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25 Best Colleges for Mechanical Engineering

By the GradReports team | Updated 2/21/2020

These are the best 25 colleges that offer a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering, based on median salary one year after graduation. The top ranked school is SUNY Maritime College, with a median salary of $82,800. The school with the lowest median debt for this degree is Duke University, with a debt of $10,080. The rest of the schools on the list boast median starting salaries in the $70,300-$82,800 range for students who graduated with a Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering.

Tuition, median salaries, and median debt were reported by the U.S. Department of Education in November 2019. View our methodology for more details about these rankings or read more about the top-ranked schools.

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Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Salary and debt data reported by the U.S. Department of Education
Rank School Location Annual Tuition Median Debt Median Salary
#1 #1 Throggs Neck (NY) Throggs Neck (NY) $18,063 $26,399 $82,800
#2 #2 Stanford (CA) Stanford (CA) $51,354 $19,500 $78,200
#3 #3 Vallejo (CA) Vallejo (CA) $18,936 $26,181 $77,600
#4 #4 Flint (MI) Flint (MI) $43,490 $28,000 $76,900
#5 #5 Dearborn (MI) Dearborn (MI) $25,158 $25,000 $76,800
#6 #6 Cambridge (MA) Cambridge (MA) $51,832 $13,829 $75,100
#7 #7 Ann Arbor (MI) Ann Arbor (MI) $49,350 $17,525 $74,200
#8 #8 Durham (NC) Durham (NC) $55,695 $10,080 $73,500
#9 #9 Rochester Hills (MI) Rochester Hills (MI) $24,230 $27,000 $73,500
#10 #10 Southfield (MI) Southfield (MI) $33,570 $30,750 $73,200
#11 #11 Detroit (MI) Detroit (MI) $27,991 $23,625 $73,000
#12 #12 Ithaca (NY) Ithaca (NY) $55,188 $13,593 $72,700
#13 #13 East Lansing (MI) East Lansing (MI) $39,766 $26,500 $72,600
#14 #14 Needham (MA) Needham (MA) $53,736 Not Reported $72,200
#15 #15 Berkeley (CA) Berkeley (CA) $43,176 $15,000 $71,900
#16 #16 College Station (TX) College Station (TX) $37,495 $19,000 $71,600
#17 #17 San Luis Obispo (CA) San Luis Obispo (CA) $21,696 $20,500 $71,600
#18 #18 University Center (MI) University Center (MI) $24,215 $25,106 $71,600
#19 #19 Mount Pleasant (MI) Mount Pleasant (MI) $24,120 $28,000 $71,400
#20 #20 Notre Dame (IN) Notre Dame (IN) $53,391 $16,815 $71,000
#21 #21 Columbus (OH) Columbus (OH) $30,742 $23,600 $70,600
#22 #22 Houston (TX) Houston (TX) $47,350 $11,250 $70,500
#23 #23 Santa Clara (CA) Santa Clara (CA) $51,711 $20,500 $70,400
#24 #24 Pittsburgh (PA) Pittsburgh (PA) $55,465 $23,875 $70,400
#25 #25 Austin (TX) Austin (TX) $37,580 $21,762 $70,300

2020 Best Colleges Highlights

Learn more about the top colleges for a Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering degree. You can also read student reviews of each school by clicking on the stars. Although student reviews were not used as a ranking factor in this list, we provide ratings and reviews so students can consider the experience of alumni in their decision-making process.

#1
Throggs Neck (NY)
Median Salary $82,800
Median Debt $26,399
Annual Tuition $18,063
Graduation Rate 66%

State University of New York (SUNY) Maritime College is a public college in New York City that offers a Bachelor of Engineering degree in Mechanical Engineering. Maritime offers a unique program that helps students pursue two career routes. Students interested in working onboard a commercial vessel can use the college Training Ship, the Empire State VI, to work toward a U.S. Coast Guard Engine License. Those who are more interested in a traditional college route can instead complete two professional internships. 

The Maritime mechanical engineering program is accredited by ABET's Engineering Association Commission. The program aims to teach graduates how to design, service, and operate on mechanical systems, as well as develop their professional leadership qualities.

Visit SUNY Maritime College's website.

#2
Stanford (CA)
Median Salary $78,200
Median Debt $19,500
Annual Tuition $51,354
Graduation Rate 94%

Stanford University's Mechanical Engineering program balances theoretical and practical experiences to help graduates address a wide range of professional and societal needs. The curriculum covers many disciplines, from biomedicine to computational engineering.

Students are required to complete a core curriculum, which consists of math, science, and engineering courses, as well as a concentration path. Students must select 2-3 additional courses that, when added to the concentration path, add up to a minimum of 18 units. Mechanical engineering students can choose from classes such as solid and fluid dynamics, microelectromechanical systems, propulsion, and nano and micromechanics.

Visit Stanford University's website.

Median Salary $77,600
Median Debt $26,181
Annual Tuition $18,936
Graduation Rate 62%

The Mechanical Engineering program at California State University offers a Bachelor of Science degree. This program is backed by an assessment system that ensures continuous improvements are made to meet its educational mission.

Students at CSU Maritime have the option to pursue a less traditional non-license route in their studies. They must complete one cruise experience and two summer internships in the industry to follow that path. All curriculum paths, license and non-license, include a core curriculum as well as a two-course capstone design experience at the start of senior year.

Visit California State University Maritime Academy's website.

#4
Flint (MI)
Median Salary $76,900
Median Debt $28,000
Annual Tuition $43,490
Graduation Rate 63%

Kettering University's mechanical engineering program offers students small classes, advanced labs, and a co-op opportunity that can give students two and a half years of experience by graduation. Employers that students have worked with include Fisher-Price, Ford Motor, and Bosch.

Kettering students also have the opportunity to pursue a specialty concentration or minor. Specialty programs include Bioengineering Applications, Alternative Energy, and Automotive Engineering Design. Mechanical engineering students can choose from many minors, including Business, Entrepreneurship & Innovation and Pre-Law.

Visit Kettering University's website.

#5
Median Salary $76,800
Median Debt $25,000
Annual Tuition $25,158
Graduation Rate 56%

University of Michigan - Dearborn offers a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree for Mechanical Engineering. This program is accredited by ABET's Engineering Accreditation Commission and gives students a strong foundation in the basics of engineering.

Michigan offers the largest employment of mechanical engineers in the 50 states, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Recent Dearborn graduates have established professional paths with companies such as General Electric, Bosch, Ford, U.S. Army Tank Command, and U.S. Steel.

Visit University of Michigan - Dearborn's website.