10 Engineering Schools Just As Good As the Ivies

To find a great education, one does not necessarily need to attend a top ranked ivy league school.

In fact, many of the top schools in the country can be found at institutions that are not household names.

When talking about engineering schools, we often hear the same names – MIT, Harvard, CalTech, Stanford…

Sure, these are certainly fine schools.

But did you know that there are nearly 1,100 accredited engineering programs in the US alone?

In our guide to these amazing gems, we seek to highlight the best of the 1100 programs on par with any traditionally ranked school.

What qualifies as a hidden gem?

We are highlighting schools here that are not in the top 70 of the US News and World Report list of best universities as of August 1st, 2019.

These schools provide cultural diversity, exceptional campus life, and most importantly, incredible career outcomes.

Here are 10 amazing engineering schools as good as the Ivies…

10. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)

photo by Christopher Tomkins-Tinch via Wikimedia Commons

Located in the scenic Finger Lakes region of upstate New York, Rochester Institute of Technology sports a 1,300-acre campus nicknamed “the Brick City.”

Its newest addition is Magic Spell Studios, a 52,000 square foot facility devoted to training students to succeed in the global $115 billion computer games market.

RIT’s history reflects America’s constantly changing social landscape.

Their Kate Gleason College of Engineering is named after the “(Marie) Curie of machine tools,” who graduated from Rochester in the 1880’s.

More recently, Rochester graduate Patricia Moore disguised herself as an older woman, to learn firsthand how the elderly experience their lives.

Now named one of the world’s “40 Most Socially Conscious Designers” by ID Magazine, she is the founder of MooreDesign Associates, dedicated to sustainability in civil engineering and urban design.

RIT continues its efforts to serve a diverse population, offering sign-language interpreters for the 9% of Rochester students who are deaf.

9. Montana Tech of the University of Montana (Butte, MT)

Butte, the city housing Montana Tech – photo by Tracy from Calgary, Alberta via Wikimedia Commons

Montana Tech’s focus is on the mining and processing of minerals.  Their motto, De Re Metallica (“On the Nature of Metals,”) is taken from the classic 16th-century book on mining.

Naturally enough, their football team is the “Orediggers.”

But competition is not limited to the gridiron – and MT’s interest in mining is not limited to planet Earth.

The Orediggers robotics team put in an impressive showing at NASA’s Robotic Mining competition, developing an autonomous robot to extract water from lunar soil.

Montana Tech’s in-state tuition is only $6,539, while out-of-state is $19,571.

And MT graduates have a median starting income of $71,000.

This means the ROI for education at this engineering program is among the best in the country – you would make back 3x your in-state tuition for four years with just one year of work!

Both the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post have declared an MT degree to be a remarkable return on investment, far outperforming big-name schools like Harvard and Yale.


  1. Correction for WPI:
    “As seniors, they complete an Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP), forming interdisciplinary teams to solve real-world problems on campus, in local communities, and around the world.”

    IQP is Junior year.
    MQP (Major Qualifying Project) is Senior year.

  2. Very excited to La Tech on the list! However, it would be great if the full name was listed. It is not ‘Louisiana Tech’, even though it is often called that. It is Louisiana Tech University. Thanks!

  3. Florida Tech, located on the Space Coast, is surrounded by engineering corporations building the rockets that will travel to the moon and Mars! Internships are plentiful and many classes are taught by former engineers and astronauts. The botanical gardens on campus are breathtaking to stroll through to decompress. Go Panthers!


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