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Best Military Colleges for Engineering

Nov 30, 2017

The best military colleges for engineering are located in various states in the country. Information on institution types, tuition costs, and military benefits will provide an overview for current college seekers

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The table below details six of the best military colleges offering an education in engineering, some of which are classified as academies. All of these schools were found through U.S. News and World Report's 2018 Best Undergraduate Engineering Program Rankings list. One of these institutes might be relevant options for individuals wanting to enlist as a degree holder.

School Comparison

School Name Institution Type Location In-State Tuition (2016-2017)* Tuition Assistance/Military Benefits
U.S. Military Academy 4-year, public West Point, New York N/A Fulbright Scholarship, East-West Scholarship, annual salary, free room and board, Center for Enhanced Performance, Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, on-campus job assignment opportunities, engineering club
U.S. Air Force Academy 4-year, public USAFA, Colorado N/A Cadet Sponsor Program, Counseling and Advising, Academic Success Center, cadet clubs, graduate scholarships
U.S. Naval Academy 4-year, public Annapolis, Maryland N/A Midshipmen Development Center, financial advice seminars, monthly stipend, free room and board, free medical and dental care, STEM Center for Education and Outreach, National Society of Black Engineers, Society of American Military Engineers, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers
U.S. Merchant Marine Academy 4-year, public Kings Point, New York $1,167 Free room and board, free books, free uniforms, counseling, career services, Midshipman Intervention Team
Citadel Military College of South Carolina 4-year, public Charleston, South Carolina $11,734 Engineering Mentor Connection, Veterans Center, Student Veterans Association, Academic Support Center, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Board Scholarship, Cadet Scholarships, Active Duty and Veteran Scholarships, Graduate Student Scholarships, academic advising, career center, counseling
Virginia Military Institute 4-year, public Lexington, Virginia $17,492 Center for Leadership and Ethics, Institute Scholars Program, Miller Academic Center, Institute Honors program, advising, disability services, career services, writing center, math resource center

Source: *National Center for Education Statistics (NCES)

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Overview of the Best Military Colleges for Engineering

For those who want to join or continue serving in the military as an engineer, they may find that one of these schools is an ideal place to obtain a degree. While all of these schools offer engineering programs, some are academically exclusive to certain branches in the military, whether it's an air force, marine, or naval academy. Aspiring service members should consider all resources related to tuition funding and military benefits before making a definite decision.

U.S. Military Academy

As one of the best military colleges for engineering, the U.S. Military Academy serves a population of 4,389 high school graduates and army-affiliated members, according to 2016-2017 NCES reports. Attending cadets have access to various degree programs, including those related to Civil Engineering, Systems Engineering, and Electrical Engineering, all of which are approved by academic experts from the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. Education and room and board is free, and cadets are paid an annual salary as members in training. For the most part, engineering students will have access to on-campus employment opportunities, the Civilian Personnel Advisory Center, and several organizations like the Civil and Military Engineering Club. However, for those who decide they would like to continue graduate school overseas, a Fulbright or East-West Scholarship will help fund such pursuits.

U.S. Air Force Academy

The U.S. Air Force Academy is a military college offering students many bachelor's degree opportunities, including those in engineering. Students can take advantage of the campus's Academic Success Center when seeking assistance in writing and studying. In addition to academic opportunities, this institution provides Counseling and Advising services to cadets in training, especially as it pertains to anxiety and fear brought on by the academy life. The Cadet Sponsor Program is also available to students who need mentoring from local air force-connected volunteers and residents. The NCES stated that nearly 4,300 air force trainees enrolled into this academy in 2016, so future engineering students can look forward to making up part of that college community.

U.S. Naval Academy

At the U.S. Naval Academy, which had a student population of 4,528 learners in 2016-2017, engineering students are not only prepared for a career in the navy but also given the necessary tools to succeed in their scholastics. The Midshipmen Development Center at this military college encourages the professional development of cadets through counseling, training, and other helpful services. The school also offers cadets free tuition, health care, room and board, and a monthly allowance of $100, which tends to increase each year. Financial advice seminars are also provided to students who want help with money-related concerns like taxes or loans. For those in need of social support, certain organizations cater to the engineering college community, such as the National Society of Black Engineers, Society of American Military Engineers, and Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Individuals in need of a military college for engineers may want to consider the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. In this particular branch, future engineers are trained and educated to fulfill a career position in the U.S. Coast Guard. While school fees related to books, uniforms, tuition, and room and board are at no cost to attendants, other charges related to technology, activities, licensing, and personal expenses are not included. A support service called the Midshipman Intervention Team is usually helpful for students who have mental or emotional difficulties with matters that are related and unrelated to their academics. Overall, the USMMA offered degree opportunities to more than 920 midshipmen in 2016-2017, some being engineering majors.

Citadel Military College of South Carolina

With a little more than 3,600 students registered in 2016-2017, Citadel Military College is known to also cater to a smaller population of aspiring engineering degree holders at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Academic advising, career consulting, and counseling resources are made available to veteran, transfer, or cadet students. The Academic Support Center is used by students struggling with certain subjects or studying techniques. More specifically, engineering students can gain better knowledge, guidance, and understanding of the major or career field with the help of a professional advisor provided by the Engineering Mentor Connection. Although many scholarship options exist for students who are veterans, enrolled graduates, or cadets, the Electrical and Computer Engineering Advisory Board Scholarship awards funds to qualifying candidates, with top priority given to juniors and seniors.

Virginia Military Institute

College-bound engineering students wanting to attend a military university may be intrigued by some of the resources offered at the Virginia Military Institute. According to the NCES, in 2016, this military school was populated with only 1,713 cadets pursuing bachelor's degrees, including educational opportunities to students enrolled as engineering majors. Programs related to career advice, enrollment, and disability services provide support to students. Additionally, the Miller Academic Center ensures students succeed and thrive while learning at the college level. For those who would like to attend VMI, the Institute Scholars Program is a notable funding opportunity helping cover school fees and tuition costs.

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