College and Guns


June 3, 2004, 06:12 PM
For college, I plan on getting a Masters in some form of engineering.

The problem is that many of the really good engineering schools are in states like New York and Massachusetts, and I really don't want to deal with the complications that would bring with firearms.

So, can anyone recommend good engineering schools in areas with relatively loose firearms laws (IE, a state and locality that has no AW ban, no licensing/registration, FOID's included)? I already have found Carnegie Mellon and Drexel, both in Pennsylvania, however two colleges is about four too few.

This is by no means urgent, I still have 3 years or so until I need to apply. Mainly a curiosity deal right now.

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June 3, 2004, 06:20 PM
Michigan Tech. One of the best engineering schools in the country.

Pros: VERY good reputation. Michigan gun laws aren't bad, shall issue CCW, no waiting periods. In extra-gun-friendly Upper Michigan. Low cost of living in the area, lots of opportunity for outdoor activity. Tech has a lot of state of the art facilities and is always expanding.

Cons: Michigan has handgun registration (though you don't have to get a NICS check for handguns). Harsh winters to the uninitiated. 3 to 1 male to female ratio at MTU; don't expect to date much. MTU is also expensive, and every chance they get they raise their prices. Upper Michigan won't offer much for you if you don't like small town living.

June 3, 2004, 06:21 PM
Embry-Riddle in Daytona Beach offers Masters degrees in Aerospace Engineering and Computer Science (possibly others too, been a few years since I worked on my undergrad degree there). FL has OK gun laws, though I don't know for sure as I was not a gun owner while at that campus. Don't know about the Prescott, AZ campus WRT to MS degrees. They were talking about getting MS in AE degrees going when I was about the graduate. Possibly Electrical Engineering too.

For the rest of AZ, the U of A here in Tucson has a pretty decent grad program in Mech. Eng. Dunno 'bout ASU in Tempe, but all of AZ has pretty decent gun laws.

If you come to AZ, let me know, I'll meet you at the range at the very least!

June 3, 2004, 06:25 PM
You probably want to get your hands on a recent copy of The Princeton Review 'best colleges' book. Their site has a search engine to check for schools with a respective graduate program.

This is by no means urgent, I still have 3 years or so until I need to apply. Mainly a curiosity deal right now.

You still an undergrad? I remember my undergrad years as a CompSci major. I lost my heart for grad school after my 2nd year of college. 4 years of CompSci classes with 3 hours labs per class and what seemed like a 30:1 male to female ratio got to me (but that's why you take humanities and psych classes, right?). Maybe I'll try grad school eventually...

June 3, 2004, 06:29 PM
Not sure how good the programs are (even tho I work for the UofI), but you might want to check out the schools here in Idaho :)

June 3, 2004, 06:37 PM
Even if the state is what might be considered pro-gun, most colleges are going to have rules on their books banning firearms on campus.....just something to consider.

June 3, 2004, 06:41 PM
Dude, according to your profile you're 14 (edit: apparently 13, turning 14 in a couple months). Relax about college, especially grad school. Worry about your high school education now. When you're 17, then start thinking about which college to get you undergrad from. When you're 22, then start looking into graduate programs. There's little point in looking this far ahead in such detail. It's great you're thinking ahead, but don't let that sidetrack you from your current responsibilities at school.

When I was a college sophmore (about 6 years ago) I was the TA for a class all the freshmen were required to take that was basically to teach them how to survive in college, as well as give them a taste of the engineering program. One guy in one of my classes was obsessed with the future. He decided he'd get his BS from Embry-Riddle, then, while an F-16 pilot for the Air Force, get an MS from some big name school, then a PhD from MIT in astro-physics. Then he was going to become a shuttle pilot for NASA. He flunked out after 2 semesters becuase he spent all his time trying to figure out how to accomplish all that stuff that he forgot to study for the classes he was in.

Don't become that guy.

June 3, 2004, 06:41 PM
Even if the state is what might be considered pro-gun, most colleges are going to have rules on their books banning firearms on campus.....just something to consider.

This is good advice. I'm attending the University of Florida (decent engineering program, but nothing too special) and there are NO firearms allowed on campus (except for LEOs :rolleyes: ). The surrounding area (Northern Florida) is very gun-friendly, however.

June 3, 2004, 06:52 PM
Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO ....?

Supposed to be one of the toughest engineering schools in the country.

June 3, 2004, 06:55 PM
Dude, according to your profile you're 14 (edit: apparently 13, turning 14 in a couple months). Relax about college, especially grad school.

Correct, hence the Mainly a curiosity deal right now.


One of Many
June 3, 2004, 06:57 PM
University of Missouri, in the town of Rolla; it used to be known as the "Missouri School of Mines", but has had a comprehensive coverage of the engineering disciplines for many years, including Nuclear Engineering (they have their own reactor on campus).

I earned my B.S.E.E and my M.S.E.E there, and my son is now working on a Masters in Computer Science there, after earning a Bachelors in Computer Engineering.

It is very well regarded Internationally as an Academic Institution.

It is a small town RURAL area. About one and a half hours to get to large cities like St. Louis, Springfield, or Columbia for entertainment or shopping (but there is a Super Wal-Mart in town).

June 3, 2004, 06:57 PM
Ga Tech. My wife got her MS in Materials there.

