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Posted: 9/10/2004 11:56:22 AM EST
I'd like to major in mechanical engineering. I just started my junior year of high school.

I haven't taken the SAT/ACT tests yet, but from my Plan test results (pre-ACT), I am in the 99th percentile for every subject except reading (I read slow ), and I believe I was in the 97% percentile for that.

As of now, I plan on going to MIT. However, as I'm sure some of you know, getting into MIT is a major accomplishment in itself. I'm signing up for as many classes as possible, particularly in science, with all of them being college prep classes. I guess that's not true - I COULD drop lunch, but that's not happening.

Anyways, the colleges that come to mind for me are:

MIT (very hard, I'm unsure about my chances)
CalTech (in California )
West Point (physical quals would kill me)

What other colleges should I look at? Bonus points for being near where I live (Athens, OH - that's in the southeastern part of the state).

Thanks guys. I know we have a few engineers on the board...
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:57:39 AM EST
Kansas State has a good program.

Go CATS!
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:57:42 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 11:59:42 AM EST by raven]
Cooper Union. It's FREE. So the selection is a little stiff.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:58:28 AM EST
Virginia Polytechnic Institute

AKA Virginia Tech

Very strong in ME.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:58:47 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 11:59:29 AM EST by arowneragain]
stand by for everyone to tell you about the engineering program at whatever college they went to.....

edit...too late. It already started.

Oh well, might as well say it...

Mississippi State University.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 11:59:15 AM EST
CMU in Pittsburgh, they do alot with the space program and the military.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:00:17 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 12:00:47 PM EST by DriftPunch]

Originally Posted By Burley:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute

AKA Virginia Tech

Very strong in ME.



We also used to be one of the few with a supersonic windtunnel. I remember when that thing used to be put to use.

(Note, I was not an engineering student...)

I hope you like math...
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:00:36 PM EST

Originally Posted By arowneragain:
stand by for everyone to tell you about the engineering program at whatever college they went to.....

edit...too late. It already started.

Oh well, might as well say it...

Mississippi State University.



I did not go to K-State, but I wish I had.

<­BR>

Wife, Brother and Sister-in-law did though
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:00:37 PM EST

Originally Posted By arowneragain:

Mississippi State University.



I've heard good things about MSU's engineering programs. Also Tennessee Tech.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:00:47 PM EST
EE - University of IL at U-C, MIT, Berkeley are all top notch schools.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:02:41 PM EST
Rensalaer (sp)Poly in NYS
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:03:38 PM EST
University of Missouri - Rolla

or

Purdue

Good state schools not too far from OH.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:03:44 PM EST
Johns Hopkins University - Biomedical Engineering ranked #1 (if you trust the U.S. News rankings).

My advice is to go to a big school - they have much better resources than smaller institutions.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:04:24 PM EST
Most Conservative University in the USA is Texas A&M, 3rd Largest University in the country, great Engineering program. Texas A&M!
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:05:13 PM EST
tx A&M for petroleum, civil, chemical,
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:05:29 PM EST
Since I'm in the PRK, I mainly know about the schools out here:
CalTech - the best eng program in the nation IMHO. Go there especially if you want to work for NASA/JPL later.
Harvey Mudd - Claremont Colleges. My cousin went there, very tough and respected eng school.
UCSB - from what I've heard there isn't all that much hands on there, but theory is very strong.

MIT - you already mentioned that school.

I've also heard very good things about Georgia Tech as well.
You might also want to give some thought as to the specific discipline of ME you are interested in - fluids, heat trasfer, machine design, etc. and choose a school based on that as well. ME is such a broad major that one school may focus on a particular area better than another.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:06:52 PM EST
I agree with wedge1082. K-State has very superior mechanical, architectural, agricultural and industrial engineering programs. Their construction management (or construction science?) program is top-notch as well.

For civil, chemical and aerospace, though, I'd have to give the nod to my alma mater. See avatar.

Cooper Union is a really good engineering school, as is New Jersey Institute of Technology, particularly for civil.

Michigan and Michigan State both have good ME programs, as does Georgia Tech.

ME is a pretty broad field. You should try to narrow it down into what specific area of ME you're interested in, and then talk to the guys that are doing that kind of work now.

Even though I'm a civil engineer, I'd be happy to discuss this with you in more detail any time. Just let me know.

Good luck, and keep after it.

Oh, yeah. Shit-can that TI calculator and get yourself a real engineer's instrument - HP! If it ain't RPN, it's just a calculator.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:07:59 PM EST
University of Texas at Austin has excellent Electrical and Mechanical Engineering programs, and happens to be in one of the coolest citys on earth for a college aged person.

I believe the Electrical Engineering school is ranked in the Top 10.

Oh, and UT is about to get the Los Alamos Labs contract! Suck it Berkley!

Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:08:27 PM EST
I'd like to say Northern Illinois University (b/c that's where I went) but If I could do it over again I'd go to University of Illinois - Champaign (spelling - give me a break, I'm an Engineer).

My $2.00E-02

M590man
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:09:57 PM EST
Drexel cranks out fine engineers.

Well statistically they put out more failures than anything else. Only 38% of students make it through all 4 years there. Less if you are in the 5 year program.

Go get 'em sport!
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:10:53 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 12:14:35 PM EST by Sniper_Wolfe]

Originally Posted By raven:
Cooper Union. It's FREE. So the selection is a little stiff.



I've never heard of this school before...very interesting. I'll look into that more.

When I say good engineering schools, I would like to go to one that would be in the top 20 or so of the very best.

As far as what discipline, machine design. Ideally I'd like to design firearms/components, but anything that dealt with machines would be awesome.

About the math thing - I love math. It's what I do best. As far as the calculator, I'm still using a scientific TI-36X that I received for getting the highest grade in my Alg 1 class.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:11:10 PM EST
20yrs ago, Cal State Northridge, CSUN, had a solid rep as an engineering school. No idea, now.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:11:54 PM EST
Penn State is a great engineering school, especially for Mechanical and Nuclear. Something like 1 out of 10 or 20 (forgot which) engineers in the country got their degree from PSU. The faculty are in general very experienced and knowledgeable, and come from the field, they are not lifetime academics. My favorite two professors in the nuclear department were a retired Navy sub captain, and a former Westinghouse senior design engineer.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:18:26 PM EST

Originally Posted By JIMBEAM:
University of Missouri - Rolla

or

Purdue

Good state schools not too far from OH.



I'll go against the flow and recommend you stay FAR away from UMR.

The administration is inept, and is working very hard to run the university into the ground. In addition, a lot of the decisions affecting UMR are not made at UMR, but are made by political idjits up at MU, and UMR suffers for this.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:19:22 PM EST
Purdue, of course!

Go Boilermakers!

Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:20:56 PM EST
Closest top-flight school to you is CMU. Outstanding school.

There is a difference between general schools and the really good ones, (been there done both) if you can swing it, it will be well worth it. If not, then shoot for a god one for postgrad work.

CalTech & MIT have the best name recognition, and deservedly so.

Renssalaer used to be pretty good, as was Lehigh. I'll probably think of a few later on.

Work on your communications skills, most science/engineering types suck at them (and that's why they don't get to be the boss.

Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:21:40 PM EST
Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA. I went there, has a very good EE program and some of the best opportunities for co-oping.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:21:48 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 12:23:50 PM EST by Green_Canoe]
While all the institutions listed are good places to go, there is very little against going to a less well known school. The biggest advantage to a popular school is the network of alumni that comes with the school.

Have you priced out of state tuition at any of these places? How does it compare to going to an in state school? If you take out significant loans they will be a weight around your neck until you pay them off. Which could take many years.

After your first job it matters very little which school you went to. You will learn more about advanced topics in four years on the job than you will in school. Just like H.S. prepares you for university, university prepares you for the taskes you must do to suceed in the real world.

Engineering is a great field. Unless you can pay for all or most of school at the time you go there you will strart out your life in the red. This means you will have to wait to buy that first new car or your first house or live like a monk if you do.

Unless there is compelling reason to avoid your OH universities check into them first.

Kent (B.S.M.E. from a small school in MI that could afford my first (small) new car 4 months after graduation and my first house 1 year after graduation)
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:22:03 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 12:23:07 PM EST by SperlingPE]
Harvey Mudd in Claremont
Yes, it is in California, but it has an internship program with the major aerospace and defense contractors. It is a small private school that has an interview and written submittal as part of its admittance policy. Very good school.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:23:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Burley:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute

AKA Virginia Tech

Very strong in ME.


+1

But then again I am just a little rejudiced

The best University IMHO

www.vt.edu
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:24:45 PM EST

Originally Posted By DriftPunch:

Originally Posted By Burley:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute

AKA Virginia Tech

Very strong in ME.



We also used to be one of the few with a supersonic windtunnel. I remember when that thing used to be put to use.

(Note, I was not an engineering student...)

I hope you like math...



English majors at Tech take more math than engineering majors at UVA
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:25:13 PM EST

Originally Posted By QuantumPion:
Penn State is a great engineering school, especially for Mechanical and Nuclear. Something like 1 out of 10 or 20 (forgot which) engineers in the country got their degree from PSU. The faculty are in general very experienced and knowledgeable, and come from the field, they are not lifetime academics. My favorite two professors in the nuclear department were a retired Navy sub captain, and a former Westinghouse senior design engineer.



