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The Best Universities for Engineering in Each US State

The Best Universities for Engineering in Each US State main image

One of the quickest ways to cut down the cost of attending university in the US is to stay in-state rather than travelling further afield to study. While this might not always be an option, the majority of US students interested in engineering should be able to find a high-performing in-state university to attend.

Over half the states in America are home to at least one university which is ranked for engineering in the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2017. Whether it’s Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Mechanical or Mineral Engineering you’re interested in, you can hopefully apply to a leading institution that’s close to home. Here’s our state-by-state rundown of the best university for each branch of engineering in each US state.

Arizona

Chemical Engineering: Arizona State University (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering:
Arizona State University
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Arizona State University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Arizona State University
Mineral & Mining Engineering:
University of Arizona

It’s nearly a clean sweep in the field of engineering for Arizona State University, which is the best university in Arizona for four out of five subjects. Of the four, it’s ranked highest for electrical & electronic engineering: it’s the joint 28th best university in the whole country for this subject. The University of Arizona pips their rivals in just one subject, mineral & mining, for which it’s ranked as the third-best university in the country (and 13th in the whole world).

California

Chemical Engineering: Stanford University (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of California, Berkeley
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Stanford University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Stanford University

Let’s get the bad news out of the way to start with: there are no Californian universities included in the QS ranking for mineral & mining engineering. While this doesn’t mean no institutions in the state offer this as a course, it does mean you might have to widen your search to out-of-state universities if you want a high-quality education.

The other four engineering disciplines are split evenly between Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley, although you could arguably go to either for each of the four different subjects. Impressively, both universities are included in the global top 10 for all four subjects.

Colorado

Chemical Engineering: University of Colorado Boulder (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of Colorado Boulder
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Colorado Boulder
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Colorado Boulder
Mineral & Mining Engineering:
Colorado School of Mines

As you might have guessed from their name, Colorado School of Mines is a great place to study mineral & mining engineering. It’s not just the best university for the subject in Colorado, it’s also the best in the world. All the other four branches of engineering are dominated by the University of Colorado Boulder, though it performs best for civil and structural engineering where it’s ranked joint 23rd in the US.

Connecticut

Chemical Engineering: Yale University (pictured below)
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Yale University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Yale University

Only three branches of engineering are represented in the state of Connecticut, with Yale University proving to be the highest-ranked university for chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering. Of the three, Yale is ranked highest for chemical engineering: it’s the 23rd best university in the world for this subject.

Delaware

Chemical Engineering: University of Delaware (pictured below)
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Delaware
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Delaware

Delaware is also only represented in the rankings for three of the five branches of engineering, and, as with Connecticut, it’s one university which is placed highest for all three. The University of Delaware is ranked joint 18th in the US for chemical engineering, joint 64th in the US for electrical engineering and joint 60th in the US for mechanical engineering.

Florida

Chemical Engineering: University of Florida (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of Florida
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Florida
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Florida

The University of Florida is the only place to be in the Sunshine State if you’re interested in engineering, as it ranks highest for four of the five engineering subjects (no Florida universities are included in the ranking for mineral & mining engineering). Of the four subjects, it’s ranked highest for civil & structural engineering, for which it’s the joint 23rd best university in the US.

Georgia

Chemical Engineering: Georgia Institute of Technology (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: Georgia Institute of Technology
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Georgia Institute of Technology
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering: Georgia Institute of Technology

Georgia Institute of Technology isn’t just the best university for most engineering branches in the state of Georgia, it’s one of the best universities for engineering in the world. The university is ranked 12th in the world for mechanical, aeronautical & manufacturing engineering, 16th in the world for electrical & electronic engineering, 17th in the world for civil & structural engineering and 20th in the world for chemical engineering.

Illinois

Chemical Engineering: Northwestern University
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (pictured below) 
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Mineral & Mining Engineering:
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Northwestern University is the one hold-out, depriving the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign of an engineering clean sweep. In all four of the subjects the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is the best in the state, it’s ranked in the top 30 in the world. Northwestern is joint 24th in the world for chemical engineering.

Indiana

Chemical Engineering: Purdue University (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: Purdue University
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Purdue University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Purdue University

Purdue University is the best place to study engineering in Indiana, and is ranked in the top 50 in the world for each of the four engineering subjects listed above. Of the four, it’s ranked highest for mechanical, aeronautical & manufacturing engineering, for which it’s 20th in the world and 9th in the US.

Iowa

Chemical Engineering: Iowa State University (pictured below)
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Iowa State University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Iowa State University and University of Iowa

Iowa universities are only ranked for three branches of engineering in the latest subject rankings, so any Iowa residents interested in civil or mineral engineering may need to look out-of-state. Iowa State University is the outright best university for both chemical and electrical engineering, while it shares the honor with the University of Iowa for mechanical engineering. For this, both universities are ranked joint 49th in the US.

