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Searching for a college for engineering in 2021 is not the same as it was in years past. Many schools are not open for tours or visits. This is frustrating for juniors exploring which schools might be good for them to apply to, as well as current seniors trying to decide which school to attend.

So What Can You Do?

Start checking out college websites. There is a lot of information and resources available online.

Virtual Tours

Most schools offer virtual tours of their schools. These range from videos to interactive maps to programs that provide a 360 degree view of areas on the campus. There are often videos of the area where the campus is located to allow potential students to get a better feel of the environment.

Information Sessions

Many schools also offer information sessions with administrators, faculty and even current students. These sessions can be live zoom sessions or prerecorded videos. The live sessions require advanced registration and range from large talks over zoom with an interactive chat for questions to smaller sessions where participants are encouraged to interact using their camera and audio. There are often general info sessions about the college as well as sessions for specific majors, such as engineering.


Many college websites provide prerecorded videos of students describing their experiences at that school. These are great resources to find out more about what it is like to go to school there. There may also be videos detailing different majors. In addition, there could be videos of the area where the campus is located to allow potential students to get a better feel for the location.

Trial Classes

Many schools offer trial classes for students currently accepted to a college. It is a great way to experience what a class feels like on a campus. This is a fantastic way to help an accepted student's decision process.

Campus Visit

Some colleges are currently starting to allow campus visits. It is best to contact each school you are interested in to see if an in person visit is possible. They usually will require an appointment as these typically are limited to very small groups and are not always offered. It is also sometimes possible to do a self guided tour of the outside of a campus and the surrounding area at schools not offering tours.

Calls and Emails

Contacting the department you are looking to major in is a great way to find more details about their curriculum. In addition, contacting the campus recruiter for your area is another good way to get information about a college.

The End Result

Online resources such as virtual tours, information sessions and videos can help students and their parents learn a lot about different colleges. In addition, some colleges are starting to offer limited on site tours or you can decide to do a self guided visit to the campus and surrounding area. Exploring colleges in 2021 can still be done, it just takes a bit more effort.

COVID 19 has made the the college search much more difficult. For the most part, it is not possible to do in person college visits, tours or information sessions. So how can you make an informed decision when choosing a college? Many universities have been offering new ways to get information about their schools available to potential future students to help with the college search.

Virtual Tours

Virtual tours are one tool many colleges are using to visualize their campus.  The virtual tours often include interactive maps and programs that give you a 360 degree view of different areas of the campus.


Some schools offer videos to provide a view of the campus, details of their programs as well as interviews with students about their experiences. Videos are great way to visualize a campus and get useful information about a college.

Virtual Information Sessions

Virtual information sessions are another tool colleges are using to get information out about their schools. These rage from large sessions over Zoom with an interactive chat available for questions to smaller Zoom sessions where the participants are encouraged to use their cameras and audio for questions. Colleges often offer general sessions as well as sessions for specific majors, for example the engineering department. Info sessions are not offered all the time and need to be reserved in advance on the college's website.

Virtual Class Trials

Many schools are also providing opportunities for prospective students to try one of their classes. These limited class sessions are often held online on common school holidays to give an idea of what a class at that college is like. These classes are run by actual professors in different subject areas and need to be reserved in advance on the college's website.

While it is more difficult to do a college search during a pandemic, colleges have been coming up with ways to explore their schools virtually. Provided are links to virtual tours and virtual information sessions at colleges with engineering programs.

As a result of COVID-19, the college search for an engineering school has become more difficult. In person college visits, tours and information sessions can't occur in most cases. This is both challenging and frustrating for both high school seniors and the parents of them. As parents of a high school senior, we have been going through these frustrations ourselves. Every day things seem to be changing. So how can you make an informed decision when choosing a college for an engineering major? Many universities have been rising to the challenge by instituting new ways to get information about their schools available to potential future students. Virtual tours and virtual information sessions are two ways to visualize a college and learn more about them. Another great way to get more questions answered is to schedule virtual or phone interviews with college representatives. Signing up for info sessions and interviews does more than get you information. It shows demonstrated interest in the school.  This is something many colleges look for when choosing who to accept. Check our links to colleges with engineering programs that offer virtual tours and virtual information sessions.

Many schools offer virtual college tours. The virtual tours are done in different ways incorporating video or photos and useful information. This is a great way to see a school when you can't physically go there. Below are links to the virtual tours of many colleges who have engineering programs.

Arizona State University Tempe SUNY Binghamton
Boston University SUNY Maritime
California Institute of Technology SUNY Stony Brook
Case Western Reserve University Syracuse University
Colorado School Of Mines Texas A & M University
Colorado State University Tufts University
Columbia University Union College
Cooper Union United States Millitary Academy West Point
Cornell University United States Naval Academy
Dartmouth College University Connecticut Storrs
Drexel University University of California San Diego
Duke Universitry University of Colorado Boulder
Florida State University University of Deleware
George Washington University University of Florida
Georgia Tech University of Houston
Hofstra University of Illonois Urbana-Champaign
Iowa State University University of Kentucky
Johns Hopkins University University of Maryland
Lehigh University University of Massachusetts Amherst
Manhattan College University of Miami
Massachusets Institute of Technology University of Michigan
New York University University of Minnesota Twin Cities
North Carolina State University University of Missouri Columbia
Northwestern University University of Pennsylvania
Ohio State University University of Pittsburgh
Penn State University College Park University of Rochester
Perdue University University of South Florida Tampa
Princeton University University of Tennessee Knoxville
Rensselar Polytechnic Institute University of Virginia
Rochester Institute Of Technology Vanderbilt University
Rutgers University New Brunswick Virginia Tech
Stanford University Washington University
Stevens Institute of Technology Wentworth Institute of Technology
  Worcester Polytechnic Institute