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How can a school's undergrad be so diff from its grad?

  • Thread starter Elbobo
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  • #1
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Main Question or Discussion Point

For example:

(US's best undergrad mech. engineering)
http://colleges.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/college/spec-mechanical

(US's best grad mech. engineering)
http://grad-schools.usnews.rankingsandreviews.com/best-graduate-schools/top-engineering-schools/mechanical-engineering

I really wanted to go to Cal-Berkeley for my undergrad in mechanical engineering, but the list for undergrads has no university I've ever heard of. Is Berkeley still good for me..? I always thought it was one of the best engineering schools period, undergrad or grad. Now I'm confused.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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The list you're looking at is for schools that don't offer PhD degrees. This whole ranking has gotten to be like the grade school contests where everybody wins a prize, even the person who "finished last best".
 
  • #3
Andy Resnick
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In most US institutions, the graduate and undergraduate programs are completely disjoint. While the faculty members are the same, the student experience and training is not. As a rule of thumb, the undergraduate model in the US is a lot like the Oxford/Cambridge model, while the graduate program is more like the German model.
 
  • #4
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Er, who's right?
 
  • #5
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Cal Berkeley is great! Don't worry about it. As TVP45 said, the first list was institutions without a Ph.D. program. The two lists are looking at disjoint sets of schools. So, the "full" list would mash those two together. I can't say which list is best or right, because they are looking at different things. Cal is really good. And so is Harvey Mudd. It's just one school offers a Ph.D. and the other does not. If you got into any of those, the differences on the "rankings" aren't worth much. They are both superb and your work will be the deciding factor on the education you get.

Short answer: Berkeley is great for mechanical engineering.

Long answer: Find the school that is best for you. Better than ranking lists is look at what school has faculty interested in the same stuff as you are. Your interests will change, for sure, but it is a good way to go.
 
  • #6
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If you want it, here are the Mech Eng. Rankings for schools that offer a doctorate:

http://rankings.usnews.com/college/spec-doct-mechanical [Broken]

USNews figures that you're after a certain type of college experience and separates Baccalaureate Colleges (where you'll presumably have more attention, smaller classes, and fewer TAs) and Universities (where you'll presumably have more famed professors and greater opportunities for research)

Edit: The above are the rankings for the undergraduate programs of schools which offer a doctorate, not to be confused with grad school rankings.
 
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