University Viability Rankings – The Engineering Hierarchy

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I have been a fan of TCGs, MOBAs and fighting games for a long time, so I am no scrub when it comes to viability rankings. There is nothing that causes more chaos and discussion then a tier list. With both a university and a pre-university audience in mind, I present the viability rankings for schools of engineering.

Note: I have tried to objectively judge all the schools listed but some bias will occur due to the nature of this list. Those easily offended should take caution. I will be using the S, A, B, C, D, E ranking system with S at top and D at the bottom. Any missing school are either not noteworthy or were missed in my research. Enjoy!


Tier S. These schools are unparalleled in many aspects. Their national and international impact reach far beyond the borders of their schools and countries. These schools constantly change the parameters that the engineering profession is defined by.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Easily the most obvious pick on the entire tier list. Even in the turmoil of the last few years, MIT remains the holy grail of engineering. Like Harvard to lawyers and Yale to medical students, the dream of attending MIT exists in the hearts of all aspiring engineers. With the top ranks in almost every major discipline, billions of dollars dedicated to research and the best group of professors ever assembled, it’s no surprise that the average graduate with little to no experience makes an average of $250,000 per year before bonuses. There will never be a day where the thought of premier engineering schools does not immediately relate to MIT. This really is as good as engineering gets.

California Institute of Technology

Arguably the most controversial pick on my entire tier list, I feel that the king of the Silicon Valley is deserving of the S tier. Not to bandwagon along the fact that in sheer scores and numbers it has surpassed MIT last year, but based on the fact that as the best school for computing and software its influence will only continue to grow. All hail the King of the Valley, long may he reign.


Tier A. These schools influence the profession of engineering and are excellent regardless of the trends in the market. These schools excel at what they do and have multiple niches of note. These schools have immense influence on a national and international level. These schools have very little flaws and these flaws are easily made up by their immense strengths.


Stanford – Not much to say about a fantastic school that excels in multiple fields including engineering.

Oxford – Arguably the birthplace of modern physics, only a fool would question its place here.

University of California, Berkeley – Sure this choice may be questionable, but being the best chemical engineering school in the world is no small feat. Look at how diverse and influential that career path of engineering is. Defining chemical engineering certainly defines the engineering profession, but not to the extent MIT and Cal Tech does. Hence A+.

Princeton – Should it be A? Probably. But Einstein taught there, and he’s an automatic +1. A+ it is!


Harvard – Not really an engineering school I give you, but the infamy of the school makes its engineering program heavily sought after. It’s Harvard.

Cambridge – Should it be in the same tier as Oxford, but Stephen Hawking teaches there and he’s a glorified celebrity with an overinflated ego and String Theory that, by its definition, will NEVER be proven. Sorry Cambridge.

University of California, Los Angeles

Swiss Institute of Technology Zurich – Obligatory Swiss representative.

National College of Singapore – Its infamy is as surprising and as impressive as Singapore itself. Impressive scores across the board with the superb location in Singapore add up to an impressive A ranking.

Cornell University – Bill Nye had a mechanical engineering degree there! You know it’s a good school because Bill Nye the Science Guy went there.

Carnegie Mellon University – Incredibly influential computer science, software engineering and computer engineering school. Easily worthy of A rank. It is largely outclassed by Caltech, but it is much easier to get into. Its own merits makes its A ranking justified.


University of Michigan – Best nuclear engineering school in the world. When the world switches to nuclear energy from fossil fuels, this school will be an easy A+ possibly even S tier, but Tōhoku happened in 2011……. And Chernobyl preceded it…… So unfortunately Michigan will have to stay in A-. One day old friend, one day.

Georgia Institute of Technology

Imperial College of London – Not quite Oxford or Cambridge but too good at what it does to ignore. One day Imperial Collage, one day….

Hong Kong Institute of Science and Technology – Powerful engineering school in one of the trade capitals of the world. A dual engineering and business degree from this school is lethal in capable hands. Unconventional yes, but far too good for the B tier.

University of Tokyo – Obligatory Japanese representative.

Technische Universität München – Obligatory German representative.

University of Austin Texas

École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne – The Swiss are surprisingly good at the post-secondary game.  Two solid A ranked schools from the last place you would expect them.

Seoul National University – One of the biggest technology hubs on earth spawns one of the best technology based engineering schools in one of the strongest economies in the world.

