The 11 Best Engineering Schools in the South: Important Facts and Figures

Learn about the top engineering schools in the South and which one is perfect for you

If you’re someone who loves creating new things and problem-solving, you might be an engineer in the making. And good for you! Engineering is a quickly growing, highly lucrative career field.

Engineers design solutions and products that we use every day. They work in a lot of different areas and industries, too. And the easiest path to land one of these jobs is by earning your bachelor’s degree in engineering. 

So what are the best engineering schools near you? Which colleges offer the type of engineering program that fits your needs?

Keep reading to learn about the best engineering schools in the South and discover how to decide which one is right for you.

Top engineering schools in the South

If you want to attend college in the South while earning a reputable engineering degree, you have plenty of options to choose from. Below is a list of the 11 best engineering schools the South has to offer.

I’ve listed relevant factors about each university to help you determine if it’s a school worth exploring further. Pay special attention to the engineering majors offered by each college—make sure they offer what you’re looking for!

Georgia Institute of Technology

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 4
  • Location: Atlanta, GA
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 21%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.9
  • Average SAT score: 1370 – 1530
  • Average ACT score: 31 – 35
  • Annual tuition & fees: $12,682 (in-state), $33,794 (out-of-state)
  • Student-faculty ratio: 18:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 47%
  • Engineering majors: Aerospace, Biomedical, Chemical and Biomolecular, Civil and Environmental, Electrical and Computer, Industrial and Systems, Materials Science, Mechanical, and Nuclear and Radiological

The United States Naval Academy

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 5
  • Location: Annapolis, MD
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 9%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.6
  • Average SAT score: 1230 – 1450
  • Average ACT score: 28 – 33
  • Annual tuition & fees: $0
  • Student-faculty ratio: 8:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 89%
  • Engineering majors: Aerospace, Computer, Electrical, General, Mechanical, Naval Architecture and Marine, Nuclear, Ocean, and Robotics and Control

The University of Texas at Austin

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 10
  • Location: Austin, TX
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 32%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.8
  • Average SAT score: 1210 – 1470
  • Average ACT score: 26 – 33
  • Annual tuition & fees: $11,448 (in-state), $40,032 (out-of-state)
  • Student-faculty ratio: 18:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 70%
  • Engineering majors: Aerospace, Biomedical, Architectural, Chemical, Civil, Computational, Electrical and Computer, Environmental, Geosystems and Hydrogeology, Mechanical, and Petroleum

Johns Hopkins University

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 13 (tie)
  • Location: Baltimore, MD
  • Private or Public: Private
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 9%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.9
  • Average SAT score: 1480 – 1570
  • Average ACT score: 34 – 35
  • Annual tuition & fees: $58,720
  • Student-faculty ratio: 6:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 89%
  • Engineering majors: Biomedical, Chemical and Biomolecular, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Environmental, Materials Science, and Mechanical

Virginia Tech

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 13 (tie)
  • Location: Blacksburg, VA
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 67%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.9
  • Average SAT score: 1170 – 1370
  • Average ACT score: 25 – 31
  • Annual tuition & fees: $14,174 (in-state), $33,253 (out-of-state)
  • Student-faculty ratio: 14:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 65%
  • Engineering majors: Aerospace and Ocean, Biological Systems, Biomedical, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Computer Science, Construction, Electrical, Industrial and Systems, Materials Science, Mechanical, and Mining

Texas A&M University

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 15
  • Location: College Station, TX
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 63%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.7
  • Average SAT score: 1160 – 1380
  • Average ACT score: 25 – 32
  • Annual tuition & fees: $13,178 (in-state), $40,087 (out-of-state)
  • Student-faculty ratio: 19:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 57%
  • Engineering majors: Aerospace, Biological and Agricultural, Biomedical, Chemical, Civil and Environmental, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer, Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution, Industrial and Systems, Materials Science, Mechanical, Multidisciplinary, Nuclear, Ocean, and Petroleum

The Citadel, The Military College of South Carolina

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 16
  • Location: Charleston, SC
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 80%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.8
  • Average SAT score: 1030 – 1210
  • Average ACT score: 21 – 26
  • Annual tuition & fees: $14,808 (in-state), $38.064 (out-of-state)
  • Student-faculty ratio: 12:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 65%
  • Engineering majors: Civil and Environmental, Electrical and Computer, Engineering Leadership and Project Management, and Mechanical

Rice University

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 19
  • Location: Houston, TX
  • Private or Public: Private
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 11%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.9
  • Average SAT score: 1460 – 1570
  • Average ACT score: 34 – 36
  • Annual tuition & fees: $52,895
  • Student-faculty ratio: 6:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 85%
  • Engineering majors: Bioengineering, Chemical, Civil, Civil and Environmental, Computational and Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Electrical and Computer, Materials Science and Nanoengineering, Mechanical, Operations Research, and Statistics

The University of Maryland—College Park

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 21
  • Location: College Park, MD
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 49%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.9
  • Average SAT score: 1270 – 1480
  • Average ACT score: 29 – 34
  • Annual tuition & fees: $10,954 (in-state), $38,636 (out-of-state)
  • Student-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 70%
  • Engineering majors: Aerospace, Biocomputational, Bioengineering, Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, Embedded Systems and Internet of Things, Fire Protection, Materials Science, and Mechanical

James Madison University

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 22
  • Location: Harrisonburg, VA
  • Private or Public: Public
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 80%
  • Average high school GPA: 3.5
  • Average SAT score: 1120 – 1280
  • Average ACT score: 23 – 28
  • Annual tuition & fees: $11,720 (in-state), $28,646 (out-of-state)
  • Student-faculty ratio: 17:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 68%
  • Engineering majors: General Engineering

Duke University

  • U.S. News & World Report Rank (Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs): 27
  • Location: Durham, NC
  • Private or Public: Private
  • Undergraduate acceptance rate: 8%
  • Average high school GPA: 4.1
  • Average SAT score: 1470 – 1570
  • Average ACT score: 34 – 35
  • Annual tuition & fees: $60,489
  • Student-faculty ratio: 6:1
  • 4-year graduation rate: 90%
  • Engineering majors: Biomedical, Civil, Electrical and Computer, Environmental, Mechanical, and Interdisciplinary

How to choose the best engineering school for you

Now you have eleven amazing schools to consider in your college search. But you can’t attend all of them. So how do you know which one is the best fit for you?

First, make sure a college offers the engineering major you want to study. There’s a lot of different major options on that list, so go ahead and research the ones you don’t know about. Maybe you’ll develop a passion in a completely new area of engineering.

You’ll also want to research the different engineering department and see what opportunities they provide students. What types of internships are available? What special resources and programs does the school offer? Consider how you’ll be prepared for your first engineering job.

It doesn’t hurt to research the engineering professors, too. What experience do they have? What type of research or active engineering work are they currently doing? These are your potential mentors, so choose them wisely.

And of course, look outside the engineering program to see if you’ll like the college as a whole. Is it the size you want? Is it in the right location for you? Is the student life what you’re looking for? Make sure you’ll enjoy your life outside of the classroom, too.

Final thoughts about the best engineering schools in the South

I hope you’re excited to research these amazing universities. I recommend visiting each school you’re considering to find answers to your questions and get a feel for each campus. I know you’ll be able to find the best engineering college for you!


Dr. Tucker established her own consulting business after a long, successful career working in higher education. Besides being an associate member of the Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA), she is also trained as a Life and Career Coach through the Institute for Life Coach Training.  She toured hundreds of colleges, networked with admissions reps from across the country, and spoken at national conferences about student success and college retention. Read more about her here.

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