Stevens Institute of Technology (visited 10/10/16)
“The Innovation University,” as Stevens calls itself, is located on a surprisingly attractive campus overlooking New York City. Parts of Hoboken are congested and hard to navigate, but the university is in a more residential area (just be careful of the narrow, one-way streets!).
The 3000 undergraduates (still skewed towards male, but better than the 70-30 ratio from a couple years ago) take full advantage of all the on- and off-campus offerings. Housing is guaranteed for all 4 years, but students are only required to live on campus for the first year. The university runs some off-campus apartments for students to lease; these are available only for a full-calendar year, great for students who are doing co-ops or internships. These are all within a 15-minute walk, and shuttles are available. New York City is only a 10-minute ride away on Path. “Off campus, students don’t miss Washington Street Wednesday. We can use our meal cards at participating restaurants. A meal there equals 1 meal swipe.” They also have NYC at their disposal, including discounted tickets for shows.
On-campus life is active, and students love the number of options. Some favorite events are:
- Techfest (fall) and Boken (spring)
- Habitat for Humanity Alternative Spring Break
- Castle Point Anime Convention (Spring): this was started by a student who asked to have it on campus; it is now one of the largest and draws 5000 people to campus.
- Ethnic Student Council’s Unity Carnival and Show
A little more than 1/3 of students go Greek here, and they’ve joined the Rethink Greek Movement which works towards getting away from hazing. There is 1 co-ed community service fraternity. The 26 DIII sports are evenly divided between men’s and women’s teams. Volleyball is really big here. They have a bowling alley on campus; it’s free for students and they serve free pizza on Tuesdays. “That’s a big draw,” said the tour guide.
Every student gets 3 advisors (academic, peer, and career) to help navigate social, academic, and additional options like internships, co-ops, and study abroad. Students can double major in anything across the 4 colleges except engineering (it’s too course-intensive):
- Arts and Letters: Most of these majors are interdisciplinary and combine some sort of technology component.
- Business: They offer 8 degrees including:
Computer Science and Cybersecurity (winner of a national award): They’ve seen a huge jump in applications for this school. There are 8 concentrations within Comp Sci.
- Game design is one of the most popular, and often will double major in VA&T to get the artistic aspects.
- Artificial Intelligence
- Mobile and Pervasive Computing
- Students can apply for a scholarship with the NSA in their freshman year. 15 are awarded to fund the rest of undergrad studies as well as graduate (when appropriate), a summer internship, and a job after graduation.
- Engineering and Science: Stevens started by offering only Mechanical Engineering (still one of the biggest majors). All Engineering students take the Design Spine for the first 3 semesters: they all take the same classes and work in groups on projects. This means that that students are qualified to go into another discipline – as an undergrad, in the workforce, or in grad schools – if a job opens up and is appealing. Some of the unusual engineering majors include:
- A concentration in Naval Engineering: They have a building dedicated to this with a large water tank. The Navy and other governmental organizations come here to use it; there’s a 2-year waiting list to get access.
- Environmental Engineering
- Advanced Chemical Biology: this takes 1 year of study off a BS/MD track in conjunction with Rutgers Medical School.
Stevens wants students to have academic/technical knowledge and the ability to apply it. They require Professional Practice for all students: 40% complete Internships, 30% participate in Co-ops, 20% do Research, 10% do something else. Those choosing Co-ops take 5 years to complete their degrees. For the first and last years, they’re full-time students; in between, they alternate between classes and co-ops, graduating with up to 2 years of work experience. Study Abroad is open to all majors with programs already designed to enable smooth transitions and transferring of credits.
The Office of Innovation and Entrepreneurship offers an Innovation course, entrepreneurship minor. All students do a Senior design project. Advisors work with students to answer “What do you want to do?” That becomes the basis for the senior project (many continue after graduation). The Innovation Expo and Elevator Pitch Competition is held annually: students prepare a 90 second spiel and present it to a variety of people. The top 3 win money; the overall winner gets a position with a company in Hoboken.
Steven accepted 41% of their applicants last year; 90% were in the top ¼ of their class. The Subject Tests are only required for applicants to the Accelerated Pre-Med programs; those apps are due by 11/15. Admissions is test-optional for Music & Tech applicants; the Visual Arts & Tech students must send a portfolio if they don’t sent scores.