If engineers had a motto, it would most likely be “How do I make it work?” Look around you and you will see the work of engineers everywhere from the food that graces your table to the shuttles flying to Mars. Engineers take known mathematical and scientific information and apply it to all manner of buildings, machines, and technology that help improve the way consumers live. You will find there are six major branches of engineers. These are mechanical, chemical, civil, electrical, management, and geological. Within these categories, there are hundreds of sub-specialties. A licensed engineer can expect to bring in upwards of sixty thousand dollars a year. Engineering is a constantly growing field that will always be relevant in our society.
Qualities Needed By Engineers
Are you cut out to be an engineer? The first thing you need is a strong interest and ability to grasp mathematical and scientific concepts. These are the base of all engineering concepts. An engineer must also be highly analytical and detail-oriented. Imagination and creativity are two other traits that are needed as engineers are often dealing with “what if” scenarios. An engineer must be a team player who has the ability to quickly and communicate ideas, yet they must be able to have the discipline to work alone for long periods of time in many situations. The greatest trait of an engineer is having the inner need to build or improve on the way things work. If you see yourself in these traits, then engineering may be your future.
Engineering Licensing Requirements
An engineer must become licensed in every state. This helps ensure the quality of what is created. There are four steps to getting licensed:
- Obtain a Bachelor’s degree from an accredited program
- Pass the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam
- Work as an apprentice engineer for at least four years
- Pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam
Requirements for yearly renewal and continuing education vary by state of licensure. The National Society for Professional Engineers can answer many of the questions you may have about licensing.
Top Engineering School
What kind of things can you expect to learn in the best engineering colleges? Programs may vary slightly and the course names differ from one school to another. You will have a combination of engineering and general classes. An example of a typical engineering degree program will include:
- General education classes including Introduction to Psychology, Introduction to Sociology, American History, English Composition, General Chemistry, and General Physics.
- Specialized classes may include Engineering Materials, Analytical Geometry and Calculus, Logical Design and Digital Circuits, Engineering Mathematics, Decision Analysis, and Probability and Risk Analysis for Engineers
15 Best Engineering Schools
The following Engineering Programs made our list of best engineering schools. If you see yourself with a future in Engineering, regardless of the sub-specialty, take a look into the following best engineering colleges.
1. West Virginia University of Technology
The engineering offerings at the West Virginia University of Technology are abundant, with 21 different specialties to choose from. This is one of the most affordable schools on our list, With a graduation rate of 57 percent, the programs are intense but the quality of education you will receive is well-recognized. The school first gained recognition for its biometrics program that has become the standard in the FBI and the high standards that program set in place are apparent throughout the school.
- Tuition: $7,560 (residents), $18, 912 (non-residents) plus Engineering Fees of $2,016
- Admission Requirements: A GPA of at least 2.0 and an ACT math score of at least 19 or an SAT math score of 510
2. California State Polytechnic University Program
California State Polytechnic University Program offers eleven undergraduate and seven graduate degrees in Engineering. This is one of the few colleges that prides itself on offering an education system based on hands-on experience. Their Aerospace Engineering program ranked third out of 220 programs in U.S. News & World Report in 2020. Three other sub-specialties also made the list. Overall, the program ranked 11 out of 220, not a bad position at all. This program offers over 1200 Bachelor degrees in Engineering each year.
- Tuition: $2,513.11 per quarter (residents) Non-residents must add an additional $264 per unit taken each quarter
- Admission Requirements; Evaluates by a combination of GPA (2.5 for residents, 3.0 for non-residents ), SAT scores (waived for the 2022-22 school year), and non-academic experience. Priority is given to residents, veterans, and first-generation college students.
3. Missouri University of Science and Technology
Left-brain students dominate at Missouri University of Science and Technology, with a full 90 percent being STEM students. The Engineering offerings at this school include both academics and the chance for research. They offer several areas of interest including Mining Engineering and Nuclear Engineering. They are currently doing research in working in extreme environments and improving infrastructures now and in the future.
- Tuition: $8,568 (with housing, food, books, and fees, the estimated cost is $26,394 per year)
- Admission Requirements: GPA and scores on either ACT or SAT are evaluated but no minimum requirements were are listed on site)
4.Texas Tech University
Texas Tech University led the field in requiring that all of their Engineering students spend time as an international exchange student. They understand that in today’s society, the ability to work with people from all over the world is essential. The best way to achieve that ability is to enable students to immerse themselves in the cultures around the world. This program is considered one of the most forward-thinking engineering programs with programs in cybersecurity and wind engineering, among others. The program is difficult to get into but well worth the effort.
