Is Admission To A Quality Engineering School Hard?

A set of engineering textbooks and study materials surrounded by scientific equipment.

Are you wondering how tough it is to get into a top engineering school? Quality engineering programs are known for their strict admission standards and intense competition.

This article will break down what it takes to join the ranks of aspiring quality engineers, from education requirements to application tips.

Admission to a quality engineering school can be challenging due to the rigorous academic requirements and competitive nature of the programs. The classes and coursework in engineering programs are known to be challenging and require significant time and effort to succeed.

Read on and discover if you have what it takes!

Key Takeaways

  • Getting into a top engineering school is tough because many students apply and there are not many spots.
  • Engineering majors must work hard in math and science, spend extra hours studying, and manage heavy class loads.
  • After graduation, it can be hard for engineers to find jobs right away. Competition is fierce.
  • Quality engineers need an associate degree to start. They can then learn more on the job or get special certificates to advance their careers.
  • Many online courses help future quality engineers learn important skills. Some affordable universities offer good programs too.

The Reality of Engineering as a Major

A cluttered office desk with engineering textbooks, computer screens, and tools.

Engineering is a popular major with high competition and a high attrition rate. After graduation, there are limited job opportunities and the education often lacks well-roundedness.

Additionally, the work is mainly office-based. If you want to learn more about the realities of engineering as a major, keep reading for more insights and information.

High number of engineering students

Many students choose to major in engineering each year. They bring a mix of excitement and talent to the field. However, this also means that competition is high. Engineering schools typically see a large pool of applicants for limited spots.

With so many aiming for careers in industrial engineering and other areas, it’s essential to stand out. Good grades, especially in math and science, can help make your application stronger.

Also important are extracurricular activities related to engineering that demonstrate passion and commitment.

High attrition rate

A lot of engineering students drop out before they finish their degrees. The classes are tough, and the work piles up fast. Some find the math and science too hard to keep up with.

This makes them feel overwhelmed and some decide to leave school.

Engineering majors need a lot of time for studying. Projects, labs, and exams demand extra hours each week. It’s a big commitment that not everyone can handle. Sticking it out takes determination and support from teachers and peers alike.

Limited job opportunities after graduation

Finding a job after graduation can be tough for new engineers. The market might not have many openings, especially in specific engineering fields. Sometimes there are too many graduates for too few positions.

This means competition is tight and not everyone lands their dream job right away. You need to stand out with great skills and maybe even some experience.

Even quality engineers face this challenge despite their specialized skills. They ensure products meet standards, but that doesn’t guarantee a job will wait for them when school ends.

It’s important to network while studying and look into internships early on. These steps could give you an edge over others fighting for the same jobs.

Lack of well-rounded education

Engineering programs often focus heavily on technical and specialized coursework, leaving little room for exposure to other disciplines. This narrow focus may limit your overall academic experience and growth.

Understanding broader subjects like humanities, social sciences or arts can enrich your problem-solving skills and make you a more adaptable and empathetic engineer.

Balancing technical proficiency with a well-rounded education will not only set you apart in the job market but also enhance your ability to communicate effectively with diverse stakeholders.

Office-based work

Quality engineering often involves office-based work, where you’ll use computers and specialized software to analyze data, create reports, and communicate with team members. This setting allows for collaboration and problem-solving within a structured environment.

As a quality engineer, you may also spend time in manufacturing facilities to inspect processes and products, ensuring they meet the required standards. Maintaining accuracy, attention to detail, and effective communication are essential skills for success in this role.

Remember that being organized and adaptable can help manage multiple tasks efficiently while working in an office setting as a quality engineer. Additionally, developing strong interpersonal skills will allow you to engage effectively with colleagues from diverse backgrounds and disciplines.

Education and Training Requirements for Quality Engineers

A photo of precision measuring tools and quality control documentation on a workbench.

Quality engineers typically require an associate degree in quality engineering or a related field. Entry-level positions often serve as the stepping stone to gaining on-the-job experience and developing key skills.

Additionally, obtaining certification can further enhance your credentials as a quality engineer.

Associate degree in quality engineering

An associate degree in quality engineering is a great starting point for your career. This two-year program provides the fundamental knowledge and skills needed for entry-level positions in the field.

You’ll learn about quality control, manufacturing processes, and problem-solving techniques, giving you a solid foundation to build upon. Moreover, obtaining an associate degree can pave the way for further education or on-the-job experience to advance your career as a quality engineer.

– Entry-level positions

Entry-level positions

To start your career as a quality engineer, an associate degree in quality engineering is the basic requirement. Once you obtain your degree, you can apply for entry-level positions in various industries such as manufacturing, healthcare, and technology.

