Imperial College London vs UCLA

Discussion in 'Education' started by selo1010, May 22, 2014.

  1. selo1010
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    selo1010 New Member

    Hello,

    I am a senior at my high school and received offers from Imperial College London and UCLA for aerospace engineering. I may want to specialise in ships later too. I am an international student so there is no big financial difference between them. However it is very hard to decide, can anyone who know the pros and cons of these colleges help?

    Thanks
     
  2. Ad Hoc
    Joined: Oct 2008
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    Hi Selo1010

    Imperial has a very good engineering dept. It is what is well known for.
    UCLA do you mean University College London....or of Los Angeles?...easy to mistype
     
  3. selo1010
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    selo1010 New Member

    It is UC Los Angeles
     
  4. Ad Hoc
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    Ad Hoc Naval Architect

    If you wish to start and end in Aero..probably UCLA would be the choice, especially owing to the proliferation of actual companies in its location. Mind you Cranfield & Southampton would be a good choice too for aero.

    If your bent is more towards ships either now or later, then Imperial and/or/UCL (UCL is where the RCNC train) would be the choice.
     
  5. jehardiman
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    jehardiman Senior Member

    London has better beer and mass transit. LA has better weather. Both have enough distractions for any student.

    I think it has been pointed out before that building connections in the field you want to end up in and your first position has more effect on where you end up than what school you go to, your diploma and GPA being equal. That said, certian companies and schools are more closely linked, i.e. that whole personal networking thing. And some positions require advanced degrees while in others they are avoided, so sometimes the Masters overshadows any undergrad school.
    Also consider that 4 years at college will change you more than the previous 4 years at secondary school...so plan accordingly.
     
  6. NavalSArtichoke
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    NavalSArtichoke Senior Member

    It's not clear what you mean by "I may want to specialize in ships later too."

    If you mean you want to study naval architecture or hydrodynamics, those disciplines, while similar to subjects studied by aerospace engineering students, are usually handled in different programs. I know you can't study naval architecture at UCLA (UC Berkeley has the Ocean Engineering program in the UC system), and I don't think you can study NA at UC London either. You should check with both schools and explain what it is exactly that you want to study.

    N.B.: I checked UC London's website, and they don't appear to offer any aerospace engineering undergrad programs, either. I'm at a loss then as to why you are considering applying there.
     
  7. Petros
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    Petros Senior Member

    I received my engineering degree from California State University at Long Beach in 1982, and worked in both automotive and aerospace engineering in the Los Angeles area for a number of years. At that time none of the big engineering employers considered degrees from foreign universities as desirable as a domestic school. I do not know if that is true today, but it would reflect the earlier statement to go to school near the industry you intended to eventually work in. I think the employers familiarity with the local schools is the reason for the bias. Also, back when I graduated, the UCLA engineering program was not considered a "hand-on" engineering school, more geared towards research rather than designing things that have to work.

    If you intended to consider employment in different fields than you do not want a degree in either NA or aerospace engineering, they are specialized to their industry. My degree is in mechanical engineering and I have worked in both aerospace, automotive, consumer products, and in civil and biding design firms, and have been self employed as an engineering consultant for over 20 years. This career flexibility would not have as easy if I had a degree in aerospace engineering or NA.
     

  8. Richard Woods
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    Richard Woods Woods Designs

    It is nearly 40 years since I was an engineering student at Imperial. I later studied yacht design at Southampton.

    I would suggest that the change in lifestyle you will face and your social activities were just as important as the course itself, and are certainly more of a factor to consider than the course fees. After all many people say "being a student was the best time of my life". I certainly enjoyed my time at IC. I don't much enjoy time spent in the smog and traffic of LA.

    Richard Woods of Woods Designs

    www.sailingcatamarans.com
     
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