Engineering School Choices; AR-Fayetteville vs. Missouri S&T

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Engineering School Choices; AR-Fayetteville vs. Missouri S&T

Postby Jerilynn » Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:55 am

One of my offspring has been accepted (chemical engineering) into the Univ of Arkansas and also Missouri University of Science and Technology. I know we have several members who are engineers and was wondering what y'all think of these 2 schools. [granted, neither are Penn State (my alma mater), and neither have their own nuclear reactor, but I digress] ;)
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby honghong322 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:23 am

First off, congrats! As a fellow engineer that graduated recently I applaud the fact that your child has chosen a very good career path! I'm very recently out of school with MS in EE. I went to school in Massachusetts so I can't gauge how well either of these schools are. What I would do is check with the schools and see how each of their departments are, what relationships they have to local and national companies. Do either of these school have any co-op programs? (work for 6 month, school for 6 months)
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby Call_Me_Op » Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:27 am

honghong,

I am guessing that you are a Northeastern man.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby stan1 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:11 am

Best thing he/she can do to secure future employment is earn good grades, maintain a positive and upbeat attitude that helps build rapport with prospective employers during the job interview process, and take an opportunity to co-op over a summer or even a semester at a company doing hands-on work. If the topic was MIT vs Univ of Ark we could have a discussion, but it isn't. Not sure if the costs to you are the same, but paying a premium for one of the other in your scenario might not make sense from a future job perspective.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby honghong322 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:49 am

Call_Me_Op wrote:honghong,

I am guessing that you are a Northeastern man.


Indeed! I could not have enjoyed the co-op experience more.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby nisiprius » Wed Dec 05, 2012 8:50 am

Congratulations! Not clear if you're talking about a graduate or an undergraduate program.

I don't live in that area of the country and don't know regional reputations; they're not familiar names to me. I'd guess they won't open any doors and they won't close any doors. Because they aren't familiar names I even have to ask: are you referring to a) Missouri University of Science and Technology, and b) University of Arkansas Fayetteville?

This U.S. News list, for what it's worth, ranks graduate programs, and is probably an indicator of sorts for undergraduate.Missouri University of Science and Technology is #82 on the list. University of Arkansas Fayetteville is #109. So, these are perfectly credible schools, he'll have an opportunity to learn engineering there. If a job requires an engineering degree, the HR department screening resumes will say "yep, check."

The U. S. News ranking doesn't suggest that one is obviously better than the other, so he should visit and follow his instincts. Very likely they have different strengths and weaknesses. Top schools are those that are all strengths, no weaknesses. OK schools tend to have specialty areas in which they are doing neat stuff. He should find out what they are and see which tickles his fancy.

The Wikipedia articles on Missouri University of Science and Technology and University of Arkansas Fayetteville are interesting. He should read them. At very first glance, one of the things that catches my eye is Student Engineering Projects at Missouri.

One obvious difference, based on the Wikipedia articles anyway, is that Missouri S&T seems to be primarily an engineering school, descended from a School of Mines and Metallurgy, while University of Arkansas is a big state university with the breathtaking scope of a big state university. This suggests to me that if he truly feels called to engineering, he might find Missouri S&T's atmosphere invigorating; while if he's not quite sure, which is healthy and normal when entering college, Arkansas might offer more escape hatches if he discovers that engineering isn't really his thing.

The very best engineer I've ever had the pleasure to work with went to Southeastern Massachusetts University (now "U Mass Dartmouth"), which is down in the "rank not published" on that list. He didn't have any trouble getting a job. I bumped into him first circa 1994 where I worked with him for a year at a startup. I moved on to another job, and a few years later when there was an opening at that employer I suggested he apply (and earned myself a $1,000 recruitment bonus). He was quickly recognized first as a good engineer, then as the go-to guy, and currently is VP of Engineering at this mid-sized firm. He's in his late forties, I think.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby sscritic » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:11 am

There is more to school than classes. One of my favorite stories from long ago was of a friend from the east coast who chose to come to a school playing in the Rose Bowl this year because he thought it was another west coast school that traditionally had a good football team with similar colors (both use Panteen 201C as the primary school color).

