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Schools University Application Time!

  1. Sep 17, 2005 #1
    Hey everyone,

    It is the time of my life where I am getting ready to apply for an undergraduate program. I live in Canada, however would love to have the opportunity to study in the states. I am absolutely sure that I want to study aerospace engineering, and am in need of some help narrowing down the unversities. I am an IB student taking higher level math, physics, chem, and english, and standard level history and french. My marks are fairly good, high 80's low 90's. I have yet to take the SAT but have been studying for it for some time.

    I have a list of quite a few US schools that offer aerospace eng. as an undergraduate program, and was hoping that people on PF would be able to help me narrow it down a little, obviously I can't visit every one of these schools, so narrowing it down to something reasonable would certainly help.

    Boston University
    California Institute of Technology
    Clarkson University
    Cornell University
    Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (unsure which campus)
    Florida Institute of Technology
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Ohio State University: Columbus Campus
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    State University of New York at Buffalo
    Syracuse University
    Texas A&M University
    University of Central Florida
    University of Miami
    University of Notre Dame
    University of Texas
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute

    Which schools should I look more closely at, and which should I stay away from? Also, which ones are out of my league? (ie MIT CalTech). I understand that University is a personal choice, and that others can't decide for you where to go because it is you who is going to be spending the next 4/5 yrs of your life there...however at the same time I want to know which universities are renowned to have very good programs and are recognized as excellent institutions. If I'm going to be paying the money to go to the US, I want a degree that is worth more than the paper it is printed on.

    So if you know anything about any of the above institutions, or have others in mind, please let me know, it is greatly appreciated!

  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 17, 2005 #2
    If you want to be close to kennedy space center then come to Florida Institute of Technology or go to UCF.
  4. Sep 18, 2005 #3
    To me, out of all of those, Cornell and MIT look most appealing. You should study into them for days on end if you haven't already. Go to their websites, check things out, etc. You should try to visit the colleges on the east coast. Check out what students going to those colleges say about them. Only you can decide if you like a certain college or not. Some people may like small colleges with nerdy people and no sports, while others want the complete opposite.

    Honestly, if I were admitted to every college in the world, I would go to cornell or MIT. That's just me though. Cornell because I just love the overall attitude of it, and it's a good school. MIT because of the elite status really :uhh:

    EDIT: Out of the ones you posted, here are the ones I would even LOOK at myself. I do not know much about some of these though.

    Boston University
    California Institute of Technology
    Cornell University
    Florida Institute of Technology
    Illinois Institute of Technology
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
    Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
    Rochester Institute of Technology
    University of Notre Dame
    Washington University in St. Louis
    Worcester Polytechnic Institute
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2005
  5. Sep 18, 2005 #4
    I'm actually a freshman studying aerospace engineering at the University of Southern California. I'm only in one aero class this semester, but the professor is awesome and I'm enjoying the class so far. I'm also participating in the Aero Design Team here at USC and we'll be participating in the Design, Build, Fly Competition. Our engineering school is one of the better schools in the nation. Here's a link to the school's site: Viterbi and the AME department: Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department

    If you want to talk to me more about USC give me an email and I'd be glad to answer any questions you have or put you in touch with someone who can.
  6. Sep 18, 2005 #5


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    A couple of those universities are absolutely impossible to get into without near straight A's and top 1% SAT & SAT II scores.
  7. Sep 19, 2005 #6
    Thanks, I hear that USC is a good school, however doesn't accept many international students since Californial state schools accept first Californians, then Americans, and then International citizens. Is this true?
    Such as which ones?
    MIT, Caltech...which other ones? I don't want to be wasting my money on applications if I have no chance.
  8. Sep 19, 2005 #7


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    Gold Member

    Those were basically the two i noticed as being nearly impossible.
  9. Sep 19, 2005 #8
    USC is not however a California State school. We're a private institution. I've met people from Greece, Italy, the UK and Singapore in less than a month here and my roommate is Indian.
  10. Sep 19, 2005 #9


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    Gold Member

    Yah, the two California state schools are the University of California (UC) system and the California state university (CSU) system
  11. Sep 19, 2005 #10
    Oh, that is certainly good to know I will look into it further. zwtipp05, what kind of grades did you need to get into the Aerospace program? I'm taking all the highest maths and sciences my school offers (HL IB subjects) and am maintaining high low 90's in them, and planning on increasing that to mid/high 90's this year.

