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Undergraduate Engineering Program Rankings by University

Enrolling in an engineering undergraduate college program comes with a wealth of advantages. These include developing a highly-marketable, core set of skills by the time you graduate, access to prestigious research opportunities, a tailored academic curriculum that matches your interests, and invaluable networking opportunities with esteemed professors, students and employers. These benefits are just the tip of the iceberg! To keep you well-informed, we’ve compiled a concise table below showcasing the current national rankings of undergraduate engineering programs by university. Our focus zeroes in on the top ten colleges for engineering majors, as listed below, to provide you with the most up-to-date information.

Top Ten Colleges for Engineering
2 Stanford University
3 University of California- Berkeley
4 California Institute of Technology
5 Georgia Institute of Technology
6 University of Michigan- Ann Arbor
7 Carnegie Mellon University
8 University of Illinois- Urbana-Champaign
9 Cornell University
10 Purdue University- West Lafayette

*This data has been populated based on the most current reporting from U.S . News & World Report

1. MIT

With its world-renowned level of expertise, it is no surprise to see that MIT dominates the rankings for undergraduate engineering programs. In fact, MIT has held this first spot, assigned by U.S. News & World Report, since 1983.  MIT’s School of Engineering makes up nearly 70% of the school’s undergraduate majors and is responsible for more than 50% of the sponsored research being conducted at MIT. Its coveted ranking has made it a school that is sought out and applied to worldwide. With an acceptance rate close to 5%, the chances for acceptance are extremely slim especially with an increasing rate of applications being submitted every year.

MIT is known for its world-class resources including access to its advanced equipment, immersive interdisciplinary experiences, faculty research opportunities, global study opportunities, entrepreneurial funding, and so much more. The areas of study available to engineering students include Aeronautics & Astronautics, Biological Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Medical Engineering, and Nuclear Science & Engineering.

2. Stanford University

Ranked as number the number two college engineering program, Stanford’s School of Engineering offers 16 undergraduate majors, including Aeronautics & Astronautics, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Design, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Systems Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and more. Stanford also offers interdisciplinary pathways that allow students to focus their engineering studies as it relates to Architectural Design, Atmosphere & Energy, Biomedical Computation, Engineering Physics, and others.

Across all of these areas of study, students have the invaluable opportunity of getting involved with revolutionary research guided by a world-renowned faculty. Stanford students also benefit from the wealth of internship opportunities available in Silicon Valley, the world’s greatest innovation corridor in which Stanford is nestled. Additionally, Stanford allows students to take non-engineering classes and experience a traditional campus environment, as it is not strictly an engineering school. This allows students to have a more diverse and interactive experience than at schools where students are mostly interacting only with engineering students.

Also, Stanford provides undergraduate students with a plethora of international learning-opportunities that involve internships abroad, service-learning programs, faculty led programs, and more. These prospects enrich a student’s engineering education by affording students the chance to explore technology and engineering within a worldwide framework, establish valuable professional connections, and acquire practical skills within a culturally varied and global setting.

3. University of California- Berkeley

Berkeley, a California-state funded college, offers the number three most revered engineering education for undergraduate students. With a mission founded upon collaboration, innovation, excellence and societal contribution, UC Berkeley values the diversity of perspectives and new ideas. Nearly 4,200 undergraduate students are enrolled in Berkeley’s School of Engineering, and most recently, 28% of that student body were first generation college students. Berkeley’s engineering pathways for undergraduates include Aerospace Engineering, Bioengineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences, Engineering Science, Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Nuclear Engineering.

Similar to Stanford, Berkeley is located in Northern California, which allows students to gain access to the world-famous Silicon Valley. In fact, many famous companies are spun out of the research that is conducted in Berkeley engineering labs that involve Berkeley professors. Please note that Berkeley’s admissions process is different than other schools. You cannot apply early, so there is no way to show demonstrated interest. In addition, Berkeley is test-blind so it will not even know what your SAT or ACT scores are and it does not accept any recommendations of any kind, so it will not be able to understand your personal characteristics in as much detail as other schools might be able to. And, lastly, the Berkeley application is not on the Common Application and you must apply through the University of California application, which has different essay questions and involves learning a new application system.

4. California Institute of Technology

Ranked as the number four undergraduate engineering college, Caltech allows students to choose from six engineering academic pathways including Applied Physics, Applied & Computational Mathematics, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Engineering & Applied Science, and Mechanical Engineering. Each of these pursuits are aimed to provide a holistic learning experience that encompasses the core framework of a specific field as well as the broader foundation and studies of humanities and social sciences. Caltech knows how important it is for its undergraduate engineering students to have a well-rounded academic career that offers the interdisciplinary opportunities necessary for the most impactful real-world applications. It is important to note that research is at the forefront of Caltech’s prestigious offerings. Undergraduate students are extremely encouraged and supported to be active in research during both the school year and summers.

