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2020 Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering

Approximately 46,014 mechanical engineering degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many choices it can be a daunting task finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering ranking analyzed 272 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 25 schools for Mechanical Engineering students.

Choosing a Great Mechanical Engineering School

Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering Your choice of mechanical engineering school matters. Important measures of a quality ME program can vary widely even among the top schools. When choosing a school we recommend considering some of the following factors:

A Great Overall School

The overall quality of a school is important to ensure a good education, not just how well they do in a particular major. To account for this we include a school's overall Best Colleges ranking which itself looks at a host of different factors like degree completion, educational resources, student body caliber and post-graduation earnings for the school as a whole.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 13% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 8%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 129 to 0 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Above Average Earnings After Graduation

A mechanical engineering degree from schools on this list typically translates into above average income following graduation. While the average mechanical engineering bachelors degree from U.S. colleges results in an average starting salary of $61,915, graduates of colleges on this list average $69,454.

Starting Salary  ( 65002 to 73797 )
$0
$78,200

Other Factors We Consider

In addition to the above, you should consider some of the following factors:

  • Major Focus - How much a school focuses on Mechanical Engineering students vs. other majors.
  • Major Popularity - How many other mechanical engineering students choose this school.
  • Accreditation - Whether a school is regionally accredited and/or a recognized mechanical engineering related accrediting body.

Our full ranking methodology documents in more detail how we consider these factors to identify the best schools for Mechanical Engineering students.

Best Schools to Study Mechanical Engineering in United States

Explore the top ranked colleges and universities for mechanical engineering majors. Only those schools that rank in the top 15% of all the schools we analyze get awarded with a place on this list. Of the 272 schools analyzed, only 25 earned the distinction of being on this list.

Top 25 Best ME Colleges

Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MA
2.7% Growth in Graduates

Any student who is interested in mechanical engineering has to check out Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Located in the city Cambridge, MIT is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means MIT is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, MIT also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Mechanical Engineering graduates from Massachusetts Institute of Technology receive an earnings boost of approximately $5,646 over the average earnings of mechanical engineering majors.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In GA
$68,600 Median Starting Salary

It's difficult to beat Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus if you want to study mechanical engineering. Located in the large city Atlanta, Georgia Tech is a public college with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 69th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Georgia.

For those interested in something more advanced, Georgia Tech also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. After getting their bachelor's degree, ME students typically earn about $68,600 at the beginning of their careers.

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Master Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In IN
$68,900 Median Starting Salary

Every student pursuing a degree in mechanical engineering needs to look into Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology. Located in the small city Terre Haute, Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 53 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a great school overall.

Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is one of the most popular school to study ME in United States with over 163 graduates last year. Graduates of the ME program state that they receive average early career wages of $68,900.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
26th Most Popular In CA

California Institute of Technology is among your top options if you want to study mechanical engineering. Caltech is a small private not-for-profit school located in the city of Pasadena. A Best Colleges rank of 31 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Caltech is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Caltech also offers 3 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#5

Kettering University

Flint, MI
6th Most Popular In MI
9.0% Growth in Graduates
$76,900 Median Starting Salary

Located in the small city Flint, Kettering is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 226th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

With 199 undergrads, Kettering University is one of most popular schools to study ME in United States. Mechanical Engineering students from Kettering University get a earnings boost of approximately $7,446 above the average earnings of mechanical engineering majors.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In MA
$65,800 Median Starting Salary

WPI is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 46 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means WPI is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, WPI also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from the ME program make an average of $65,800 for their early career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In NY
$66,700 Median Starting Salary

RPI is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Troy. A Best Colleges rank of 57 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means RPI is a great school overall.

A favorite choice for mechanical engineering undergrads, there are approximately 244 learners studying this degree at RPI. Soon after graduation, ME students generally earn an average of $66,700 at the beginning of their careers.

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#8

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
7th Most Popular In CA
$78,200 Median Starting Salary

Stanford is a large private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Stanford. A Best Colleges rank of 7 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great school overall.

Stanford University is a fairly popular college to study ME in United States with over 247 graduations last year. Stanford University mechanical engineering graduates make $8,746 more than the typical ME graduate.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In TX
0.5% Growth in Graduates

Located in the midsize city College Station, Texas A&M is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 89th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

For those interested in something more advanced, Texas A&M also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Texas A&M University - College Station mechanical engineering graduates earn $2,146 more than the standard ME student.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In NJ
$65,000 Median Starting Salary

Stevens is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Hoboken. This college ranks 179th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

There are approximately 303 mechanical engineering undergraduates studying this program at Stevens. Graduates of the ME program make around $65,000 for their early career.

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#11

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In PA
$70,400 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 28 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great school overall.

With 251 undergrads, Carnegie Mellon University is one of most popular colleges to study ME in United States. Graduates of the ME program report average early career wages of $70,400.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MI
12.3% Growth in Graduates

U of Michigan is a very large public school located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor. A Best Colleges rank of 35 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means U of Michigan is a great school overall.

There are approximately 504 mechanical engineering undergrads studying this program at U of Michigan. University of Michigan - Ann Arbor mechanical engineering graduates receive $4,746 more than the average ME grad.