Technical Institute of Denmark


Tier B. These schools perform very well under the parameters of the engineering profession. They have good standings overall or perform well under many niches. These schools have many positives and few negatives and shine well on the international stage.


Brown University – Ivy League

University of Pennsylvania – Barely… but still Ivy League

University of Manchester – Bonus points for having the best football team in the UK.

KU Leuven – Obligatory Belgian School

Kyoto University

RWTH Aachen University

University of Melbourne

Columbia University – Ivy League

Peking University – Obligatory Chinese School. No seriously, it’s a very decent school with an absurdly difficult entrance average. The school isn’t particularly powerful, but it is looked very highly upon by the vast majority of the Chinese population. There’s plenty of value in that.

University of California, San Diego

University of Washington

University College London

University of Sydney Australia – The Sniper from TF2 is from here… so BONUS POINTS! In all seriousness the schools merits and the gold mine that is the area it surrounds makes it solid B+.

University of Illinois

University of Waterloo – As much as I dislike this school and trust me I do, it has a strong nanotechnology, mechatronics and bio- medical programs with a 98% co-op rate. The fact it’s becoming the de facto engineering school in Canada. It has to be here, as much as this hurts me, it just has to.


Lomonosov Moscow State University – The best engineering school the Russians have to offer. Sure it is not at its full potential because, well Russia has had a rough century, but it has grown so much within the last 20ish years. Easily capable of earning a rank of B for now.

University of Toronto – Warning! May cause severe depression, self-mutilation, mental breakdowns, insomnia, paranoia, thoughts of suicide and actual suicide. Ask your doctor if UoT engineering is right for you. In all seriousness, if you can get through UoT Engineering Science, you can get through anything! Old name, strong program and strong niche in Chemical Engineering, Electrical Engineering and everything Engineering Science can get you in. If and that’s a big IF, you can get an engineering degree from the school, finding a job and doing well in your field should be an easy task. But do not attempt this without serious caution, you will be ripped apart limb from limb.

University of British Colombia – Has grown as much as the west has and is near the top with Toronto and McGill. Just a very solid school.

McGill University – The premier Canadian School. Engineering is not its strong suit but it’s still strong, nevertheless. Solid school from top to bottom.

National Taiwan University

École Polytechnique

Duke University

Northwestern University


University of Calgary – They are the best school for engineering in Alberta and Alberta is on top of a ton of oil. Connect the dots.

Technion – Israel Institute of Technology – See Calgary and replace “Alberta” with “Middle East”. Take out snow and add a perpetual summer.  You get the picture.

University of Delaware

Polytechnic University of Milan – The Italians deserve something right… Right?

Eindhoven University of Technology

Tsinghua University

University of Wisconsin

University of Western Ontario – If you go to Western, don’t worry its tier SSS, GOD MODE, INSTA WIN CONDITION PLZ BAN. But objectively speaking, it is a solid school with biomedical and mechatronics engineering. Ivey business is a solid addition to a solid program. It has a decent program but lacks heavily in co-op. Also the Wi-Fi network may make you want to murder those who set it up. Very… very slowly and painfully in a number of imaginative ways. Moving on. Finally the school motto Veritas et Utilitas makes it sound like it’s trying to one up Harvard. And it can’t one up Harvard, it just can’t.


Tier C. These are good schools on a national basis. They have decent standings overall or control small niches. They shine on the national level but are overshadowed on the international level. There are positives for these schools, but these positives come with some drawbacks.


Queens University – Take Western and take out the Ivey and add an even worse co-op system. There’s Queens.

McMaster University – Take Queens and remove the tri-colour, you get McMaster!


University of Guelph – They have a cannon and bio-medical engineering is decent. But besides that…

Carleton University – Strong Computer Engineering and Software Engineering programs, not enough to counteract the Carlton though.


Ryerson University – Good co-op, terrible program.

University of Ottawa – Take a little of the co-op and add it on to the program. Ottawa.


Tier D. These schools offer little niches. Even the niches they offer are offered are offered elsewhere.  These schools offer basic engineering studies but little else.

Any acclaimed university that offers engineering. I know this is lazy, but I can’t be bothered to research mediocre schools. Just think of UOIT, which is the best example I can think of.

Well this tier list has been fun. Note that I realize how messy that B+ and A- tiers are, but if I did them justice, it would be A-H or the addition of borderline tiers. I really spent way too long researching for this so hope you enjoyed the list. Feel free to leave comments, just try to be civil about it! David Wu out peace!



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