Best Liberal Arts Colleges for Engineering Degrees – Academic Influence

The best engineering liberal arts colleges are those with rich histories of influence, proven through the work produced by the program’s faculty and alumni. Beyond demonstrating scholarly impact in the field, the best engineering degree programs maximize your opportunities to interact with outstanding engineering faculty.
A bachelor’s degree in engineering is an excellent starting point for a career in architecture, aerospace design, network administration, and a host of other rapidly innovating fields. As an engineering major, you’ll study foundational STEM topics like physics and calculus alongside your area of concentration. You can choose from an extremely wide range of applications, from civil engineering and systems engineering to software engineering and environmental engineering. The best schools for engineering are those which are regionally accredited, which offer a full array of engineering concentrations, and which give you the chance to work with the best and most influential professors and classmates.
Degree popularity: Engineering bachelor’s degrees are the 12th most popular undergraduate degrees across all student demographics, ranking much higher for men – 5th. It’s most popular among White and Asian men, for whom it ranks 5th and 9th respectively, according to the number of degree earners reported by the National Center for Educational Statistics
Earning a bachelor’s degree in engineering can open numerous professional doors. You could design navigational systems for commercial airliners, design the public transportation system for a major city, or oversee safety for a local electrical power station. As an engineering major, you’ll get to choose an area to apply your skills. Whether you plan to design engines, produce software innovations, develop self-driving cars, or help design the office building of the future, a degree in engineering is an important first step. The best schools for engineering will put you in a position to become an innovator and a leader in this exciting field.
Today, top influencers in engineering are breaking new ground in areas such as gene editing, artificial intelligence, global risk consulting, and much more.
Engineering is a popular major because it can provide a pathway into countless fields and career opportunities. If you’re looking for a well-paying and secure job, an engineering degree is a great place to start. According to the BLS, the engineering sector is expected to add roughly 74,800 new jobs by 2029. Much of this growth is concentrated in areas of innovation such as infrastructure rebuilding, renewable energy, robotics, and more. Majoring in engineering could qualify you to work in one of these rapidly advancing industries.
Once you’ve declared your major in engineering, you will likely be required to complete a set of core courses in a number of STEM-related subject areas. While your concentration will give you a chance to choose from a wide range of highly-specialized engineering electives, there are a number of common courses that most engineering majors will be required to take, including:

Earning a degree in engineering can qualify you for a number of well-paying jobs. Engineering skills are highly valued in the labor market. In fact, a high percentage of CEO’s from Fortune 500 companies hold an engineering degree. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, the median annual wage for architecture and engineering occupations was $81,440. This compares very favorably to the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810. The following are among the most popular jobs for Engineering majors:

In pursuing a bachelor’s degree, you will need to choose between three kinds of schools: research universities, liberal arts colleges, and online colleges.
Research universities are colleges and universities whose faculty are active in research and publishing. Research universities offer a wide array of doctoral programs, especially in the sciences. They tend to be big, with tens of thousands of students.
Do you prefer a larger university setting, such as largest public university in your state? Research universities are typically big, offering degrees in many different disciplines. Is a big high-powered research environment the thing for you. If not, you should think about a liberal arts college. In deciding on an undergraduate institution, ask yourself what sort of environment will best help you to be happy and excel.
Learn more about research universities by reading about the best research universities in the US.
Often referred to as “teaching colleges” liberal arts colleges put a premium on undergraduate studies and offers a broad range of subjects for students to study. A college of liberal arts typically provides smaller class sizes, more direct engagement with professors, and, most importantly, the opportunity to sample a wide range of subject areas on the way to a bachelor’s degree.
Learn more about liberal arts colleges by reading about the best liberal arts colleges in the US.
Online colleges are typically the same colleges and universities you could attend in-person, but for certain degree programs the college or unviersity has made the degree programs available to be completed online. For over 5 million students, online degree programs allow students to earn their degrees in the most flexible format available. Online degrees are as respected as the on-campus degress you could earn from the same schools. There’s usually no disctinction between the two degrees, and your degree and transcript will not say that the degree was earned online. Online degree programs are offered by a vast majority of colleges and universities, and the number of offering continues to grow. Whehter you are searching for an associate, bachelor’s, master’s, or doctorate, there’s a good chance you can earn your degree online from a respectable online college.
If you’re interested in an online bachelor’s degree, check out what the best online colleges offer, or search our online degrees for the exact program that interests you. In either case, you will find well respected colleges and universities that offer online degrees.
If you think a research university may be a better fit for you, see our ranking of the best research universities for a bachelor’s in engineering.
Methodology
The people affiliated with a school are ultimately what make it great. This is why we rank the best colleges and universities based on what we call “Influence”.
The influence of a college or university is based on the schools’s top academic influencers related to the discipline in this ranking. We track the influence of faculty and alumni affiliate with these school counting not only the publications and citations of the school’s affiliated people, but we also consider the overall web presence of the faculty and alumni. The greater the citations, authority of web links, web searches, and page views, the greater the individuals’s influence. Those combined make up the departments’s influence in the field of study. We believe tracking the academic influence of the people affiliated with a school is the best indicator of academic excellence.
If you are serious about finding the best colleges and universities, you should be asking where the most influential professors are teaching, and whether their graduates themselves are advancing the school’s reputation for academic excellence. Most ranking sites rely on an opaque combination of reputation surveys and misused performance metrics. Influence, as measured by our InfluenceRanking engine, provides a ranking that is more insulated from manipulation, and more reflective of real-world educational outcomes.
Acceptance
9%
Graduation
90%
Student body
6K
Median SAT/ACT
1350/29
United States Naval Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Acceptance
9%
Graduation
85%
Student body
6K
Median SAT/ACT
1270/27
United States Military Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$47K
Acceptance
18%
Graduation
79%
Student body
1K
Median SAT/ACT
1417/32
Cooper Union’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$61K
Acceptance
18%
Graduation
93%
Student body
1K
Median SAT/ACT
1530/34
Harvey Mudd College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Acceptance
13%
Graduation
87%
Student body
5K
Median SAT/ACT
1335/30
United States Air Force Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$56K
Acceptance
9%
Graduation
97%
Student body
2K
Median SAT/ACT
1460/33
Swarthmore College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$10K
Acceptance
38%
Graduation
83%
Student body
21K
Median SAT/ACT
1340/29
California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$57K
Acceptance
9%
Graduation
94%
Student body
2K
Median SAT/ACT
1465/33
Pomona College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$58K
Acceptance
13%
Graduation
92%
Student body
1K
Median SAT/ACT
1435/32
Claremont McKenna College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$62K
Acceptance
41%
Graduation
86%
Student body
2K
Median SAT/ACT
1320/29
Union College, New York’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$60K
Acceptance
38%
Graduation
88%
Student body
4K
Median SAT/ACT
1342/30
Bucknell University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$47K
Acceptance
78%
Graduation
70%
Student body
4K
Median SAT/ACT
1170/25
Manhattan College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Acceptance
20%
Graduation
86%
Student body
1K
Median SAT/ACT
1305/27
United States Coast Guard Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$1K
Acceptance
24%
Graduation
82%
Student body
2K
Median SAT/ACT
1260/28
United States Merchant Marine Academy’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$7K
Acceptance
84%
Graduation
55%
Student body
25K
Median SAT/ACT
1045/20
San Francisco State University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$56K
Acceptance
37%
Graduation
87%
Student body
3K
Smith College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$59K
Acceptance
14%
Graduation
92%
Student body
&LT1K
Bates College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$58K
Acceptance
17%
Graduation
83%
Student body
1K
Pitzer College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$57K
Acceptance
36%
Graduation
90%
Student body
3K
Median SAT/ACT
1345/30
Lafayette College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$7K
Acceptance
42%
Graduation
73%
Student body
33K
Median SAT/ACT
1145/23
California State University, Long Beach’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$19K
Acceptance
60%
Graduation
85%
Student body
2K
Median SAT/ACT
1180/24
Virginia Military Institute’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$50K
Acceptance
77%
Graduation
84%
Student body
4K
Median SAT/ACT
1250/26
University of Portland’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$13K
Acceptance
74%
Graduation
66%
Student body
10K
Median SAT/ACT
1170/25
College of Charleston’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$23K
Acceptance
61%
Graduation
52%
Student body
3K
Median SAT/ACT
989/20
Tuskegee University’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Tuition + fees
$60K
Acceptance
35%
Graduation
86%
Student body
3K
Median SAT/ACT
1380/31
Oberlin College’s faculty and alumni have been influential in:
Go to all Liberal Arts Colleges for Engineering programs
If you want to know more about engineering, then check out our related content:
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