So which school has the better women's basketball team? That would one of my deciding factors.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby Call_Me_Op » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:13 am

Main rule for carer choice: Do what you love and you'll never work a day in your life.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby happymob » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:43 am

U of Missouri Rolla (yeah, I know that's their old name) has a perfectly fine reputation, as does Arkansas. The biggest difference will be campus culture. Arkansas would give them a more traditional big college experience (for better or worse). Rolla's undergraduate population is 77% male. Fayetteville feels like a college town. Rolla, less so. But kids can thrive in very different environments, so I'm not suggesting one over the other. I am suggesting one considers campus culture, in addition to cost and academics.

Quick edit - not an engineer (computer science prof here), but I do have passing familiarity with both schools having lived in neighboring states.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby bstgeorge » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:43 am

happymob wrote: The biggest difference will be campus culture. Arkansas would give them a more traditional big college experience (for better or worse). Rolla's undergraduate population is 77% male. Fayetteville feels like a college town. Rolla, less so.


Excellent point. I am a chemical engineer. One thing I would check it is the list of companies that recruit at each school to see if there is a difference.

As a large school with a more divere population and more females, Arkansas may offer more opportunities to interact with non engineers and students with different backgrounds, which make for interesting responses to interview questions.

Also, I think it would be fun to scream pig soiieeeeeee at an SEC game.

I work with engineers from both schools. The biggest thing to keep in mind for finding full time employment is maintaining a good GPA and getting involved in some extra curricular activites. I also highly reccomend participating in a co-op program.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby Kosmo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:26 pm

I'm an engineer for an extremely large company and we have a distance learning graduate program with Missouri S&T. I've spoken with one of the professors and it looks like a very good program, but I just don't have the time to do it. There would definitely be much more of a focus solely on math/science/engineering and there will be extremely limited other educational opportunities (in terms of classes offered by the college of arts and crafts) at Missouri S&T than at Arkansas. The schools are relatively close to each other geographically, so I don't think one has a clear advantage in terms of job prospects/recruiting connections/etc. But Arkansas might have more connections since it's a significantly larger school.

If your offspring is male, and he like girls and football, definitely Arkansas.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby linuxuser » Wed Dec 05, 2012 12:44 pm

U of Arkansas will give your child greater flexibility should he/she decide a year in that engineering is not for him/her.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby leo383 » Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:57 pm

Is your offspring male? Rolla has a good academic reputation, but I would avoid a school that is 80% guys. :happy
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby The Wizard » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:08 pm

You might want diversity in the engineering school in case CHEMICAL engineering doesn't quite work out. I thought that might be my field as well, at age 18, but then diverged into Aeronautics & Astronautics which has worked out OK...
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby HomerJ » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:21 pm

I went to University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T).

1. They do have a nuclear reactor there (or they did). My degree was in nuclear engineering.
2. It is highly focused engineering and computer science school. Not a lot of humanity classes. But the professors are very good. And the upper-level classes are small, so you'll get a lot of one-on-one attention. Plenty of hands-on work on lab equipment too...
3. Not a lot of girls, but there's always road-trips... :) Also, the competition is not very strong there... Yeah, 75% of the undergraduates are guys, but 50% of that 75% are REALLY nerdy. So if your son is even partway decent-looking and social, he'll have no problems finding dates.
4. It's a small town, but I remember it being pretty nice... Mark Twain National Forest is nearby and it's very pretty in the fall and spring. There's a couple of good places for sledding in the winter too :)
5. Saint Patricks week (supposed to be a day, but the parties go on for a week) is a bit insane... Patron saint of engineers, after all.

Arkansas is more of an all-around university, with a real football team, much bigger college. Can't tell you more than that.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby HomerJ » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:24 pm

Oh, FYI...

http://news.mst.edu/2011/07/starting_sa ... ron_1.html

PayScale's 2011-12 College Salary Report puts Missouri S&T second among Midwestern public and private universities in terms of starting median salary for graduates. The starting median salary for Missouri S&T graduates is $58,600, second to Rose Hulman Institute of Technology ($60,700). The report also ranked Missouri S&T second in the nation for starting salaries among public universities and 15th in the nation among all universities, public and private.


