Thursday, September 9, 2010

The First Engineering School

It may come to a surprise to many to learn that the United States Military Academy at West Point was the country's first engineering college. On March 1, 1802, Congress authorized President Thomas Jefferson to create a corps of engineers to be :stationed at West Point ... and shall constitute a military academy."
Thus West Point became the first engineering school and its graduates helped build much of America's infrastructure before the Civil War. Rensselear Polytechnic Institute became the first private engineering school in 1824 followed five years later by Rochester Institute of Technology. The United States Naval Academy was established in 1845.

Most of today's premier engineering schools (arranged in order of U.S. News & World Report rankings for schools with doctorate programs) were founded after the Civil War: MIT (1861), Standford (1885), University of California - Berkeley (1868), California Institute of Technology (1891), Georgia Institute of Technology (1885), University of Illinois - Urbana-Champaign (1867), University of Michigan - Ann Arbor (1817), Carnegie Mellon University (1900), Cornell University (1865), and Purdue University - West Lafayette (1869).

After more than two centuries, West Point's engineering program contains to be well respected ranking fourth in U.S. News and World Report's listing of engineering schools without doctorate programs.

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