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Trying to pick a college for engineering

Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Bardolph, Apr 2, 2006.


  1. Bardolph

    Bardolph

    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    So in my search for a college where I will be doing mechanical engineering, I've narrowed my choices down to two, Grand Valley State University in Allendale and Grand Rapids (where I live) and Michigan State University in East Lansing.
    I've just been trying to weigh the pros and cons. Now I know that MSU is a great name to have a degree from, but I'm really intrigued by Grand Valley's program integrating three semesters of co-op by graduation (MSU co-op is optional). Most any good accredited engineering program says it has a 100% placement rate within x amount of days, so I know engineers are very employable. My sister (electrical engineer Rose Hulman grad) says they'll all put you somewhere but the question is where. I know some people at both schools doing engineering and they both tell me basically the same thing- It's a really nice program and it's a really hard program. I'm just wondering if anybody has some good input, possibly knows of people in these programs or about how much they're valued out in the world.
     
  2. canopener

    canopener

    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    PSU ain't bad.
     
  3. Bardolph

    Bardolph

    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    Just letting you guys know before you recommend a list of other colleges (thanks though canopener) that these are the two contenders.
     
  4. canopener

    canopener

    Sep 15, 2003
    Isle of Lucy
    Yeah, I didn't really read your whole post, I just threw it out there. Good luck in your search.
     
  5. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
    Purdue or Georgia Tech. Or come on out to San Diego to the Jacobs School of Engineering at UCSD. I know you didn't want a list of schools, but I don't care.

    Oh, BTW, congratulations for choosing a real major. This country is suffering a dire shortage of engineers right now, and your choice is at least as important to the country's future as defending your country in the military. I spend a great amount of my time and my company's time in classrooms promoting education in engineering and science. Why? Because China will graduate 300,000 engineers this year. The U.S. will graduate 59,000. It's an understatement to say we're losing our edge in high technology. The Chinese will never have to drop a single bomb on us to dominate us in the future. We are at great economic risk because of this. You've made an important choice.
     
  6. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Michigan
    why these two schools? There are several other EXCELLENT engineering schools in michigan. Michigan Tech, Lawrence Tech (which is where I go, ME program), U of M, even U of M Dearborn are all more highly regarded than MSU and GVSU (not that those are BAD schools, just not as reknowned for their engineering degrees).

    If you had to choose one of the two, i'd go with GVSU. Smaller campus, more teachers per student, etc.

    I'd really reccomend Lawrence Tech, if you can afford the tuition. I've never had a T.A. in a class EVER, and my BIGGEST class is the size of most colleges smallest ones. The most people I had in one class was freshman year, and it was MAYBE 50 people. Also, pretty much the entire school is devoted to engineering, we have GREAT co-op placement, and just began several very intensive research programs funded by the federal government.
     
  7. Dan1099

    Dan1099 Dumbing My Process Down

    Aug 7, 2004
    Michigan
    +a LOT.
    Liberal arts degrees are good for one thing, and one thing only: appearing intelligent while you serve me my cappucino. :D
     
  8. I attend a local community college for engineering. Of the students that start out to get their associates here only about 10% of them actually do. Currently there are very few people in a school of a few thousand pursuing an associates in engineering. To me this is prettty sad. I'm sure that the of the few of us left there will be even fewer (not counting anyone new that begins next fall) left at the end of next semester or even year for that fact.
    My engineering graphics professor attended MSU and from what she has said it seems like a good school.
     
  9. i graduated from michigan state in 2000, BSEE. not that UM or MTU are bad schools, but here's a list of companies that i have worked for:

    Rockford Fosgate -- their speakers are designed and built on the northwest side of GR. i worked there for two summers. they have a co-op program with GVSU.

    Crown Audio -- yep. the amp people. arguably the finest PA power amps money can buy, and arguably the smartest audio engineer in the world works there. also, a division of harman int'l, which is the world's largest audio-only company.

    Peavey Electronics -- everything peavey, and even crest. have to relocate to meridian, MS, though.

    Harman/Becker Automotive Systems -- after working on making aftermarket car subs and designing power amps for two of the big three in the PA power amp world, i now design OEM infotainment systems for a world leader in the auto industry. JBL, infinity, harman/kardon, and the mark levinson system are all our products.

    i work with plenty of UM grads, here, too. MSU is a very good school that competes with or excels over UM far more often than the UM grads would have you believe. GVSU is also a very good school that has improved over the last twenty years. it's (obviously) much closer to home, but east lansing is only and hour from the east side of GR.

    are you an honors student? it's much easier to get your head above the crowd at MSU if you are. GVSU might give you more opportunities to work with professors -- my brother got a lot of opportunities at the university of toledo, essentially because he was a bigger fish in a littler pond.

    i have come to believe, especially for undergraduate work, that how hard you work and what you intend to do is far more important than the actual school. MSU is a good engineering school, and i was able to turn it into (so far) a very successful career in audio. not going to UM is actually helpful if i wanted to go to UM's graduate school. but going to UM probably would help in getting into an ivy league graduate school more than MSU would. but that won't happen with a 3.3 from either school, so what you do at the school you choose is still the most important factor. my brother is getting his Ph.D in ChE at OSU in columbus after university of toledo undergraduate. he applied to MIT, carnegie mellon, and OSU for grad school and chose OSU for its research projects and his own career path.

    feel free to PM me with any questions about either school. i am going to guess that my experiences are probably the most relevant to what you're going through. i grew up in GR. my school choices were MSU and capital university in columbus, OH.

    robb.
     

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