- Tuition: Offers a calculator that is based on residency (in-state, bordering state, non-resident), number of hours taking, which program and which campus,
- Admission Requirements: Students in the top ten percent of their graduating class do not need an ACT score. All others need a minimum of 27 or a minimum SAT score of 1180. You also need to have completed enough Math to be able to start on Calculus I. This is in addition to the regular application, essay, and reference letters required for admission.
5. Oregon Institute of Technology
Oregon Institute of Technology boasts that a full 90 percent of their graduates find work within six months of graduation. This is an impressive achievement. Their engineering offerings include eleven specialties including Geomagnetics and Renewable Energy Engineering, both strongly sought for the future. This is considered one of the top colleges in the region. The college offers opportunities for study abroad and they have an honors program that can get you on the fast track toward a higher degree.
- Tuition: $9,212 per semester plus Engineering majors pay an additional 35 percent differential to cover additional expenses required in this program.
- Admission Requirements: Those with a 3.0 GPA do not need to submit test scores such as the ACT or SAT. If, however, your high school transcript shows any deficits, such as lacking a Math course that requires Algebra II as a prerequisite, you will need to submit scores or proof of a college-level program that meets the requirement.
6. Tennessee Technological University
The College of Engineering at Tennessee Technological University boasts that the graduates of any of their six programs can expect an average salary of $60,000 a year upon graduation. In addition to their dedication to making sure all students master the requirements for a successful career in their field, they offer chances for seniors to research and collaborate on projects that are in the works. They also offer a specialized Engineer Building/Club that accepts only 150 students. These students get access to even more perks to enhance their educational experience and future careers.
- Tuition: $5,169 (Residents) and $7,269 (non-residents) per year, With housing and meals added in you can expect &10,452 (residents) and $12,552 (non-residents)
- Admission Requirements: 3.0 GPA or 2.5 high school GPA with 17 ACT and 15 ACT subscores and a college prep course in high school
7. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
The acceptance rate at Virginia Polytechnic Institute is 65 percent but the students who get in are the top of their class. Requirements for admission are strongly based on past academic performance. Students get great hands-on experience during studies. Past projects have included designing and building solar houses and studying infrastructure problems in Latin America. Students have a choice of 25 Engineering programs within the school. The 14:1 student/teacher ratio makes learning more personal and allows for more in-depth interaction between various disciplines.
- Tuition: $13,691 (residents) $32,835 (non-residents) Room and board runs $9,342 per year, Engineering students face an additional $2,000 a year.
- Admission Requirements: Near a 4.0 GPA and 1285 SAT score, Engineering students need a composite score of 20 on the ACT, with a 22 on Math
8. Northwestern University
Northwestern University offers both a Civil Engineering and Environmental Engineering program, as well as seven other areas. While they aren’t as diverse in the number of areas they cover, they are considered top at what they do. They work at what they consider the whole-brain approach to engineering. It is better to combine both technical knowledge and imagination to create the things we need to thrive in the future. Northwestern not only teaches but also encourages entrepreneurship by presenting opportunities and funding to help students realize their dreams. Students have the chance to work on real-world projects while learning.
- Tuition:$56,286 per year, with room and board adding an additional $17, 616 per year
- Admission Requirements: High school GPA of at least 3.0, recommendation letter, and essay. No information on minimum ACT/SAT scores listed as the school is waiving this requirement for the coming year due to COVID.
9. Texas A & M
Texas A & M offers 19 majors in Engineering, each with several sub-specialties. These include Biomedical, Aerospace, and Ocean Engineering to name just a few. This school has an outstanding record of recognition. They are considered the best value for schools in Texas and are number one in the nation for the number of students studying abroad. While many know the school for their sports, their excellence in helping graduates find positions in their chosen fields is outstanding. Their recognitions include being number one in the nation for the number of graduates holding CEO positions in Fortune 500 companies.
- Tuition: $6,330.44 (residents) $19,844.69 (non-residents) per semester
- Admission Requirements: No score specifics found but applicants must provide a transcript, ACT/SAT scores and an essay. Engineering students will be asked a short answer question in the field on their application.
10. Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University offers undergraduate and graduate studies and also has a thriving research program. Graduates from the School of Engineering are sought after throughout the world. Students in Engineering don’t choose a major until the end of their first year. Instead, they all experience general engineering classes that will help build the foundation to prepare them to think of creative solutions to a multitude of problems in the world. Each student must also successfully complete a writing course within their first year. This is required as communication skills are a necessity whatever field of engineering is entered. Located in the heart of Pittsburgh, students have access to many cultural events and institutions to help create a full experience during their years in attendance.
- Tuition: $57,560 per year. With fees, room and board you can expect to pay $76,435 per year
- Admission Requirements: No minimum GPA or scores are listed but applicants must submit a high school transcript or equivalent, test scores, a counselor evaluation, teacher recommendation, and application with three essay questions and a required essay to assess writing skills.
