The 15 Best Engineering Schools in the US (and How to Get In)

What Is an Engineering School?

An engineering school is an educational institution that specializes in providing comprehensive programs and training in various fields of engineering. These schools focus on offering rigorous coursework, hands-on training, and research opportunities to prepare students for careers in engineering and related fields. They typically offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in disciplines such as civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, chemical engineering, and more.

Engineering schools aim to equip students with the knowledge and skills necessary to solve complex engineering problems, design innovative solutions, and contribute to technological advancements. The curriculum typically includes a combination of theoretical coursework, laboratory experiments, design projects, and internships or co-op experiences to provide a well-rounded education.

One of the key advantages of attending an engineering school is the specialized and focused nature of the programs. These schools often have state-of-the-art facilities, specialized equipment, and faculty who are experts in their respective engineering disciplines. This creates an immersive learning environment that enables students to gain a deep understanding of engineering principles and practices.

Furthermore, engineering schools often foster a collaborative and interdisciplinary approach to learning. Students have opportunities to work on team projects, engage in research, and participate in industry partnerships, allowing them to develop important skills in teamwork, problem-solving, and innovation.

Engineering schools also provide networking opportunities with professionals, alumni, and industry leaders, which can lead to internships, job placements, and mentorship opportunities. Many engineering schools have strong connections with industry and offer career services to help students launch their careers after graduation.

Overall, attending an engineering school offers numerous benefits, including a solid foundation in engineering principles, access to cutting-edge resources, hands-on experience, and a strong network of peers and professionals. It is a pathway to a rewarding career in the dynamic and ever-evolving field of engineering.

How We Ranked the Best Engineering Schools

Ranking the best engineering schools involves a comprehensive evaluation process that considers various factors and criteria. The ranking methodology typically involves a combination of objective data and subjective assessments. Here are some common factors that are often taken into account when ranking engineering schools:

1. Academic Reputation: The reputation of the institution and its engineering programs play a significant role in the ranking process. This can be determined by assessing faculty expertise, research output, and recognition in the field.

2. Faculty Quality: The qualifications, expertise, and research contributions of the faculty members are essential indicators of an engineering school's strength. This includes evaluating faculty credentials, publications, grants, and awards.

3. Student Selectivity: The competitiveness of the admissions process and the quality of admitted students are considered. This includes factors such as acceptance rates, standardized test scores, and high school GPA.

4. Graduation and Retention Rates: The ability of the engineering school to retain students and graduate them in a timely manner is an important aspect. Higher graduation and retention rates indicate a supportive learning environment and quality education.

5. Research Output: The volume and impact of research conducted by faculty and students are assessed. This can include the number of research papers published, citations, patents, and research funding received.

6. Resources and Facilities: The availability of state-of-the-art laboratories, research centers, and equipment is considered. Engineering schools with well-equipped facilities provide students with hands-on experiences and opportunities for innovation.

7. Alumni Success: The success of alumni in their careers, industry recognition, and contributions to society are often considered. This can include employment rates, average starting salaries, and leadership positions held by alumni.

8. Industry Partnerships and Collaboration: Collaborations with industry, internships, and cooperative education programs can enhance students' practical experiences and job prospects. The strength and breadth of industry partnerships are evaluated.

9. Student Satisfaction: Feedback from current students and alumni through surveys or other sources can provide insights into the quality of the educational experience, support services, and overall satisfaction.

It's important to note that different ranking organizations may use different criteria and weightings to evaluate engineering schools. It's advisable to consider multiple rankings and conduct additional research to gain a comprehensive understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of various institutions. Ultimately, the best engineering school for an individual depends on their personal goals, interests, and preferences.

The Top 15 Engineering Schools in the US

Following is an overview of some of the top engineering schools in the United States that have consistently been recognized for their academic excellence and reputation. Please note that rankings may vary based on different sources and methodologies, and it's important to conduct thorough research and consider individual preferences when making decisions about college applications. Here are some well-regarded engineering schools in the US:

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT):

MIT is known for its strong emphasis on STEM education and cutting-edge research in engineering and technology fields.

2. Stanford University:

Stanford's School of Engineering offers a wide range of programs and is known for its focus on innovation and interdisciplinary research.

3. California Institute of Technology (Caltech):

Caltech has a renowned engineering program with a small student-to-faculty ratio, emphasizing hands-on research and collaboration.

4. Carnegie Mellon University:

Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering is recognized for its strengths in computer science, robotics, and electrical and computer engineering.

5. University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley):

UC Berkeley's College of Engineering is esteemed for its research contributions in various engineering disciplines.

6. Georgia Institute of Technology:

Georgia Tech is known for its robust engineering programs, particularly in areas such as aerospace engineering, computer science, and industrial engineering.

7. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor:

The College of Engineering at the University of Michigan is highly regarded for its comprehensive engineering programs and research initiatives.

8. University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign:

The College of Engineering at UIUC offers a wide range of engineering disciplines and is known for its strong research and academic programs.

9. Purdue University:

Purdue's College of Engineering is recognized for its diverse range of engineering majors and its commitment to hands-on learning and research.

10. Cornell University:

Cornell's College of Engineering offers a blend of traditional engineering disciplines and interdisciplinary programs, focusing on research and innovation.

