Too often students limit their choices because of preconceived notions about what is “best” or “required.” If you want to do pre-med, you must be a major research university; if you’re interested in film, nothing less than a film school will do. And if you want to be an engineer, you must attend an engineering school.
The last statement is partially true. Students who want to be engineers must graduate with from an engineering program, preferably one that has ABET accreditation. However, they don’t necessarily have to start at an engineering school.
3-2 engineering programs allow students to spend three years at one campus studying the sciences or mathematics and then transfer their last two years to a school with an engineering program to complete an engineering degree. The advantage of these programs is that it can allow students to take smaller classes with more faculty interaction to build a solid foundation for later engineering courses. The disadvantage is that students will be leaving their small, tightly knit home campuses to start a new program as seniors, not an easy thing to do.
The number of 3-2 participants at any college is going to be small and you’ll really only see them as a group at the destination engineering schools. Washington University in St. Louis and Columbia University are the two major programs for 3-2 students and offer them specific support services. However, there are numerous schools that accept students into engineering programs, some with formal guarantee admission agreements, others requiring separate applications.
There are over two hundred colleges that offer at least one version of a 3-2 program and over half of them are 50-50 schools. The following list is based on just those that are affiliated with the major 3-2 engineering school programs. I suspect any interested students could arrange a 3-2 opportunity at their institution, they would just have to apply as regular transfer students. The 3-2 option is not for everybody, but is one way to enjoy the advantages of a small liberal arts experience before concentrating on engineering.
50-50 Schools with 3-2 Engineering Programs
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