The 10 Best Engineering Schools in New York

New York City is one of the world’s most well-known cities, with its vibrant culture, diverse population, and diverse blend of ideas. The architecture includes impressive feats of engineering from the Brooklyn Bridge to the New York subway. However, this isn’t limited to just the city. New York as a whole boasts the third-largest economy in the United States.

Although the state is best known for its financial sector, other industries such as healthcare, manufacturing, and technology are also significant in New York. Employment in the tech sector increased by 57% between 2010 and 2016, and this trend is expected to continue. Engineers are needed to keep up with the exponential growth in these sectors. This can be seen in the impressive average annual salary of $95,000 for New York engineers.

Engineering and technology are intertwined, as new discoveries are made engineers are necessary to bring these ideas to reality. The majority of today’s services and products required engineering at some point in their creation. Engineering is a wide-ranging field and college students are guaranteed to find some aspect exciting, whether related to chemical, biological, mechanical, environmental, or civil fields. 

The best engineering schools worldwide are known for their accomplished faculty, quality education, and essential research that impact their communities. New York has no shortage of top engineering schools, making it difficult to decide which one is the best fit. The US News National Engineering Schools Rankings consider factors such as selectivity, resources, research activity, and peer reviews. These impressive engineering programs top the list, and #1 and #2 are even tied by the US News rankings.

Without further ado, here are the best engineering schools in New York based on their appearance in the US News and World Report Engineering rankings.

10. SUNY Binghamton Thomas J. Watson College of Engineering and Applied Science (Binghamton, NY)

SUNY Binghamton
Greynol1, School of Management, Binghamton University, public domain

The Watson College of Engineering at Binghamton is revered as leaders in inclusive excellence. In early 2021, they were honored with the highest level Diversity Recognition award from the American Society for Engineering Education. This was the result of Watson’s multiple inclusion initiatives and a campus-wide climate that supports diversity.

The Watson Institute for Systems Excellence also supports students through opportunities for conducting innovative research. Students get the chance to apply their classroom knowledge alongside federal and industry sponsors such as IBM, GE, the Mayo Clinic, the EPA, and 20 other innovative research partners. Watson students practice using engineering tools in a professional setting to meet industry goals.

Another way for engineering students to perform hands-on learning is through Watson Competes! These project-based competitions allow undergraduates to work with students from a range of majors. The challenges range from creating a Mars Rover to a futuristic Hyperloop pod.

9. Syracuse University College of Engineering and Computer Science (Syracuse, NY)

Syracuse University
DASonnenfeld, Carnegie-Library-Syracuse-Univ, CC BY-SA 4.0

Syracuse’s College of Engineering is an esteemed program that founded the nation’s second-oldest computer and bioengineering programs. 

In the present times, the school has founded many new and exciting research centers, including the Biomaterials Institute and the Center of Excellence in Environmental and Energy Systems (COE). The COE, with the help of Syracuse’s resources, hosts over 200 private companies and organizations that create new products. They tackle challenges such as environmental quality, clean energy, and water resource management for a more sustainable future.

Students also have the opportunity to use their engineering skills inside the classroom. The mechanical engineering capstone project requires students to provide well-developed solutions to fit their client’s needs. This project incorporates professional industrial design, with actual companies in the area using their solutions. Students must hone their research, communication, and problem-solving skills over 1200+ hours of work.

8. Rochester Institute of Technology Kate Gleason College of Engineering (Rochester, NY)

Rochester Institute of Technology
atlexplorer, Lomb Memorial Drive at RIT, CC BY-SA 2.0

RIT’s Gleason College is the only engineering college nationwide to be named after a woman. The school’s namesake, Kate Gleason, was one of the first women to attend an engineering school. After graduating, she went on to shape the trajectory of her family’s machine business during World War I.

Today’s students in the Gleason College continue to impact companies around the world. 100% of students complete cooperative education, where they work as an engineer in a leading company. Along with gaining an edge for future employment, students develop skills that can only be learned on the job.

A research team from RIT recently won a Catalyst Award from the National Academy of Medicine for their smart toilet seat design. This device provides monitoring of critical health data to detect signs of cardiovascular disease. The group was one of over 1,300 global innovators in the Healthy Longevity Global Competition.

7. SUNY Stony Brook College of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Stony Brook, NY)

SUNY Stony Brook College of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Josephng1, Stony Brook University – Heavy Engineering, CC BY-SA 3.0

SUNY Stony Brook’s College of Engineering has an impressive staff with 2 Nobel Laureates, 6 National Academy members, one member of the National Inventors Hall of Fame, and 2 Presidential Early Career Award winners.

The distinguished staff are drawn to the university for its innovative research. SUNY Stony Brook spends $41 million in annual research expenditures, up nearly 50% since 2015. This growth can also be seen in research centers that are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. The institutes focus on topics ranging from Engineering-Driven Medicine to Advanced Energy and Research Technology to AI-Driven Discovery and Innovation.

Along with supporting current students, the college encourages the next generation of engineers through the STEM Teaching Lab. These enhanced facilities can be used for lecture and lab activities for current students but are also designed for younger students from communities who lack the resources for a holistic STEM education.

