Which Engineering Schools Are in the Chicago, IL Area?

Learn about engineering schools located in Chicago, Illinois. Read about the disciplines you can study and get career information for Chicago engineers. Schools offering Computer Engineering degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Engineering bachelor's degree programs 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 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.


Bachelor's Degree Programs in Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago

  • 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: $12,656 per year for residents, $25,046 for non-residents (2011-2012)
  • School Type: 4 year, public; about 17,000 undergraduates
  • Address: College of Engineering (M/C 159), 851 South Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607
  • Phone: 312-413-7623

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.

Illinois Institute of Technology

  • 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: $35,125 per year (2011-2012)
  • School Type: 4 year, private, not-for-profit; more than 2,700 undergraduates
  • Address: Armour College of Engineering, 10 West 33rd St., Perlstein Hall, Suite 224, Chicago, IL 60616
  • Phone: 312-567-3009

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.

Northwestern University

  • 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: $41,983 per year (2011-2012)
  • School Type: 4 year, private, not-for-profit, around 9,500 undergraduates
  • Address: McCormick School of Engineering and Applied Science, Technological Institute, 2145 Sheridan Rd., Evanston, IL 60208
  • Phone: 847-491-7379

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.


Master's Degree Programs in Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago

  • 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: $12,059 per year for residents, $22,355 per year for non-residents (2011-2012)
  • Prerequisites: Bachelor's degree in engineering or related field
  • Requirements: GRE scores, transcripts, letters of recommendation, personal statement
  • School Type: 4 year, public; about 11,200 graduate students
  • Address: College of Engineering (M/C 159), 851 South Morgan, Chicago, IL 60607
  • Phone: 312-413-7623

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.

Illinois Institute of Technology

  • 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: $19,008 per year (2011-2012)
  • 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; more than 5,000 graduates
  • Address: Armour College of Engineering, 10 West 33rd St., Perlstein Hall, Suite 224, Chicago, IL 60616
  • Phone: 312-567-3009

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.


Doctorate Programs in Chicago

Illinois Institute of Technology

  • 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: $19,008 per year (2011-2012)
  • 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; more than 5,000 graduate students
  • Address: Armour College of Engineering, 10 West 33rd St., Perlstein Hall, Suite 224, Chicago, IL 60616
  • Phone: 312-567-3009

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.


Education and Career Information for Engineers in the Chicago Area

Education, Training and Licensing Information for Chicago Engineers

In order to offer engineering services to the public in Illinois, you'll need to be professionally licensed. Typically, the first step in the process to become licensed is graduating from an ABET-accredited bachelor's degree program. Next, you must pass the Fundamentals of Engineering exam, accumulate four years work experience and pass the Principles and Practice of Engineering exam. You may become licensed with a degree from a non-ABET approved program but you will need to gain eight years of experience.

Career and Salary Information for Engineers

Both the salary and job outlooks varied significantly depending on the discipline. In May 2011, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Chicago-area biomedical engineers earned more than $74,000, while chemical engineers earned nearly $94,000 and industrial engineers earned around $73,000. Biomedical engineers were predicted to see a 62% increase from 2010-2020, while chemical engineers and industrial engineers were expected to see just a six percent increase over that time period.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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