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Profile: Georgia Institute of Technology

Founded in 1885 as a trade school, the Georgia Institute of Technology recently celebrated its 125th anniversary. U.S. News & World Report includes ten of Tech’s undergraduate engineering programs in its top ten lists, with biomedical engineering rated third and industrial/manufacturing engineering rated first. Overall, Georgia Tech ranked seventh among public universities; it has secured a top ten spot for more than a decade.

Upwards of 20,000 students are enrolled at Tech’s historic, 450-acre campus in Midtown. Undergraduate and graduate degrees are offered through colleges of architecture, computing, engineering, management, sciences, and liberal arts. Scheduled to open this summer is the $85 million, 230,000-square-foot Clough Undergraduate Learning Commons.

Tech, which recently celebrated its fiftieth year of matriculating African American students, has been recognized by Diverse: Issues in Higher Education as the second-highest producer of bachelor’s engineering degrees to both blacks and minorities in general, and third-highest to Asian Americans. Only 30 percent of undergraduates are female, but with initiatives such as the Women in Engineering recruitment program, Tech graduates more female engineers than any other public school in the nation.

Georgia Tech’s internship/co-op program has been selected by U.S. News & World Report as a top “academic program to look for” in 2011. Graduating in five years rather than four, co-op students alternate semesters between classroom and work experiences and often earn a job offer upon graduation. Top participating employers include GE, Delta, and Southern Company.

Though the Wall Street Journal listed Tech among its top twenty-five recruiter schools in 2010, such opportunity doesn’t come without hard work: The school was also chosen as one of the fifty most stressful colleges by the Daily Beast.

Twenty-six percent of students join one of forty-eight Greek organizations, and the Office of Student Involvement oversees more than 350 organizations. Extracurricular activities include free midnight breakfasts during finals, movie showings, and concerts. Fall Saturdays wouldn’t be complete without a day of tailgating and cheering on the Ramblin’ Wreck football team, which captured the 2009 Atlantic Coast Conference championship.

Photograph courtesy of Georgia Institute of Technology