How to Apply for the Best Mechanical Engineering Schools in USA

Mechanical engineering is a core discipline that encompasses the general areas of design and manufacturing, fluid and solid mechanics, and thermal and materials science. An entry into best mechanical engineering grad school is increasingly competitive and involves a great deal of homework and hard work.

Following are the applying directions:

Enlisting and Shortlisting

Firstly, enlist all the schools providing mechanical engineering major and go through their website- know about the courses they are offering for mechanical engineering, whether ABET accredited or not, their admission and financial requirements. Then shortlist some best grad schools according to your preference list.

Campus Visits

There is no better way to understand the College than by spending time in the campus. During your visits at the shortlisted colleges, take the opportunity to observe the day-to-day life of students here. Go to the library, attend some workshops or lectures. Eat lunch in a dining hall. Sit down at any table and strike up a conversation. Review the course schedule and sit in on a class. This Campus Visit is what you make of it. Be more proactive. Speak to faculty and students present there. Ask a few questions, and then ask some more.  Also, if you recognize that you will need financial assistance in order to attend grad school; “Visit Days” is the time to start researching your options. While visiting different grad schools you can investigate financial aid options, sources of independent scholarships and make arrangements to speak with financial aid officers at grad schools to which you will apply. The more you know about actual costs at the front end of the process, the easier it will be to identify and target schools that are likely to admit you and give you the assistance you will need.

Application Materials

Most grad schools have online applications but know that some schools have specific requirements for the way applications are submitted.

Your application should include:
i. Application form(s) and Application fee

ii. Statement of Purpose: The Statement of Purpose should be between one and two pages in length, addressing your career goals, research interests, and how you have prepared to achieve your educational objectives.

iii. Standardized Test scores: Take the Standardized Test like GRE (Graduate Record Examination), SAT (Scholastic Aptitude test) Subject Test, ACT (American College Testing), and applicants who are not Americans are also required to take the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign language) or IELTS.  The scores of these standardized tests take an applicant’s application one step ahead.

iv. Official records: Official records will provide the information on your scholastic record for your undergraduate or graduate course work from previous colleges attended.

v. Letter of Recommendation: At least three letters of recommendation from individuals familiar with your academic.

Research and/or work performance are required for all applicants.

Recommendation letters should address the following information:
  • How well is the applicant known and in what capacity?
  • Does the applicant have the intellectual capability, experimental ability, creativity, and motivation to be successful as a student at this particular University?
  • If English is not the native language, how well does the applicant read, write, and converse in English?
vi. Outside Experiences: Extra-curricular activities on top of your academic work can help to improve your time management skills. Apart from the academic front, the extracurricular activities fill the students’ mind with positivity and also help them to improve their skills like dedication, involvement, balance and leadership. Getting involved in something is a great way of networking. Many people are able to discover their interests and values through getting involved in various activities different from a regular routine. This brings in some practical experience and putting it in the admission application differentiates you from others as you have experience outside of your class studies.

vii. Internships and Co-ops: Internships and Cooperative Education provide students with a great opportunity to acquire real-world experience while still in school. In addition to giving students direct experience in the field they are considering, interaction with others in the field can help provide perspective on career path options. Listing them adds weight to the application and also their future in the same field.

viii. Essays: Essays are considered as a way to judge the applicants potential and skills. Admission Essays are also called as Personal Statements. A two-page personal statement (approximately 500 words) outlining your background, research interests, goals, and reasons for applying to the course and university is essential.
  • Write what you think and speak. The purpose of the essay is to show the real you, what you think and what motivates you.
  • Remember that what bores you pretty much bores others. So be original and creative.
  • Nothing excites a reader more than writing that’s invigorating. When choosing your topics, pick what genuinely excites you. Your enthusiasm will show through.
  • Use active verbs, simple and clear words and sentences.

Decide whether you want to apply with early admission

Early admission is a way of telling a school that you really want to go there. If you do apply early admission, you'll have a slightly higher chance of getting in. School use early admission to gauge who really wants to attend their school; many students who they accept eventually end up going somewhere else, a situation that is not ideal. Be sure you're comfortable with the school if you decide to apply early admission.

Interview Preparation

The overall goal with the admission interview is to find out how you are as a person, all the stuff that is not visible in your grades from secondary school or other test scores. It is very similar to a job interview so the opportunity to meet a representative of the school for an admission interview is also a great experience for the future.
  • You should not at all be afraid to brag about your skills, accomplishments, extracurricular activities and sports achievements. By telling about all these things, you can turn as a good icebreaker as well as prove you are a hardworking and dedicated student. Be sure to talk about your previous studies, work and other experiences, especially in the discipline you are applying for a program within.

  • Do practices for the interview with one of your parents or a good friend and you will be prepared for any question to come.

  • To the interview you might be asked to bring your portfolio along with you, so, you should get your grades, certificates and other paperwork that can be of interest to the school.

  • Also ask questions about the university, or the program. This indicates your enthusiasm towards the course and the university.

  • Be confident, calm and polite
These applying directions will lead your way to the college of your choice. Good Luck!
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