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#13

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In IN
1.3% Growth in Graduates

Purdue is a fairly large public school located in the small city of West Lafayette. This school ranks 100th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

There are approximately 600 mechanical engineering undergraduates enrolled in this program at Purdue. Soon after graduating, ME students generally earn about $69,200 in their early careers.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In MO
7.4% Growth in Graduates

Missouri University of Science and Technology is a medium-sized public school located in the remote town of Rolla. This college ranks 209th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

There are approximately 270 mechanical engineering undergraduates studying this program at Missouri University of Science and Technology. Students who graduate from this program report average early career wages of $66,300.

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#15

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In NY
0.9% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 12 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great school overall.

A favorite major for mechanical engineering undergraduates, there are approximately 226 learners studying this degree at Cornell. Cornell University mechanical engineering graduates make $3,246 more than the standard ME graduate.

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#16

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In VA
$66,400 Median Starting Salary

Located in the city Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is a public college with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 79th out of 1,727 schools for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

There are roughly 469 mechanical engineering undergrads enrolled in this program at Virginia Tech. Students who graduate from this program report average early career income of $66,400.

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#17

Clarkson University

Potsdam, NY
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In NY
18.8% Growth in Graduates

Located in the town Potsdam, Clarkson is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This school ranks 135th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

For those interested in something more advanced, Clarkson also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduating, ME students usually make about $63,800 at the beginning of their careers.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
1st Most Popular In CA
7.5% Growth in Graduates

UC Berkeley is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. This school ranks 65th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of California.

There are approximately 375 mechanical engineering undergraduates enrolled in this program at UC Berkeley. Students from the mechanical engineering degree program at University of California - Berkeley make $2,446 more than the standard college graduate in this field when they enter the workforce.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
4th Most Popular In TX
6.2% Growth in Graduates

UT Austin is a very large public school located in the city of Austin. This school ranks 78th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

For those interested in something more advanced, UT Austin also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the ME program earn about $70,300 in their early career salary.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In MI
5.2% Growth in Graduates

Located in the town Houghton, Michigan Tech is a public college with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 197th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

There are roughly 404 mechanical engineering undergraduates enrolled in this program at Michigan Tech. Soon after getting their bachelor's degree, ME students generally earn an average of $69,700 in the first five years of their career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In IL
$59,500 Median Starting Salary

Located in the large city Chicago, Illinois Tech is a private not-for-profit college with a moderately-sized student population. This college ranks 117th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

A popular major for mechanical engineering undergraduates, there are about 173 students studying this degree at Illinois Tech. Students who graduate from the ME program make around $59,500 in the first couple years of their career.

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Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In CA
9.7% Growth in Graduates

UCLA is a fairly large public school located in the city of Los Angeles. A Best Colleges rank of 49 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means UCLA is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UCLA also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Graduates of the ME program earn an average of $64,400 for their early career.

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#23

Duke University

Durham, NC
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
3rd Most Popular In NC
26.3% Growth in Graduates

Duke is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the city of Durham. A Best Colleges rank of 1 out of 1,727 schools nationwide means Duke is a great school overall.

Duke University is one of the most popular college to study ME in United States exceeding 152 graduates last year. Mechanical Engineering graduates from Duke University receive an earnings boost of about $4,046 above the average income of mechanical engineering majors.

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#24

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
5th Most Popular In PA
3.9% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Bethlehem, Lehigh is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 43 out of 1,727 colleges nationwide means Lehigh is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Lehigh also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Soon after graduation, ME students usually earn an average of $68,200 in their early careers.

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#25

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
Doctorate Highest Degree Type
2nd Most Popular In MA
18.3% Growth in Graduates

Located in the city Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. This college ranks 77th out of 1,727 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

For those interested in something more advanced, Northeastern also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who complete this program state that they receive average early career income of $69,600.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering

Honorable Mentions

Here are some additional great schools for ME students that almost earned our Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering award.

Rank College Location
41 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
42 Clemson University Clemson, SC
43 University of California - Davis Davis, CA
44 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
45 South Dakota School of Mines and Technology Rapid City, SD
46 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
47 University of Dayton Dayton, OH
48 Boston University Boston, MA
49 Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI
50 North Carolina State University Raleigh, NC
51 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
52 University of Rochester Rochester, NY
53 Lafayette College Easton, PA
54 University of California - Irvine Irvine, CA

Mechanical Engineering by Region

View the Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering for a specific region near you.

Region
Southeast
New England
Rocky Mountains
The Plains States
Middle Atlantic
Far Western US
Southwest
Great Lakes

One of 38 majors within the Engineering area of study, Mechanical Engineering has other similar majors worth exploring.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Electrical Engineering 31,993
Civil Engineering 21,299
Computer Engineering 15,329
Chemical Engineering 14,729
Biomedical Engineering 11,483

View All ME Related Majors >

Notes and References

  • The bars on the spread charts above show the distribution of the schools on this list +/- one standard deviation from the mean.
  • The Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS) from the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a branch of the U.S. Department of Education (DOE) serves as the core of the rest of our data about colleges.
  • Some other college data, including much of the graduate earnings data, comes from the U.S. Department of Education’s (College Scorecard).
  • Credit for the banner image above goes to Michel Villeneuve.

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