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Study Engineering in the United States

Study Engineering in the United States

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Erudera's Complete Guide to Studying Engineering in The US

Reasons to Study Engineering in United States

The US Has Top-Notch Engineering Schools

Engineering schools in the US consistently rank among the top worldwide universities for countless study programs, especially engineering. Universities like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Stanford University, or the University of California, Berkeley are the best (among the best) for engineering degrees at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. US universities offer a wide array of high-quality engineering specializations for all preferences. While some universities might offer more specializations than others, it is important to consider each of your options before choosing a university. The number of international students wishing to study an engineering program in the US is continually on the rise, and the US is, in fact, the most popular international student destination. Qualifications you will obtain in the US are internationally recognized and valued by employers globally, which is a great reason to study engineering in the United States.

The Phrase ‘Lucrative Career’ Takes Another Meaning

So, the phrase ‘lucrative career’ definitely takes another meaning if you wish to pursue an engineering career in the United States. Although engineering is a highly valued profession around the world (and quite in demand, as well), an engineer in the US will enjoy a rather lucrative career. If you compare engineering salaries in the US with other countries, you will find that engineers in the US typically earn more. According to recent estimates, an engineer in the US can earn up to $100,000 per year. However, depending on professional experience, area of specialization, or company size, engineers, may even earn more than that. Anyhow, regardless of whether you decide to pursue chemical, civil, mechanical, or electrical engineering, you are likely to be an in-demand professional. Some of the highest paid engineering careers in the US include Petroleum Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Computer Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, and Chemical Engineering, to name a few.

The US Excels in Technology Advancements

The excellence of the United States in technology advancements is to be admired. The US itself takes great pride in its technological developments. The great thing about American universities is that their technological resources are pretty convenient for engineering students. US universities provide students with state-of-the-art facilities and cutting-edge equipment. The United States is renowned for its engineering industry, research, and development. As an international student pursuing engineering in the US, you will obtain your knowledge and skills from some of the top researchers in your field. The chances to advance in your career are countless in the US. Faculty members and students engage in hundreds of complex projects, and students get to earn hands-on experience working in the university’s laboratories. Generally, students graduate with superb skills to create a career of their own.

The Great American Experience

Granted - the great American study experience is invaluable. Studying and living in the US is often described as a way to grow, learn, and experience fun and freedom. Apart from the prestigious and world-class education quality, the US will give you insight not only into the American culture, customs, and traditions; but also those of your peers around you. While in the US, you will meet people from all over the world who have moved to the country to study, work, or start fresh. You will learn a lot about people, cultures, and broaden your horizons in ways other than simply academic. College life in the US, as an engineering student, will span greatly outside of the classroom. Many US universities have their own international offices, which means students always have a support team to go to whenever they need guidance and support regarding accommodation, visas, and career opportunities.


Requirements to study engineering in the US vary from one college to another. However, most engineering schools require students to have taken math and science courses at a high level during their previous studies. Some colleges have proficiency tests (in fields like mathematics and physics) as part of their requirements. Generally, since requirements change from one university to the other, applicants are highly encouraged to check their university’s website for detailed information regarding entrance requirements.

To gain entrance into US universities, you may be required to take tests that prove your language and academic proficiency. American universities usually require students to provide IELTS/TOEFL scores to prove their English language proficiency, SAT/ACT scores as part of the academic assessment process (at the undergraduate level), and Graduate Record Examination (GRE) may also be required for admission to postgraduate engineering programs in the United States. Specific requirements depend highly on the respective university.

Application Process

Generally speaking, students do not apply to a specific program in the US, but rather at a university, and then declare their Engineering focus. If you are a high school senior or recent graduate, you will have to apply directly to the university of your choice and, upon admission, declare your major and enroll in classes.

During the application process, students are typically required to submit documents like:

  • Completed application form.
  • Official transcripts from secondary school.
  • SAT/ACT scores.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • Letters of interest/personal statements.

On the other hand, transfer students who have already started a degree program and would like to switch schools usually apply directly to the School of Engineering. Transfer students may be asked to fulfill other prerequisites, such as having obtained a specific number of semester credits.

Academic requirements for students applying to a Master’s program in Engineering in the US are:

  • Undergraduate degree in Engineering (or related field).
  • English language proficiency test scores (TOEFL/IELTS).
  • Graduate Record Examination (GRE) test scores.
  • Letters of Recommendation.
  • Personal Statement.

Students must also pay an application fee (non-refundable). The fee for each application is somewhere between $35 to $100, depending on the university.

Degree Duration: How Long Does It Take to Study Engineering in United States?

Bachelor’s degrees in Engineering in the US are typically four years long. Undergraduate degrees require students to complete two years of core courses upon admission to the university and then proceed to specialized courses. A master’s degree in Engineering in the US takes around two years of full-time study to complete; however, there are master’s programs in engineering that may take as little as one year to complete. Students enrolled in a part-time program may take up to five years to complete a Master’s degree in Engineering.

Tuition Fees: How Much Does It Cost to Study Engineering in United States?

The cost of an engineering degree in the United States can range anywhere from $30,000 to $60,000. Of course, tuition fees vary depending on the university, specifically, whether they are private or public. Private universities charge higher tuition fees. One of the best universities for engineering degrees in the US, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), charges students around $27,755 per academic term, which means around 55,510 per academic year.

Tuition fees at some of the best engineering universities in the US:

University Tuition per Academic Year
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) $55,510
Stanford University $53,529
The University of California, Berkeley (UCB) $48,000 (out-of-state students)
Harvard University $51,925
Georgia Institute of Technology $31,370 (out-of-state students)

Engineering Career Prospects in United States

Engineering is one of the largest professions in the United States. After graduating with an engineering degree, students in the US have numerous career opportunities. Regardless of the engineering specialization, engineers in the US tend to have high levels of job satisfaction. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the occupation of industrial engineers in the US is expected to grow by 10.9% in a decade. On the other hand, the number of mechanical and electrical engineering jobs in the US, in the same time frame, is expected to grow by 13,000 for the former and 9,400 for the latter.

Engineering salaries in the US are also highly satisfactory. In fact, engineering occupations have one of the highest average starting salaries. Find some of the average salaries across different engineering industries, according to BLS, in the table below:

Industry Average Salary
Biomedical Engineering $97,090
Chemical Engineering $117,090
Civil Engineering $94,360
Computer Engineering $123,030
Electrical Engineering $103,480
Mechanical Engineering $93,540
Materials Science and Engineering $97,890

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