University Application Time!

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  • Thread starter rocketboy
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  • #1
rocketboy
243
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!

Thanks,
-Jon
 

Answers and Replies

  • #2
exequor
393
0
If you want to be close to kennedy space center then come to Florida Institute of Technology or go to UCF.
 
  • #3
moose
547
0
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
 
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  • #4
zwtipp05
107
0
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 http://www.ae.uiuc.edu/aiaadbf/" [Broken]

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.
 
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  • #5
Pengwuino
Gold Member
5,124
17
A couple of those universities are absolutely impossible to get into without near straight A's and top 1% SAT & SAT II scores.
 
  • #6
rocketboy
243
1
zwtipp05 said:
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 http://www.ae.uiuc.edu/aiaadbf/" [Broken]

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.
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?
penguino said:
A couple of those universities are absolutely impossible to get into without near straight A's and top 1% SAT & SAT II scores.
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.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
  • #7
Pengwuino
Gold Member
5,124
17
rocketboy said:
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.

Those were basically the two i noticed as being nearly impossible.
 
  • #8
zwtipp05
107
0
rocketboy said:
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.

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.
 
  • #9
Pengwuino
Gold Member
5,124
17
Yah, the two California state schools are the University of California (UC) system and the California state university (CSU) system
 
  • #10
rocketboy
243
1
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!
 
  • #11
zwtipp05
107
0
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:
 
  • #12
BioBen
29
0
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 ?
Thanks
 
  • #13
jsaxton
9
0
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.
 
  • #14
thepatriots
4
0
Caltech is the first on my list, but I am looking at theoretical physics as a major.
 
  • #15
rocketboy
243
1
jsaxton said:
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.
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 definitely 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.
 
  • #16
Ki Man
539
0
i say caltech.

2nd best school of engineering in the US. only better is MIT
 
  • #17
rocketboy
243
1
I don't think I could get into Caltech or MIT.
 
  • #18
rocketboy said:
I don't think I could get into Caltech or MIT.
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.
 
  • #19
Ki Man
539
0
i don't 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.
 
  • #20
leright
1,316
19
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.
 
  • #21
Poop-Loops
721
0
Yes, but if you get accepted as an "oddball", do you think your chances of graduating are very high?

PL
 
  • #22
Ki Man
539
0
it all depends on the determination of the student even if he's an oddball
 
  • #23
rocketboy
243
1
The thing is I can't just throw away applications like that...I need to apply to schools that I have a chance of getting into and that are going to give me money.

I've now narrowed it down to

Boston U
Cornell
Embry-Riddle
RPI
Syracuse
FIT

My university admissions councellor told me that I will likely get accepted to all these schools, but Cornell is a maybe. If Cornell is a maybe, I think MIT and Caltech are "no way" 's.
 
  • #24
zwtipp05
107
0
rocketboy said:
The thing is I can't just throw away applications like that...I need to apply to schools that I have a chance of getting into and that are going to give me money.

I've now narrowed it down to

Boston U
Cornell
Embry-Riddle
RPI
Syracuse
FIT

My university admissions councellor told me that I will likely get accepted to all these schools, but Cornell is a maybe. If Cornell is a maybe, I think MIT and Caltech are "no way" 's.

No USC? :frown: That's disappointing, but I wish you luck wherever you end up.
 
  • #25
leright
1,316
19
Poop-Loops said:
Yes, but if you get accepted as an "oddball", do you think your chances of graduating are very high?

PL

I think the chances are still quite good if the person is determined.
 
  • #26
rocketboy
243
1
zwtipp05 said:
No USC? :frown: That's disappointing, but I wish you luck wherever you end up.

I am currently looking a little closer to home than california, although I think that the state is beautiful. Florida is somewhat far, but the fact that Kenedy Space Center is located there makes up for it, the rest of the schools I am currently looking at are in the North-Eastern states, which aren't too far from Ottawa, Canada.

Perhaps for Grad school I will be able to get into Caltech or MIT...that's a few years away though! :biggrin:

Thank you, I'll keep you posted on how things turn out.
 
  • #27
zwtipp05
107
0
Well, if Kennedy Space Center is a reason you're applying to schools in Florida, I would think Northrop Grumman, General Dynamics, Boeing, JPL, etc would be incentive to apply to school in California. No matter, I understand if you don't want to stray too far from home.
 
  • #28
JasonRox
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,371
4
If I were you, I'd try for MIT, Caltech, Cornell, and two decents schools you know you will get in.

You have to try hard.

Added Note: For Canada, University of Waterloo is the best engineering school. Also, other great schools for engineering are University of Toronto, and McMaster University. I've never heard of Carleton being up there. :grumpy:
 
  • #29
rocketboy
243
1
JasonRox said:
If I were you, I'd try for MIT, Caltech, Cornell, and two decents schools you know you will get in.

You have to try hard.

Added Note: For Canada, University of Waterloo is the best engineering school. Also, other great schools for engineering are University of Toronto, and McMaster University. I've never heard of Carleton being up there. :grumpy:
UoT and Waterloo are my top 2 for Canadian universities. Preferably UoT because they have Engineering Science which gives me the opportunity to specialize in Aerospace in my 3rd and 4th years. :biggrin:

Perhaps I will look further into applying to MIT and Caltech...obviously it would be incredible to be given the opportunity to go there...I was thinking of leaving those applications until I reach grad school...some of the best research in the world is done at those schools.
 
  • #30
leright
1,316
19
Poop-Loops said:
Yes, but if you get accepted as an "oddball", do you think your chances of graduating are very high?
PL

contrary to popular belief, high school academic performance is a poor indicator of university academic performance.
 
  • #31
JasonRox
Homework Helper
Gold Member
2,371
4
leright said:
contrary to popular belief, high school academic performance is a poor indicator of university academic performance.

SOOOOO TRUE!
 
  • #32
Ztalin
8
0
jsaxton said:
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.

Alberta's a good choice... Most consider U of Alberta the 2nd best Engg. school in Canada, next to Waterloo, with Toronto closely trailing.

I've also heard of Alberta being ranked about 7th in North America... with places like MIT, Caltech, Stanford, and Waterloo ahead of it.

So there's my info (from what I've heard). I go to UAlberta and I love it. Alberta is a beautiful place, but Edmonton isn't necessarily. Remember, saying Alberta is a beautiful place is like saying a few European countries combined are beautiful. The Rockie Mountains are our biggest tourist attraction, and we have the biggest mall in the world; West Edmonton Mall :D
 
  • #33
skullmaster
3
0
remeber that you canalways work your way up. You can go to a decent university for some time and then look to transfer to a top university.
Just a thought
 
  • #34
ek
182
0
Ztalin said:
I go to UAlberta and I love it. Alberta is a beautiful place, but Edmonton isn't necessarily. Remember, saying Alberta is a beautiful place is like saying a few European countries combined are beautiful. The Rockie Mountains are our biggest tourist attraction, and we have the biggest mall in the world; West Edmonton Mall :D

This is right on the money. Alberta may be a beautiful province as a whole, but the city of Edmonton is a dump. It is very far removed from the beautiful towns of Jasper and Banff and the city of Calgary.

A Calgarian's favourite jab: "You know your city is sad when its claim to fame is a stinkin' mall".

UA is a very good school though. Kicks UC's ass in most areas.
 
  • #35
gulaman
18
0
to rocketboy

i'm also interested in aerospace related jobs... I'm currently studying physics in the philippines. given the chance to study in the states after physics, i'd choose caltech. they have NASA's JPL.

so what happened to your application?
 

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