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2021 Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering

Approximately 47,222 mechanical engineering degrees were granted to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be a daunting task finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering ranking analyzed 274 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of schools for Mechanical Engineering students.

Choosing a Great Mechanical Engineering School

Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering The ME program you select can have a big impact on your future. This section explores some of the factors we include in our ranking and how much they vary depending on the school you select. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

A school that excels in educating for a particular major must be a great school overall as well. To make it into this list a school must rank well in our overall Best Colleges ranking. This ranking considered factors such as graduation rates, overall graduate earnings and other educational resources to identify great colleges and universities.

The lowest ranked school in our list is in the top 28% of our overall quality ranking while the vast majority are in at least the top 12%.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 190 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

Mechanical Engineering graduates from schools on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. While the average mechanical engineering bachelors degree from U.S. schools results in an average starting salary of $61,915, graduates of colleges on this list average $70,300.

Starting Salary  ( 64754 to 74645 )
$0
$82,800

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

One Size Does Not Fit All

The ME school you choose to invest your time and money in matters. To help you make the decision that is right for you, we've developed a number of major-specific rankings, including this list of the Best ME Schools.

In addition to our rankings, you can take two colleges and compare them based on the criteria that matters most to you in our unique tool, College Combat. Go ahead and give it a try, or bookmark the link so you can check it out later.

Best Schools to Study Mechanical Engineering in the 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.

Top 25 Best ME Colleges

It's difficult to beat Massachusetts Institute of Technology if you want to pursue mechanical engineering as a major. MIT is a fairly large private not-for-profit school located in the midsize city of Cambridge. A Best Colleges rank of 5 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means MIT is a great school 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. Massachusetts Institute of Technology mechanical engineering students make $4,800 more than the average ME graduate.

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#2

Olin College

Needham, MA

Olin College is among your best bets if you want to study mechanical engineering. Located in the large suburb of Needham, Olin College is a private not-for-profit college with a fairly small student population. A Best Colleges rank of 26 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Olin College is a great college overall.

Olin College is one of the most popular colleges to study ME in the United States with roughly 18 graduates in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate from the ME program make around $72,200 in their early career salary.

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Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus is one of the finest schools in the country for mechanical engineering. Georgia Tech is a fairly large public school located in the large city of Atlanta. This school ranks 82nd out of 1,715 colleges 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. Grads of the ME program state that they receive average early career wages of $68,600.

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#4

Kettering University

Flint, MI

Kettering University is one of the finest schools in the country for mechanical engineering. Kettering is a small private not-for-profit university located in the city of Flint. This university ranks 287th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

Kettering University is a fairly popular university to study ME in the United States with about 198 graduates in the most recent year we have data available. Mechanical Engineering majors from Kettering University receive an earnings boost of around $6,600 over the typical income of mechanical engineering majors.

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Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a small private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Terre Haute. A Best Colleges rank of 66 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology is a great school overall.

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology also offers a Master's Degrees in mechanical engineering. Graduates of the ME program earn about $68,900 in their early career salary.

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Located in the midsize city of Worcester, WPI is a private not-for-profit school with a medium-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 51 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means WPI is a great school overall.

A popular major for mechanical engineering undergrads, there were approximately 340 individuals who graduated from this program at WPI in the most recent year we have data available. Soon after graduation, ME students generally make around $65,800 at the beginning of their careers.

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Stevens is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Hoboken. This school ranks 172nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

There were roughly 291 mechanical engineering individuals who graduated from this program at Stevens in the most recent year we have data available. After getting their bachelor's degree, ME students usually earn around $65,000 in the first five years of their career.

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#8

Stanford University

Stanford, CA

Located in the suburb of Stanford, Stanford is a private not-for-profit university with a large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 6 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Stanford is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Stanford also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Mechanical Engineering graduates from Stanford University get an earnings boost of approximately $7,900 above the average earnings of mechanical engineering majors.

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U-M is a very large public university located in the medium-sized city of Ann Arbor. A Best Colleges rank of 38 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means U-M is a great university overall.

There were approximately 506 mechanical engineering individuals who graduated from this program at U-M in the most recent data year. Mechanical Engineering majors from University of Michigan - Ann Arbor get an earnings boost of approximately $3,900 over the typical earnings of mechanical engineering majors.

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Michigan Tech is a medium-sized public university located in the town of Houghton. This university ranks 205th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

For those interested in something more advanced, Michigan Tech also offers 2 different higher degree levels in mechanical engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree. Students who graduate from this program state that they receive average early career wages of $69,700.

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Located in the small city of Troy, RPI is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. A Best Colleges rank of 58 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means RPI is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, RPI 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 report average early career earnings of $66,700.

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#12

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

Located in the large city of Pittsburgh, Carnegie Mellon is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 33 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Carnegie Mellon is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Carnegie Mellon 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 around $70,400 for their early career.

