15 Best Undergraduate Engineering Schools in the USA (Ranked for 2023)
The USA is home to hundreds of outstanding universities, many of which excel in the field of Engineering. Whether you're interested in aeronautical engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, computer engineering or the countless other specializations within the field, there will be a host of excellent schools to consider.
In this article, we’ll explore some of the top universities for Engineering in the USA, including their rankings, specializations and the type of programs they offer.
Table of Contents
School #1: MIT
Image Source: MIT
Located outside Boston in Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT focuses on scientific and technological research and is divided into five schools. The MIT School of Engineering is the largest of the total of five institutes at MIT. University research expenditures have exceeded $700 million a year, with funding from government agencies such as the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Defense.
The campus has about 20 research centers that encourage students to explore variable areas, including ocean engineering, soldier nanotechnologies, and cancer research. Some of the school's most popular subjects are Mechanical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.
In 2022, MIT was ranked #1 in the QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology. It was also ranked #1 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate) by U.S. News & World Report in 2022-23.
The Times Higher Education World University rankings place it #4 globally for Engineering and Technology
Its tuition and fees are $57,986.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology admissions is highly selective, with an acceptance rate of 4% and an early acceptance rate of 4.8%
School #2: UC Berkeley
Image Source: University of California, Berkeley
University of California, Berkeley is a public sector university established in 1931 and located in Berkeley, California. The College of Engineering is among one of the 14 schools and colleges of UC Berkeley and is recognized globally as a leader in engineering education.
Undergraduate Engineering options at the university include Bioengineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering & Computer Sciences, Engineering Science, Industrial Engineering & Operations Research, Materials Science & Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Nuclear Engineering.
In 2022-23, it was ranked #3 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate) by U.S. News & World Report.
The Times Higher Education rankings place it #3 globally for Engineering.
According to the UC Berkeley Engineering website, $110,000 was the median starting salary reported by 2021 undergraduates joining the workforce.
Berkeley (San Francisco), California
Its in-state tuition and fees are $14,226; out-of-state tuition and fees are $43,980.
School #3: Stanford University
Image Source: Stanford University
Stanford University is a private institute for students from all US States and more than 90 other countries. Stanford’s School of Engineering is among one of the seven schools and has more than 16,000 students enrolled.
Since its foundation, Stanford has been at the forefront in the field of technology and innovation. The institute focuses on several research areas, including bioengineering, network security, information technology, materials and matter, computation, and data analysis. In 2022-23, it was ranked #2 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate) by U.S. News & World Report.
The Times Higher Education World University rankings place it #2 globally for Engineering and Technology, and it was ranked #5 in the QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
Its tuition and fees are $56,169.
School #4: Harvard University
Image Source: Harvard University
Dating back to 1636, Ivy League university Harvard is the oldest university in the US and is regarded as one of the most prestigious in the world. Engineering students at the John A. Paulson School Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences can complete their study in Applied Mathematics, Applied Physics, Bioengineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Environmental Science & Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering.
In 2022, the Times Higher Education World University rankings place it 1st globally for Engineering and Technology. It was ranked #27 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (At schools whose highest degree is a doctorate) by U.S. News & World Report.
Cambridge (Boston), Massachusetts
Its tuition and fees are $57,261.
School #5: Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech)
Image Source: Georgia Institute of Technology
Georgia Tech, as it's commonly known, is a very large university with over 14,000 undergraduate students. Within Engineering, there are around 20 options to choose from for specialization, including medical physics and aerospace engineering. Mechanical engineering is among the popular majors of the institute. Industrial engineering, biomedical engineering, electrical and electronic engineering, civil and structural engineering are also among the institute’s highly ranked programs.
In 2022-23, Georgia Tech was ranked #4 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate) by U.S. News & World Report.
It was #16 in QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
Its in-state tuition and fees are $11,764; out-of-state tuition and fees are $32,876.