    What SAT scores does the average student have to get into that school? I have checked collegeboard.com however I think that that is the middle 50% of scores that they post.

    Thanks everyone for your help. Much appreciated!
  12. Sep 20, 2005 #11
    For the matriculating freshman class:

    The USC website also lists the middle 50% for SAT and ACT:
    ACT: 28-32
    SAT: 1280-1420
    Mean GPA: 4.00

    The admit rate is about 27% so that's not quite as selective as Ivy League, but it's close.

    9% of the freshman class was from outside the US so it's not uncommon for international students to come here.

    Personally I had a 3.96 GPA and high SAT and ACT scores (if you really want to know, I'll email them to you). I actually got a merit-based scholarship which ended up being 1/4 tuition, which was pretty good. The University is good about financial aid and will meet all demonstrated need with Grants, Federal Loans and Work-Study.

    I originally applied as a History major and then switched into aero, but that was because when I applied I was pretty set on history. Things change though. Changing wasn't too hard, just a matter of filling out a form and getting it signed.

    It sounds like you're in good shape grade wise. I took as many honors and AP classes as possible in high school.

    As for the SAT, if you can get 1400 or above, you're in great shape, but you'll still be fine below since you seem to have excellent grades in your classes.

    Good luck if you decide to apply and feel free to let me know if you have any questions about admissions or the school. :smile:
  13. Sep 20, 2005 #12
    How difficult is it for international students to enter 'elite' US universitites in graduate degree ? Is undergraduate average grade more important than GRE results ? Or is it better to have excellent GRE results (general + subject test) ?

    Is the fact that the student is not a native speaker taken into account for the GRE General test ?
  14. Sep 22, 2005 #13
    Rocketboy: I'm a second-year American student at the University of Minnesota, but I have recently been contemplating finishing up my EE degree somewhere outside of the US. The University of Alberta seemed like the best fit for me, simply because it was above average academically and Alberta seems like a beautiful place. If you have any info on Canadian Engineering schools I'd love to hear it.
  15. Sep 24, 2005 #14
    Caltech is the first on my list, but I am looking at theoretical physics as a major.
  16. Sep 25, 2005 #15
    Hey jsaxton,

    Alberta is really beautiful...especially the Banff and Jasper areas.

    The best engineering school in Canada is probably the University of Waterloo. However it depends what you want to go into. I want to go into Aerospace, and U Waterloo doesn't offer that, so I'm looking at either U of Toronto (extremely good school for engineering as well) or Carleton University here in Ottawa, which apparently has a renowned engineering program as well. U Alberta is definately a good school, and certainly in a beautiful area.

    I have a copy of Maclean's Guide to Canadian Universities, I'll post what they say here.

    This is not for engineering specifically, There isn't a section for engineering specifically but this may be helpful as well. I'll post top 5 for each category.

    Best Overall:
    1. Toronto
    2. Waterloo
    3. Queen's
    4. McGill
    5. Alberta

    Highest Quality:
    1. Queen's
    2. McGill
    3. Toronto
    4. Waterloo
    5. UBC
    (7) Alberta

    Most Innovative:
    1. Waterloo
    2. Toronto
    3. McMaster
    4. McGill
    5. Queen's
    (7) Alberta

    Leaders of Tomorrow:
    1. Toronto
    2. Waterloo
    3. Alberta
    4. Queen's
    5. McGill

    You might want to check out the websites to get more information on the engineering programs. They are easy to find, just search google.
  17. Sep 25, 2005 #16
    i say caltech.

    2nd best school of engineering in the US. only better is MIT
  18. Sep 25, 2005 #17
    I don't think I could get into Caltech or MIT.
  19. Sep 25, 2005 #18
    Even if you think you can't get in, apply anyway. Being rejected is better than not applying at all, and there's always a chance that you'll get in, even if it seems impossible to you.
  20. Sep 25, 2005 #19
    i dont think i could get in either. do you think they accept kids still in junior high? lol

    Just find somewhere near home that provides very good classes. unless your the kind of person who likes going way across the nation.
  21. Sep 26, 2005 #20
    If your stats are reasonable, apply to MIT and CalTech. They accept some oddballs at times to mix things up a bit. Evne though your chances are slim to none if your stats are not insane, there is a chance.
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