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#13

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Located in the small city of West Lafayette, Purdue is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 84th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Indiana.

For those interested in something more advanced, Purdue 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 report average early career wages of $69,200.

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Texas A&M College Station is a fairly large public university located in the city of College Station. This university ranks 102nd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

For those interested in something more advanced, Texas A&M College Station 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 report average early career earnings of $71,600.

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Located in the remote town of Rolla, Missouri University of Science and Technology is a public university with a moderately-sized student population. This university ranks 257th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

There were about 295 mechanical engineering individuals who graduated from this program at Missouri University of Science and Technology in the most recent data year. Graduates of the ME program make about $66,300 for their early career.

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Located in the midsize city of Berkeley, UC Berkeley is a public university with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great university overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, UC Berkeley 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 earn around $71,900 at the beginning of their careers.

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#17

Northeastern University

Boston, MA

Located in the large city of Boston, Northeastern is a private not-for-profit university with a very large student population. This university ranks 81st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Massachusetts.

There were approximately 364 mechanical engineering individuals who graduated from this degree at Northeastern in the most recent year we have data available. Graduates of the ME program earn around $69,600 in their early career salary.

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#18

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY

Located in the small city of Ithaca, Cornell is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 17 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Cornell is a great university overall.

With 222 individuals who completed this degree in the most recent data year, Cornell University is one of the most popular universities to study ME in the United States. Mechanical Engineering majors from Cornell University receive an earnings boost of about $2,400 above the average earnings of mechanical engineering majors.

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#19

Clarkson University

Potsdam, NY

Clarkson is a small private not-for-profit university located in the remote town of Potsdam. This university ranks 146th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

A popular major for mechanical engineering undergraduates, there were roughly 185 individuals who completed this degree at Clarkson in the most recent year we have data available. Students who graduate from this degree report average early career wages of $63,800.

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#20

Duke University

Durham, NC

Located in the large city of Durham, Duke is a private not-for-profit university with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 2 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Duke is a great university overall.

A popular major for mechanical engineering undergraduates, there were roughly 123 students who completed this degree at Duke in the most recent data year. Duke University mechanical engineering students earn $3,200 more than the typical ME graduate.

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#21

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Located in the city of Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is a public school with a very large student population. This school ranks 88th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Virginia.

For those interested in something more advanced, Virginia Tech 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 around $66,400 in the first couple years of working.

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Located in the large city of Chicago, Illinois Tech is a private not-for-profit school with a moderately-sized student population. This school ranks 154th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Illinois.

With 164 students who graduated from this program in the most recent data year, Illinois Institute of Technology is one of the most popular schools to study ME in the United States. After graduating, ME students typically make an average of $59,500 at the beginning of their careers.

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#23

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA

Lehigh is a medium-sized private not-for-profit university located in the small city of Bethlehem. A Best Colleges rank of 44 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Lehigh is a great university overall.

With 152 students who graduated from this program in the most recent year we have data available, Lehigh University is one of the most popular universities to study ME in the United States. Students who graduate from this program report average early career earnings of $68,200.

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Located in the city of Austin, UT Austin is a public university with a fairly large student population. This university ranks 91st out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Texas.

With 369 individuals who graduated from this program in the most recent year we have data available, The University of Texas at Austin is one of the most popular universities to study ME in the United States. After graduating, ME students typically make around $70,300 in the first five years of their career.

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#25

SUNY Maritime College

Throggs Neck, NY

Located in the large city of Throggs Neck, SUNY Maritime College is a public college with a small student population. This college ranks 483rd out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of New York.

SUNY Maritime College is a fairly popular college to study ME in the United States with about 82 graduates in the most recent year we have data available. Students from the mechanical engineering program at SUNY Maritime College get $12,500 more than the typical college graduate in this field shortly after graduation.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering

#26

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD
#27

University of Notre Dame

Notre Dame, IN
#28

Rice University

Houston, TX
#30

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
#34

University of Dayton

Dayton, OH
#36

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
#38

Michigan State University

East Lansing, MI
#40

Boston University

Boston, MA

Additional Noteworthy Schools

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

Rank College Location
42 Lawrence Technological University Southfield, MI
43 Milwaukee School of Engineering Milwaukee, WI
44 Colorado School of Mines Golden, CO
45 New Jersey Institute of Technology Newark, NJ
46 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
47 Drexel University Philadelphia, PA
48 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
49 Clemson University Clemson, SC
50 California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo San Luis Obispo, CA
51 Rochester Institute of Technology Rochester, NY
52 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT
53 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
54 Arizona State University - Tempe Tempe, AZ

Mechanical Engineering by Region

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

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

Mechanical Engineering is one of 38 different types of Engineering programs to choose from.

Related Major Annual Graduates
Electrical Engineering 31,041
Civil Engineering 21,795
Computer Engineering 15,694
Chemical Engineering 14,363
Biomedical Engineering 11,975

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. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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