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Best universities for engineering degrees in the US 2023

Explore the best universities for engineering degrees in the US using data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings

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December 2 2022
Why study mechanical engineering?


Top 10 universities for engineering in the US 2023

Scroll down for the full list of best universities for engineering in the US

US engineering rank 2023 WUR engineering rank 2023 University State
1 1 Harvard University Massachusetts
2 2 Stanford University California
3 3 University of California, Berkeley California
4 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts
5 6 California Institute of Technology California
6 9 Princeton University New Jersey
7 11 Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia
8 16 University of California, Los Angeles California
9 17 Yale University Connecticut
10 18 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Michigan

Through the US college system, undergraduate students can study a number of different subjects before deciding on a major.

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For prospective engineering students, however, it’s worth having an idea of which field of engineering you’d like to specialise in for your major when you apply. This is because you’ll often need to have completed a specific set of foundational classes in mathematics, physics and materials science in order to pursue your chosen engineering specialism.

There are many different branches of engineering in which students can specialise, including civil engineering, electrical engineering, aerospace engineering and more. Many students will choose to stay for a postgraduate course in order to further develop their speciality before entering the world of work.

These are the top universities in the US for engineering degrees.

5. California Institute of Technology

California Institute of Technology offers programmes for undergraduates, graduates and postdoctoral candidates through their division of chemistry and chemical engineering.

Admission to Caltech is competitive with the college accepting 230 new students each year and 10 to 15 upperclassmen, allowing class sizes to remain small.

Students will undergo broad and detailed training in chemical engineering, balancing classroom lectures with laboratory experience. Students will learn about the societal impact of chemical engineering within the courses. 

At the California Institute of Technology engineering students will be given the opportunity to choose one of four divisions of chemical engineering in which to specialise, choosing from biomolecular, environmental, materials or process systems. Students will then have the opportunity to pursue independent research for their thesis in their second and third years.

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s School of Engineering is the largest of MIT’s five schools.

When students join MIT, they take courses across all five school and then choose their major from whichever school they wish. About 70 per cent of undergraduates declare engineering as their major, according to the university.

The school has nine engineering departments covering the following areas: aeronautics and astronautics; biological; chemical; civil and environmental; electrical and computer science; medical engineering and science; materials science; mechanical; and nuclear science.

The engineering master’s programme at MIT runs for two years and is available across a range of courses, including mechanical engineering and aeronautics and astronautics. Students may also be awarded the engineer’s degree at a postgraduate level. This programme provides a higher level of professional competence than is required by the master’s degree, but there is less emphasis on research than in the doctoral programme.

Engineering students at MIT have a range of opportunities to access during their studies, including study-abroad options, entrepreneurship support, research experiences and hands-on practical learning.

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3. University of California, Berkeley

The University of California, Berkeley College of Engineering has nine undergraduate engineering programmes: chemical; civil; computer; electrical; environmental; industrial; materials; mechanical; and bioengineering.

Students at the College of Engineering must take at least six courses to satisfy their humanities and social sciences requirement, as well as maintaining a minimum overall grade point average of 2.00.

Undergraduate students may apply directly to an engineering programme of their choice or remain undeclared if they wish first to explore different areas of engineering.

The master of engineering focuses on business and engineering management within your chosen engineering discipline. The university also offers a MBA/MEng programme that enables students to earn two master’s degrees in the time it takes to complete one. Students in this programme will take both business and engineering courses.

Berkeley students have access to many teaching and research facilities, including the Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation, which offers practical design and prototyping experience. There is also the Sutardja Centre for Entrepreneurship and Technology, aiding students in launching new companies. The Fung Institute for Engineering Leadership is an educational facility on campus that encourages innovation.

About a quarter of engineering students at Berkeley are international.

2. Stanford University

Stanford University’s engineering department offers 16 undergraduate majors for engineering students, including: aeronautics, bioengineering, environmental systems, materials science, mechanical engineering, engineering physics and product design among others.

The master of science in engineering is available across all nine departments of engineering and combines academic course work with research.

Stanford undergraduates may also apply to master’s programmes as coterminal students, which means that they are classified as both undergraduate and postgraduate students and may take courses across both curricula.

Undergraduate students also have the opportunity to take part in the research experience for undergraduates (REU), providing the chance to work with faculty members on advanced research topics. The top 30 students of each undergraduate class are presented with the Frederick Emmons Terman Engineering Scholastic Award, named after the fourth dean of the school.