15th in the NATION for starting salaries...

And it's a very affordable public state school.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby sscritic » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:39 pm

Yes, the average starting salary for graduates of an engineering school will generally be higher than for graduates of a music school.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby The Wizard » Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:41 pm

HomerJ wrote:I went to University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T).

1. They do have a nuclear reactor there (or they did). My degree was in nuclear engineering.
2. It is highly focused engineering and computer science school....

There's an advantage to going to a place where MOST of the undergrads are in science and engineering. For your first two undergrad years, practically EVERYBODY in your living group has taken the same math and physics courses and is available to help out if you have a question...
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby HomerJ » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:20 pm

sscritic wrote:Yes, the average starting salary for graduates of an engineering school will generally be higher than for graduates of a music school.


15th in the nation means its graduates have a higher starting salary than quite a few of $50k a year business and engineering schools too.

And Rolla only costs $15k a year.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby sscritic » Wed Dec 05, 2012 4:25 pm

HomerJ wrote:15th in the nation means its graduates have a higher starting salary than quite a few of $50k a year business and engineering schools too.

Annual pay for bachelor’s graduates without higher degrees.

I don't know of any $50k a year undergraduate exclusively business schools. I also don't know of any $15k a year undergraduate exclusively business schools.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby Jerilynn » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:08 pm

nisiprius wrote:Congratulations! Not clear if you're talking about a graduate or an undergraduate program.

I don't live in that area of the country and don't know regional reputations; they're not familiar names to me. I'd guess they won't open any doors and they won't close any doors. Because they aren't familiar names I even have to ask: are you referring to a) Missouri University of Science and Technology, and b) University of Arkansas Fayetteville?




Undergrad and yes, Arkansas-Fayetteville and Misouri S&T.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby Jerilynn » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:09 pm

HomerJ wrote:I went to University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T).

1. They do have a nuclear reactor there (or they did). My degree was in nuclear engineering.



I stand corrected, yes they do have one indeed. I guess they didn't mention it or show it to him on his visit.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby Jerilynn » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:13 pm

Thanks for all the input, folks. Seems that there are no big huge earthshattering differences between the schools. He liked the campus at Arkansas, better. It's MUCH closer than Miss S&T and because he is an Arkansas resident, it will cost less if he chooses Arkansas. Also, the chances of him finding a potential wife with the last name of Walton, Tyson or Hunt will be better at Arkansas. :)
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby HomerJ » Wed Dec 05, 2012 6:54 pm

Jerilynn wrote:Thanks for all the input, folks. Seems that there are no big huge earthshattering differences between the schools. He liked the campus at Arkansas, better. It's MUCH closer than Miss S&T and because he is an Arkansas resident, it will cost less if he chooses Arkansas. Also, the chances of him finding a potential wife with the last name of Walton, Tyson or Hunt will be better at Arkansas. :)


Better chance he might find a wife who's really smart and makes a lot of money at Rolla though... :)

But, yeah, if you're in-state Arkansas, I say go there...
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby nolken » Sat Dec 08, 2012 9:23 pm

HomerJ wrote:I went to University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T).

1. They do have a nuclear reactor there (or they did). My degree was in nuclear engineering.
2. It is highly focused engineering and computer science school. Not a lot of humanity classes. But the professors are very good. And the upper-level classes are small, so you'll get a lot of one-on-one attention. Plenty of hands-on work on lab equipment too...
3. Not a lot of girls, but there's always road-trips... :) Also, the competition is not very strong there... Yeah, 75% of the undergraduates are guys, but 50% of that 75% are REALLY nerdy. So if your son is even partway decent-looking and social, he'll have no problems finding dates.
4. It's a small town, but I remember it being pretty nice... Mark Twain National Forest is nearby and it's very pretty in the fall and spring. There's a couple of good places for sledding in the winter too :)
5. Saint Patricks week (supposed to be a day, but the parties go on for a week) is a bit insane... Patron saint of engineers, after all.

