10 Engineering Schools Changing the World

7. New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (Socorro, NM)

photo by Atomic Energy505 via Wikimedia Commons

One of the most selective schools on this list, New Mexico Tech has an acceptance rate of less than 25%, making it among the most exclusive engineering programs in the country.

In 2003, with blessing from the US Government, New Mexico Tech purchased Playas, New Mexico, an unincorporated community now used as a “field site” where significant student and faculty research takes place. This town now acts as a large laboratory for scientific experiments, domestic protection programs, and more.

Throughout their local town, New Mexico Tech has established a number of facilities designed for research that has helped change the world. One such facility, the Langmuir Laboratory for Atmospheric Research, studies clouds and their precipitation patterns. This center is responsible for groundbreaking research on lightning storms and weather systems.

Although New Mexico Tech may be predominantly about science, they also host several concerts a year through a Performing Arts Series benefitting the residents of local New Mexico communities.


6. Oregon Institute of Technology (Klamath Falls, OR & Wilsonville, OR)

photo by OregonTech via Wikimedia Commons

According to a study produced by Georgetown University, Oregon Tech is the #1 school in all of Oregon for 40-year return on investment.

How does it win out against so many other excellent institutions – both public and private – in the state of Oregon? We think it’s because of their supreme focus on experiential, real-world education.

The Portland Metro campus, located in Wilsonville, is in the heart of what is known as Silicon Forest, a cluster of tech companies based in Portland, Oregon. Many students who graduate from Oregon Tech frequently find themselves employed in these major companies, including Microsoft, Xerox, and Mentor Graphics.

One major facility operated in part by Oregon Tech is the Oregon Manufacturing Innovation Center, a center that has produced innovations for major companies, including Boeing and Mitsubishi.

Student chapters of numerous professional societies focused on innovation are constituents of the Oregon Tech experience, including Engineers Without Borders as well as American Society of Civil Engineers.


5. North Carolina A&T State University (Greensboro, NC)

photo by Educatedblkman1914 via Wikimedia Commons

The largest HBCU in the country, North Carolina A&T has over 12,000 students. It’s College of Engineering is widely considered one of the top engineering programs in the country, with the US Department of Education calling it America’s top producer of African-American graduates in Engineering and Agriculture.

N.C. A&T is no stranger to scientific advancement; In the 2018 fiscal year, the school’s total research expenditure was an impressive $64 million. 

Because of the school’s significant research activity, the Carnegie Classification has designated the school as an R2 university with high research activity. Less than 7% of all schools nationwide are given this designation from the Carnegie Classification.

N.C. A&T works closely with government-funded agencies to promote significant scientific advances. Collaborations – with funding – include NASA, NIH, and the National Science Foundation.

One unique offering of N.C. A&T is their Joint School of Nanoscience and Nanoengineering; in 2010, when this institution opened, fewer than 10 schools offered programs in nanotechnology, putting N.C. A&T in rare company for a cutting-edge – and highly needed – program.


4. South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Rapid City, SD)

photo by South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

SD Mines has been an important epicenter for significant research both historically as well as in the modern day.

One early advancement of the school was made through a series of events known as the Stratobowl flights; these flights gave the world the first images of Earth showcasing its curvature. SD Mines was involved with this historic event in the early 20th century.

SD Mines’ Museum of Geology is an important paleontological center, housing a number of dinosaur skeletons as well as geologically significant minerals. This important facility has been a center for archaeological research conducted by students and faculty at the school.

Discoveries in STEM are central to the SD Mines mission. Besides geology, the school has made significant research breakthroughs on prosthetics and wearable instrumentation.

An article in Forbes magazine showed that the net ROI for graduates of this school was better than the ROI of students from MIT.

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