However, Caltech is very different from most other top-ranked engineering schools. It’s total enrollment in the whole school is around 987 students. That means the entire school is smaller than most high schools in the country. This also means that you will only encounter engineering students at Caltech and that there will be fewer courses to choose amongst. With all of this said, the Caltech name is globally renowned and given its size, students will get copious attention from faculty and terrific research opportunities.

5. Georgia Institute of Technology

Ranked as the number five engineering college in the country, Georgia Institute of Technology (or Georgia Tech) offers a comprehensive selection of 11 undergraduate engineering majors. The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech thoroughly prepares its students for both professional trajectories and advanced studies within a wide spectrum of engineering fields. These degree programs include Aerospace Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Industrial & Systems Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. Through its various degree offerings, the College establishes a robust groundwork in the fundamental principles of engineering and fosters a culture of interdisciplinary collaboration that empowers students to tackle real-world challenges with their acquired expertise.

For more than two decades, a hallmark of the Georgia Tech undergraduate engineering degree has been its emphasis on cultivating robust, field-specific communication skills. The college understands the impact that a student’s written, spoken, and visual communication proficiencies have on their potential to become accomplished and effective engineers in practice. Georgia Tech’s commitment to diversity and equity is an additional strong pillar to their founding principles. It is worth noting that Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering awards more engineering degrees to women than any other school in the country.

Georgia Tech is often overlooked by students since it is not at a top-10 college, Ivy League college or located in Silicon Valley. However, rest assured that it is a highly-respected engineering school, where students will have the recruitment opportunities for internships and upon graduation that rival those of the other top-ranked engineering colleges on this list. So, don’t forget to apply to it!

6. University of Michigan—Ann Arbor

Ranked as the number six school for undergraduate engineering, Michigan’s engineering program attracts top-performing students from across the country who are seeking an esteemed undergraduate engineering experience. Last year alone, UMichigan fielded nearly 25,000 first year applications to the undergraduate engineering program and had a competitive acceptance rate of only 16%. The university is well known for its people-first methodology that centers on enhancing engineering practices and outcomes with a focus on equity and positive global change.

University of Michigan understands that research development is not only valuable for graduate students but is vital for undergraduate engineering students as well. With the goal of equipping students for successful post-graduate endeavors, UMichigan offers a premier level of faculty and immersive research opportunities spanning diverse fields of study so that students can engage in real-world applications throughout their undergraduate career. UMichigan offers a diverse set of majors for students to pursue within engineering including Chemical Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering, Space Sciences & Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Industrial & Operations Engineering, Civil Engineering, Nuclear Engineering & Radiological Sciences, Climate & Meteorology, Robotics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and more.

And, maybe most importantly, we would rank this school as the most social and fun school on this top 10 list. To be able to earn an engineering degree and attend a school where football, fun and social life are valued—you can truly have it all! Even engineering majors at UMichigan make time to attend football games at the Big House, Michigan’s infamous football stadium!

7. Carnegie Mellon University

Ranked as seven for engineering colleges, Carnegie Mellon sees more than 60% of its undergraduate engineering students become involved in Carnegie Mellon’s state-of-the-art research. These students get to  collaborate with renowned faculty members on groundbreaking projects. Carnegie Mellon’s engineering areas of study available to undergraduates include Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Engineering & Public Policy, Materials Science & Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

It is important to note that Carnegie Mellon has a uniquely curated “First-Year Experience” (FYE) programming which is provided to all first-year undergraduate engineering students as a way of supporting student success. The FYE is meant to help guide students as they navigate their first year in college and, more specifically, within the College of Engineering. Before declaring a major, students will select two introductory engineering courses based on their individualized interests and will have the opportunity to participate in a simulated professional workspace based upon their desired course selections. This personalized level of choice and study is one reason that Carnegie Mellon is so well deserving of its high rank. The FYE also comprises of exceptional resources including online advising prior to the fall of freshman year, community service-learning projects, and plenty of social orientation and academic workshop opportunities intended to help provide students with a strong sense of community and concentrated support that will serve to be necessary for their continued success.

Carnegie Mellon has a reputation for having a “study hard” culture. Between its School of Computer Science and the College of Engineering, Carnegie Mellon has more of a technology-driven environment than some other highly-ranked universities. As long as you are prepared for that environment, Carnegie Mellon will provide you with a fantastic education and copious career opportunities in engineering.

8. University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign

Coming in ranked at number eight, the Grainger College of Engineering at University of Illinois—Urbana Champaign (UIUC) offers a competitive undergraduate engineering experience. Students are led by exceptional faculty and have an impressive selection of 19 engineering majors for their college experience. The Grainger College of Engineering also offers plenty of versatility and curation through their supplementary minors and dual-degree pathways. Engineering majors include Aerospace Engineering, Agricultural & Biological Engineering, Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Computer Science & Physics, Engineering Mechanics, Environmental Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Neural Engineering, Systems Engineering & Design, and more.