Maryland

Chemical Engineering: Johns Hopkins University
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of Maryland, College Park (pictured below) 
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Maryland, College Park
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Johns Hopkins University

Two Maryland universities share the spoils when it comes to being the best institution for engineering in the state. Johns Hopkins University comes out on top for chemical engineering and mechanical engineering, while the University of Maryland, College Park is the best place to study civil engineering and electrical engineering. In each of the four cases, the top Maryland university is ranked in the top 25 in the US for that subject.

Massachusetts

Chemical Engineering: Massachusetts Institute of Technology (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Massachusetts Institute of Technology

No surprises here, as M.I.T. dominates the engineering rankings in practically every way possible. M.I.T. isn’t just the best university in Massachusetts for these subjects, or just the best university in the US. It’s actually ranked number one in the entire world. So yeah, there’s genuinely nowhere better to study.

Michigan

Chemical Engineering: University of Michigan (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of Michigan
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Michigan
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Michigan
Mineral & Mining Engineering:
Michigan Technological University

The University of Michigan has a fantastic reputation for engineering, as shown by its domination of four of the five branches of the subject covered in our rankings. For each of these, the university is considered to be among the top 50 in the world (its highest ranking is for mechanical engineering, for which it’s sixth in the world). Michigan Technological University makes the ranking for its mineral and mining engineering course, which is the 37th best in the world and the sixth best in the US.

Minnesota

Chemical Engineering: University of Minnesota (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of Minnesota
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Minnesota
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Minnesota

The University of Minnesota is best in the state in four of the different engineering subjects, but it’s in chemical engineering that the university really excels. The university’s course is ranked the joint 17th best in the world and the seventh best in the US. Other rankings aren’t quite as impressive, but are all within the top 30 in the US.

Missouri

Chemical Engineering: Washington University in St Louis (pictured below)
Electrical & Electronic Engineering: Washington University in St Louis
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Washington University in St Louis

Only three branches of engineering are covered by Missouri universities according to the latest subject rankings. While students interested in civil or mineral engineering may have to look elsewhere, Washington University in St Louis is the perfect destination for anyone interested in the other three branches of engineering. Of the three, the university is ranked highest for chemical engineering (joint 31st in the US).

New Hampshire

Electrical & Electronic Engineering: Dartmouth College (pictured below)

New Hampshire is far from the best university to be in if you’re interested in engineering, but at least Dartmouth College prevents the state from missing out entirely. The college’s electrical engineering course is ranked 57th in the US.

New Jersey

Chemical Engineering: Princeton University (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering:
Princeton University
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Princeton University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Princeton University

Princeton University is the only place to be in New Jersey from an engineering perspective. It’s ranked impressively high too, with the university’s chemical, electrical and mechanical engineering courses all considered to be among the best 50 in the world. Of these, chemical engineering is ranked the highest (12th in the world, and fifth in the US).

New Mexico

Electrical & Electronic Engineering: University of New Mexico (pictured below)

University of New Mexico provides the state’s only engineering course of note, and is ranked joint 64th in the country for its electrical and electronic engineering course.

New York

Chemical Engineering: Cornell University (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering:
Cornell University and Columbia University
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Columbia University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Cornell University

Cornell and Columbia share the spoils in New York, quite literally so in the case of civil engineering where nothing separates the two universities (both are ranked joint 11th in the US). In each of the other three subjects, the top university in the state is also ranked among the best 50 in the world.

North Carolina

Chemical Engineering: North Carolina State University (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering:
North Carolina State University
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
North Carolina State University and Duke University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering: Duke University

Depending on the branch of engineering you’re interested in, you’ll either be considering studying at North Carolina State or Duke. Of the two, North Carolina State has the edge as it’s best in North Carolina for both chemical and civil engineering, as well as sharing the title of best for electrical engineering with Duke. However, Duke University can boast of being the only university in the state with an engineering course considered to be in the top 100 in the world. The university is ranked higher for mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering than North Carolina State is for any of the other subjects.

Ohio

Chemical Engineering: Ohio State University (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering:
Ohio State University
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Ohio State University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering: Ohio State University

Ohio State University is the place to be in Ohio to study engineering, and is ranked in the top 100 for three of the four engineering subjects listed above (chemical, electrical and mechanical). Of these, it performs best in the US for mechanical, aeronautical and manufacturing engineering, for which Ohio State is ranked as the joint 17th best in the country.

Oklahoma

Chemical Engineering: University of Oklahoma (pictured below)
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering: University of Oklahoma

Oklahoma is only represented as a state in two engineering subjects: chemical and mechanical. In both cases, the University of Oklahoma takes the prize, ranking the highest for chemical engineering (joint 40th in the US).

