Hello all, I'm in my junior year of undergrad at Louisiana State University (LSU) and I know I want to go to grad school. I'm in the top 10 or so of my class, and consequently got invited to do this Accelerated Master's in Mechanical Engineering program. The program is basically a 3-2 program where I'd start research during my 4th year (next year), get my BSME at the end of the 4th year, and then receive my MSME at the end of my 5th year (ideally, but most people do it in 5.5 years total). I can't decide whether or not I should aim to go to perhaps a higher-ranked school and finish out my BSME normally or accept this offer and start research next year. LSU's program is nothing to shake a stick at, but I think maybe I could "do better." A little background: I want to go into Mechatronics or Controls, have a GPA of 3.76 (is this good enough to get into a highly ranked school?), am doing a minor in maths, have a research assistant job... oh, and I'm American -- I heard that this helps my chances a good bit.