Best Engineering Universities in the World

13 Mar, 2024Blog Articles, Engineering Articles

You will be aware that many organisations and educational charities offer university ranking tables, and each one has their own assessment criteria for the leading institutions. When making your own decision about where to apply to study engineering this year, we encourage you to read a wide variety of reports. This will help you build up a broad picture of the best engineering universities, and narrow down the ones you’re interested in. The more research you can do, the better! 

If you’re a high school student considering a future in engineering, you might also want to explore Oxford Summer Courses offered by Oxford Scholastica Academy. Our immersive programs provide a fantastic opportunity to delve into various aspects of engineering, gain hands-on experience, and learn from expert tutors in a world-class academic setting.

In this article, we have listed some of the top engineering colleges in the world, both in the UK and internationally. We’ve looked at the quality of their teaching, research and other cutting-edge options for student learning to help you find the right one for you. These are not ranked in any particular order.


Engineering students

1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA

For many years MIT has been regarded as one of the best universities in the world to study engineering. It attracts the greatest experts from around the world to research and teach, a benefit to undergraduate and postgraduate students alike.

Notable research conducted by MIT includes ocean engineering and the use of ocean resources from offshore gas and oil reserves. Moreover, MIT researchers are working on developments in renewable energy using tidal, wave and wind energy. Exposure to such socially relevant work is invaluable for engineering students.

In addition, students are often involved in research initiatives, such as Transportation@MIT, a coordinated effort from faculty and students to address the environmental impact of transport. At MIT, you will build experience and gain knowledge for your career. 


2. California Institute of Technology (Caltech), USA

This small university packs a big punch for having only around 2000 students. Caltech is celebrated for its high research output as a result of its superb facilities, including the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the Caltech Seismological Laboratory and the International Observatory Network.

Three of the six divisions of the university are concerned with teaching and researching engineering subjects. These include biology and biological engineering, chemistry and chemical engineering, and engineering and applied science division.

Caltech is truly a hub of excellence and holds a secure place among the best engineering colleges. 35 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded to alumni and faculty of this university!


3. The University of Cambridge, UK

One of the best universities for any kind of study globally, the University of Cambridge also frequently tops league tables for the best university to study engineering in the UK.

The Department of Engineering is the largest within the whole university. Undergraduates do not decide which discipline they want to specialize in until their third year of undergraduate study. This means that students are exposed to a breadth of study at the highest level in a uniquely integrated department. So all students can study across the disciplines in their earlier years, and most pursue the MEng (Master of Engineering) classification instead of the BEng (Bachelor of Engineering).

A student studying Engineering for school

4. Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore

A fairly young university when compared to the top engineering colleges in the UK and US, NTU is taking the world by storm with its cutting edge research. NTU embraces digital technologies for better learning and living. And with partnerships with Rolls-Royce, BMW, Alibaba and Volvo, they are leading the way in these developments.

AI, data science, robotics, smart transportation, computing, personalized medicine and clean energy are just some of the areas NTU is focusing its research on. NTU practices what it preaches: NTU Smart Campus is a living example of tomorrow’s technologies. 


5. Delft University of Technology (DUT), Netherlands

DUT excels in the STEM subjects, including civil, structural engineering and mechanical engineering. Where this university stands out within the rankings of best engineering universities, is the breadth and scope of its work and the options available to its students.

Boasting 161 hectares, its campus is one of the largest in the world, featuring a flight simulator and an aerodynamics and propulsions laboratory. Students at DUT are at the forefront of its global impact, advancing engineering knowledge in all disciplines. Student-led projects in the past have seen the design and prototypes of solar-powered cars, a dragonfly flying robot and sandals from recycled car tyres. Students are also encouraged to complete an internship as part of their degrees, with extensive industry contacts to aid this. DUT is putting its size, resources and influence to good use.


6. University of Oxford, UK

Globally renowned and loved by students for the history and culture of the city as much as the prestigious university itself, the University of Oxford is an excellent place to study engineering. It has, on occasion, claimed the title of best university for engineering in the UK from some league ranking tables.

It boasts talented faculty staff with excellent resources to provide a world-class education for undergraduates and postgraduates alike. Similarly to Cambridge, undergraduates experience an integrated approach to teaching. At Oxford, you will reap the benefits of a unified course in Engineering Science where you can grapple with many different disciplines. 

For high school students eager to get a taste of what studying engineering at Oxford is like, our Oxford Summer School provides an invaluable opportunity to study on the Oxford University campus, explore Engineering in depth, gain hands-on experience, and learn from expert tutors.


7. Stanford University, USA

Very few would doubt the excellence of this university, and its Engineering Faculty is no different. With top access to resources, Stanford is also a fantastic place to study engineering in 2020. Students at Stanford are able to contribute to the School of Engineering’s Hasso Plattner Institute of Design (“the”).

This school brings together brilliant minds from students and faculty in engineering, business, education, medicine, and the humanities to learn design thinking and work together to solve big problems in a human-centered way. 


Engineering group study in Oxford

In conclusion, we encourage you to read as much as you can about the best engineering universities in 2020. If you are not sure which kind of engineering will suit you best, read our comprehensive guide to the six fields of engineering.

Before you make your application to one of these top engineering colleges, have you thought about how to gain the experience and knowledge you might need? Follow our next steps below to get ready to submit a compelling application.


Next Steps for Future Engineering Students

Interested in Engineering?

Find out more about our Engineering summer courses at the Oxford Scholastica Academy!