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2021 Best Colleges for Engineering

Approximately 196,661 engineering degrees were awarded to students last year in the United States. With so many options it can be difficult finding the right fit. This year's Best Colleges for Engineering ranking analyzed 323 colleges and universities that offer a bachelor's degree in engineering. We look at over 20 factors to determine the top 15% of colleges for Engineering students.

Choosing a Great Engineering School

Best Colleges for Engineering Your choice of engineering school matters. Important measures of a quality engineering program can vary widely even among the top schools. To make it into this list a school must excel in the following areas.

Overall Quality is a Must

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

The vast majority of the schools on this list are in at least the top 17% of our overall quality ranking.

Overall Best Colleges Rank  ( 242 to 1 )
Lowest Ranked Overall
Top Ranked Overall

Better Early and Mid Career Salaries

Engineering graduates from colleges on this list tend to earn more after college than those from other schools. Recent engineering graduates from U.S. colleges with a bachelors degree earned an average of $62,200 in 2017-2018.

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

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

Best Schools to Study Engineering in the United States

Below you'll see a list of the best colleges and universities to study engineering. 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 Engineering Colleges

#1

Olin College

Needham, MA

Olin College is one of the finest schools in the United States for engineering. Olin College is a small private not-for-profit school located in the large suburb of Needham. A Best Colleges rank of 26 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Olin College is a great college overall.

Olin College is one of the most popular school to study engineering in United States exceeding 78 graduates last year.

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It is difficult to beat Missouri University of Science and Technology if you want to pursue engineering as a major. Missouri University of Science and Technology is a moderately-sized public school located in the remote town of Rolla. This school ranks 257th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Missouri.

There are roughly 1321 engineering undergraduates enrolled in this degree at Missouri University of Science and Technology.

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Colorado School of Mines is among your best bets if you're planning on studying engineering. Located in the suburb Golden, Mines is a public college with a medium-sized student population. This college ranks 137th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Colorado.

For those interested in something more advanced, Mines also offers 2 different higher degree levels in engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Georgia Institute of Technology - Main Campus is a good decision for students pursuing a Engineering major. Located in the large city Atlanta, Georgia Tech is a public school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 82 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Georgia Tech is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Georgia Tech also offers 2 different higher degree levels in engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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WPI is a moderately-sized private not-for-profit school located in the city of Worcester. A Best Colleges rank of 51 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means WPI is a great college overall.

With 1262 undergrads, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is one of most popular colleges to study engineering in United States.

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SD Mines is a small public school located in the city of Rapid City. This college ranks 435th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of South Dakota.

For those interested in something more advanced, SD Mines also offers 2 different higher degree levels in engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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RPI is a medium-sized private not-for-profit school located in the small city of Troy. A Best Colleges rank of 58 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means RPI is a great school overall.

Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute is one of the most popular college to study engineering in United States with more than 893 graduations last year.

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Located in the town Houghton, Michigan Tech is a public school with a medium-sized student population. This college ranks 205th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

There are approximately 1077 engineering undergraduates studying this program at Michigan Tech.

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

For those interested in pursuing a higher degree, Rose - Hulman Institute of Technology also offers a Master's Degree in engineering.

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Located in the midsize city Cambridge, MIT is a private not-for-profit school with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 5 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means MIT is a great school overall.

There are about 1350 engineering undergrads studying this degree at MIT.

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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 colleges for overall quality in the state of New Jersey.

With 1084 undergraduates, Stevens Institute of Technology is one of most popular schools to study engineering in United States.

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Located in the city Raleigh, NC State is a public school with a fairly large student population. This school ranks 105th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of North Carolina.

There are approximately 2606 engineering undergraduates enrolled in this program at NC State.

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

A favorite choice for engineering undergrads, there are about 737 learners enrolled in this program at Illinois Tech.

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Located in the large city Milwaukee, MSOE is a private not-for-profit school with a small student population. This college ranks 262nd out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Wisconsin.

With 460 undergraduates, Milwaukee School of Engineering is one of most popular schools to study engineering in United States.

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Located in the city University Park, Penn State University Park is a public college with a very large student population. This school ranks 112th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of Pennsylvania.

