Top Automotive Design and Engineering Schools: List of Top Programs

Learn about school rankings, program offerings and information for two leading schools in automotive design and engineering. Find out what makes these schools stand out, including training and hands-on experiences students can expect in each.

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School Overviews

Automotive design and engineering is commonly associated with mechanical engineering. A number of schools in the U.S. offer degrees, concentrations or coursework in this specialization within mechanical engineering departments. Top schools include Kettering University and Clemson University, both of which are ranked by U.S. News and World Report.

1. Clemson University in South Carolina

Clemson University was ranked #62 in the 2014 U.S. News & World Report national universities category. While the school's main campus is in Clemson, South Carolina, the automotive design programs are offered through the Department of Automotive Engineering on the school's Greenville campus. This department offers a Master of Science and a Ph.D. in Automotive Engineering and includes a student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers. Students learn both the design and the engineering of automobiles. They are also required to complete a 6-month internship.

2. Kettering University in Flint, Michigan

Over the past 11 years, Kettering University has consistently received a top ranking by U.S. News & World Report for its industrial/manufacturing undergraduate engineering program, and it was included in the 2014 list of best regional universities in the Midwest. The school's history is tied to General Motors Corporation, which owned the university until 1982.

Kettering University offers bachelor's and master's degree programs in engineering, business and science. Students can pursue a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering with a specialization in automotive engineering design and a Master of Science in Engineering - Automotive Systems. Students within the automotive programs work closely with the Society of Automotive Engineers.

Schools for Automotive Design and Engineering

College/University Distinction Location
Clemson University Clemson's automotive engineering program can be found on the same campus as the school's International Center for Automotive Research. Greenville, SC
Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis IU-PU offers both an undergraduate and graduate program specific to motorsports engineering with classes taught by professors with racing experience. Indianapolis, IN
Kettering University All students in the automotive engineering program must join the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE). Flint, MI
Michigan Technical University The school recently launched a new master's degree program focused specifically on engineering hybrid and electric vehicles. Houghton, MI
Texas A&M University Students are allowed the chance to participate in cooperative education experiences that can prepare them for real-world employment opportunities. College Station, TX
University of California, Davis Students gain the skills needed to work towards solving real-world problems, such as designing clean-running vehicles. Davis, CA
University of Michigan The University of Michigan's engineering department is consistently ranked as one of the top five in the nation. Ann Arbor, MI
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