The Best Schools for Engineering Majors

Rubin Caco

Choosing the best school is a critical decision for any student. And for engineering majors, there is no shortage of excellent colleges to apply to. Still, in such a competitive landscape, with hundreds of applicants all aiming for limited spots at the top US schools, engineering students should weigh their options carefully and apply for the schools that not only offer the best opportunities but are also the best fit for their goals and personalities. InGenius Prep is here to help you make that decision with our list of some of the best engineering schools in the US. 

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Location: Cambridge, Massachusetts
Testing Requirements: Tests Required

MIT consistently ranks as one of the top US schools due to its innovative curriculum, world-class faculty, and extensive research opportunities. MIT has appeared at #1 for its School of Engineering, which includes courses such as Chemical Engineering, Biochemical, Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nuclear Science, and many more. The School of Engineering at MIT offers a variety of specialized programs and is renowned for its hands-on approach to learning, exemplified by the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP), which allows students to work alongside faculty on research project from their first year on.

MIT employs a holistic admissions process when selecting its students, yet it also strongly emphasizes test scores and academic performance in its student body. At the time of writing, MIT has a "test-required" policy for its applications. Successful past applicants have had high scores in math and science subjects, so students who want to study at MIT should aim to excel in their academics—especially their STEM subjects—and their extracurriculars to better their chances of acceptance. 

Stanford University

Location: Stanford, California
Testing Requirements: Test Optional

Stanford University boasts a distinguished School of Engineering characterized by its interdisciplinary approach that combines education with entrepreneurship and innovation. Programs like the Stanford Technology Ventures Program (STVP) and the Stanford Center for Professional Development offer students practical experience and networking opportunities, which will prove invaluable for students as Stanford is situated in the heart of Silicon Valley, where students have ample opportunities in the tech sector. Stanford Faculty is also considered one of the best in the field, as are its Nobel Laureates and National Academy of Engineering members.

Stanford currently has a test-optional admissions process, which it adopted along with many other US colleges during the COVID-19 pandemic. While Stanford has made no formal announcement of a return to required testing and is remaining test-optional through the 2024–2025 admissions cycle, many other top US schools have reverted their COVID-19 era policies and are once again requiring students to submit their applications with test scores. So, it is recommended that students planning to apply to the top US schools prepare well for standardized tests regardless of whether the school requires them. 

California Institute of Technology (Caltech)

Location: Pasadena, California
Testing Requirements: Test Required

California Institute of Technology, or "Caltech," is known for its rigorous academic environment and strong emphasis on research. With a small student-to-faculty ratio, Caltech provides personalized attention and mentorship from some of the world's leading scientists and engineers. Caltech offers robust engineering programs, especially in areas like Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. These programs, as well as other specialty courses such as Caltech's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), federally funded by NASA, offer students unique opportunities to work in numerous industries, including aerospace. 

Caltech employs a holistic admissions process, with its current admissions policy requiring test scores with applications. 

University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley)

Location: Berkeley, California
Testing Requirements: Test Blind

UC Berkeley currently has a test-blind policy for applicants, though, in the past, high SAT or ACT scores were standard among admitted students. Admissions officers at UC Berkeley look for students who display strong academics, particularly in STEM courses. However, students should expect to excel in their extracurriculars if they wish to see positive results in their application. 

UC Berkeley's College of Engineering, along with departments like Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS) and Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been rated some of the best in the world. Its location relative to Silicon Valley open students to opportunities and internships working with the world's leading tech companies. Additionally, the university's strong emphasis on public service and social impact prepares engineers to tackle global challenges and apply their skills to real-world problems. 

Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)

Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Testing Requirements: Test Required

Georgia Tech is ranked #3 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs, with innovation and entrepreneurship opportunities readily available for its students. Georgia Tech's admissions are Test-Required, though Admission Officers consider all parts of a student's application—including extracurricular activities, signature projects, and student research—when deciding whether to admit students. 

Georgia Tech's College of Engineering is one of the most prominent and respected in the country. It offers various engineering disciplines, from Aerospace Engineering to Biomedical Engineering. The university's Cooperative Education Program is an option student have to get ahead with real-world experience and participate in internship with top companies. As one of the nation's most research-intensive schools, Georgia Tech offers excellent access to opportunities for its students and is dedicated to developing industry leaders. 

University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (UIUC)

Location: Urbana and Champaign, Illinois
Testing Requirements: Test Optional

UIUC's Grainger College of Engineering is known for its cutting-edge research and innovative programs. With top-ranked departments in Computer Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Materials Science, UIUC offers a grounded education experience and a mission to forge graduates into industry leaders who will transform the world. The university's research facilities, including the Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology, allow students to work on groundbreaking projects and perform within a collaborative and inclusive community. 

Located in Champaign-Urbana, UIUC's campus boasts one of the largest public university libraries in the world, with the school's application process remaining test-optional. In 2021, it received over $120 million in National Science awards and spent $731 million on research and development. 

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor

Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Testing Requirements: Test Optional 

The University of Michigan's College of Engineering is highly regarded for its research output and comprehensive educational programs. With a strong focus on interdisciplinary studies and real-world problem-solving, Michigan offers engineering students numerous opportunities to engage in collaborative projects. The university's extensive alumni network and industry partnerships provide valuable internship and employment prospects for its students and alumni. The University of Michigan has been ranked as #2 in research volume among US schools, with over $1 billion in annual federally sponsored research. 

The University of Michigan currently has a test-optional application policy. However, entering students typically average 31–34 ACT and 1350–1530 SAT scores with a 97% retention rate for first years. 

Choose the Right School with Expert Guidance

Choosing the right college for an engineering major involves considering various factors such as academic rigor, research opportunities, location, and industry connections. Each school highlighted in this article offers unique strengths that can help engineering students thrive academically and professionally. 

Whether you're looking for cutting-edge technological development or a school that embodies the spirit of innovation, InGenius Prep is here to help you along your journey. Our programs pair students with industry experts and Former Admissions Officers from the top US schools, who will help you build a robust schools list, develop your student profile, and optimize your college applications to give you the best chance at acceptance into your dream school.

Schedule a free consultation call with one of our advisors today to learn more about our programs!

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