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kbrook0917

NC State or VTech for Aerospace Engineering

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Hey everyone I recently got accepted to NC state and Virginia tech for a masters of science in aerospace engineering. I know that the department of aerospace engineering is rated much higher at VT than at NC State and I think I prefer who I would be working under at VT possibly more than at State, but I think I like the Raleigh area more as well as the campus and I will have to fight for funding at both places in the upcoming fall and I am in state for NC state. I also understand that I will only be at the school for two years and I am there to learn not be out and about all the time. Still I was wondering what everyone else's thoughts about the two schools were and if anyone could add some input to help me decide.

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Congratulations on your acceptance. As someone who is in some boat of choosing a PhD program in aerospace engineering (I am deciding between Virginia Tech and other schools too). My background is in aerodynamics and structural dynamics so I can give you some input:-

1. Both schools have strong experimental facilities but in different areas. NC state specializes in aerodynamics (more towards high-speed flows) and Virginia Tech in aeroacoustics (amazing facility).

2. Virginia Tech has strong aeroelasticity (structural dynamics) research groups.

3. Blacksburg is an isolated town whereas Raleigh is more of a big city so you could choose according to your preference.

4. Both schools are well respected, even though Virginia Tech is slightly higher, it depends on what would like to do with your MS degree. You can continue for a PhD at both places, though funding might slightly easier at Virginia Tech. In terms of job, Virginia Tech might present better opportunities based on what current students and alumni have told me but I don't know much about NC state. 

5. Most importantly it depends upon what area you would like to specialize in.

I hope this might be of some help. Let me know if you would like to talk more. 

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On 3/11/2019 at 4:42 PM, kbrook0917 said:

Hey everyone I recently got accepted to NC state and Virginia tech for a masters of science in aerospace engineering. I know that the department of aerospace engineering is rated much higher at VT than at NC State and I think I prefer who I would be working under at VT possibly more than at State, but I think I like the Raleigh area more as well as the campus and I will have to fight for funding at both places in the upcoming fall and I am in state for NC state. I also understand that I will only be at the school for two years and I am there to learn not be out and about all the time. Still I was wondering what everyone else's thoughts about the two schools were and if anyone could add some input to help me decide.

I know that NC State has a big wind tunnel where they test the aerodynamics, of various samples I am assuming (you can hear it when it is on when walking around Centennial Campus). I went to NC State for my undergrad, but have visited VT many times because I thought I would get in for my undergrad (haha, oh well). Both places are cool, but very different in their atmospheres. They both have big huge school spirit, but I have feeling VT might be a little bit more since it is a big football school. As @Windeolus said, VT is in an isolated town, but it is very pretty, mountainous area. They have plenty of restaurants, but there is not much to do beyond what happens at VT. Raleigh is a small city with other small cities around it (Durham and Chapel Hill), so there is a lot to do in the area (museums, concerts, tons of city-run activities, parades, parks, various types of restaurants, etc.). However, if you want to focus on school, VT might be the best place since there will be less distractions. However, Centennial Campus is in a more secluded part of Raleigh, soooo.

I will say that VT has a slightly bigger reputation than NC State, but the College of Engineering at NC State has definitely improved and I am sure the Aerospace Engineering Department is great.

I can see why you are having a hard time choosing. Good luck and congrats on your acceptances!

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As a Hokie alum I can add that Blacksburg is a wonderful town to study in.  For the two years you will be there you will find ample places to buckle down and study but also plenty of distractions for your free time.  There are a ton of restaurants in the 16 blocks that make up downtown, and beyond, as well as a new movie theater.  There are great hiking trails around managed by the VT Outdoor Club.  Roanoke isn't so far away to make it a hassle getting out there, where there are museums and yet more things to take advantage of.  Football weekends in town are fun even if you don't go to the game, because all of the town is dressed up in orange and maroon, and while the alumni come back for those weekends the roads don't get swamped with traffic.  Though I got my degree in electrical engineering I know that the school continues to invest a lot in Aerospace.  They recently opened up an outdoor test-space for drones and two new lab-spaces for aerospace.

So, and I say this with no small amount of bias, I think you can't go wrong with VT :)

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