11. John Hopkins University
John Hopkins University prides itself on helping students see beyond what they deem possible. They look for applicants who they believe will make an impact on the world once they graduate. Regardless of major, they seek risk-takers who find innovation thrilling. Considered an outstanding presence in the research community, students have a chance to participate in numerous hands-on projects. The Engineering program consists of over 20 degree programs over nine departments and 22 centers, institutes, and labs. The University offers many opportunities for students to meet like-minded individuals outside the classroom. There are over 30 groups specifically for engineering students.
- Tuition: $54,160 per year
- Admission Requirements: No GPA or test score minimums are listed but applicants must provide a completed application, transcript, school counselor report, and two teacher recommendations in addition to ACT/SAT results.
12. Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Institute of Technology has the reputation of awarding more degrees to women and minorities than any other school in the country. Their Engineering programs are extremely popular. During COVID alone, they welcomed 16,000 students. In addition to the Georgia campus, students have a chance for international study at two international branches, Students in all programs are encouraged to get a well-rounded education with a multitude of sports and other extra-curricular activities and all students are required to give back to society through community service projects.
- Tuition: $10,258 (resident) $31,370 (non-resident per year. With fees, books, room and board: $29,158 (residents) $50,270 (non-resident) per year
- Admission Requirements: No specified GPA or test scores listed. The process includes a review of GPA, test scores, contribution to your community, and essays. All factors will be weighed and decided upon according to “fit to school”
13. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
Massachusetts Institute of Technology is one of the oldest schools of its type in this country, being in existence for over a hundred years. Students enter the school and enjoy the first year of general classes in all areas of the school. They are given seminars, fairs, and other activities to help them know more clearly where they want to further their education. Approximately 70 percent choose the school of engineering. With a 3:1 student/teacher ratio, education is more personalized than nearly any other school in the country. Graduates from this school can be found in all the highest areas of engineering throughout the world.
- Tuition: $73,160 is the total cost of education at MIT, They, however, believe cost should not stop anyone and all students who qualify for acceptance will be given whatever financial aid they need in order to get their education.
- Admission Requirements; The admission requirements currently don’t require ACT/SAT results. The decision will be made on a high school transcript, information from a school counselor, recommendations from two teachers (one must be in science). an interview, and answers to several essay questions that are designed to get to know the applicant better.
14. Rose Hulman Institute of Technology
Rose Hulman Institute of Technology is a little-known gem in the field of Engineering. Campus life is full of sports and Greek life but they are meant to enhance the education itself. there are a variety of student clubs to fill in the gaps. The atmosphere at this school is reminiscent of a small-town community. Sophmore advisors are available in all dorms and meals are often served in the individual dorms rather than a cold cafeteria. This is one of the few all tech schools that offer ROTC programs, for both Army and Air Force. This school offers a one-on-one mentoring program that many students have found to be the one added factor that made the biggest difference during their years at the school.
- Tuition: $49,479 per year. With room and board, fees, and books, you can expect to pay $71,661 per year.
- Admission Requirements: High school classes that include Physics, a transcript, and recommendation from a teacher. Homeschool students must get a recommendation from someone other than a parent. The application requires an essay and a review of all activities you may have participated in your school and community will be taken into account. Currently, there is no information listed on the required ACT/SAT scores.
15. Rice University
Rice University offers nine programs in its Engineering school, About 36 percent of all school undergraduates are majoring in some type of Engineering, this is about 1,400 students. The student/teacher ratio is 6:1 and this school consistently ranks high in numerous sources for their programs and overall educational standards. They have long been considered among the leaders as a research university. Students are exposed to all manner of people and cultures and the school encourages innovative thinkers who can visualize the perfection of the future.
- Tuition: $50,310 After fees, room, board, and books, expect to pay $69,557
- Admission Requirements: Submission of an application that contains a number of essay questions and a visual representation that can help the staff know you better, recommendations from two teachers and the school counselor, and a copy of your high school transcript. This is one of the few schools that require 2 foreign language credits. The engineering program requires trigonometry or precalculus and both chemistry and physics.
This list consists of the best engineering schools based on many factors other than simple popularity. We took a look at the overall cost, rate of acceptance, and ability to find a position upon completion. Regardless of your circumstances, you are bound to find a program on this list that meets your needs. For schools out there who believe you should be represented on future lists of this type, please feel free to contact us with your information and we will consider your program. In the end, well-educated engineers are the world’s future. Our goal is to see these engineers get the best start possible.
Special Note: Most of these schools do require prospective students to take either the ACT or SAT. However, the 2021-2022 year requirement is being waived for those who have not yet taken these tests. COVID has made it necessary to consider safety. If you have already taken one of the tests, including the scores may help the admission process but not submitting will not harm you during this period.