There are several courses that students should take in high school, if they plan to major in engineering in college. These include math (calculus if possible), science (chemistry, biology and physics), computer programming and any engineering classes that may be offered at your high school. Engineering Colleges look for applicants to have a strong STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) background. Taking Advanced Placement classes in these areas can provide the student with a foundation on courses that will be required as an engineering major. It can also enable the student to get some required courses out of the way before they actually start college. In addition, some engineering curriculums assume that the student will have taken calculus before they start college, and start their curriculum with the next level. It is a good idea to be aware of this before considering a college.
You are good at math and science so majoring in engineering in college is a great idea. Now that you have picked a major you just have to choose a college to go to. This is not as easy as you might think.
Starting The College Search
There are several things you should consider when starting an engineering major college search. First, do all colleges offer degrees in engineering? Do all colleges with engineering departments offer every type of engineering degree? Lastly, do I need to know what type of engineer I want to become? The answer to all these questions is no, no, and not always.
Does This College Have My Major?
Not every college or university has an engineering department or even offers engineering degrees. In addition, many that have engineering departments don't offer programs in every engineering discipline. If you know the type of engineering you want to study, it is important to find out if the school you are interested in has that program. For example, Union College offers degrees in several engineering fields, but does not offer a degree in Civil Engineering. Likewise University of Pittsburgh does not offer a degree in Aerospace Engineering. It would be a mistake to apply to a college and then find out they do not offer a degree in the field you are looking for.
Do I Need To Declare A Major?
Some colleges like University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign require you to declare to a specific major when you apply, while others like Worcester Polytechnic Institute do not. This is important to know when you are considering prospective colleges. Some schools are more flexible than others. If you do not apply directly into the engineering department in some colleges, such as State University of New York at Buffalo, it is not really possible to declare a major in engineering after the fact.
Can I Change Engineering Majors?
Are you stuck with that specific engineering major once you are enrolled in college? In most cases you can switch engineering majors within a college's engineering department. It is sometimes hard to know exactly what major you will be happiest with while you are still a high school student. It is a good idea to explore the different types of engineering majors to get a better understanding of them before you start looking for colleges. In addition, it is also helpful to look into the types of courses you need to take in that major. This will give you an idea of what you will be studying to see if it is a good fit for you.
Overall, determining the engineering major that interests you most and taking the time to research school departments will make it easy to find the right college for you.