Georgia Institute of Technology has an acceptance rate of 18% and an early acceptance rate of 23.6%
School #6: California Institute of Technology (Caltech)
Image Source: Caltech
California Institute of Technology is a small, private sector institute with just under 1000 undergraduate students. Students can participate in research ongoing in research centers such as the Center for the Science and Engineering and Center for Neuromorphic Systems Engineering.
In 2022-23, it was ranked #4 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate).
It was #15 in QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
Its tuition and fees are $60,864.
School #7: Carnegie Mellon University
Image Source: Carnegie Mellon University
Carnegie Mellon University is a private-sector research university established in 1900 and located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Students can choose from 10 interdisciplinary majors. The institute also offers the option of the course-based or research-based graduate program. There are 30 research centers on the campus.
The Carnegie Institute of Technology is ranked among the top institutes for engineering and technology. In 2022-23, it was ranked #7 in Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs (at schools whose highest degree is a doctorate) by U.S. News & World Report.
It was #18 in QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
Its tuition and fees are $61,344.
School #8: University of Illinois - Urbana Champaign
Image Source: University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign
The University of Illinois—Urbana-Champaign is a public institution that was founded in 1867 and comprises 15 colleges and schools. Its School of Information Sciences, College of Engineering are generally considered among the best in the country.
Undergraduate engineering majors at The Grainger College of Engineering are ranked #7 overall in the U.S. News & World Report.
It was #31 in QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
The University of Illinois is located in the twin cities of Urbana and Champaign in east-central Illinois, just a few hours from Chicago.
Its in-state tuition and fees are $17,138; out-of-state tuition and fees are $35,110.
University of Illinois--Urbana-Champaign has an acceptance rate of 60%.
School #9: University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
Image Source: University of Michigan - Ann Arbor
Michigan Engineering is home to top-ranked departments that collaborate within the nation’s number one public research institution – the University of Michigan. Nearly all of the 19 schools, colleges and divisions, including Engineering, rank among the best in their fields.
All of the graduate and undergraduate programs are highly ranked and have a strong reputation for excellence. Michigan Engineering’s graduate and undergraduate programs rank 10th and 6th in the nation, respectively according to U.S. News & World Report 2022-23.
It was #31 in QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology 2022.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Its in-state tuition and fees are $17,786; out-of-state tuition and fees are $57,273.
The University of Michigan - Ann Arbor has an acceptance rate of 20%.
School #10: Purdue University - West Lafayette
Image Source: University of Purdue - West Lafayette
Purdue University—West Lafayette is a public institution that was founded in 1869. Purdue Engineering is consistently highly ranked for academics and in career preparation, and students receive a top-quality experience culminating in some of the industry's most competitive starting salaries.
Students can choose from 17 engineering majors and several unique minors. They also have the option to customize their own major through interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary programs.
Purdue University—West Lafayette was ranked #9 in Best Undergraduate Engineering programs and #4 in Best Engineering Schools (tie) by U.S. news & world report in 2022-23.
It was #37 in QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
Notable alumni include Neil Armstrong and Eugene Cernan (the first and last man on the Moon), Charles Ellis (designer of the Golden Gate Bridge), Lillian Gilbreth (the first lady of engineering) and Reginald Fessenden (father of radio broadcasting).
West Lafayette, Indiana
Its in-state tuition and fees are $9,992; out-of-state tuition and fees are $28,794.
The acceptance rate for Purdue University - West Lafayette is 69%.
School #11: University of Texas at Austin
Image Source: University of Texas at Austin
The University of Texas at Austin is one of the largest schools in the nation. It’s divided into 13 schools and colleges, and the student-faculty ratio is 18:1.
With 11 undergraduate and 13 graduate programs, over 20 research centers and a faculty community that boasts one of the highest number of National Academy of Engineering members (among U.S. universities), Texas Engineering has launched some of the nation’s most accomplished academic leaders and pioneered world-changing solutions in virtually every industry.
