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34 Top Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering Programs

Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering: Even though many people might not link liberal arts colleges with engineering, these institutions can offer prospective engineering students the appropriate setting. Liberal arts colleges encourage students to develop a broad range of abilities by providing smaller classrooms and encouraging environments. Here is what you need to know if you’re thinking about attending a liberal arts institution yet want to study engineering.

Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering
Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering Programs

What is Liberal Arts Education?

A liberal arts education gives a student a broad base of information, enabling them to think critically, solve issues, and communicate effectively, as opposed to imparting a specialized collection of domain-specific content.

Liberal arts colleges (LACs), which are often small, residential institutions without graduate or professional programs, are most frequently associated with a liberal arts education. Large colleges, including Brown University and Northeastern’s College of Social Sciences and Humanities, also offer liberal arts programs.

Contrary to popular belief, a liberal arts education does not exclusively emphasize the humanities. Those basic academic disciplines (humanities, arts, mathematics, and sciences) that are distinct from professional, vocational, or technical studies are referred to as liberal arts. Many LACs have effective STEM programs, and a liberal arts education can be quite strong in the sciences.

Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering
Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering Programs

Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering Programs of 3-2 or 2-1-1-1 Structure

An engineering major is not actually offered by many LACs. Instead, they typically collaborate with another school to offer five-year engineering programs. 3-2 programs are five-year dual-degree programs that result in the students receiving two bachelor’s degrees, one from their engineering program and the other from their liberal arts program. A student who enrolls in a 3-2 program completes their first three years at a liberal arts college and their final two years at an engineering college that is connected to the liberal arts college.

Although they also offer a more conventional 3-2 program, Dartmouth College allows students from partnering colleges the chance to study at their Thayer School of Engineering as part of a 2-1-1-1 program. The first, second, and fourth years of their time in the 2-1-1-1 program are spent at the student’s home schools, and the third and fifth years are spent at Dartmouth.

Following are liberal arts colleges that collaborate with another university to offer five-year engineering programs:

College  Location  Acceptance Rate 
Occidental College California 38%
Claremont McKenna College California 11%
Pomona College California 7%
Scripps College California 30%
Colorado College Colorado 14%
Connecticut College Connecticut 41%
Wesleyan University Connecticut 19%
Grinnell College Iowa 11%
Centre College Kentucky 69%
Bates College Maine 17%
Bowdoin College Maine 9%
Colby College Maine 9%
Amherst College Massachusetts 9%
College of the Holy Cross Massachusetts 43%
Mount Holyoke College Massachusetts 52%
Wellesley College Massachusetts 16%
Williams College Massachusetts 9%
Carleton College Minnesota 18%
Colgate University New York 17%
Hamilton College New York 14%
Skidmore College New York 31%
Vassar College New York 20%
Davidson College North Carolina 18%
Denison University Ohio 28%
Kenyon College Ohio 37%
Oberlin College Ohio 34%
Bryn Mawr College Pennsylvania 39%
Gettysburg College Pennsylvania 56%
Franklin & Marshall College Pennsylvania 38%
Haverford College Pennsylvania 18%
Sewanee: The University of the South Tennessee 60%
Middlebury College Vermont 13%
Whitman College Washington 59%
University of Richmond Virginia 29%


Also Read: 15 Free Online Law Courses With Certificates

How Professional Education Differs from Liberal Arts Education

Students who participate in a liberal arts degree are exposed to a range of subjects from a variety of professions, developing skills that are applicable to a variety of sectors and occupations. Professional education, in contrast, focuses on teaching students a single subject while assisting them in developing the skills necessary for success in a certain field of study and preparing them for entry into the working world.

Benefits of Attending a Liberal Arts College for an Engineering Degree

  • More Support: Attending a liberal arts institution with an engineering degree has many advantages, including smaller class sizes. Numerous challenging prerequisites, such as calculus, physics, and chemistry, present a burden to engineering students; smaller institutions are better able to offer a helpful learning environment. Smaller class numbers provide more one-on-one interaction between students and teachers, facilitate queries from students, and promote deeper topic discussion.
  • More Well Rounded: Liberal arts universities, according to proponents of the curriculum, create engineers who are more well-rounded than those who attend professional engineering programs. Students from liberal arts universities have acquired not only technical capabilities but also the problem-solving and critical-thinking abilities that make them excellent brainstorming partners. Additionally, they are better able to adjust to working life because of their abilities to compose papers, create presentations, and explain their views clearly.
  • Greater Flexibility: Students who aren’t quite ready to fully commit to earning an engineering degree might consider liberal arts universities with engineering programs. A student can typically switch majors quite simply if they decide that engineering isn’t the path they want to take after their first year or two of college. It’s frequently simpler to switch majors in a liberal arts institution than it is to be an engineering major at a large university.

Key Takeaways

Liberal arts universities sometimes undervalue engineering degrees. The best student outcomes, however, frequently come from the advantages of tiny liberal arts universities, like small class sizes and individualized attention.

3-2 engineering programs are offered in intriguing detail by the top liberal arts universities. Students can complete their first three years of study at a liberal arts college before completing their last two years at a partner university by enrolling in this unique dual degree program option.

Those with competence in a variety of sectors are the most sought-after employees. If you are an engineer with a liberal arts background, you will stand out from the crowd.

Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering
Liberal Arts Colleges with Engineering Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a respectable GPA for engineers in the USA?

For engineering students, a GPA of 3.5 or higher is excellent. It demonstrates that you do well in most of your classes, earning As. Sometimes employers will demand a 3.5 GPA or higher for internships.

The most math is found in which engineering?

Of all the engineering specialties, electrical engineering requires the most math. When working with advanced circuit analysis, you frequently use differential equations, and electromagnetism is essentially a math and physics study. Mechanical engineering, which makes extensive use of dynamics, comes in second.

What engineering degree is the lowest?

Associate of Science (A.S.) in Engineering. Graduates of this program will be eligible to pursue a 4-year bachelor's degree as well as a few entry-level positions in the workforce.

Which engineering course is the simplest?

Engineering the environment. However, because it is less concentrated on complex math and physics than other engineering disciplines, it is regarded as one of the simpler engineering majors you can pursue.



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