Stanford University has a range of facilities accessible to students, from the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, to the Aerospace Robotics Lab and the Stanford Artificial Intelligence Laboratory.

1. Harvard University

Harvard University offers several engineering undergraduate programmes: materials science and mechanical engineering; environmental science and engineering; electrical engineering; computer science; bioengineering; and applied mathematics.

The engineering faculty also offers a broad range of graduate and professional programmes for postgraduate students.

For most of Harvard’s engineering programmes, students will start their first year learning the foundational concepts, including mathematics and physics.

Engineering students at Harvard can get involved in a number of extracurricular clubs, from the Climate Governance Initiative to the Harvard College Engineering Society. These student-run organisations allow like-minded students to come together and develop their interests. The engineering campus is split between two areas, one in Cambridge near Harvard Yard, and the other on Western Avenue in Allston. The Cambridge campus is home to classrooms and laboratories, while the Allston campus houses the Science and Engineering Complex, as well as the Engineering Yard and Harvard Innovation Lab.

What can you do with an aerospace engineering degree?
What can you do with a chemical engineering degree?
What can you do with a civil engineering degree?
What can you do with an electrical engineering degree?
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What can you do with a mechanical engineering degree?

Top universities in the US for engineering degrees 2023

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2023 results. 

US engineering rank 2023 WUR engineering rank 2023 University State
1 1 Harvard University Massachusetts
2 2 Stanford University California
3 3 University of California, Berkeley California
4 4 Massachusetts Institute of Technology Massachusetts
5 6 California Institute of Technology California
6 9 Princeton University New Jersey
7 11 Georgia Institute of Technology Georgia
8 16 University of California, Los Angeles California
9 17 Yale University Connecticut
10 18 University of Michigan-Ann Arbor Michigan
11 22 Carnegie Mellon University Pennsylvania
12 23 University of Texas at Austin Texas
13 24 Cornell University New York
14 25 Columbia University New York
15 28 University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Illinois
16 =30 Northwestern University Illinois
17 33 Johns Hopkins University Maryland
18 36 University of Pennsylvania Pennsylvania
19 37 University of California, San Diego California
20 38 Purdue University West Lafayette Indiana
21 43 University of California, Santa Barbara California
22 47 University of Washington Washington
23 52 Duke University North Carolina
24 =60 Texas A&M University Texas
25 =69 University of Southern California California
26 =72 Rice University Texas
27 =74 Brown University Rhode Island
28 78 Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Virginia
29 82 Penn State (Main campus) Pennsylvania
30 =83 University of Wisconsin-Madison Wisconsin
31 =85 University of California, Davis California
32 =88 Ohio State University (Main campus) Ohio
33 =93 University of California, Irvine California
34 95 University of Minnesota Minnesota
=35 101–125 University of Maryland, College Park Maryland
=35 101–125 New York University New York
=35 101–125 University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill North Carolina
=35 101–125 North Carolina State University North Carolina
=35 101–125 The University of Tennessee-Knoxville Tennessee
=40 126–150 Arizona State University (Tempe) Arizona
=40 126–150 Boston University Massachusetts
=40 126–150 University of California, Riverside California
=40 126–150 University of Colorado Boulder Colorado
=40 126–150 Colorado School of Mines Colorado
=40 126–150 University of Massachusetts Massachusetts
=46 151–175 Case Western Reserve University Ohio
=46 151–175 University of Delaware Delaware
=46 151–175 Drexel University Pennsylvania
=46 151–175 Northeastern University Illinois
=46 151–175 University of Notre Dame Indiana
=51 176–200 Michigan State University Michigan
=51 176–200 Rutgers University – New Brunswick New Jersey
=51 176–200 Vanderbilt University Tennessee
=54 201–250 University at Buffalo New York
=54 201–250 University of California, Santa Cruz California
=54 201–250 Dartmouth College New Hampshire
=54 201–250 University of Florida Florida
=54 201–250 Florida International University Florida