University of Texas at Austin was ranked #9 in Best Undergraduate Engineering programs and #6 in Best Engineering Schools (tie) by U.S. news & world report in 2022-23.
It was #26 in QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
Its in-state tuition is $11,752; out of state tuition is $40,996
The University of Texas at Austin has an acceptance rate of 29%.
School #12: University of California at San Diego
Image Source: University of California, San Diego
The University of California—San Diego is a public institution that was established in 1960. It is located in the La Jolla community of San Diego, near the Pacific Ocean.
It is known as the second best research university in the world, and offers over 130 undergraduate courses across five disciplines. The UC San Diego Jacobs School of Engineering includes six academic departments which cross a broad spectrum of engineering disciplines.
UC, San Diego was ranked #22 in Best Undergraduate Engineering programs and #10 in Best Engineering Schools (tie) by U.S. news & world report in 2022-23. It was #61 in QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
La Jolla, California
Its in-state tuition is $15,348; out of state tuition is $46,374
The University of California, San Diego has an acceptance rate of 34%
School #13: Columbia University
Image Source: Columbia University
Columbia Engineering, the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science dates back to 1864, when it was a school devoted to metallurgy and mining. Today, it offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across nine main departments, as well as opportunities to study with world-class sister schools and research institutes.
The Ivy League University’s world-class research spaces include the Columbia Nano Initiative, the Soft Matter Lab, the Columbia Electrochemical Energy Lab, the Data Science Institute, the Center on Artificial Intelligence, the Precision Medicine Initiative, the Mortimer B. Zuckerman Mind Brain Behavior Institute, and the Earth Institute.
Columbia University was ranked #16 in Best Undergraduate Engineering programs and #13 in Best Engineering Schools (tie) by U.S. news & world report in 2022-23.
It was #68 in the latest QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
New York City
Columbia University has an acceptance rate of 6%.
School #14: University of Southern California
Image Source: University of Southern California
Founded in 1905, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering is named after Andrew Viterbi who developed an algorithm to connect the world’s citizens.Among some of USC Viterbi’s pioneering work are projects to restore sight to the blind; restore memory to sufferers of Alzheimer’s.
Alumni include astronaut Neil Armstrong; co-founder of Apple, A.C. Mike Markkula and Wanda Austin, former CEO of the Aerospace Corporation.
USC was ranked #30 in Best Undergraduate Engineering programs and #15 in Best Engineering Schools (tie) by U.S. news & world report in 2022-23.
Los Angeles, California
USC has an acceptance rate of 13%.
School #15: Cornell University
Image Source: Cornell University
Cornell Engineering is the highest-rated engineering school in the Ivy League, and offers 14 undergraduate majors and 15 graduate majors. Engineering has been at the heart of Cornell since its founding in 1865 by Ezra Cornell, inventor and self-taught engineer.
Cornell is home to more than 100 interdisciplinary centers, institutes, laboratories and programs that support research and enhance education. The recent addition of Cornell Tech in New York City, to existing collaborations with Weill Cornell Medicine, serves to broaden its scope and impact.
Cornell University was ranked #9 in Best Undergraduate Engineering programs and #13 in Best Engineering Schools (tie) by U.S. news & world report in 2022-23.
It was #48 in QS World University rankings for Engineering and Technology.
Ithaca, New York
Cornell University has an acceptance rate of 9%.
Other Engineering Schools in the US
The above have been selected as 10 of the top Engineering schools, however the following institutions are also recognized for the high quality of their programs:
- Princeton University (Princeton, New Jersey)
- Vanderbilt University (Nashville, Tennessee)
- Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island)
- Duke University (Durham, North Carolina)
- Rice University (Houston, Texas)
- John Hopkins University (Baltimore, Maryland)
- University of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania)
- University of Virginia (Charlottesville, Virginia)
- UCLA (Los Angeles, California)
- Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois)
- University of Wisconsin-Madison (Madison, Wisconsin)
- Arizona State University (Tempe, Arizona)
- University of Washington (Seattle, Washington)
- University of Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Indiana)
- University of Florida (Gainesville, Florida)
- Washington University in St Louis (St Louis, Missouri)
- Texas A&M University (College Station, Texas)
How Kings Can Help You Study Engineering at a Top US University
With Kings Guaranteed Outcome programs in the US, international students complete the first two years of their degree at one of our partner universities (located in Boston, New York, California, Wisconsin and Oregon), before generally transferring to complete their degree at a top US university.
