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Top Five Universities for Engineering in Texas

by Jennifer VanBuren

Texas may be the Lone Star State, but when it comes to engineering schools, there are stars aplenty. Engineering may not be the first thing that you think of when you think of Texas, but the state boasts world-class engineering programs.

Texas A&M: Dwight Look College of Engineering

Consistently ranking among the country's best engineering schools, Texas A&M's main campus at College Station comes out on top in Texas. According to U.S. News and World Report, with seven separate programs ranked in the top 10 U.S. public schools, four place in the top three: petroleum, nuclear and biological and agricultural engineering. Some worry about getting lost in the crowd of 11,000 engineering undergraduates, but students are enrolled in 13 different programs with 40 engineering student organizations to join. Students can compete in the popular steel bridge contest and the SAE hybrid car contest. A&M graduates are highly recruited by industry, national laboratories and academia.

The University of Texas: Cockrell School of Engineering

Neck and neck with A&M and far above the rest, UT-Austin's Cockrell school is situated in the center of the vibrant and thriving city of Austin, one of the fastest-growing technology hubs in the country. Their aerospace, chemical, civil, computer and environmental engineering programs rank top 10 nationwide. First-year students are clustered into cohorts and can make connections with fellow students and staff advisers. The Cooperative Engineering Education Program, also known as the Co-op, provides students with at least two semesters of full time-work, giving them real-world experience and class credit.

Rice University: George R. Brown School of Engineering

Houston, a major center for space exploration, medical research and high technology, is also the home of the top Texas private school, Rice University. Ranked by U.S. News and World Report as number 32 in the nation, Rice actually tops other Texas universities in bioengineering. With a small student-to-faculty ratio, students have access to top-rated engineering faculty in the classroom and labs. Students travel the world to put their engineering skills to use in service projects through Beyond Traditional Borders and Engineers Without Borders as well as local service projects.

The University of Houston: Cullen College of Engineering

Established in 1941, Cullen is has six undergraduate engineering departments: biomedical, chemical & biomolecular, civil & environmental, electrical & computer, industrial and mechanical engineering. Students who qualify can enroll in the Honors Engineering Program where they will focus on creative problem-solving skills through team-based and project-oriented classes. The University of Houston is the first university to offer a subsea engineering program, which focuses on the challenges of deep-water operations. This specialization trains offshore engineers to design tools and infrastructure used in offshore petroleum production.

The University of Texas in Dallas: Eric Jonsson School of Engineering

The Jonsson School is in an exciting time of expansion. Doubling its research funding since 2003, this school plans to double it again by 2020. The school has risen almost 20 places in the national rankings and its graduate programs rank third among Texas public schools of engineering. Students can choose from an expanding range of programs in materials science, cybersecurity, biomedical engineering and analog electronics, and research cutting-edge technology such as semiconductor design and manufacturing, cochlear implant technology and organic electronics.

About the Author

With degrees in biology and education, Jennifer VanBuren now utilizes her research and instructional skills as a writer. She has served as educational columnist for "Austin Family Magazine" for four years and also reports on area businesses for "Faces and Places" magazine.

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