6 of the Top Engineering Schools from both sides of the Atlantic

“Scientists study the world as it is; engineers create the world that has never been.” – Theodore von Kármán

Engineering is a wonderfully unique subject. It teaches students how to design and innovate the next wave of infrastructures and technologies that will help the world progress. Even more distinct is its cosy relationship with several other fields of academia; maths, science and economics all intersect the engineering discipline, making it one of the most sought-after degrees in the world. The interdisciplinary nature of engineering has led to some of the most insightful and significant research undertaken at the university level. So regardless of whether you’re an undergraduate or a graduate student eager to test you research abilities, engineering can undoubtedly provide you with the mental stimulus you need.

Many other factors inspire students to pursue the field of Engineering; one being greater levels of graduate employability. Qualified engineers are in high-demand across the world, and can also be rewarded with some of the highest paid graduate jobs society has known.

With some universities offering a seemingly endless list of engineering courses, the choice can at first seem tough. The sheer number of courses can, however, work out in your favour. From Chemical and Medical, to Architectural Engineering; there will be a course you feel best suits your needs.

Here are 6 of the top Engineering Schools making waves on both sides of the Atlantic…


Opened in 1909, Northwestern Engineering students have a reputation for being innovators. Just ask Gwynne Shotwell, president of SpaceX, Deepak Ahuja, CFO of Tesla Motors, or Virginia Rometty, CEO of IBM, who are among Northwestern Engineering’s esteemed alumni. It’s minds like these, paired with a stellar faculty that has secured the College as a Top 20 Engineering School.

Northwestern Engineering offers PhD programs in 13 disciplines, as well as 20 different full- and part-time master’s degree programs, each tailored for students at different phases of their career. Graduate programs are inherently interdisciplinary – faculty have ongoing research initiatives with more than 20 other departments at Northwestern. The school uses its prime location just north of Chicago as an asset to its students. Researchers regularly collaborate with institutions across Chicago, including Northwestern Medicine and Argonne National Laboratory, and students find jobs and internships at major corporations and start-ups within the Chicago area.

Whatever direction students take, Northwestern Engineering students develop the highly advanced analytical and problem-solving skills required to change the world and to lead others to do the same.


The Faculty of Engineering at UCL is a hub of activity bound, consistently enticing students who are looking for a faster pace of life. Located in the heart of London, UCL’s Faculty of Engineering provides exceptional teaching alongside unique vocational opportunities. The Faculty of Engineering Science, UCL Engineering, is made up of eleven diverse Departments, covering areas from designing environments that reduce crime to tracking satellites in orbit.

The Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) is a new integrated framework that combines innovative teaching methods and an industry-oriented curriculum with discipline-specific, accredited degree programmes.  Students are given the opportunity to participate in interdisciplinary activities and develop their transferable professional skills in the context of real-world engineering projects.


Combining a comprehensive Engineering programme with a well-respected Ivy League University, Princeton is a highly-desirable global study location. The School’s interdepartmental Certificate Programs enable students to achieve recognition for interdisciplinary work with many programmes being directed by the Engineering Faculty staff themselves.

At Princeton, undergraduates learn the fundamental principles of engineering on a course that allows you to tailor the learning experience to your own expertise and aspirations. The University also has a proud reputation, staying firmly in the Top 15 World University Rankings and achieving a five-star rating by QS for teaching excellence.

Princeton Engineering graduate students participate in high-impact research projects across many areas of the wider university whilst maintaining a close and fruitful relationship with the School’s world-class staff. Impressively, Princeton’s School of Engineering offers courses across six Departments that can claim Alonzo Church and Alan Turing among its alumni in just one department alone.


This medieval, Russell Group University offers a School of Engineering that is world-renowned. The School currently ranks third in the UK in General Engineering and the entire University sits comfortably in the QS World Top 25. Students can choose from five broad engineering disciplines that include Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Mathematics. The University of Edinburgh also possesses a strong set of PhD and research activities across seven research institutes. This in turn has fostered collaboration ties with industry and government bodies both nationally and internationally.

Another popular aspect of the University of Edinburgh that is a lure for international students is the location. “The city itself really appealed to me,” says Alex, a Mechanical Engineering student. “I found the city to be extremely continental in nature, and more like a large town than a metropolitan large city.”


Cornell University lays claim to a College of Engineering that is steeped in history as well as being in idyllic Northwest New York State. With 11 Departments and 14 majors, there is plenty to choose from at this Ivy League institution. There are also plenty of options available to take your studies elsewhere in the world for a semester. These include universities in Spain, Hong Kong and Israel.

At Cornell, undergraduates can team up with staff, researchers and other students to actively engage in research undertaken at the University. It sometimes gives students the opportunity to meet alumni and industry professionals who support their work to network with the wider engineering community.

Lance Collins, Cornell’s Dean of Engineering, says, “We have a proud history of creativity, integrity, and success. Grounded in more than a century of invention and excellence, Cornell Engineering is committed to breaking from the past to build a better future.”


Delivering a vast undergraduate programme and industry-leading research in one of the UK’s most vibrant and popular cities, Cardiff University is an ideal place to pursue an engineering degree. The institution has made sure all courses are accredited by the relevant professional bodies. For example, the Civil Engineering course is accredited by the Engineering Council and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE). Many of the School’ s programmes allow for a year abroad to be taken out or, alternatively, a year in industry to enhance career prospects.

Students graduating from Cardiff’s School of Engineering are highly sought-after. On average, over 90 percent of graduates are in employment or further study within six months of graduating. The School also benefits from a myriad of links to industry, who provide input into the modules on offer. These companies include BAE Systems, Rolls Royce and Tata Steel, among many more.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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