Top Automotive Design and Engineering Schools: List of Top Programs

Aug 05, 2018

Learn about school rankings, program offerings, and information for three leading schools in automotive design and engineering. Find out what makes these schools stand out, including training and hands-on experiences students can expect in each.

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  • 0:04 School Overviews
  • 0:41 Clemson University
  • 1:23 Kettering University
  • 2:03 IU-PUI
  • 2:46 Auto Design &…

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School Overviews

Students interested in studying automotive design and engineering might want to consider schools with distinguished mechanical engineering programs. This type of training can result in a bachelor's, master's, or doctoral degree. Automotive design and engineering is commonly associated with mechanical engineering. A number of schools in the U.S. offer degrees, concentrations, or coursework in this specialization within mechanical engineering departments. Top schools include Kettering University, Clemson University, and Indiana University-Purdue University, all of which have received school or program rankings from U.S. News and World Report.

Clemson University

Clemson University was ranked as the 23rd best public school in U.S. News and World Report's national universities category in 2016. In this same year, the university also received a 51st place ranking for its graduate mechanical engineering program. While the school's main campus is in Clemson, South Carolina, the automotive design programs are offered through the Department of Automotive Engineering on the school's Greenville campus. This department offers a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Automotive Engineering and includes a student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Students learn about both the design and the engineering of automobiles. They are also required to complete a six-month internship.

Kettering University

Kettering University offers 14 undergraduate and five graduate degree programs, as well as a multitude of minors and concentrations in engineering, business, and science. In 2016, Kettering was ranked 31st among regional universities in the Midwest by U.S. News and World Report, while its graduate mechanical engineering programs received a 75th place ranking. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in automotive engineering design and a Master of Science in Engineering in Automotive Systems. Students within the automotive programs work closely with the Society of Automotive Engineers.


Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis is home to the 105th best undergraduate engineering program and the 100th best graduate engineering programs, according to 2016 rankings by U.S. News and World Report. The university offers a Bachelor of Science and Master of Science program in motor sports engineering. Coursework for both programs is taught by professors with racing experience. Curricula also include extensive hands-on training through internships and class projects, centered around the area's racing history. For undergraduates majoring in other engineering disciplines, such as mechanical, electrical, or computer engineering technology, the university offers a motor sports engineering certificate.

Auto Design and Engineering Schools

Several more highly rated colleges also offer degrees related to automotive design and engineering.

College/University Distinction Location
Michigan Technical University Houses a master's degree program focused specifically on engineering hybrid and electric vehicles Houghton, MI
Texas A&M University Students can participate in cooperative education experiences via three master's degree programs and one doctoral program in mechanical engineering College Station, TX
University of California - Davis Students gain the skills needed to work towards solving real-world problems, such as designing clean-running vehicles Davis, CA
University of Michigan Engineering programs are consistently ranked as one of the top ten in the nation by U.S. News and World Report Ann Arbor, MI

Several top schools in the country offer programs in automotive engineering or a similar field, including Clemson University, Kettering University, and Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis.

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