6. SUNY Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Science (Buffalo, NY)

University of Buffalo School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
Andre Carrotflower, Furnas Hall and Bell Hall, UB North Campus, CC BY-SA 4.0

The School of Engineering at UB has consistently ranked in the top 25 schools for hosting international students for 17 years in a row. Their diverse body of engineering students from 67 countries makes up a global community that brings diverse perspectives to the field.

UB is also breaking boundaries through their research activity. The US Department of Energy awarded the department with $8.5 million to improve hybrid space rocket technology. The funding also enabled the university to establish the Center for Hybrid Exascale Simulation Technology.

Students are encouraged to participate in academic labs or develop their own ideas through the Center for Entrepreneurial Leadership (CEL). This facility provides new methods to drive business growth with help from the School of Management. UB also supports economic development in their community, with $2.3 billion of economic impact produced and 23,000 Western New Yorkers employed by CEL businesses.

5. University of Rochester Hajim School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (Rochester, NY)

University of Rochester
Tomwsulcer, Campus view at the University of Rochester, CC0 1.0

The Hajim School of Engineering is in the perfect location to drive change, with Rochester hosting some of the country’s leading engineering companies. The area has the largest concentration of engineers in the state outside of NYC. Additionally, there are plenty of options for research collaborations with nearby medical centers, institutes, and laboratories.

Rochester is home to the Integrated Nanosystems Center. This $4.4 million metrology and fabrication facility is dedicated to researching and creating materials on a microscopic level. The research center seeks to encourage interdisciplinary research and educational opportunities throughout the engineering department. 

Along with Rochester students and faculty, the Integrated Nanosystems Center helps the local community by nurturing new ideas that drive industry partnerships. Engineering students are exposed to many opportunities to create change through research and industry collaboration.

4. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)

Rensselaer Institute of Technology
Matt H. Wade, VorheesComputingCenter, CC BY-SA 3.0

As the oldest technological university in the English-speaking world, RPI has plenty of experience teaching young engineers. Their distinguished program granted the first civil engineering degrees in the United States.

RPI’s impressive list of alumni includes the inventors of the television, microprocessor, e-mail, and digital camera. Other engineering students went on to found major companies such as Texas Instruments, NVIDIA, and Garmin.

Today, RPI continues to drive change through groundbreaking technology. The institute is home to the Artificial Intelligence Multiprocessing Optimized System, the most powerful university-based supercomputer in the world. This device is configured to help accelerate New York’s economic development.

It comes as no surprise that with the world-class academic and research opportunities, RPI was ranked in the top 10 US colleges where students go on to earn the most money by CNBC. Graduates of RPI make an average salary of $80,000 10 years after enrolling.

3. New York University Tandon School of Engineering (New York, NY)

NYU Tandon School of Engineering
Jgunaratne, NYU Bioengineering building, public domain

NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering has made great strides, leaping from 80th to 40th in the US News rankings over the last decade. Tandon’s record-setting Class of 2023 is 46% women, which is over double the national average of 22%.

Tandon’s research mission is to discover new technology that will create a better world. Their research focuses include augmented and virtual reality for improved public safety, 5G telecommunications, and more sustainable urban areas.

This purpose extends to students and the local community as well. Tandon’s Urban Future Lab started as a student incubator and is now the center of cleantech innovation in NYC. It serves to create a more sustainable world by connecting people to the capital and resources they need to advance their climate change solutions. The incubator has supported 63 companies and created over 600 jobs in the intersection between the public and private sectors.

2. Cornell University College of Engineering (Ithaca, NY)

Cornell University College of Engineering
Kenneth C. Zirkel, Upson Hall, Cornell University, CC BY-SA 4.0

Cornell University has one of the top ten engineering schools in the country, according to US News. Graduates have their choice of the most successful companies. The most common employers of Cornell engineers include Microsoft, Amazon, Google, Facebook, and Goldman Sachs.

The nanotechnology program has received national recognition, ranking #1 in nanotech commercialization, #2 in facilities, and #4 in research. This developing technology has applications in energy production and storage, drug delivery, and material fabrication.

Engineering students have additional opportunities to tackle real-world engineering problems through innovation. The Project Team Experience is entirely led and run by undergraduates, attracting an impressive 1200 participants across all engineering majors. Students work in teams to engineer autonomous underwater vehicles, develop sustainable irrigation systems, and many more impressive projects.

1. Columbia University Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (New York, NY)

Columbia University
JSquish, Butler Library Columbia University, CC BY-SA 4.0

Columbia is one of the top engineering schools in the United Stanks, with a record low acceptance of 5.1% in 2019. Columbia is located among a dense cluster of academic and industrial facilities, allowing the school to partner with many top research partners such as NASA, IBM, the Earth Institute, and GE.

Columbia has the resources to perform new and exciting research to lead the field. In 2017, the school reached $68 million in engineering research expenditures. The faculty takes an active role in research and views student involvement as an integral part of the educational process.

One such lab at Columbia is working on engineering energy networks within bacterial cells. The researchers are studying a specific type of biofuels that utilize stored electrical energy from renewable sources, bypassing land and crop requirements. These advancements can address challenges in medicine, manufacturing, and sustainable energy.

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