A unique offering for Engineering students at UIUC is the B.S. dual degree in Innovation, Leadership and Engineering Entrepreneurship. This program is designed for engineering students aiming to become the pioneers and revolutionary leaders within the field and are passionate about developing engineering solutions to the most complex of problems. The Grainger College of Engineering also offers undergraduates various research opportunities across specific disciplines within the greater field of engineering. These hands-on opportunities are both local and internationally based and allow students to explore global agriculture issues, electromechanics innovation, astrophysics, bioenergy, electrical engineering, and many more areas of research.

When applying to UIUC please do not be fooled by the school’s generous overall admissions rate. The Grainger College of Engineering has an admission rate of 22% (in 2023). This is certainly a much easier school to gain admission to than Stanford or MIT, for example, but also not a “safety” school for most students for engineering given the engineering college’s fairly low admission rate.

9. Cornell University

Founded in 1870, Cornell’s College of Engineering has remained a true pioneer in providing undergraduate students with a rich engineering course of study. Cornell’s College of Engineering offers undergraduates 14 majors and 21 minors, allowing students to truly customize their own academic paths based on their specific interests. The available majors include Biological Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Science, Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Engineering Physics, Environmental Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Operations Research & Engineering, and more.

Cornell uniquely provides its engineering students with a Project Team Experience program. Each year, Cornell sponsors 34 student-led Project Teams that each work collectively to address intricate challenges, all the while acquiring practical engineering experience. Involvement in Project Teams serves as a valuable complement to the top-tier educational experience in classrooms and labs, affording undergraduate students the chance to refine leadership and professional competencies alongside their peers. Cornell’s distinctively diverse learning experience makes it a coveted school for those looking to obtain the unparalleled academic career and invaluable future networking opportunities that accompanies Cornell’s prestige and resources.

Don’t forget that Cornell is also an Ivy League college. This means that not only is the engineering school world-class, but that students from all over the globe are applying to Cornell Engineering for its name brand recognition too. For Cornell’s Class of 2025, the College of Engineering’s admission rate was 5.2%. That makes Cornell Engineering as competitive as MIT is for admission!

10. Purdue University—West Lafayette

Ranked as the number 10 college for engineering nationally, Purdue values collaborative opportunities that allow students to become involved with intensive real-world applications. In addition, Purdue helps its engineering students gain a diverse and global perspective that will make students distinguishable and successful in their future life pursuits. Students at Purdue have 17 different majors within the College of Engineering to choose from including Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, Biological Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Construction Engineering & Management, Electric Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Materials Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, and more.

In addition, Purdue offers its college engineering students research opportunities through the Vertically Integrated Projects (VIP) Program. In this program undergraduate students can earn college credits while immersing themselves in extensive research and design initiatives aligned with industry-driven endeavors. Research can be conducted with various interdisciplinary focuses and students have the opportunity to engage and collaborate with students of all grades. This extended engagement spans multiple semesters and is dedicated to addressing tangible research and design complexities from the real world. It is worth mentioning that Purdue’s College of Engineering boasts an impressive alumni roster with Neil Armstrong leading the pack.

So, where is Purdue? It is located about 120 miles from Chicago. There are numerous modes of transportation for students to get to Chicago or to Chicago’s O’hare airport from Purdue in about two hours. With a 38% admission rate, Purdue’s College of Engineering is by far the most accessible engineering school to get into on this list. Purdue offers a traditional college town experience along with world-class engineering opportunities, providing students with a wonderful college education!

Final Thoughts on Engineering Program Rankings

When assessing the rankings of the undergraduate (college) engineering programs discussed above, remember the importance of considering factors beyond rankings when selecting a college. For example, what is the engineering college’s admission rate? There is a vast range in selectivity for the engineering colleges listed above. It’s also essential to explore schools that are not just in the top 10 depending upon your grades and scores.

It’s also important to know that each of these colleges look at applicents differently based upon whether they consider test scores, recommendations, which application system they use and how dedicated they are to in-state students. There are so many variables at play.

To get into competitive engineering programs, a college consultant or a private college counselor can be an invaluable resource in helping you to navigate choices like these. An adept college counselor possesses the tools and resources necessary to guide you in creating a customized college list that reflects your academic interests and paves a clear path toward achieving your college goals. In the highly competitive college admissions landscape, we are here to simplify the application process and tailor it to your unique needs, empowering you to succeed in your college admissions journey. If you’re curious about specialized academic programs or want to discover the details of the Spark Advantage, don’t hesitate contacting one of our expert college admissions consultants here. We’re here to support and assist you every step of the way.

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