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Anybody know about these schools?

  1. Dec 29, 2007 #1

    I was wondering, does anybody know anything about the Aerospace Engineering programs at either Virginia Tech or Penn State (University Park Campus). Possibly anything about how they rank compared to other Aerospace Engineering Programs in the United States (or compared to eachother)? As an aspiring aerospace engineer, I'm really not sure which one to attend (I'm planning on going in the fall this year for a Bachelors Degree). I greatly appreciate any information/insight on this topic.


  2. jcsd
  3. Dec 29, 2007 #2
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 23, 2017
  4. Dec 29, 2007 #3
    Personally, I would go to Penn State, but that's just my uneducated opinion about those schools.
  5. Dec 29, 2007 #4
    Unfortunately, US News now only shows the top three schools in each category without buying a subscription. A list of the US News 2008 engineering rankings can be found here:

    For aerospace engineering:
    1 Massachusetts Inst. of Technology
    2 Georgia Institute of Technology *
    3 University of Michigan–Ann Arbor *
    4 Stanford University (CA)
    5 California Institute of Technology
    6 Purdue Univ.–West Lafayette (IN)*
    6 U. of Illinois–Urbana-Champaign *
    8 Princeton University (NJ)
    9 University of Texas–Austin *
    10 Cornell University (NY)
    10 Univ. of Maryland–College Park *
    12 Texas A&M Univ.–College Station *
    13 Pennsylvania State U.–University Park *
    14 Virginia Tech *
    15 University of Washington *
    16 Univ. of California–Los Angeles *
    16 Univ. of Southern California
    16 University of Colorado–Boulder *

    * denotes a public university

    I am an aerospace engineering student at Penn State, so I don't know about the other schools on the list. But I can say that PSU has a good aerospace engineering program and a good co-op service. I could answer more specific questions about the department.
  6. Dec 29, 2007 #5
    Of all the people I met from Virginia Tech, there no dummies. Smart guys.

    Think about things like, whats this going to cost you. What kind of money the school is going to pay you, are you going to enjoy living there? Because both seem like very good schools, so to me it comes down to money. I dont think one over the other is going to be a HUGE difference worth busting your wallet for.

    If we were talking about MIT vs. a public school, then yes. Obviously MIT, but I dont see this as the case here. You have two good options, which one is more reasonable economically for you and your family?
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2007
  7. Dec 31, 2007 #6
    Thanks for the input guys!

    Hey z-component,
    At penn state, does an aerospace engineering student have to take lots of other non-engineering type classes (general education classes like social studies, or language studies/english, etc.), or do you get to relatively quickly jump in to engineering classes?
  8. Dec 31, 2007 #7
    The B.S. in Aerospace Engineering covers 27 of a required 45 credits in general education classes. Like other schools, you don't really get into aerospace engineering classes until junior year, and your engineering curriculum is much like all the other engineering ones for the first two years. You notice a deviation from other engineering students during the second year, with minor differences like which math and engineering mechanics courses you take.

    So to answer your question, yes and no. Personally, I think we get into the material at a nice pace, neither too fast nor too slow. Also I think the amount of general education classes is very appropriate and they're just something to make you more diverse or whatever. You don't get to "jump right in" exactly, but you'll get into fun classes like vector calculus, differential equations, statics, dynamics, etc. by your second year if you're on track with the curriculum.
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