next fall’s classes, you have to declare what type of engineering you want to be. I don’t know how true this is of other colleges and universities (heck, or other majors at NU), but I found that freshman year was almost a disservice, because sophomore courses were just that much more difficult than freshman courses. I guess one of the key things to doing well is developing a good work ethic early, even though the class work may not be too difficult. That having been said, I definitely enjoy the harder classes more than the easier classes, especially once I got into courses for my major (I’m doing a dual Electrical and Computer Engineering major).
One big thing to consider is whether or not you want to go to a school with a Cooperative Education program. Essentially the way it works at NU is that, for six months out of the year, you’re in classes, learning the theory and whatnot. Then, for the other six months, you’re on coop, working in the field in your major, gaining valuable work experience, practical knowledge, and, (some would say) most importantly, a paycheck. All engineering coops here are paid, and most of them pay well; I can’t say so much for other majors. For example, my communications major friend had three coops, not one of them paid.
Of course, after your first coop, you could totally decide that you hate your major and switch to something completely different, I know a couple of English majors who started out as engineering.
If you have any more questions, please feel free to contact me.
Oh, and be an EE. We have more fun.