Arkansas is more of an all-around university, with a real football team, much bigger college. Can't tell you more than that.


I second everything this guy says. He hit the nail on the head. I'm currently a student at Missouri S&T, and yes, I created an account just to comment on this topic :)

Anyways, we do have a nuclear reactor - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Missouri_University_of_Science_and_Technology_Nuclear_Reactor
We also have an on campus power plant, but it is being decommissioned and being replaced with a new geothermal energy program.
As of last year, the University was considered one of the top 10 fastest growing Universities in the country, and we had the second highest average starting salary of all public universities in the country. This obviously does not include private schools such as MIT & Cal. Tech.
While the school does have a relatively high acceptance rate (89%), it does not have an incredibly high graduation rate, because It is a hard school. Very hard.
Missouri S&T (UMR) has a very good reputation among companies. A friend of mine graduated with a 2.6 and had no trouble finding a job with a major company. I'm also heard the same from many others as well. Typically with a 2.6 GPA it is difficult to find a job with larger companies. Another acquaintance got into a graduate program at MIT with a 3.0 GPA or 3.2, it was one of the two. Impressive none-the-less.

Our football team was 10-1 this year, baseball 32-15, basketball not so great (7-20)
That being said, people don't seem to care a ton about the athletics. We are a NCAA division II school, and my high school's football stadium was more impressive than ours.

St. Pats is big deal though. We get a second "spring break" just for St. Patricks day.

We are still a part of the University of Missouri school system, so we gat a lot of the benefits from that.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby Jerilynn » Sun Dec 09, 2012 2:29 pm

nolken wrote: I'm currently a student at Missouri S&T, and yes, I created an account just to comment on this topic :)



thanks, nolken. What year are you in and what's your major?
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby Watty » Sun Dec 09, 2012 5:06 pm

HomerJ wrote:I went to University of Missouri-Rolla (now Missouri S&T).

Me to , I graduated in the late 70's with a Comp Sci. degree so my info is a bit dated but back then it had a good regional reputation. I've lived on the west coast and the southeast I've never had a problem with people not thinking that it wasn't a good school. Even when I was on the west coast I ran into a fair number of people in the computer field that have heard of Rolla and had a favorable impression. Obviously it is not in the top tier like MIT, Stanford, Berkeley, etc. but is seems to be a strong second tier school.

I don't know anything about Arkansas so I don't know how they compare.

It would be good for him to visit each of the schools and see which one he likes best since the personality fit is real important. If he can find some way to spend a few days living on campus and sitting in on some classes, without you, that would be ideal.

One thing that I would look at is the graduation rate for students in that degree program at each of the school. This can vary widely and if one program has a lot higher graduation rate then that could be a big factor in deciding which program would be better for him since which school is better really doesn't matter if he doesn't graduate.


3. Not a lot of girls, but there's always road-trips... :) Also, the competition is not very strong there... Yeah, 75% of the undergraduates are guys, but 50% of that 75% are REALLY nerdy. So if your son is even partway decent-looking and social, he'll have no problems finding dates.

He dosn't even need to be good looking. I went to a different large college the first two years then transferred to Rolla so I was pretty used to the normal college social life. When I was at Rolla I lived in Co-ed dorms and the amazing thing was that on any given weekend maybe half the girls didn't have dates. This was actually sort of depressing for some of the girls since they were outnumbered by the boys by something like 8 to 1 back then and many of them didn't have a boyfriend which sort of freaked some of the girls out like there was something wrong with them. Generally speaking the girls were just fine but the boys were so intimidated by the male/female ratio that they didn't approach the girls as often as they should have. I wasn't exactly Don Juan but I had a clue how to act socially so I never had any problems with finding girls to date.



5. Saint Patricks week (supposed to be a day, but the parties go on for a week) is a bit insane... Patron saint of engineers, after all.

I have not really followed it or gone back for it but I recall hearing that it was getting out of hand and it has been tamed down some.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; AR-Fayetteville vs. Missouri

Postby stingray5688 » Sun Dec 09, 2012 11:11 pm

BSME from UofA. Go Hogs!

