Automotive Engineering Colleges in the US

by Lori Garrett-Hatfield

Automotive engineers are responsible for designing and manufacturing automobiles and their components. Engineers must ensure that all the parts of a car are functioning correctly together. It is a very specialized field, and engineers may even specialize further by working with a car's individual systems. A few colleges in the United States offer degrees in automotive engineering.

Automotive Engineering Schools in Michigan

Edmunds, a longtime car information company located in both California and Michigan, has ranked three schools in Michigan as being at the top for automotive engineering. Of these top three schools, only the University of Michigan has a separate automotive engineering department. The University of Michigan has several programs in auto engineering, including master's degree programs, design engineering, global automotive and manufacturing engineering. A doctoral program in design science and professional programs, such as heavy trucks, hybrid vehicles and electric vehicles, is also offered. Michigan also has an extensive computer-aided design lab, called emerging technologies.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis

IUPUI has a unique program for students, as it offers the only four-year program for motorsports engineering in the United States. Students are able to earn a bachelor's degree in motorsports engineering by selecting courses such as aerodynamics, motorsports design and engines, and a master's program is also offered. A capstone project in one area of motorsports engineering is required in order to graduate from the university. IUPUI has two design labs available for students to design, fabricate, analyze and competitively race their vehicles.

Automotive Engineering Schools in Texas

Three schools in Texas have automotive engineering programs, and all are ranked fifth on Edmund's Top 10 Automotive Colleges and Universities list. The University of Texas at Arlington received an endowment for an automotive engineering school as a separate specialty within mechanical engineering, but it is not yet complete. The University of Texas at Austin has a master's specialization in thermal/fluid systems as part of the mechanical engineering department. Students at Texas at Austin can take advantage of several labs to work in, such as the Clear Energy Technologies Lab or the Nano-Materials and Thermo/Fluids Lab. Texas A&M University also has a specialization in automotive engineering within mechanical engineering. Students complete a senior research project in their area of specialization with the guidance of a practicing engineer.

California Polytechnic State University at Pomona

Cal Poly Pomona's mechanical engineering program, ranked eighth by Edmunds, allows specialization in automotive engineering. Students participate in several competitions, such as hybrid design and open wheel car design, that are held yearly. Cal Poly's program allows students to gain work experience during their junior and senior years in the form of internships and practicums. Students must also complete a senior research project one-on-one with a faculty member before graduation. The university also boasts small classroom sizes in their classes and labs; the average class size is 28 students; the average lab size is 14 students

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