Each of us has unique needs, educational goals, and priorities that influence where where we choose to go to college as an engineering major. It’s a big decision that involves research, campus visits, and guidance from counselors and family.
As a first time college student, knowing which criteria to consider important in your college search can be tricky.
Here's what you need to consider:
- Your department’s achievements
- Career placement
- Hands-on experience
- Cost of attendance and financial aid availability
- Degree completion time
- Student-faculty ratio
- Housing options
- Majors available
- College size
Each of these factors is important. Be sure to research each of there before choosing a college.
1. Your department’s achievements. Chat with a professor in your prospective department about the things the department has achieved in recent years. Have they added new facilities, concentrations or internships? Also ask about honors, innovations, research areas and achievements of individual professors.
2. Career placement. A significant part of going to college is to get the education you need to get a good engineering job. Talk to the college’s career services office about internships, major employers in the area, and job placement rates.
3. Hands-on experience. Hands-on experience is an critical credential for engineering majors to have on their resume. Employers need to know that you’re able to to do the work.
4. Cost of attendance and financial aid availability. Cost of attendance varies from college to college and will cost more than just tuition. Be sure to inquire about costs associated with housing, parking, meal plans, book, and any other materials that will be needed for your major.
5. Degree completion time. The amount of time it takes to finish an engineering degree varies from college to college and can also depend on the requirements of your specific engineering major. Choosing a route that takes more than 4 years can add substantially to your costs.
6. Student-faculty ratio. The student-faculty ratio is another important factor. The size of a class can affect how you learn and how much individual attention you receive.
7. Housing options. Housing options vary so you should be sure to ask questions find out what is available at each school.
8. Majors available. If you’re unsure about they type of engineering you’d like to pursue, a school with more majors to choose from may be better for you. Educate yourself on what majors are available in case you need to change course in order to reach your career goals.
9. College size. Bigger schools are likely to offer a wider range of majors, but on the other hand, you might enjoy the more personalized experience that you would at a small or medium-sized school.
10. Location. Location can be important for a variety of reasons. The first two things most students consider are proximity to family and the size of the city in which the school is located. Location also impacts activities you may enjoy outside of class.
There are many factors that impact your decision on where to attend college to get an engineering degree. Use this list to evaluate the colleges you’re considering and choose three factors that are most important to you!