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SAT Scores for Admission to Top Engineering Schools

A Side-by-Side Comparison of College Admissions Data for Top Engineering Schools


Photo of MIT at Night for MIT Profile

Photo of MIT at Night

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A comparison of admissions data for top engineering schools is tricky since different universities handle engineering admissions differently. At some schools, engineering students apply for general admission just like all applicants. At others, the applicant pool for engineering is handled separately from other applicants. For example, at Illinois admission to the engineering school is far more competitive than general admissions.

Universities with a largely technological focus -- Caltech, MIT, and Georgia Tech -- do not have separate admissions for engineers. Also, Stanford believes that engineers should still have a broad general education and does not have a separate application for their engineering school. Nevertheless, universities will look for strong math skills from engineering applicants.

Many of the large comprehensive universities with separate engineering schools have different admissions standards for engineering applicants. This is true for Berkeley, Carnegie Mellon, Cornell, Illinois, Michigan and Purdue. Berkeley's admissions are the messiest of all, for admissions are different for each engineering field. Students who apply to Berkeley with their engineering field "undeclared" face the toughest admissions standards of all.

When the data is available, the chart below represents SAT scores for the middle 50% of engineering students who enroll. Michigan and Berkeley do not post specific data for engineers, so the numbers below reflect university-wide general admissions. Engineering numbers are likely higher, especially for math.

Realize, of course, that SAT scores are just one part of the application. Admissions officers at the top engineering schools will also be looking for a strong high school record, good letters of recommendation, a well-crafted essay and meaningful extracurricular activities.

You can also check out these other SAT links:

SAT Comparison Charts: the Ivy League | top universities (non-Ivy) | top liberal arts colleges | more top liberal arts | top public universities | top public liberal arts colleges | University of California campuses | Cal State campuses | SUNY campuses | more SAT charts

data from National Center for Educational Statistics and University Web Sites

Top Engineering Schools SAT Score Comparison (mid 50%)
(Learn what these numbers mean)

SAT Scores
Reading Math Writing
25% 75% 25% 75% 25% 75%
Berkeley (general admissions) 600 730 630 760 610 740
Caltech 700 790 760 800 700 790
Carnegie Mellon (CIT) 630 730 680 780 640 740
Cornell (engineering) 660 750 720 800 - -
Georgia Tech 590 690 650 740 590 690
Illinois (engineering) 1920 - 2150 (reading, math, writing)
Michigan (general admissions) 630 730 670 770 650 750
MIT 670 770 740 800 660 770
Purdue (engineering) 1720 - 2010 (reading, math, writing)
Stanford 670 770 690 780 680 780

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