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Which Engineering Schools Are in the Chicago, IL Area?

Learn about engineering schools located in Chicago, Illinois. Read about three schools and the disciplines you can study at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Get the facts on Chicago colleges that offer engineering programs. Learn about the degree programs available in the region, from the bachelor's level to doctorate, and find out about required courses and estimated costs.

What You Need to Know

Engineering bachelor's degree programs in the Chicago area offer you several engineering discipline choices. Regardless of which specialty you pursue, these programs require four years of full-time classes, and your coursework includes engineering core courses, classes in your engineering specialty and general education requirements. A bachelor's program may have opportunities for students to be involved with research or an internship.

Master's degree programs also offer several choices of specialty, and you could focus your classes on a specific research project or question. Some schools may offer programs through evening classes or online. The time needed to complete the degree depends on which engineering specialty you study.

Doctoral programs require you to take exams to test your knowledge, and you often complete a capstone project. Doctoral students must also write and defend a dissertation to complete the program. Read on to explore some 4-year, public and private schools in the Chicago area that offer undergraduate and graduate engineering programs.

Bachelor's Degree Programs in Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago

During your first two years at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC), you complete math and science requirements, along with foundational engineering courses. In your final two years, coursework is specific to your engineering major. Although the curriculum was designed to be completed in four years of concentrated work, because of co-op programs and other factors, the average completion time is about five years. If you choose to study bioengineering, you'll need to choose a concentration in cell and tissue engineering, bioinformatics or neural engineering.

  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Discipline: Bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, engineering physics, engineering management, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Tuition and Fees: $13,764 per year for residents, $26,980 for non-residents (2018-2019)
  • School Type: 4 year, public; 20,783 undergraduates

Illinois Institute of Technology

At the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), you'll begin your discipline courses in your sophomore year. If you have a GPA of 3.0 or higher, you can participate in the Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program. There are 4 institutes and 26 research centers connected with the engineering school. Areas of research you can explore include particle physics, the mechanisms of diabetes, synthetic soft matter, synchrotron radiation, vortex-surface interactions and thermal processing.

  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Discipline: Aerospace engineering, architectural engineering, biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Tuition and Fees: $47,646 per year (2018-2019)
  • School Type: 4 year, private, not-for-profit; 3,026 undergraduates

Northwestern University

As part of your freshman curriculum, you'll take part in the Engineering First program which will introduce you to foundations in engineering analysis and design. You'll also have opportunities to participate in co-op and internship programs. This school not only allows undergrads to participate in research, it also helps students find funding for undergraduate research projects. Research centers and institutes include the Center for Photonic Communications and Computing, the Center for Quantum Devices, the Faulk Center for Molecular Therapeutics and the Infrastructure Technology Institute.

  • Degree: Bachelor of Science
  • Discipline: Biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, manufacturing and design engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering
  • Program Length: 4 years
  • Tuition: $54,568 per year (2018-2019)
  • School Type: 4 year, private, not-for-profit, 8,642 undergraduates

Master's Degree Programs in Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago

Most graduate programs at UIC allow you to choose an area of specialization. For example, civil engineers can specialize in environmental and water resources, geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering, structural engineering or transportation engineering. Research centers and facilities at this school include the Electronic Visualization Laboratory, the Energy Resources Center and the Nanotechnology Core Facility. The Master of Engineering in Energy Engineering program is offered through evening classes.

  • Degree: Master of Engineering in Energy Engineering, Master of Science (M.S.)
  • Discipline: Bioengineering, chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering (All for M.S.)
  • Program Length: 2 years
  • Tuition: $13,612 per year for residents, $23,299 per year for non-residents (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in engineering or related field
  • Requirements: GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statement
  • School Type: 4 year, public; about 10,900 graduate students

Illinois Institute of Technology

Some of these programs allow you to choose an area of concentration within your discipline. For example, the chemical engineering department offers concentration areas like biological and pharmaceutical engineering. Disciplines that don't offer concentrations, such as mechanical and aerospace engineering, have flexible curricula that allow you to design a program that meets your career goals. Several of the Master of Science engineering programs are also offered through an online delivery format.

  • Degree: Master of Science
  • Discipline: Chemical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, food processes engineering, manufacturing engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering
  • Tuition: $29,328 per year (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in engineering or related field
  • Requirements: GRE scores, transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation
  • School Type: 4 year, private, not-for-profit; 3,727 graduate students

Doctorate Programs in Chicago

Illinois Institute of Technology

Within your first three semesters at IIT you must take a qualifying exam. This exam assesses your strengths and weaknesses and may be used to guide your curriculum choices. This school is home to a wide variety of research centers and facilities including the Pritzker Institute of Biomedical Science and Engineering, the Wanger Institute for Sustainable Energy Research, the Center for Processing Innovation and the Center for Diabetes Research and Policy. The capstone requirement for these programs is the completion and defense of a doctoral thesis.

  • Degree: Doctor of Philosophy
  • Discipline: Biomedical, chemical and biological engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, materials science and engineering, mechanical and aerospace engineering
  • Tuition: $29,328 per year (2018-2019)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in engineering or related field
  • Requirements: GRE scores, transcripts, personal statement, letters of recommendation
  • School Type: 4 year, private, not-for-profit; 3,727 graduate students

To summarize, the University of Illinois at Chicago, Illinois Institute of Technology, and Northwestern University all offer BS degree programs in various concentration within engineering, such as computer engineering, aerospace engineering, and civil engineering. The University of Illinois also provides a master's degree program in engineering, while IIT has both master's and doctoral degree programs in engineering.