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Ultimate List of Questions to Ask When Evaluating Engineering Programs

Kristina Dooley March 21, 2019

 Ultimate List of Questions to Ask When Evaluating Engineering Programs

Is your child thinking of pursuing a degree in engineering? Before spending too much time running through the standard admission information Q & A, it's important to know that there are many questions that are engineering-specific that you and your child should be asking. We crowd-sourced our independent college consulting colleagues in both IECA and HECA to see what questions they recommended students ask when evaluating engineering programs. The result: a comprehensive list you'll want to be sure and bookmark before heading out on that next campus tour.

Admissions/Prerequisites/Profile Info

Is the engineering program direct admit?  

What level of math should competitive applicants have completed in high school?

Do students have to select a major when they apply and, if not, when does that need to happen?

What percentage of students within the engineering program are female? Students of color? International?

What is the biggest academic challenge faced by first-year students?  

Are certain areas within the engineering program more selective for admission than others? If yes, which ones?

Aside from demonstrated academic success, what else are you seeking from your applicants?

Do you offer any engineering-specific scholarships opportunities for first-year students?


Are the engineering programs ABET accredited?

For students who are unsure of their specific engineering focus, what first-year exploratory options are available within the College of Engineering?

What is the teaching philosophy within the engineering program? What is the ratio of theory to practice/hands-on/experiential learning?

Additional Campus Experiences/Associated Extracurriculars

How, if at all, does a semester study abroad experience fit within the engineering program?

What engineering teams do you have? For example: concrete canoe, solar airplanes, Formula One, Baja, etc. Do you compete nationally/internationally? Can any major participate?

Are alternative housing options offered for engineering students?


How easy is it to change majors within the engineering program once enrolled?

For minority and first generation students: what support systems are in place to promote success in the engineering program?

What type of academic support is available for engineering students?

Is it possible to change advisors?

What percentage of undergraduate faculty are full time as opposed to adjunct?

What percentage of courses within the engineering program are taught by graduate assistants vs faculty?


What types of projects are engineering students creating?

What kind of equipment do you have available for use by engineering students?

Are co-ops required?

What percentage of students complete a co-op?

How does the university support students in identifying co-op opportunities?

Can I intern/co-op back home?

What type of team projects will I be doing? When do these take place?

Is there an engineering research symposium? How often?

What percentage of undergraduate engineering students do research? Are there opportunities for undergrads to be included or do graduate students take precedence?

Is there a capstone project that is mandatory for engineers? What are the details?


What are the 4, 5 and 6-year graduation rates from the engineering program?

Is there a career services/job placement office specific to the engineering program?

Are there career days dedicated to the College of Engineering? Can first and second year students participate?

Who are some employers that recruit engineering students from this particular institution?

What was the starting salary for last year’s engineering graduates? What about salaries 5 and 10 years out?

Are there any notable alumni from this institution’s engineering program?

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