11. University of Texas at Austin:

The Cockrell School of Engineering at UT Austin is known for its strong engineering programs, particularly in areas such as petroleum engineering, computer science, and mechanical engineering.

12. University of California, San Diego (UCSD):

UCSD's Jacobs School of Engineering offers programs in various engineering disciplines and has a strong focus on research and innovation.

13. University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA):

UCLA's Samueli School of Engineering is known for its research contributions and programs in areas such as bioengineering, computer science, and electrical engineering.

14. University of Southern California (USC):

USC's Viterbi School of Engineering is highly regarded for its engineering programs and research initiatives, particularly in areas like aerospace engineering, computer science, and biomedical engineering.

15. Texas A&M University:

Texas A&M's College of Engineering is one of the largest engineering schools in the country and offers a broad range of engineering disciplines.

These are just a few examples of the top engineering schools in the US. There are many other institutions that excel in specific engineering disciplines or have unique programs and research opportunities. It's important to conduct thorough research, consider individual interests and goals, and evaluate factors such as location, campus culture, and available resources when choosing an engineering school.

Best Specialized Engineering Programs

Specialized engineering programs offer focused education and training in specific areas of engineering. These programs cater to students who have a clear interest or career goal within a particular engineering discipline. Here are some examples of the best specialized engineering programs:

1. Aerospace Engineering: Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU) in Florida is known for its strong aerospace engineering program. ERAU offers a comprehensive curriculum covering areas such as aircraft design, propulsion systems, and aerospace structures.

2. Biomedical Engineering: Johns Hopkins University in Maryland has one of the top biomedical engineering programs in the country. Students can explore various aspects of biomedical engineering, including medical imaging, tissue engineering, and biomechanics.

3. Environmental Engineering: Stanford University in California offers an excellent program in environmental engineering. Students study topics such as water resources management, air pollution control, and sustainable infrastructure.

4. Computer Engineering: The computer engineering program at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania is highly regarded. Students gain expertise in areas such as computer systems architecture, embedded systems, and digital design.

5. Chemical Engineering: The University of Delaware is known for its strong chemical engineering program. Students learn about chemical processes, thermodynamics, and materials science, preparing them for careers in industries such as pharmaceuticals, energy, and materials.

6. Civil Engineering: The civil engineering program at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) is consistently ranked among the best. Students can specialize in areas such as structural engineering, transportation engineering, and environmental engineering.

7. Electrical Engineering: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is renowned for its electrical engineering program. Students delve into topics like circuits and electronics, digital systems, and communication networks.

8. Mechanical Engineering: Purdue University in Indiana has a top-ranked mechanical engineering program. Students study areas such as solid mechanics, thermodynamics, and robotics, preparing them for careers in industries like automotive, aerospace, and energy.

These specialized engineering programs offer in-depth knowledge and skills in their respective fields, preparing students for specific career paths within the broader field of engineering. It's important for students to research and consider their interests and goals when choosing a specialized engineering program that aligns with their aspirations.

3 Top Tips for Applying to Engineering Schools

Applying to engineering schools requires careful preparation and consideration. Here are three top tips to keep in mind when applying:

1. Research and Select the Right Schools: Start by researching and identifying engineering schools that align with your interests, goals, and academic profile. Consider factors such as the school's reputation, faculty expertise, available engineering programs, research opportunities, internship connections, and campus resources. Narrow down your choices to a list of schools that you are genuinely interested in and that offer the programs and resources you need to succeed.

2. Focus on a Strong Academic Profile: Engineering schools typically place a significant emphasis on academic performance, especially in math and science subjects. Aim to excel in your coursework, particularly in subjects such as physics, calculus, and chemistry. Take challenging courses that demonstrate your readiness for engineering studies. Additionally, prepare for and perform well on standardized tests like the SAT or ACT, as these scores are often considered during the admissions process. Strong letters of recommendation from math or science teachers who can attest to your abilities can also boost your application.

3. Showcase Your Passion and Extracurricular Involvement: Engineering schools are not only interested in academic achievements but also in students who demonstrate a genuine passion for engineering and a well-rounded profile. Participate in extracurricular activities that showcase your interest in engineering, such as robotics clubs, science fairs, or math competitions. Seek leadership roles and take part in projects that highlight your problem-solving skills, teamwork, and creativity. Additionally, consider pursuing internships, research opportunities, or engineering-related volunteer work to gain practical experience and demonstrate your commitment to the field.

Remember to tailor your application materials, including your personal statement and essays, to reflect your passion for engineering and your fit with each specific school. Pay attention to application deadlines and ensure that you submit all required documents in a timely manner. Lastly, reach out to admissions representatives or attend information sessions to learn more about the application process and demonstrate your interest in the school.


In conclusion, the United States boasts some of the world's top engineering schools that offer excellent programs and opportunities for aspiring engineers. The list of the 15 best engineering schools in the US provides a comprehensive overview of institutions known for their strong engineering programs, faculty expertise, research initiatives, and industry connections.

Securing admission to these prestigious engineering schools requires careful preparation and a competitive application. To increase your chances of acceptance, it is crucial to focus on academic excellence, demonstrate a strong passion for engineering, engage in relevant extracurricular activities, and present a well-rounded application that showcases your accomplishments, leadership potential, and problem-solving abilities.