For those interested in something more advanced, Penn State University Park also offers 2 different higher degree levels in engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Located in the city College Station, Texas A&M is a public school with a very large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 102 out of 1,715 colleges nationwide means Texas A&M is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Texas A&M also offers 2 different higher degree levels in engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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U of Michigan is a fairly large public school located in the city of Ann Arbor. A Best Colleges rank of 38 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means U of Michigan is a great school overall.

There are approximately 2615 engineering undergrads enrolled in this degree at U of Michigan.

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#18

Purdue University - Main Campus

West Lafayette, IN

Purdue is a very large public school located in the small city of West Lafayette. A Best Colleges rank of 84 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Purdue is a great college overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Purdue also offers 2 different higher degree levels in engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#19

Virginia Tech

Blacksburg, VA

Located in the city Blacksburg, Virginia Tech is a public college with a fairly large student population. A Best Colleges rank of 88 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means Virginia Tech is a great school overall.

For those interested in something more advanced, Virginia Tech also offers 2 different higher degree levels in engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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#20

Kettering University

Flint, MI

Located in the small city Flint, Kettering is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 287th out of 1,715 colleges for overall quality in the state of Michigan.

With 348 students enrolled, Kettering University is one of most popular colleges to study engineering in United States.

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#21

Clarkson University

Potsdam, NY

Located in the town Potsdam, Clarkson is a private not-for-profit college with a small student population. This college ranks 146th out of 1,715 schools 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 engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Located in the town Socorro, New Mexico Tech is a public college with a small student population. This school ranks 612th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of New Mexico.

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology is one of the most popular school to study engineering in United States with over 250 graduates last year.

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UC Berkeley is a fairly large public school located in the medium-sized city of Berkeley. A Best Colleges rank of 69 out of 1,715 schools nationwide means UC Berkeley is a great college overall.

There are roughly 2028 engineering undergraduates enrolled in this degree at UC Berkeley.

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#24

Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh, PA

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

For those interested in something more advanced, Carnegie Mellon also offers 2 different higher degree levels in engineering, the most popular of which is a Master's Degree.

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Cal Poly San Luis Obispo is a fairly large public school located in the small suburb of San Luis Obispo. This school ranks 155th out of 1,715 schools for overall quality in the state of California.

With 1381 undergrads, California Polytechnic State University - San Luis Obispo is one of most popular schools to study engineering in United States.

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Rest of the Top Best Colleges for Engineering

#27

Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore, MD
#30

University of Florida

Gainesville, FL
#31

Rice University

Houston, TX
#33

Cornell University

Ithaca, NY
#35

Stanford University

Stanford, CA
#37

Marietta College

Marietta, OH
#42

Lehigh University

Bethlehem, PA
#44

Harvey Mudd College

Claremont, CA
#45

Northwestern University

Evanston, IL
#46

Northeastern University

Boston, MA
#47

Drexel University

Philadelphia, PA

Honorable Mentions

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

Rank College Location
49 University of Colorado Boulder Boulder, CO
50 University of Minnesota - Twin Cities Minneapolis, MN
51 Oregon State University Corvallis, OR
52 Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN
53 University of Tulsa Tulsa, OK
54 University of Virginia - Main Campus Charlottesville, VA
55 University of Delaware Newark, DE
56 University of Oklahoma Norman Campus Norman, OK
57 Columbia University in the City of New York New York, NY
58 University of Notre Dame Notre Dame, IN
59 University of Southern California Los Angeles, CA
60 Syracuse University Syracuse, NY
61 University of Maryland - College Park College Park, MD
62 Auburn University Auburn, AL
63 Clemson University Clemson, SC
64 University of Connecticut Storrs, CT

Engineering by Region

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

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

Engineering Majors to Study

Major Annual Graduates
Mechanical Engineering 47,405
Electrical Engineering 31,384
Civil Engineering 21,938
Computer Engineering 15,891
Chemical Engineering 14,406

View All Engineering Related Majors >

Related Major Annual Graduates
Computer & Information Sciences 220,337
Biological & Biomedical Sciences 162,961
Engineering Technologies 92,549
Physical Sciences 53,556
Mathematics & Statistics 49,748

View All Engineering 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 Petty Officer 3rd Class Declan Barnes. More about our data sources and methodologies.

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