+1 for PSU (Westinghouse & the Navy got some damn good Engineers out of PSU)

An excellent 2nd choice if you can't swing the MIT/CMU/CalTech level
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:32:09 PM EST

Originally Posted By Green_Canoe:
While all the institutions listed are good places to go, there is very little against going to a less well known school. The biggest advantage to a popular school is the network of alumni that comes with the school.

Have you priced out of state tuition at any of these places? How does it compare to going to an in state school? If you take out significant loans they will be a weight around your neck until you pay them off. Which could take many years.

After your first job it matters very little which school you went to. You will learn more about advanced topics in four years on the job than you will in school. Just like H.S. prepares you for university, university prepares you for the taskes you must do to suceed in the real world.

Engineering is a great field. Unless you can pay for all or most of school at the time you go there you will strart out your life in the red. This means you will have to wait to buy that first new car or your first house or live like a monk if you do.

Unless there is compelling reason to avoid your OH universities check into them first.

Kent (B.S.M.E. from a small school in MI that could afford my first (small) new car 4 months after graduation and my first house 1 year after graduation)



Money is last on the list of concerns. Not that I have money for college, but that education comes first.

I plan on doing ROTC.

What is CMU? I don't know much about colleges so the acronyms aren't cutting it for me.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:36:21 PM EST
for mechanical it goes:
1: MIT
2: Univ of Mich - ann arbor
3: stanford

electrical:
1: MIT
2: Stanford
3: Univ of Cal - berkley
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:40:58 PM EST
I can't believe no one has mentioned Rose Hulman. The top engineering school in the country for like the last 5 years. You people sound like you wouldn't know a good engineer if he fell on you.

FWIW
I have seen some lousy engineers come out of UT and A&M. I deal with them on a daily basis.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:41:38 PM EST
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology used to be a fairly high ranked school, don't know if that is still the case? But you wouldn't wanna live in Terre Haute!
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:46:32 PM EST
Coming from someone who used to live there, I agree.

On the other hand, you could live in scenic Seelyville.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 12:50:47 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 12:52:02 PM EST by Engineer]
On a practical note, keep in mind that the male-female ratio of engineering programs is something crazy like 20:1 (out of my class of 125 in our field, I can only remember about six or seven girls), so you might not want to go to a school that is a complete geekfest - school is important, but so is a good social life ... the voice of experience is speaking here.

Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:00:25 PM EST
I graduated from K-State - good program.

I also have friends (VERY SMART) that went to University of Missouri Rolla. Good program.

Don't know of any others first hand.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:00:46 PM EST
I'd recomend Michigan, but you're from Ohio, so that's probably a no-no. How's Ohio State look?

MIT, Cal Tech, etc, are absurdley hard to get into. Feel free to send a application, but look at others, also. And be careful with your grades. No decent college is going to give you 'weighted' credits like your school probably does for honors courses. They'll 'adjust' your GPA. That can really hurt you if you've got a few B's in honors courses.

Also, keep in mind that your degree won't get you a job, and noone will really care after your first job. Go to college and have some fun - It's the last great time of your life.

WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T fall in love with the MIT's of the world. My sister (who was in the same boat as you, from what it sounds like) did that. She got rejected from 5 of the 6 she applied to, and ended up going somewhere she really didn't want to go to. Don't get caught in that boat.

MIT/Cal Tech, etc. is going to take 1500+ SAT and 34+ ACT to get into, with perfect grades. That isn't easy at all to get. Good luck with it, but look at some good schools. VT is getting brought up some - Good school from what I understand. I went to Arizona State, and I WOULD NOT recomend ASU for ME. Too much political BS in that department (I'm a ChE, my Sis is an ME, she hated that department)
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:04:22 PM EST
On a cost-benefit basis the right answer is usually "your state school here".
You'll pay through the nose for a private school or any out of state school,
and it is unlikely for you to get the money back in increased salary four or
five years down the road.

At the undergrad level you're really just mastering the basics, and any
number of mid-range schools can do that just fine. If you do well
you shouldn't have any problem getting into a grad school of your
choice.

You're probably better off optimizing for grad school. That's also
the point at which you cease being a pest to the faculty and
start becoming an exploitable resource that can be sucked dry
of free labor.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:09:31 PM EST
If you really intend to work in the firearms industry i'd consider location as important as the quality of the school. I'm look for an area with multiple firearm manufactures nearby which would allow summer internship options. You don't want to spend the summer explaining face-centered vs. body centered structures to a deep fry chef co-worker.

Frankly using an MIT ME degree to design firearms is a waste, any old ME bachelor degree can cover just about all thats involved.

Not trying to dissuade you, but keep in mind this is 4-5 years of effort, i'd hate to see it under ultilized.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:10:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 1:13:31 PM EST by Merrell]
Go to a good Engineering school that has a liberal arts school nearby for babes (you will never find them in Engineering at any school) See all the divorce threads elsewhere for why you do not want to get married early in life.