=54 201–250 Missouri University of Science and Technology Missouri
=54 201–250 University of Nebraska-Lincoln Nebraska
=54 201–250 SUNY Binghamton University New York
=54 201–250 University of Texas at Arlington Texas
=54 201–250 University of Texas at Dallas Texas
=54 201–250 Washington State University Washington
=65 251–300 University of Arizona Arizona
=65 251–300 University of Houston Texas
=65 251–300 University of Illinois at Chicago Illinois
=65 251–300 Illinois Institute of Technology Illinois
=65 251–300 Indiana University Indiana
=65 251–300 Iowa State University Iowa
=65 251–300 University of Pittsburgh-Pittsburgh campus Pennsylvania
=65 251–300 University of South Florida Florida
=65 251–300 Stony Brook University New York
=65 251–300 Temple University Pennsylvania
=65 251–300 The University of Tulsa Oklahoma
=65 251–300 Washington University in St Louis Missouri
=77 301–400 Auburn University Alabama
=77 301–400 University of California, Merced California
=77 301–400 University of Central Florida Florida
=77 301–400 Colorado State University, Fort Collins Colorado
=77 301–400 University of Connecticut Connecticut
=77 301–400 Florida State University Florida
=77 301–400 George Mason University Virginia
=77 301–400 George Washington University Washington DC
=77 301–400 University of Iowa Iowa
=77 301–400 University of Kentucky Kentucky
=77 301–400 Mississippi State University Mississippi
=77 301–400 New Jersey Institute of Technology New Jersey
=77 301–400 University of Rochester New York
=77 301–400 University of South Carolina-Columbia South Carolina
=77 301–400 Stevens Institute of Technology New Jersey
=77 301–400 The University of Texas at San Antonio Texas
=77 301–400 University of Toledo Ohio
=77 301–400 Tufts University Massachusetts
=77 301–400 University of Utah Utah
=77 301–400 University of Virginia (Main campus) Virginia
=97 401–500 Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University Florida
=97 401–500 University of Maryland, Baltimore County Maryland
=97 401–500 University of Miami Florida
=97 401–500 Mizzou - University of Missouri Missouri
=97 401–500 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute New York
=97 401–500 University of Rhode Island Rhode Island
=97 401–500 Syracuse University New York
=97 401–500 Wake Forest University North Carolina
=105 501–600 The University of Alabama Alabama
=105 501–600 Clemson University South Carolina
=105 501–600 Lehigh University Pennsylvania
=105 501–600 Louisiana State University Louisiana
=105 501–600 Marquette University Wisconsin
=105 501–600 University of Memphis Tennessee
=105 501–600 University of Texas at El Paso Texas
=105 501–600 Wayne State University Michigan
=105 501–600 Western Michigan University Michigan
=105 501–600 University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Wisconsin
=105 501–600 Worcester Polytechnic Institute Massachusetts
=116 601–800 University of Arkansas Arkansas
=116 601–800 University of Dayton Ohio
=116 601–800 Florida Atlantic University Florida
=116 601–800 University of Georgia Georgia
=116 601–800 University of Hawai’i at Mānoa Hawai'i
=116 601–800 Howard University Washington DC
=116 601–800 University of Kansas Kansas
=116 601–800 Kansas State University Kansas
=116 601–800 Montana State University Montana
=116 601–800 University of Nevada, Las Vegas Nevada
=116 601–800 University of New Mexico (Main campus) New Mexico
=116 601–800 New Mexico State University (Main campus) New Mexico
=116 601–800 University of North Carolina at Charlotte North Carolina
=116 601–800 Northern Illinois University Illinois
=116 601–800 Oklahoma State University Oklahoma
=116 601–800 San Diego State University California
=116 601–800 Southern Illinois University Carbondale Illinois
=116 601–800 Texas Tech University Texas
=116 601–800 Virginia Commonwealth University Virginia
=116 601–800 University of Wyoming Wyoming
=136 801–1000 Baylor University Texas
=136 801–1000 Clarkson University New York
=136 801–1000 University of Colorado Denver/Anschutz Medical Campus Colorado
=136 801–1000 Georgia Southern University Georgia
=136 801–1000 Oakland University Michigan
=136 801–1000 Ohio University (Main campus) Ohio
=136 801–1000 Old Dominion University Virginia
=136 801–1000 Portland State University Ohio
=136 801–1000 Rochester Institute of Technology New York
=136 801–1000 Texas State University Texas
=146 1001+ Florida Institute of Technology Florida
=146 1001+ Rowan University New Jersey
=146 1001+ University of Texas Rio Grande Valley Texas

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