Opinions on engineering Schools

Discussion in 'ROTC' started by USMC_Ordie, Dec 9, 2013.

  1. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    DS was accepted into UT-Austin And Texas A&M. Both are great schools, and we feel blessed to have choices.

    I am looking for folks with experience in either of these schools, first hand knowledge preferably......:smile: but any experiences are appreciated.

    First choice Major is Aerospace Engineering, back up is Mechanical Engineering.
     
  2. Strength and Honor

    Strength and Honor Member

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    Not an expert, but I don't think you can go wrong with Engineering at TAMU!
     
  3. aglages

    aglages Parent

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    Is he participating in ROTC?
    Does he want an SMC school?
     
  4. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    A&M being an SMC does weigh into the equation, but not the be all/end all.

    He is currently a leader in AFJROTC, and wants to continue that route if he's not accepted by USAFA or USNA.

    We are really curious about the two schools in the 'Rubber meets the road' department. Is one definitively better than the other in Aerospace Eng.?
     
  5. dunninla

    dunninla Member

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  6. JMS

    JMS Member

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    Having gone through the college selection process with 3 of my own, I am qualified to say that all the rational analysis went out the window after a visit to the various campuses. Each of my kids had a very strong gut feeling toward the school they selected; and a negative or so-so reaction to the others. In a couple of cases we did not even finish the tour and I was told 'lets get out of here.'
    Granted, the visits were to schools that were interesting with regards to the programs offered, cost, location, etc. But I was struck by the strong gut reactions each time.
    So, my advice is visit each campus and after the visit, stop talking, stop reviewing the relative merits of each school, and listen to the kid's reaction to the visit. My experience is they will love one place and they themselves will not be able to articulate why.
    And I can also report that all three love their selection years later.
     
  7. nofodad

    nofodad Member

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    JMS

    +1
     
  8. armydaughter

    armydaughter Member

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    That ranking puts UT ahead of A&M in almost all categories. However, if you were to ask most working engineers in Texas which is a better engineering program, I think most would say A&M. I know several engineering firms that recruit almost exclusively from A&M. :confused:

    The fact is that their engineering programs are very close in quality. For any individual student, one might be a better fit based on things such as electives, availability of honors classes, particular professors, etc.

    USMC_Ordie, has your son does his "Spend the Night with the Corp" yet at A&M? I know several students who have told me that that was a key factor in their decision making - both those who ultimate chose A&M and those who chose UT (or another school).
     
  9. cb7893

    cb7893 Member

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    Echoing JMS, been through it with two. DS #1 is AROTC MS IV, Chem E major. DS #2 medically DQed after receiving NROTC Scholarship, Mech E.

    I don't care who you are or where one went to High School or how smart one is, studying Engineering is a grind. Wherever you study it (be it Jesus Tech, Pocket Protector U, Partytown State, or an SA/SMC), Calculus, the periodic table and the laws of physics are the same and they have to be mastered. The quality of the teaching in that regard is critical and inquiries to current and recent students should count for a lot. US News and World Reports Rankings, not so much.

    Even with the best teaching faculty studying engineering is still a grind. To get through that grind the kid should be happy with everything about his/her ultimate choice beyond the engineering program.

    Best of luck to DS. Seems you have much to be proud of.

    BTW, DS #1 considers ROTC a relaxing and enjoyable escape from differential equations and reactions. DS #2 went for the nicest guaranteed dorm.
     
  10. txpotato

    txpotato Member

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    Tried to get our second son to look into Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering at West Virginia as an interesting undergrad major before law school. He took one look at the course load and wondered at what point he got to take his humanities. Sigh. Son of English majors....
     
  11. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    @ArmyDaughter - Yes, he did a night with JCAP. Loved it up there and had a great time.
     
  12. JMS

    JMS Member

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    cb7893 is right about engineering being tough. It maybe that the engineering program will be only a passing fad. In my DS's school, a large number of the frosh AROTC class was engineering. by mid term about 50% of the engineering majors had decided that criminology suited them better. Today, two, just two, in the frosh AROTC class remain in engineering.
    DD #2 made a big change in majors as a frosh. Still loved her school, but wanted a very different major.
    Pick the school you love. What one studies has a way of changing.
     
  13. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    Update here....DS received a Type 7 AFROTC scholarship, and does want to be a pilot....so it looks A&M for now. Still holding out for USA / USNA.

    "Not rejected yet" is the daily Mantra at the dinner table :)

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  14. usna2018123

    usna2018123 Member

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    imho, military+engineering --> NROTC A&M is a no brainer...could be plan A or B depending on the student(college exp versus full military exp)
     
  15. ERAUMattmom

    ERAUMattmom Member

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  16. HerksRule

    HerksRule Member

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    I walked the grounds of both schools with my DS when he was considering his choices last year. JMS is correct, the gut feel kicked in and my DS went with his instincts, and he threw out all analysis. He simply didn't want to use a bus system to get around the expanse of A&M.

    We did get a tour of the Corps at A&M from the AFROTC Commandant, and I was very impressed with the organization and focus on grades...it is a military school in almost every way if you are in ROTC.

    Engineering will be hard at either school...and rewarding if he succeeds.
     
  17. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    I think he was settled on A&M, then a letter from UT showed up. Presidential Scholarship was awarded to him, so it looks we will be taking a visit in the next two or three weeks. It's enough to cover room and board for 4 years. Combined with his type 7 AFROTC, it's a hard package to pass up with out a closer look.

    Come on USAFA/USNA!!!

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  18. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    The choice became moot for DS. Appointment to USA came through on 3/20.

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     
  19. Roughrider

    Roughrider Member

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    I'm an MD-PhD on faculty at the UT Health Science Center in San Antonio. I have interviewed graduates of both A&M and UT for medical school residencies and post-grad fellowships. They're both IME excellent schools, good preparation for higher education in science or medicine. UT is a bit more highly rated in liberal arts & sciences, A&M a bit more well-known for its engineering, but the differences in those ratings, however they're calculated, are negligible. Have him look through the course catalogs. How does he feel about the distribution requirements for graduation at both schools? If there's an interdisciplinary program or an internship or undergrad research opportunity or capstone project that really lights his fire at one of them, call the faculty sponsor and discuss it. Ask his specialty engineering department chairs: how difficult is it for non-athlete, non-honors freshman to get into required courses, and what percentage of engineering majors graduate in 4 years? How large are the introductory classes, and what percentage of them are taught by graduate students? Are there peer tutoring or academic support services?

    That should narrow it down in terms of professional/academic fit. In terms of lifestyle, Austin and College Station are culturally very different. They are both great "college towns", but Austin has a more urban, young, and, self-admitted "weird" vibe, while CS is more countrified and quiet (although by no means sedate.) Off-campus housing in Austin is more expensive, and Austin has some of the worst parking and traffic of anywhere in the state.

    The final and most major factor would be whether he wants to live a corps of cadets lifestyle or a civilian one. That's subjective, and he should probably visit and spend an overnight with the corps to answer it.

    Hope that helps. Good luck to him, and congratulations.

    RR
     
  20. USMC_Ordie

    USMC_Ordie Member

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    Thanks RoughRider,
    He spent the night with The Corps earlier. LOVED it. Hasnt visited UT, he just liked A&M that much..... but UT did offer him a Presidential Scholarship, and I think it at least merits a visit. Combined with his AFROTC scholarship, it adds up to full ride.

    Those are exactly the questions I was needing help with....

    Sent using the Service Academy Forums® mobile app
     

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