These settings provide the optimum place for international students to start their US university degree, offering small classes, and the opportunity to study — and live — alongside American students their own age from Day One.
The extensive support and preparation that we offer also ensures that the vast majority of our students transfer to complete their degree at one of the Top 50 or Top 100 universities in the United States.
While our students choose to major in a whole host of subject areas, Engineering remains popular. Some of the Top 50 universities to have accepted Kings students to study an Engineering majors include: University of California–Los Angeles (UCLA) (#20), University of Southern California (#25) (University of California–Irvine (#34), University of California–Davis (#38) University of California–Santa Barbara (#32) University of Rochester (#36) University of California–San Diego (#34), Brandeis University (#44), Boston University (#41), University of Wisconsin–Madison (#38), University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign (#41), Georgia Institute of Technology (#44).
Our specialist GO: Engineering program offers students guaranteed transfer to a Top Engineering school after 5 semesters: University of Rochester, University of Wisconsin–Madison or University of Albany–SUNY.
Meet a few of the many students who have successfully progressed to top 50 universities to major in Engineering, and hear what they have to say about their experiences both with Kings, and at university in the United States.
"What happened to me, happened to a lot of my friends: they applied to different schools, didn't get in and ended up having to stay home as they couldn't find anything.
Here I was helped choose the courses I would need to transfer to specific schools, they helped me identify the right universities for what I was looking for, corrected my essays and basically Kings help you present the best version of yourself and to get the things you need to go where you want to go."
Luis is majoring in Mechanical Engineering at USC.
"Everytime I went to a meeting with my advisor, I felt he was really interested in me going to the best school. I got a accepted to Boston University which was my first choice so I am happy."
Sebastian decided to major in Engineering Physics. He is now at Boston University.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions about Engineering programs in the US.
Q1. What are the top colleges for Engineering?
There is no one best college for Engineering, but several - such as those listed above - which are generally recognised for the quality and range of their Engineering programs.
When it comes to choosing which school to apply for, there are many factors to consider alongside rankings, including any particular expertise in a certain specialization, and of course the university itself.
Q2. What is the best engineering school in the world?
Currently (in 2023) MIT ranks #1 in the world for Engineering according to QS. Ivy League Harvard ranks #1 globally according to Times Higher Education.
Q3. What GPA do you need to become an engineer?
GPA requirements vary by university, and also by proposed major — it's best to check on any prospective university's website to find out the specific entry requirements.
Q4. Which type of engineering is best for the future?
There are several specialisms, and related careers, within Engineering that are likely to be in demand in the coming decades and that students may choose to focus on either at undergraduate level or in grad school. They include Software Engineer, Civil Engineer (to address changing infrastructure needs as populations grow) and Environmental Engineers who can apply their knowledge of the natural sciences to develop new solutions in areas such as recycling, waste management and green energy.
Q5. How can I study Engineering as an international student?
With Kings Guaranteed Outcome programs, international students are able to begin their degree at one of our partner universities, where they spend the first two or three years in an ideal setting for acclimatizing to US university life.
During their time with us, they benefit from on-campus support, both academic and personal, ensuring they make the best possible progress.
Personalized progression advising also means they receive extensive help to identify the best transfer universities for their goals, and to build the best possible student profile, ensuring they can be successful in applying to top 50 or 100 universities to complete their Engineering degree.
We hope that this article has helped you understand more about the best schools for Engineering in the US, and how Kings Guaranteed Outcome programs can help you get there.
If you would like to receive more detailed information about our programs and locations, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.