Did You Attend One of the Top 20 US Engineering Schools?

  • Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology is a small engineering, science, and mathematics college in Terre Haute, Ind. The school’s 2,200 students get technical knowledge and a hands-on education that teaches them the value of collaboration and teamwork. The school has eight undergraduate majors and nine minors in engineering. Tuition and fees: $44,010.

    (Source: Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology)

  • Stanford University is nestled between San Francisco and San Jose, Calif. The school opened in 1891 and it has played a significant role in solving the world’s complex challenges over the years. Stanford has 7,000 undergraduate students and 9,000 graduate students. Tuition and fees: $47,940.

    (Source: Stanford University)

  • The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) was founded in 1861 in the image of European technical universities. The school was created to support US industrialization. MIT focuses on science and technology, with about 60% of its undergraduate students pursuing degrees in the School of Engineering. Tuition and fees: $48,452.

    (Source: MIT)

  • UC Berkeley is a public research university with 170 academic departments and programs. Of the school’s 35,000 students, 27,000 are undergraduates. Berkeley’s engineering program offers 11 undergraduate majors, as well as joint majors, dual majors, and simultaneous degree options. Tuition and fees: $13,509 (in state), $40,191 (out of state).

    (Source: Berkeley.edu)

  • Harvey Mudd College is a private residential liberal arts college focused on math and sciences. The school is located in Claremont, Calif. Harvey Mudd is one of the seven contiguous Claremont Colleges. Tuition and fees: $52,916.

    (Source: Harvey Mudd)

  • Georgia Tech is part of the University System of Georgia. The university’s main campus is in Atlanta, and satellite campuses are located in France, Ireland, China, Singapore, and Savannah, Ga. Of all US institutions, Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering awards the greatest number degrees to women and minorities. Tuition and fees $12,212 (in state), $32,404 (out of state).

    (Source: Georgia Tech)

  • California Polytechnic in San Luis Obispo began as a vocational high school and is now one of the 23 universities that make up the California State University system. Cal Poly is known for its experiential education that promotes project-based learning. Engineering is one of the university’s most popular departments, with 13 undergraduate majors and 5,000 engineering and computer science students. Tuition and Fees: $18,136 (out-of-state), $6,976 (in-state).

    (Source: calpoly.edu)

  • The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the flagship campus of the University of Illinois system. Seventeen colleges and more than 150 programs of study make up the university, engaging over 44,000 students. The College of Engineering has 15 degree programs across 12 departments. Tuition and fees: $15,698 (in-state), $31,320 (out-of-state).

    (Source: Illinois.edu)

  • The Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering is a private undergraduate engineering college funded in part by the F. W. Olin Foundation. The school’s mission is to form a collaborative community. This is clearly evident in the college’s lack of tenured faculty. Passionate students and faculty are attracted to Olin College because of its focus on the needs of the world. Tuition and fees: $47,330.

    (Source: nasa.olin.edu)

  • Founded in Detroit in 1817, the University of Michigan is Michigan’s oldest university. It is now located in Ann Arbor and has over 43,000 students enrolled. Michigan undergraduate engineering students choose from 15 programs of study that lead to a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree. Students do not declare a specific engineering major until after they have taken their first-year courses. $13,856 (in-state), $43,476 (out-of-state).

    (Source: umich.edu)

  • Located 50 miles north of New York City, the United States Military Academy at West Point is a national landmark as well as a service academy. Graduates receive a Bachelor of Science degree, and most are commissioned as second lieutenants in the Army. The Academy has five academic departments in engineering. Tuition and fees: N/A.

    (Source: USMA.edu)

  • The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art is a privately funded college in Manhattan, NY. Just over 900 students are enrolled in the college’s three schools. The Albert Nerken School of Engineering is the largest of these three schools, with an average enrollment of 550 students. Tuition and fees: $43,850.