Gain on-the-job experience to enhance your skills and work towards obtaining relevant certifications to advance in this field. Remember that dedication and continuous learning are key elements for success in entry-level positions.

As a student aspiring to become a quality engineer, securing an entry-level position will give you practical exposure to the industry. Furthering your education beyond an associate degree and continuously developing your skills will increase opportunities for career growth within the field of quality engineering.

On-the-job experience

Quality engineers gain valuable on-the-job experience by working in entry-level positions, where they apply their skills to real-world projects. This hands-on experience is crucial for developing problem-solving and analytical abilities, along with understanding the practical application of engineering principles.

With dedication and hard work, quality engineers can further enhance their expertise and advance in their careers through continuous learning and skill development.

Moreover, this practical training equips quality engineers with the necessary knowledge to obtain industry-specific certifications, which are highly valued by employers. By gaining exposure to various aspects of quality engineering through on-the-job experience, students entering this field can develop a well-rounded set of skills that will prepare them for the demands of a career as a quality engineer.

Skills development

Developing strong skills is crucial for success as a quality engineer. Sharpen your problem-solving abilities by practicing solving complex engineering problems. Enhance your analytical skills through hands-on experience and real-world applications, preparing you to tackle diverse challenges in the field.

Hone your understanding of engineering principles by continually seeking opportunities to apply them in practical scenarios, which will help solidify your knowledge and expertise.

Additionally, focus on improving your communication and teamwork skills, as these are essential for collaborating with cross-functional teams and effectively conveying technical information to non-technical stakeholders.


Obtaining certification as a quality engineer can boost your career prospects. It demonstrates expertise and commitment to potential employers. Relevant certifications include Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) and Six Sigma Green Belt, enhancing your technical skills and credibility in the field.

To excel as a quality engineer, consider pursuing certifications that align with industry standards — this showcases your dedication to maintaining high-quality standards in product development and manufacturing processes.

Additionally, obtaining relevant certifications may open doors to higher-paying positions within the engineering industry.

Best Colleges and Majors for Quality Engineers

Discover the top universities for quality engineering and explore the 20 best online courses available. Learn about the most affordable options for pursuing a degree in quality engineering.

Top universities for quality engineering

Some top universities for quality engineering are:

  1. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT): Known for its strong engineering programs and cutting-edge research facilities.
  2. Stanford University: Offers exceptional resources and opportunities for engineering students, with a focus on innovation and practical application.
  3. University of California, Berkeley: Renowned for its comprehensive engineering curriculum and strong industry connections.
  4. Georgia Institute of Technology: Offers diverse specializations in quality engineering and provides extensive hands-on experience.
  5. Purdue University: Recognized for its rigorous engineering programs and emphasis on problem-solving skills.
  6. Carnegie Mellon University: Known for its interdisciplinary approach to engineering education, integrating technology and business principles.
  7. University of Michigan – Ann Arbor: Provides a wide range of quality engineering courses and access to state-of-the-art laboratories.
  8. California Institute of Technology (Caltech): Offers small class sizes and a collaborative environment for high-achieving engineering students.
  9. Texas A&M University: Known for its strong ties to industry and practical training opportunities in the field of quality engineering.
  10. Cornell University: Offers a dynamic learning environment with a focus on research-driven solutions and real-world applications in quality engineering.

20 best online courses for quality engineers

Considering the importance of quality engineering, it’s essential to equip yourself with the right skills and knowledge. Here are the 20 best online courses that can help you excel in your journey as a quality engineer:

  1. “Quality Engineering Basics” – Master fundamental concepts and principles.
  2. “Statistical Process Control (SPC)” – Learn about variability control in manufacturing processes.
  3. Six Sigma Green Belt Certification” – Acquire problem-solving and process improvement skills.
  4. “Lean Manufacturing Principles” – Understand how to eliminate waste and maximize value.
  5. “Root Cause Analysis” – Develop expertise in identifying and addressing underlying issues.
  6. “ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Management System” – Gain insights into international quality standards.
  7. “Design of Experiments (DOE)” – Learn to efficiently plan experiments for process optimization.
  8. “Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA)” – Enhance risk assessment capabilities.
  9. “Measurement Systems Analysis (MSA)” – Master techniques for evaluating measurement processes.
  10. “Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)” – Understand key elements of effective product development.
  11. “Total Quality Management (TQM)” – Explore comprehensive approaches to quality improvement.
  12. “Reliability Engineering Fundamentals” – Gain expertise in ensuring system reliability and durability.
  13. “Certified Quality Engineer (CQE) Exam Preparation” – Prepare for professional certification in quality engineering.
  14. “Quality Auditing Techniques” – Learn strategies for evaluating organizational compliance with standards.
  15. “Supply Chain Quality Management” – Understand how quality management applies across supply chains.
  16. “Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing (GD&T)” – Master the language of engineering drawings to ensure part geometries meet design specifications.
  17. “Risk Management for Engineers” – Develop risk assessment and mitigation skills specific to engineering projects.
  18. “Advanced Statistical Methods for Quality Improvement” – Deepen your understanding of statistical tools for quality enhancement.
  19. “Software Quality Assurance” – Gain insights into ensuring software products meet desired quality requirements.
  20. “Ethics in Engineering Practice” – Explore ethical considerations relevant to engineering roles.

