As the world grows more and more tech-driven, the need for engineers is growing at an exponential rate. It is important that students are given the tools to understand and build upon the ideas that came before them. Through a comprehensive education and research experience, they are prepared to tackle today’s most significant challenges to advance society. To this end, the number of engineers in the workforce has grown 1.4% from 2018 to 2019 and this trajectory is expected to continue.
The best schools in the country must support the growing number of prospective engineers. Texas is one of the most influential states for driving innovation in the United States, from the booming energy industry to biomedical engineering to aerospace applications. As of 2019, there are over 240,000 engineers in Texas, the third-highest in the country. This is a result of leading tech companies as well as vibrant engineering programs from universities across Texas.
The best engineering programs enable students to make groundbreaking discoveries by combining their analytical abilities with practical knowledge and their own unique background. These schools house faculty who are at the forefront of their fields. In addition, their learning facilities, student resources, and unique programs land them at the top of nationally accredited rankings.
The top schools in Texas are widely respected research institutions and continue to push the boundaries in engineering fields. These expansive research opportunities provide richer learning experiences for their students.
Without further ado, here are the top ten engineering schools in Texas, based on their appearance in the US News National Engineering Schools ranking.
10. University of North Texas College of Engineering (Denton, TX)
UNT’s college of engineering features a wide range of research opportunities for students and faculty alike. Due to their impressive laboratories, the university received an official Carnegie classification as a Tier One Doctoral University with the highest research activity. This designation is awarded to schools that drive innovation through high-level research that significantly contributes to the surrounding community.
Their 290-acre Discovery Park facility is the home of revolutionary discoveries, such as a 3-D printed ventilator splitter for patients to reduce burden on healthcare facilities. The team at UNT brought the idea from conception to production in only two days.
Although Texas is well known for advancements in the oil and natural gas sector, UNT leads the charge for a more sustainable and energy-efficient future. Their Mechanical and Energy Engineering program is the first in the nation, putting graduates at the forefront of the rapidly growing sustainability field.
9. Baylor University School of Engineering (Waco, TX)
Baylor University is devoted to supporting students from under-represented backgrounds and has the accolades to prove it. Their Engineering Scholars program received a $1 million grant from the National Science Foundation to increase degree completion for high-achieving undergraduates with financial need.
Dr. Anne Spence, Assistant Chair and Clinical Associate Professor, is inspiring other engineers in the typically male-dominated field of mechanical engineering. As the first woman at her school to graduate with a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering, she is no stranger to breaking boundaries.
In 2019, Baylor founded their postdoctoral researcher hiring program to drive research throughout the university. These talented researchers will mentor students and enhance the current research projects, then continue on to share their knowledge from Baylor to schools throughout the country.
8. Southern Methodist University Lyle School of Engineering (University Park, TX)
Carol M. Highsmith, Southern Methodist University, public domain
The Lyle School of Engineering at Southern Methodist University enables students to be as successful as alumnus and namesake, Dr. Bobby Lyle. As the founder of Lyco Energy Corporation, Lyle has been a leader in the petroleum and natural gas industry for over 25 years and holds a seat on the Engineering Executive Board to support students further.
Students in Lyle are also able to keep an eye on a sustainable future, with access to the only Environmental Engineering program in Texas. As global warming challenges compound, this field is a growing area of demand across the industry.
The Industry Scholars program at SMU is the oldest work-experience program in the Southwest. Longstanding relationships with companies throughout Texas help students develop their professional network, with 84% of students participating in internships and 82% employed at graduation.
7. Texas Tech University Whitacre College of Engineering (Lubbock, TX)
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The Whitacre College of Engineering at Texas Tech recognizes that engineering is an international profession and is committed to preparing its students to be global citizens. Through the International Engineering Program, students go abroad for research, education, or service to develop lifelong skills in cross-cultural communication. The ability to thrive in any environment is a necessary skill for today’s engineers.
At home, the research at Texas Tech is creating new technology that benefits people worldwide. Gerardine Botte, Chemical Engineering professor and department chair, received a grant from the US Department of Defense for her work in developing an indoor sensor that can detect traces of airborne viruses. Like many of her colleagues, she is “excited to have a piece of Texas Tech’s heart everywhere” protecting the community.
6. University of Texas, Arlington College of Engineering (Arlington, TX)
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With 7 departments and over 7,000 students, the University of Texas at Arlington hosts one of the most comprehensive engineering programs in North Texas. Their diverse academic offerings include less common degrees such as architectural and aerospace engineering.