    (Source: Cooper Union)

  • Located in Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon University was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1900. The university has more than 13,000 students earning degrees in its seven colleges. True to the Carnegie name, the school incorporates problem-solving, leadership, and teamwork skills into all degree programs. Engineering students can choose a single major or a double majors such as Engineering and Public Policy. Tuition and fees: $52,040.

    (Source: Carnegie Mellon University)

  • Purdue was founded in West Lafayette, Ind. in 1869. Over 38,000 students are enrolled at the school’s four campuses. Sixteen different undergraduate engineering majors are available, as are five-year BS/MS and BS/MBA programs. Majors cover areas such as Construction Engineering, Industrial Engineering, and Biological Engineering, which includes multiple concentration options. $10,002 (in-state), $28,804 (out-of-state).

    (Source: purdue.edu)

  • The University of Texas at Austin is one of the country’s largest universities, with over 50,000 graduate and undergraduate students. The university was founded in 1883 and it is the flagship state university of in the Texas state system. UT Austin’s Cockrell School of Engineering offers nine undergraduate programs, as well as dual degree, interdisciplinary degree, and cross-institutional degree programs. $9,806 (in-state), $34,676 (out-of-state).

    (Source: utexas.edu)

  • The California Institute of Technology is a private research university attracting influential scientists from around the world. The university is more commonly known as Caltech and is located in Pasadena, Calif. Each of the six different undergraduate degrees in the Division of Engineering and Applied Science begin with a core curriculum emphasizing mathematics and the natural sciences. Tuition and fees: $47,577.

    (Source: California Institute of Technology)

  • Bucknell University is a private liberal arts college in Lewisburg, Penn. The schools is known for its small classes and superb lab facilities. Bucknell offers Bachelor of Science degrees in eight different areas of engineering. Engineering degrees can also be paired with studies in management or liberal arts to create a dual degree that extends to five years. Tuition and fees: $51,960.

    (Source: Bucknell University)

  • Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the United States Naval Academy is a four-year federal service program. Graduates serve at least five years in the US Navy or Marine Corps. Through programs in several academic divisions, USNA prepares students to become officers of “competence, character, and compassion.” Tuition and fees: N/A.

    (Source: usna.edu)

  • Cornell University was founded in 1865 as a private university in Ithaca, NY. The school’s 21,000 students choose from majors in 14 colleges and schools. The College of Engineering at aspires to produce innovative leaders in areas such as Engineering Management, Biomolecular Engineering, and Systems Engineering. Tuition and fees: $50,953.

    (Source: cornell.edu)

  • Northwestern University enrolls around 21,000 students in Evanston, Ill., just north of Chicago. Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering operates on a simple mission to produce new knowledge and engage and educate students. The school offers 12 Bachelor of Science degrees in engineering, as well as a customizable major in Integrated Engineering Studies. Tuition and fees: $50,855.

    (Source: northwestern.edu)

What a difference two years makes. In 2014, when we last listed the top 20 US undergraduate engineering schools, we came up with a markedly different list than we have here in 2016. One of the elements that has changed is our process for selecting the top schools. In the past, we used a limited set of sources. This year we extended our research to include a larger number of sources.

While we took a wide range of school rankings into consideration, we focused primarily on four sources: US News and World Report , CollegeChoice.net, Graphiq, and Business Insider . We considered other sources, but these four contained the best evaluation criteria we could find.


One of the lists used peer assessment entirely. Another source considered student selection standards, test scores, faculty quality, department quality, and starting salaries. One included a mix of tuition cost and the school's reputation in the field of engineering. Yet another source used recommendations from engineering employees at the most popular technology companies.

We then scored the schools by considering its ranking in each list to come up with our presentation of the top schools. We believe ours is a credible list simply because of the vast range to criteria included in the mash up.


Did your school make the grade? Tell us in the comments!

Rob Spiegel has covered automation and control for 15 years, 12 of them for Design News. Other topics he has covered include supply chain technology, alternative energy, and cyber security. For 10 years he was owner and publisher of the food magazine Chile Pepper.

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