Pennsylvania

Chemical Engineering: University of Pennsylvania (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: Carnegie Mellon University and Pennsylvania State University
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Carnegie Mellon University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Carnegie Mellon University
Mineral & Mining Engineering:
Pennsylvania State University

A clean sweep of engineering subjects for Pennsylvania, with three different universities sharing the honor of providing the best engineering courses. The University of Pennsylvania is the best in the state for just one subject, chemical engineering, for which it’s ranked an impressive 41st in the world. Even more impressive is the position of Pennsylvania State University in the mineral engineering ranking: Penn State is fourth in the world. Penn State share the title of best for civil engineering with Carnegie Mellon University, the latter of which is the outright best university for electrical and mechanical engineering. In both cases, Carnegie Mellon is ranked in the top 50 in the world.

Rhode Island

Chemical Engineering: Brown University (pictured below)
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Brown University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Brown University

Students interested in civil or mineral engineering may have to look somewhere other than Rhode Island to study, but, for the other three engineering subjects, Brown University can’t be beaten. Of the three, it performs best for mechanical engineering, for which it’s ranked in the top 100 in the world and joint 17th in the US.

South Carolina

Chemical Engineering: University of South Carolina (pictured below)
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of South Carolina
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Clemson University

South Carolina may not be the first state you think of when looking for a top engineering degree but both the University of South Carolina and Clemson University are worth considering for certain subjects. Clemson University is the highest-ranked university in the state for mechanical engineering and is also joint 60th in the country. Of the two subjects for which the University of South Carolina is the best-performing, it is ranked highest for chemical engineering (joint 40th in the US).

Tennessee

Chemical Engineering: Vanderbilt University (pictured below)
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Vanderbilt University

Vanderbilt University and the University of Tennessee, Knoxville are the two shining lights for engineering in Tennessee. Of the three engineering subjects mentioned above, the best ranking is for Vanderbilt in the chemical engineering ranking. Vanderbilt is ranked joint 39th in the country for this subject.

Texas

Chemical Engineering: University of Texas at Austin (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of Texas at Austin
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Texas at Austin
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Texas at Austin

The University of Texas at Austin has an impressive reputation for engineering, and it shows in our rankings where the university is included in the world’s top 30 universities for four different subjects. Of these, the highest ranking is for civil engineering, for which it’s ranked 20th in the world and sixth in the US.

Utah

Chemical Engineering: University of Utah (pictured below)
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Brigham Young University
Mineral & Mining Engineering:
University of Utah

Although there are three engineering subject rankings which feature a Utah university, one stands heads and shoulders above the others in terms of reputation and performance. The University of Utah’s mineral engineering course is the joint 18th best in the world and fourth best in the US. The next best performer is Brigham Young University for mechanical engineering (it’s ranked joint 50th in the world).

Virginia

Chemical Engineering: University of Virginia and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Civil & Structural Engineering: Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (pictured below)
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Mineral & Mining Engineering:
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

All five engineering subject rankings feature a Virginian university with the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University achieving a near-perfect clean sweep. The university is the outright best in four of the five subjects, and shares the title of best in the state for chemical engineering with the University of Virginia. Apart from chemical engineering, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University is ranked in the world’s top 100 for each subject.

Washington

Chemical Engineering: University of Washington (pictured below)
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of Washington
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Washington
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Washington

There’s only one place to be in Washington if you’re interested in studying engineering, and that’s the University of Washington. Of the four, it’s ranked highest for civil engineering (joint 11th in the US) and lowest for mechanical engineering (joint 30th in the US).

Washington D.C.

Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering: George Washington University (pictured below)

District of Colombia residents may need to look further afield for somewhere to study engineering. George Washington University is the only university located there to achieve an impressive ranking in the five engineering subjects. It’s ranked joint 60th in the country for mechanical engineering.

Wisconsin

Chemical Engineering: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Civil & Structural Engineering: University of Wisconsin-Madison
Electrical & Electronic Engineering:
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Mechanical, Aeronautical & Manufacturing Engineering:
University of Wisconsin-Madison

Four of the five engineering subject rankings see a placing for the University of Wisconsin-Madison, but, of these, one is by far and away the most impressive. The university is ranked 14th in the world and sixth in the country for chemical engineering.

Everywhere else

Can’t find your state in this list? Unfortunately, no universities from Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Hawaii, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Vermont, West Virginia and Wyoming managed to make it into the most recent engineering subject rankings. If you’re a resident of any of these states, you’ll probably want to consider out-of-state options if you’re interested in studying engineering.

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Written by Craig OCallaghan
As editor of TopUniversities.com, Craig oversees the site's editorial content and network of student contributors. He also plays a key editorial role in the publication of several guides and reports, including the QS Top Grad School Guide.

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