Didn't read all the responses above but Arkansas would be a more "traditional" school experience. Really depends on what he wants and where he fits.

Yall are arkansas residents? Have you checked into the governors or chancellors scholarships? Either would save you a lot of money. I know people that were effectively being paid to go to school there.

Get good grades, and spend a couple summers interning for different companies. Semester co-ops can be a good option too, it can be less competitive than a summer internship. Downside is that you will be behind the original class you start with. It was fun and helpful going through 4 years of classes with the same group of peers.

Lots of good looking girls in Fayetteville. I ended up keeping one. :wink:
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Re: Engineering School Choices; Ark vs. Miss S&T

Postby HomerJ » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:24 am

Watty wrote:5. Saint Patricks week (supposed to be a day, but the parties go on for a week) is a bit insane... Patron saint of engineers, after all.

I have not really followed it or gone back for it but I recall hearing that it was getting out of hand and it has been tamed down some.


Yeah I heard the parties have gone more underground. In the old days, it was a campus-sponsered event, with the St. Patrick Knights throwing people into Alice (a tub of nasty crap) at the football field. Some guy died from alcohol posioning my junior year, and that put a damper on my senior year festivities. Back then, we all cursed that guy for ruining our fun... (He was 22, and drinking grain alcohol... We all said "Hey, it wasn't like he was a dumb freshman who didn't know better"). Of course, age has given me some perspective, and I really feel for that guy's family now.

Just did a google search and boo... I guess Alice is gone... :(

http://archive.columbiatribune.com/2008 ... ews022.asp

Excessive drinking is no longer the accepted standard, not after a pair of alcohol-related student deaths in 1988 and 1991 connected to the student group that runs the weeklong party.

And the legendary if disgusting "Alice" - a cattle trough filled with stale beer, road kill and other unmentionables into which members of the St. Patrick’s student court were unceremoniously thrown - was retired a decade ago.
.

1991 was my junior year...
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Re: Engineering School Choices; AR-Fayetteville vs. Missouri

Postby HomerJ » Mon Dec 10, 2012 2:31 am

Another piece of trivia for Bogleheads who are currently at Rolla, or have been there in the last 20 years...

Is the Pearl Harbor party still going on?? About 3 years ago, some kid who was friends with my daughter said that he had gone to the Pearl Harbor party in Rolla, which made me laugh, since I was at the very first one in 1989. or 1990?

There wasn't very many of us... but someone made t-shirts that said, "1st annual Pearl Harbor party" - with a picture of a Japanese pilot drinking a beer while flying a Zero. Again, age makes me realize how inappropriate that is... I hope any World War II vets can forgive a bunch of dumb college kids who really meant no offense... Unfortunately WWII to most college kids is as ancient history as the Revolutionary War.

I did find it very amusing that a party that really was thrown on the spur of the moment has persisted for two decades.... I wish I still had that t-shirt.
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Re: Engineering School Choices; AR-Fayetteville vs. Missouri

Postby Rebecca_S » Mon Dec 10, 2012 10:26 am

I graduated from UMR in '98. For me, I greatly valued being at a school where practically everyone else was doing some sort of engineering/science curriculum. In contrast to other engineering students I met from other schools when I had internships, at Rolla I knew engineers who were stoners, who were nerds who were gay, who partied, who hated parties, a whole gamut of people. You also have a huge range of engineering and sciences to choose from, EE, chemical, civil, materials all are reprresented. Of course there was not the adulation of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates at the time, the concept of nerd-hero has evolved since then.
I had in-state tuition at UMR and could not have attended college without it, it is definitely something to consider.
If your son decides that engineering is not for him, he will still have a good grounding after the first year and can transfer. UMR did have a high attrition rate, especially as students found out that engineering was not for them and transfered to other schools.
I attended grad school at a major university on the east coast. I didn't meet many UMR grads out here but the school is well respected by those that did admissions.
Lots of opportunities for coops and summer jobs which your son should definitely take advantage of, whichever school he attends.
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