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Rice vs. Cornell: Which is better for Engineering?

I'm deciding between Rice and Cornell for engineering, specifically electrical engineering. I've heard great things about both schools, but I wanted to get some opinions on their engineering programs, faculty, and research opportunities. Are there any major differences between the two in terms of social scene, campus environment, and post-grad job prospects? Thank you!

6 months ago

In choosing between Rice University and Cornell University for electrical engineering, there are several factors to consider. Both are highly-regarded institutions with strong engineering programs, but they do have some differences in terms of academic and social environments.

Academics and Research Opportunities:

Cornell has a larger engineering program, and for electrical engineering, it's ranked slightly higher than Rice. So, you might find a wider variety of courses and research opportunities at Cornell. On the other hand, Rice is known for its small class sizes and close faculty-student interactions, which can lead to a more personalized educational experience.


At both institutions, the faculty is highly qualified, and often includes frequently-published experts and award-winning researchers in their respective fields. While it can be difficult to compare faculty quality directly, consider visiting the schools' department websites to view the profiles of professors in the electrical engineering department, which will spell out their research areas and accomplishments in greater detail. It’s possible one school or the other has a professor or two whose interests align particularly well with your own.

Social Scene and Campus Environment:

Rice has a residential college system, which fosters a strong sense of community and camaraderie among the students. The campus is located in Houston, which means you’ll have access to a thriving city with plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Meanwhile, Cornell has a larger student body and is situated in a college town (Ithaca, NY) with its own charm and natural beauty. Additionally, Cornell has a broader range of clubs and extracurricular activities due to its size.

Job Prospects and Networking:

Both schools have strong connections with industry professionals and employers, as well as active alumni networks that can help with securing job opportunities and internships. Cornell might have a slight advantage in terms of recognition and prestige in the engineering field, but Rice graduates also have excellent job prospects. Ultimately, your success in finding a job post-graduation will depend more on your individual skills, experience, and networking abilities. Do take into account where you see yourself living after graduation, as Cornell will have more connections in major northeast cities like Boston and New York, while Rice likely has a broader network in the southern part of the country.

In conclusion, both Rice and Cornell offer excellent engineering programs, and your decision will ultimately come down to your personal preferences and priorities. Consider visiting both campuses if possible to get a sense of the environment and culture, and don't be afraid to reach out to current students or alumni for their insights. Good luck deciding, and remember that ultimately you’ll get a fantastic education at either of these institutions!

6 months ago

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