The 27 colleges where engineering students go on to earn the most money

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Students celebrate commencement at Stanford University.
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Stanford University/Facebook

At Columbia University, most undergraduate students must pass a swim test in order to graduate.

Engineering students at the school’s Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science, however, are not required to complete the test.

The reason? Well, in the event of a flood, engineering students could simply whip up a bridge or a boat to escape the raging water (at least, that’s what the tour guides at Columbia will jokingly tell you).

Exemption from the swim test isn’t the only perk of majoring in engineering at Columbia. Graduates of this program also typically go on to earn pretty hefty paychecks.

We recently reviewed PayScale’s latest College Salary Report to get a sense of which school’s engineering students go on to earn the most money – and found that Columbia landed the No. 5 spot.

PayScale, the creator of the world’s largest compensation database, looked at the starting and mid-career pay for over a million college grads – including professionals who graduated with a bachelor’s from 963 colleges and universities.

Its College Salary Report, which was compiled using data from employees who successfully completed PayScale’s employee survey, sorts the results by school, degree, and college major.

Here are the 27 schools where students with a bachelor’s in engineering go on to earn the most money 10-plus years into their career:


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Notre Dame Admissions/Facebook

27. University of Notre Dame

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $65,500

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $124,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 8,448


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Flickr/stephen_d_luke

25. (tie) Cornell University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $73,000

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $125,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 14,282


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UCLA/Facebook

25. (tie) University of California – Los Angeles

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $73,000

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $125,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 27,565


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University of Pennsylvania/Facebook

22. (tie) University of Pennsylvania

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $70,500

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $127,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 11,548


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Northwestern University/Facebook

22. (tie) Northwestern University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $71,200

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $127,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 9,048


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Facebook/NYU

22. (tie) New York University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $65,200

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $127,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 16,483


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Texas Tech/Facebook

19. (tie) Texas Tech University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $67,400

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $128,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 28,632


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Wikimedia Commons

19. (tie) United States Military Academy at West Point

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $71,800

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $128,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,414


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Washington University in St. Louis/Facebook

19. (tie) Washington University in St. Louis

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $66,600

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $128,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,401


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University of Hartford/Facebook

14. (tie) University of Hartford

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $61,900

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $130,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,180


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Flickr/Miles Gehm

14. (tie) Carnegie Mellon University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $71,400

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $130,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,888


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Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)/Facebook

14. (tie) Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $77,500

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $130,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,512


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Tufts University/Facebook

14. (tie) Tufts University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $67,700

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $130,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,177


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(vincent desjardins)/flickr

14. (tie) Cooper Union for The Advancement of Science and Art

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $69,500

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $130,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 893


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UC San Diego/Facebook

12. (tie) University of California, San Diego

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $68000

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $131,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 24,810


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Manhattan College/Facebook

12. (tie) Manhattan College

Early career median pay for engineering majors:$63,600

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $131,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 3,471


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BucknellU/Facebook

11. Bucknell University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $63,900

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $132,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 3,565


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UC Berkeley/Facebook

10. University of California, Berkeley

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $77,800

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $135,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 27,126


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J. Meric/Getty Images

9. University of California, Santa Barbara

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $70,800

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $137,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 20,238


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Facebook/Boston University Residence Life

8. Boston University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $65,400

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $138,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 18,017


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United States Naval Academy/Facebook

7. United States Naval Academy at Annapolis

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $82,700

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors:$139,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 4,511


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University of Virginia/Facebook

6. University of Virginia

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $67,500

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $140,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 16,483


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Columbia University in the City of New York/Facebook

5. Columbia University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $74,000

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $142,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 8,100


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SUNY Maritime College/Facebook

3. (tie) SUNY Maritime College

Early career median pay for engineering majors:$65,000

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $143,000

Sector: Public

Undergraduate enrollment: 1,641


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Flickr/Kevin Ceballos

3. (tie) Duke University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $75,100

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $143,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 6,626


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Princeton University/Facebook

2. Princeton University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $73,200

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $144,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 5,391


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Stanford University/Facebook

1. Stanford University

Early career median pay for engineering majors: $74,200

Mid-career median pay for engineering majors: $153,000

Sector: Private

Undergraduate enrollment: 7,019