Most affordable universities

When you’re aiming for a career in engineering without breaking the bank, affordability becomes a key factor in choosing a university. Here’s a summary of the most budget-friendly schools where you can pursue quality engineering:

UniversityLocationTuition (In-State)Tuition (Out-of-State)Notable Programs
New Mexico Institute of Mining and TechnologySocorro, NM$8,156$23,524Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
California State University, Long BeachLong Beach, CA$6,834$18,714Master of Science in Engineering Management
North Carolina State UniversityRaleigh, NC$9,101$29,220Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering
University of WyomingLaramie, WY$5,791$18,151Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering
Florida Polytechnic UniversityLakeland, FL$4,940$4,940Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering

Keep in mind the tuition rates are subject to change, and additional fees may apply. Contact each university directly for the most current information. Strong grades in math and science, along with relevant extracurriculars, will bolster your application to these affordable institutions. Remember, with dedication and hard work, an engineering degree from these universities is within your reach.

Tips for Getting Accepted into Engineering School

Research and organize your application documents, complete the online application on time, prepare for interviews, and regularly check your admission status. These tips will help you navigate the competitive process of getting accepted into a quality engineering school.

Research and organize application documents

Start by researching the admission requirements for engineering schools you’re interested in. Organize your application documents, such as transcripts, recommendation letters, and personal statements.

Make sure to highlight your achievements and relevant experiences. This will help present a strong application package that showcases your passion for engineering and sets you apart from other applicants.

Understanding the specific requirements and preparing a well-organized application will greatly increase your chances of getting accepted into the quality engineering school of your choice.

Complete online application on time

Once you have carefully researched and organized all your application documents, the next crucial step is to ensure that you complete your online application on time. Missing the deadline can jeopardize your chances of getting into a quality engineering school.

Be proactive in gathering all required materials and filling out the application accurately to showcase your commitment and readiness for the program. Remember that punctuality is key in demonstrating your responsibility as a potential engineering student.

After completing your online application, take some time to review it thoroughly before submission. Double-check for any errors or missing information to present yourself in the best possible light to the admissions committee.

Prepare for interview

Research the potential questions that may be asked during a quality engineering school interview, so you can prepare thoughtful and relevant responses. Practice your answers to these questions beforehand to build confidence and improve articulation.

Highlight your passion for engineering, problem-solving abilities, and relevant experiences or projects to showcase your dedication and suitability for the program. Dress professionally on the day of the interview and remember to ask insightful questions about the school or program to demonstrate your interest and engagement.

Ensure all application documents are well-organized before the interview, including your resume, portfolio (if applicable), academic transcripts, and letters of recommendation. Arrive early at the designated location with necessary materials such as identification, writing supplies, additional copies of documents if needed, so you can approach the interview feeling prepared and ready to impress.

Check admission status

To check your admission status, log in to the college or university’s online application portal using the credentials provided during your application process. Once logged in, navigate to the admissions or application status section to view updates on your submission.

Be sure to monitor any additional requirements or documents requested by the institution and promptly provide them for a timely review of your application. If you have not received a decision within the specified timeline, don’t hesitate to reach out directly to the admissions office for an update on your admission status.

Remember that following up shows your continued interest in attending their engineering program.


In conclusion, admission to a quality engineering school can be challenging. The demand for engineering students is high. It’s important to focus on strong grades in math and science courses as key factors for acceptance.

Prepare well for your interviews, organize your application documents thoroughly, and watch out for deadlines. With determination and hard work, achieving a career in engineering is within reach.


1. Is it hard to get into a quality engineering school?

Yes, getting into a quality engineering school can be challenging due to strong competition and high standards.

2. Do I need really good grades for admission to an engineering school?

Good grades are important for admission because they show your ability to handle difficult coursework.

3. What else besides good grades do I need for engineering school admissions?

You often need solid test scores, letters of recommendation, and extracurricular activities related to science or math.

4. Will joining clubs or teams help me get into an engineering college?

Joining clubs or teams can help by showing you’re well-rounded and dedicated, especially if they focus on STEM areas.

5. Can volunteering improve my chances of getting into an engineering program?

Volunteering can strengthen your application as it demonstrates character and a commitment to community involvement.

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