The state schools are not at the same level as the top level private schools, they can be very good, but the competition will push you much harder at the best schools. (edited to add - the "basics" are not the same at top schools vs. the state NCAA diploma mills, talk to people that have done both)

You will note that everyone is showing a little bias in their recommendations (including my listing of CMU - Carnegie-Mellon) nothing abnormal there, but I do know who I have worked with, hired & fired (& been hired & laid off by) and there is a clear difference in the depth of understanding, the "intuitive" appearance of knowledge of the brightest people that went to the best schools that is noticeably lacking in the run of the mill schools.

None of the Ohio schools stuck out, maybe Case-Western, but the others were all unremarkable. No offense, there are lots of unremarkable schools everywhere. Not necessarily bad, but nothing that stands out. Rose-Hulman had (maybe still has) a good rep, as does Purdue (althought the incessant picking between Purdue & IU sort of drags them out of the top echelon - you're both in Indiana, nobody cares.)
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:12:08 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/10/2004 1:12:44 PM EST by Atencio]
MIT, Stanford, Cal-Tech, Berkeley, College of Engineering- University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Georgia Tech are the top schools. Everything else is down a level.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:12:21 PM EST
Kansas State all the way! Still one of the best values in a college education too.

Speedball - BS Construction Science and Management KSU '93
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:15:32 PM EST

Originally Posted By ASUsax:
I'd recomend Michigan, but you're from Ohio, so that's probably a no-no. How's Ohio State look?


I don't really care where the school is. Rivalries are stupid.


MIT, Cal Tech, etc, are absurdley hard to get into. Feel free to send a application, but look at others, also. And be careful with your grades. No decent college is going to give you 'weighted' credits like your school probably does for honors courses. They'll 'adjust' your GPA. That can really hurt you if you've got a few B's in honors courses.


I know what you mean about grades. I'll most likely end up with 2 Bs through all of high school. I got an 89 for the first quarter of Honors English 10 - overall grade was an A. I will probably get a B in Chemistry, it is harder now as a junior than Chem 121 at Ohio University was the summer before my freshman year. The teacher used to be a college professor.


Also, keep in mind that your degree won't get you a job, and noone will really care after your first job. Go to college and have some fun - It's the last great time of your life.

I just want the best education possible. Learning as much as possible is my real goal in college.


WHATEVER YOU DO, DON'T fall in love with the MIT's of the world. My sister (who was in the same boat as you, from what it sounds like) did that. She got rejected from 5 of the 6 she applied to, and ended up going somewhere she really didn't want to go to. Don't get caught in that boat.

MIT/Cal Tech, etc. is going to take 1500+ SAT and 34+ ACT to get into, with perfect grades. That isn't easy at all to get. Good luck with it, but look at some good schools. VT is getting brought up some - Good school from what I understand. I went to Arizona State, and I WOULD NOT recomend ASU for ME. Too much political BS in that department (I'm a ChE, my Sis is an ME, she hated that department)



If I had to guess today what I'd honestly get on the ACT, I'd say a composite score of 34 with a 35 in math and a 33 in English. As far as perfect grades....if you mean all 100s, no way. All As would be a possibility, if I can swing an A in Chem class.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:17:44 PM EST
Another vote for Rose-Hulman in Terre Haute, IN. They required ROTC freshman year up into the 80's. The requirement was dropped at the request of the Army - they didn't want to provide the cadre. It's also one of the few schools in the country with an NCAA rifle team.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:23:02 PM EST
What's your gpa?

I scored well enough on the psat to become a national merit scholarship finalist. I scored equally well on the SAT. It didn't do jack shit towards getting into good schools because though, because I had a non-perfect gpa at a crappy puplic high school.

Hopefully you're part minority. That will help you get in more than any great test scores.

Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:24:18 PM EST

Originally Posted By Red_Beard:
What's your gpa?

I scored well enough on the psat to become a national merit scholarship finalist. I scored equally well on the SAT. It didn't do jack shit towards getting into good schools because though, because I had a non-perfect gpa at a crappy puplic high school.

Hopefully you're part minority. That will help you get in more than any great test scores.




I don't know my GPA, but I do know I have the highest out of 144 students in my grade.
Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:26:38 PM EST
What criteria are you guys using to call a school a "top" school for engineering? It would seem that the one that matters is the school's ability to aid sw in getting an excellent undergrad education in engineering.

There may be schools that are top ranked at engineering research while sucking major ass at undergraduate education.



Link Posted: 9/10/2004 1:32:34 PM EST
University of Akron dude. Right here in OH and they have a good engineering program. I was in the electrical engineering program but knew a lot of people in the ME program.
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