Finding the right college for you and your needs is one of the biggest parts of the college admission process. It is too often that people overlook what schools are best for their intended major, and these students end up applying to the big name schools. They overlook the colleges that can suit them better and provide the perfect stepping stone to success. If you’re an aspiring engineer, make sure to look into these  schools with excellent undergraduate engineering programs!

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University of California, Berkeley

This public school located in Northern California is nothing short of exceptional. UC Berkeley is the first and highest ranking college in the whole UC system. It competes among the top private and public colleges of the nation for the best engineering program in civil, mechanical, electrical, biomedical, computer, and chemical engineering. This is one of the biggest benefits of being an engineering major at UC Berkeley. If you decide to major in electrical engineering, for example, you can change your major to mechanical engineering without worrying about the quality of the program you are in. No matter which denomination of engineering you’d like to major in, your choices are always open.

I love Berkeley so much because it’s a public school. It’s much more affordable than many privates (especially if you live in California), yet provides the same academic rigor and excellence. Furthermore, its location in Northern California makes it not too far from Silicon Valley, which is very convenient, especially for those majoring in computer engineering. California is a lovely state, and Berkeley being in my home state draws me in.

Purdue University-West Lafayette

Purdue University is a public school nestled in West Lafayette, Indiana. Like Berkeley, this school’s engineering program is well rounded, ranking great in every denomination of engineering. Of course, ranking isn’t everything, but the impressive reputation Purdue has forged for it as impressive. Purdue is known as the “Cradle of Astronauts” and one of its most well-known alumni is Neil Armstrong. Purdue’s most notable majors are Civil Engineering, Biological Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, and Aerospace Engineering. There is still a wide variety of paths to choose from.

In comparison to Berkeley, I feel that the two are on about the same level. The main thing that Purdue has over Berkeley is a less pricey tuition. My main issue with Purdue is its location, which is a completely personal opinion. I just can’t live life without a beach nearby!

The only time I had heard of Purdue was from a friend who is also interested in engineering, but upon further research, I learned that their engineering school is highly esteemed. This goes to show that you can find great opportunities beyond the more well-known colleges like MIT and Georgia Tech.

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California Institute of Technology

This school, commonly referred to as CalTech, is located in Pasadena, Southern California. While Caltech is a great school for engineers all around, it is especially attractive for those interested in NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab. This lab is conveniently located on campus. This school’s admission is very competitive because of its impressive ranking. I would highly recommend researching this college if you’re on the fence about engineering, but you are highly interested in a STEM major. Caltech is a STEM-based school that has opportunities for many different majors related to STEM. This is a real dilemma for many students, and I know that I am unsure of where in the STEM fields that I am headed.

Like Berkeley, Caltech is located in California. It is in southern California, which has a completely different dynamic. Pasadena is close to other colleges like UCLA and USC, which offers many social opportunities.

These schools offer high quality education with special programs for engineering majors of many different denominations. Researching schools like these that are less well known than the engineering schools that pop to the top of your head is extremely important. It’s all about finding the right college for you!

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