Top 5 universities for engineering degrees 2024

Engineering studies

Engineering studies are a wise choice for career-minded students and there are technical universities around the world offering world-class degrees.

Most students in Europe enrol for a degree in a specific engineering discipline. Common specialisations are civil engineering, electrical engineering and chemical engineering.

The 2018 Times Higher Education Engineering and Technology Discipline Rankings feature 500 universities in 50 different countries.

Universities for engineering degrees

1. Stanford University

Stanford University’s School of Engineering has been at the forefront of technology and innovation for a century.

The school has nine departments and other institutes, laboratories and research centres.

Research focuses on 10 of the “most daunting human challenges of the coming decades”. These are systems design, bioengineering, network security, climate change, robotics, information technology, materials and matter, urban design, accessible and affordable healthcare, computing and data analysis.

Within the nine departments, there are eight interdepartmental undergraduate programmes in which students can specialise.

2. California Institute of Technology

Three of Caltech’s six academic divisions teach and research engineering and technology: the Division of Biology and Bioengineering, the Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering, and the Division of Engineering and Applied Science.

Both teaching and research are quite interdisciplinary. Undergraduate students declare a major at the end of their first year.

There are five separate engineering tracks and an interdisciplinary curriculum that allows students to customize their course of study.

Caltech is one of the smallest universities in the world, but it prides itself on ambition and innovation.

3. Oxford University

Unlike the US, students at Oxford University are admitted for a specific engineering degree.

For undergraduates, this will be a four-year course in engineering science, or more specifically biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, computer engineering or mechanical engineering.

Just under half of all applicants for these courses are interviewed and 15% are awarded a place on a course.

Many Oxford engineering graduates pursue a career in engineering, although some go into business, consulting or further study.

4. Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Since 1861, the MIT School of Engineering has produced a stream of products and new technologies to solve engineering problems.

In recent years, the school has increased its focus on innovation by launching the MIT Innovation Initiative. Research associated with this initiative has resulted in 60 US patents being licensed to multinational companies.

A parallel initiative provides students with educational experiences, mentoring and funding to encourage their creativity and support their projects.

The school’s laboratories and departments conduct a range of research, from food safety thinking to military nanotechnology.

5. University of Cambridge

At the University of Cambridge, students can specialise in a full range of engineering subjects, including instrumentation, sustainability and aerothermal engineering.

Unlike some UK courses, the programme allows flexible study options to combine different subjects.

All Cambridge colleges accept engineering applicants, but some colleges prefer students to take a year off before applying.

There are seven applications per place, but the total number of entries is quite high, with over 300 students enrolling each year.

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