automotive engineering schools

The Best Automotive Engineering Schools

AEHQ Essential Non-Technical Advice for Engineers, Introduction to Automotive Engineering 1 Comment

Have you made every car show that comes to your home town for as long as you can remember to get the first look at the next model year’s vehicles? Do you eagerly await the monthly issue of Car and Driver, Hot Rod or Muscle Car?  Do you have more project vehicles that you are constantly working on than running vehicles? If any of these questions sound familiar then you just may have automobiles in your blood and a career in Automotive Engineering might be the ideal choice for you.

Automotive engineering allows those who are passionate about driving the opportunity to work in the automotive industry designing, building and testing next generation automobiles that you, your family and friends will be driving in the future. Imagine the pride of seeing a vehicle you helped to design drive down the road next to you and you can describe in intimate familiarity everything about that vehicle to anyone who would like to know. There is An education in automotive engineering is strong wherever you get your degree. However, if you want to get into the best automotive engineering schools you will have really to dedicate yourself.

Getting started in Automotive Engineering

There are two keys things that potential employers look for when hiring Automotive Engineers. The first is having an engineering degree and second, having hands on experience in automotive related field.

An engineering degree gives you the tools and skills to work in the field but an Automotive Engineering degree will help you to specialize in the auto field specifically. Automotive engineering degrees have very similar requirements from school to school and include the following basic engineering courses in addition to the general education courses all college students must complete:

  • Calculus, Differential Equations and Matrix Algebra
  • Statistical Analysis
  • Statics, Dynamics, Thermodynamics
  • Physics
  • Chemistry

Automotive specialty courses:Automotive Engineering School Test

  • Analysis and Testing of machines and mechanical assembly
  • Automotive Electronic Systems including fuel cells, power systems, hybrid electric technology
  • Internal combustion engine, chassis and powertrain design
  • Failure and material considerations in automotive designs
  • Vehicle System Dynamics
  • Bioengineering automotive designs, crash dynamics and accident reconstruction
  • Environmental considerations in automotive design and manufacturing

Potential employers are looking for well-rounded individuals and not just those who excelled at book learning.  When you pick a school for your degree you must also look at the opportunities for training that each program offers. You should familiarize yourself with automotive terminology and try to gain an internship while at school. A great place to start when selecting a school are the best automotive engineering school rankings published by Edmunds. These rankings were developed by interviewing hiring experts in the automotive industry where they recruit new engineering degree graduates for positions in their companies. Using the criteria that hiring managers use to select new employees they have developed a list of schools that consistently graduate high quality engineers that go on to be successful in the automotive industry. Here is Edmunds’ list of schools and a little about each program.

University of Michigan, Michigan State University and Michigan Technological University

The Edmunds poll results showed three universities in the State of Michigan took top honors for producing high quality automotive engineers. Each school has representatives from their program working at all of the top automotive producers in the world and they are well represented throughout the industry. One key to the success of these programs is that they are located next to the automotive design and manufacturing centers in Detroit, Michigan resulting in a high concentration or resources and on the job training that automotive engineering students can benefit from.

University of Michigan

Indiana University – Purdue University

Located south of Michigan in the State of Indiana is the Indiana University – Purdue University that also have a great reputation for producing high quality automotive engineers who have gone on to be successful in the automotive design industry as well as NASCAR.

Indiana University – Purdue University

Cornell University

Next on the list of top automotive engineering schools is Cornell University located in Ithaca, New York. This university was not traditionally known for its automotive engineering program but has won several automotive engineering awards through the Future Society of Automotive Engineering (FSAE) where college students compete.

Cornell University

Kettering University

Kettering University is located in Flint, Michigan and was originally named General Motors Institute as it was founded by this automotive company. This university is unique in that the employees and professors were employed by General Motors and worked as engineers in the field giving this unique university has strong ties to the automotive world. One distinct advantage that Kettering University students have over other schools is a mandatory internship throughout the educational experience. This gives Kettering University student an edge and helps to explain why so many are in high ranking positions in the automotive industry.   Besides gaining real world automotive engineering experience students also compete in a variety of engineering competitions and regularly score well against other teams.

Kettering University

UT Tower University of Texas AustinUniversity of Texas at Austin, University of Texas at Arlington and Texas A&M University

Texas engineering students have garnered considerable attention in the industry with a history of consistent wins in FSAE, FSAE West and FSAE Japan competitions and between the three schools they have over a dozen wins. This high concentration of wins in one region shows that Texas is doing something right in its engineering programs and these three universities and their students are reaping the benefits.

University of Texas at Austin

University of Texas at Arlington

Texas A&M University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute offers a distinct advantage to students in their automotive engineering programs. This university is located near the center of the US racing industry located in North Carolina and gives students the opportunities to try for internships, part time jobs or full time positions in the racing industry and gain valuable experience while they ear n their degrees. The close proximity is a bonus for students and the racing industry.

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

University of California, Davis

Nestled in the north central region of California is the expansive campus of University of California, Davis. This school is steeped in practical applications for all of its degree programs from automotive engineering to its veterinary medicine programs. The University of California in Davis won the seventh spot on the list because of the importance it places on producing well-rounded graduates with practical experience that are ready to be productive in the work force.

UC Davis – University of California

California Polytechnic State University

California Polytechnic State University in both San Luis Obispo and Pomona campuses has a highly recommended program for potential automotive engineers. These programs have produced engineering students that won the Super mileage teams competition which focuses on designing fuel efficient vehicles and have also place in the Formula SAE Collegiate Design Series focusing on speed and performance. The programs at California Polytechnic State University encourage innovative thinking for next generation automobiles and place these two campuses in the top ten.

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

Clemson University

Another university that makes the list because they take advantage of the strategic location of the school is Clemson University. Clemson is located in South Carolina and like other universities on the list is located not far from the center of NASCAR. Additionally, Clemson has established the Clemson University International Center for Automotive Research (CU-ICAR) which allows students of the university to take part in research projects while still earning their degree and will give them practical experience that will make them valuable future employees.

Clemson University

Georgia Institute of Technology

The mascot for Georgia Institute of Technology is the classic Ford Model A sports coupe from the 1930 model year which tells anyone just how much the university values its automotive traditions. Georgia Tech has been high in the rankings of all FSAE competitions throughout the history of the competitions and has developed a strong automotive engineering program that has produced high performing graduates that excel in the automotive industry.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Each of these schools have accredited engineering programs, extra curricula training and engineering competitions that will enhance your learning experience as well as having a history of producing high quality engineers.

Automotive engineering is not just a career; it’s a lifestyle and way of life for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide. If you have a passion for automobiles and think you have what it takes to be an automotive engineer then get started today on this excellent career path and design, manufacture and test the cars of the future.

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