Studying engineering is a smart choice for career-minded students and there are technical universities all over the world offering world-class degrees.
Most students in Europe enroll on a degree for a specific discipline within engineering. Common specialisations include civil engineering, electrical engineering and chemical engineering
Although the schools at the very top are in the United States and the United Kingdom, universities in Singapore, China and Switzerland perform extremely well and appear high up the rankings.
China is the third most-represented country in the list of the best universities for engineering, ahead of the UK, Germany, Australia and Canada. Only Japan and the United States have a higher number of universities present in the ranking.
Top 5 universities for engineering degrees
=1. California Institute of Technology
Three of the six academic divisions at the California Institute of Technology teach and research engineering and technology subjects: the biology and biological engineering division, the chemistry and chemical engineering division, and the engineering and applied science division.
Both teaching and research are fairly cross-disciplinary. Undergraduates declare a major at the end of their first year.
There are five distinct engineering majors and an interdisciplinary studies programme that allows students to customise a course of study.
Caltech is one of the smallest universities in the world but prides itself on ambition and innovation.
=2. Stanford University
Stanford University’s School of Engineering has been at the cutting edge of new technology and innovation for the past century.
There are nine departments in the school and additional institutes, laboratories and research centres.
Research focuses on 10 of the “most daunting human challenges of the coming decades”. These are: systems design, bio-engineering, network security, climate change, robotics, information technology, materials and matter, urban design, affordable accessible healthcare, and computation and data analysis.
Across the nine departments there are eight interdepartmental undergraduate programme that students can major in.
=3. University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge engineering department is the largest department at the university.
Undergraduate students are able to learn across all of the engineering disciplines in the first and second years and are then required to specialise from third year onwards. Almost all undergraduate students study the four-year programme that results in a master’s degree.
Graduate students are given the opportunity to get to the heart of research and development, with the vast majority of research students studying for a PhD.
The department also undertakes research in a number of different engineering fields including electrical engineering, manufacturing and management and civil engineering, among others.
4. Harvard University
The John A Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences is the newest school at Harvard University, having been established in 2007. Its roots are in the Lawrence Scientific School, which was founded in 1847 and became a school in its own right in 2007.
The school covers a number of teaching areas such as applied mathematics, applied physics, bioengineering, computer science, electrical engineering, environmental science and engineering, and materials science and mechanical engineering.
Alumni from the school have been awarded a Nobel Prize, a MacArthur Award, a Turing Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, among others.
5. University of Oxford
University of Oxford students are admitted for a specific engineering degree, differing from US universities where students can pick from various strands of engineering to study.
For undergraduates, this will be a four-year course in engineering science or more specifically biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering, information engineering or mechanical engineering.
Just under half of all applicants for these courses get through to the interview round and 15 per cent secure a place on a course.
Many Oxford engineering graduates go on to careers as professional engineers, although some enter business, consultancy or further study.