To support research endeavors, the UT Arlington campus is home to the Aerodynamics Research Center. This unique facility contains supersonic and hypersonic wind tunnels, including equipment donated from NASA, and is used to study propulsion and fluid dynamics.
The faculty at UT Arlington are widely respected and nationally recognized for their contributions to the field. Alumnus and professor David Hunn recently joined 18 other UTA colleagues as a fellow in the National Academy of Inventors. He cites his success as the director of technology and innovation at Lockheed Martin to the critical thinking and leadership opportunities he gained while at UT Arlington.
5. University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering (Houston, TX)
The impressive resources offered by the chemical engineering department at the University of Houston have earned them a spot in the National Research Council’s top 20 doctoral programs.
The other departments in the Cullen College of Engineering also boast a wide range of opportunities for students. They have research centers dedicated to a variety of fields such as airborne laser mapping, clean engine emissions, energy device fabrications, and nanofabrication. In 2020, UH spent over $35 million in research expenditures alone.
Outside of class, the University of Houston campus is bustling with an impressive number of student organizations. The Engineers Without Borders club is responsible for the creation of the HOPE Center, a hospitality and nonprofit resource center that has helped over 3,000 people in its first three years. Students in the Cullen College of Engineering are encouraged to apply their classroom knowledge to help underserved people in their communities.
4. University of Texas, Dallas Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science (Dallas, TX)
Public domain photo via Wikimedia Commons
Due to exciting research opportunities and countless resources for students, The University of Texas at Dallas is ranked as the best value public university in Texas by Forbes. An in-state tuition of only $11,500 provides students with the tools they need to succeed as engineers.
Students at UT Dallas have the opportunity to learn from widely respected faculty such as Eric Spong, a world leader in robotics and the Excellence in Education chair for the Jonsson School of Engineering. He recently received the prestigious Oldenburger medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for his lifetime achievements in automatic control.
UT Dallas encourages students, faculty, and alumni to innovate and conceptualize new ideas to solve today’s biggest problems. Housing 21 start-up companies ranging in focus from biomedical engineering to drone robotics, the Venture Development Center incubator provides relationships with key industry partners, Intellectual Property services, and commercialization assistance.
3. Rice University George R. Brown School of Engineering (Houston, TX)
As the creators of the first artificial heart, researchers at Rice University are leaders in engineering new devices for medical applications. Over 50 years later, and researchers at the Bioscience Research Collaborative facility are still breaking boundaries in the personalized medicine field.
Along with innovations in the medical field, the surrounding area provides plenty of opportunities for collaboration with the Texas Medical Center, NASA’s Space Center, and companies in the oil and gas industries.
Many undergraduates take advantage of Houston’s central location, with over 65% of students boasting significant research experience before they graduate.
If students want to further their knowledge within a particular field, they’re in luck. Seven of the graduate programs in the George R. Brown School of Engineering fall in the top 30 in the nation, as decided by US News & World Report.
2. Texas A&M University College of Engineering (Austin, TX)
Texas A&M University educates masses of students while providing exciting opportunities in research and student organizations. In 2019, The College of Engineering at TAMU ranked first in undergraduate enrollment with over 20,000 students.
Students come from all over due to the quality of resources and education that TAMU guarantees. The school spent $350 million on engineering research expenditures, placing third nationwide. Researchers study a wide variety of topics, from using machine learning to creating organs on chips that can help treat sickle cell disease.
In 2018, a team of engineering students was invited to compete in the exclusive Society of Automotive Engineers AutoDrive challenge. They created their own autonomous vehicle over the course of three years that earned them third place nationwide.
1. University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering (Austin, TX)
UT Austin tops this list for a reason, it was also ranked fifth in the world according to the Academic Ranking of World Universities. The Cockrell School of Engineering is home to an impressive staff, including four National Medal winners and one Nobel Prize recipient.
John B. Goodenough, professor of mechanical engineering and material science, was recognized by the Nobel Committee for his critical role in developing the lithium-ion battery. Engineering students also have the opportunity to learn from three recipients of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation.
Along with a prestigious education, UT Austin is dedicated to helping students find engineering positions applying the knowledge they learned in the classroom. The Student Engineering Council acts as a voice for students and is responsible for the Fall Engineering EXPO, the second-largest student-run career fair in the US.