Engineering Studies in the USA
Engineering is one of the largest professions in the US which employs more than a million people. The popular engineering branches are electrical, computer, mechanical, industrial and chemical. The main question to be answered is that why is engineering such a popular study choice in the states, what sort of students does it attract and what opportunities are available to those who graduate in the states?
The main reason which attracts international students towards engineering careers in the USA is the cutting edge research in various disciplines which is often backed by the industry. Most colleges and universities in the US receive large research grants from the industry and federal government. The availability and excellence of resources and infrastructure for research is second to none. Innovation in the areas of Network Security, VLSI, Aeronautics, Biotechnology, Computer Science, Alternative energy, Operations Research etc provides the intellectual stimulation and creative energy to work on the cutting edge of technology.
Graduate Education in Engineering
For admission to graduate programs in engineering, most universities require the applicant to have an undergraduate degree in engineering, math or science. A large number of schools require the candidate to submit
1) An official transcript which provides the academic record
2) Letters of recommendation
3) Statement of Purpose (Indicating academic interests, past achievements, future goals)
4) Score sheet of Test of English as foreign language exam(TOEFL)
5) Score sheet of Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
6) Certificates of merit proving achievements in extra curricular and co-curricular activities
Graduate Students in engineering are bestowed with a Master of Science (MS)/Master of Engineering (MEng) degree at the successful completion of their degree requirements. Most students specialize in the areas of Chemical, Civil, Electrical, Industrial, or Mechanical. Universities offer curriculum with a focus on using technology, working in teams, and taking courses in respective disciplines.
Undergraduate degrees in Engineering
US university courses and programmes differ greatly from one another in any discipline. However, the admissions process for undergraduate degrees in engineering is similar to other programmes of study in the US. Usually, you must apply directly to the institution, so visit their website to find more information. Most US colleges and universities require SAT exam results, a personal statement, a transcript, and letters of recommendation. The best way to discover whether a programme is right for you is to study its course listings and to think about its faculty. Are they professionals or scholars? Is their work research orientated, professional or academic? Think about what you wish to do after finishing your education and seek programmes whose courses and professors will help you to accomplish your goals.
The application process
The application process begins by deciding which engineering discipline to apply in. Start with a broad list of universities and then start the elimination process based on factors like selectivity, ranking, fees, scholarship availability and climate of the region.
It will be the easiest for you if you are planning to pursue a subject in which you have your Bachelors degree. If you are planning a change of subjects, you will have to do that extra bit of convincing about the reasons for the change and demonstrate your eligibility for the new subject.
While it is possible to apply to a department that is different from that of your bachelor degree program, you would need a good reason to justify the change.
You need to talk to all your seniors and friends who are already in the US, take their views and ask them for universities they feel are good for a person with your background.
Networking is an important part of the graduate engineering admissions process. This is more important if you are looking for financial aid in form of tuition or research assistantships. Many graduate departments at universities offer teaching assistantships or research assistantships to their graduate students (students pursuing a master's or doctoral degree particularly in engineering).
Assistantships usually involve a tuition award and some sort of salary in returns for teaching or research duties. Every school has a limited number of openings for assistantships based on the amount of funding allocated. As a result, such scholarships are merit-based, meaning they are competitive, based on your academic performance to date.
Individual departments at the university generally control funds. It always helps to write directly to the department to inquire about available funding. Students who are research oriented or have published papers in a particular field should contact professors interested in that field. By contacting professors in advance and building a relationship, you can greatly enhance your chance of getting admission and aid.
The whole procedure can get very difficult and it requires you to be organized to make sure that the decisions about the courses and universities you choose is the right one.