June 3, 2004, 07:01 PM
University of Virginia in Charlottesville, VA

Formed by Thomas Jefferson
Consistently rated as one of the top public universities in the country
Engineering school is regarded highly

captain obvious
June 3, 2004, 07:15 PM
You could just live off-campus, too - that's what I do. You can have as many guns as you want that way.

June 3, 2004, 07:16 PM

Part of point was also that with so much time to go by between now and then, the firearms laws could change dramatically.

I know you're curious, but a lot can change. Thinking, planning, and such is fine so long as you don't let yourself get too far ahead of the field. At least get into high school before you get too wrapped up in college, and then get into college beofre you're too wrapped up in grad school.

Unless you've skipped a grade or two you'll be starting 8th grade this fall. When I was in 8th grade I KNEW I would go to the USNA and fly jets for the Navy. Then, when I was 16, I went to New Zealand as an exchange student, and between realizing that I needed glasses while there (which I knew would DQ me from a flight slot) and the big overall attitude change that I underwent made the military seem a lot less desireable.

I had always though I'd get at least a masters degree. Heck, I'm the only one in my immediate family without a PhD (well, my sister doesn't have hers, but she's nearly done with the requirements to get it). But, after 5 years of undergrad, I got a job offer that was too good turn down in favor of grad school. Now that I have a daughter, and with my wife is still working on her undergrad degree, I doubt I'll ever see the inside of graduate engineering classroom.

I'm not trying to tell you not to think ahead. Far from it. Lord knows I'm guilty of looking too far ahead sometimes myself. All I'm trying to say is, relax, don't worry, things will sort themselves out to a large degree in the next few years. Set goals, but be prepared to change them as you grow and mature.

June 3, 2004, 07:22 PM
Good advice, thanks.

June 3, 2004, 07:37 PM
Look around for college student handbooks online. Even if the college is in a gun-friendly state, guns will probably be banned on campus.
Example: University of Vermont. In the only state with no gun laws.
Not allowed: guns, ammunition, knives, weapons of any sort, anything that looks like a gun (replicas).
And unless you commute, you MUST live on campus for 2 years (though you might be able to petition out).

Of course, Burlington is a liberal, hippie-infested pit, which may play a part.

Beautiful area, if you can handle the winters.

M.E. @ UVM

June 3, 2004, 07:42 PM
Like someone said here, I don't know of any college\university that doesn't have a defined no carry statute regarding guns or knives. Even if you are CCW legal, you must disarm before being on their property. Most campuses have their own LE which will treat this with extreme prejudice. Right or wrong, that's their way and they feel you don't have to be there if you don't like it. This, I know from experience.:D

Headless Thompson Gunner
June 3, 2004, 10:01 PM
Come to Purdue! We have a great engineering school, a great group of shooters on campus, and reasonable state gun laws.

Indiana imposes no additional gun control beyond the federal laws. Getting a carry permit is as easy as filling out a form at the local police station and paying them a $20 paperwork fee. (And that's only if you feel like you want the permit; concealed is concealed...)

I would bet that carrying in class or storing a firearm in a dorm is illegal at any school. Purdue is no different. But, if you can get past that, you'll have no problem keeping or shooting guns at Purdue.

June 3, 2004, 10:09 PM
Utah State University offers a lot of engineering majors, except those like Marine Engineer, etc. It has got a lot of recognition... one of the few schools that regularly send stuff up on the space shuttle (through the engineering department, I believe).

The campus is pretty liberal (what college campus isn't?) but it's Utah, for crying out loud. Very gun friendly. ;)


June 3, 2004, 10:56 PM
Before you start thinking about a Masters in Engineering, start thinking about which engineering you intend to do in undergrad. There are top schools for one discipline that arent so hot in others.

Most engineering programs will have at least a few gun friendly people in it (one of my profs had an old advertisement for DuPont gunpowder hanging on the wall in his office and a previous final exam dealt with the energy & thermodynamics of a muzzle loader discharging, his undergrad research students got to research methods of improving kevlar for protection from shrapnel), just pick one south of NY (and not Jersey or Kali) and you'll be fine. There's plenty of schools out there, and you can always live off campus and still walk to class.


June 4, 2004, 08:46 AM
Ohio University!!

Athens, OH

GO CATS!!!!!!!!!:D

June 4, 2004, 08:52 AM
Lehigh U '84 - BS Chem Engineering......................strict Engrg curriculum in all disciplines!

Even Lafayette (gasp!! arch-rival) has a very good Engrg program.

Pitt, Drexel, Penn State, Univ of Penn......................on and on in PA.

Close enough to go home when you want - but spread out enough to live there........all pricey I'm sure.

As mentioned above --ALL colleges and Univ's have a weapons prohibition in place.

As a side note - I was varsity on Lehigh's rifle team back in my day - not sure if it still exists though.

Good luck to you!!

June 4, 2004, 10:50 AM
As a UVa alum, I'll throw in another good word for them!

And, in spite of the rivalry, I'll recommend Virginia Tech.

Also, two smaller, but great schools for engineering are the Rose Hulman Institute of Technology in Indianapolis and Carnegie Mellon in Pittsburgh.

Finally, since it is being dispensed, I'll throw in one other piece of advice. If you want to be an engineer, lean how to write well. It seems trivial, but many engineers today (no offense to any engineers on the board) are not well versed in writing. Many schools, particularly UVa, are starting to place more emphasis on writing for their engineering students because employers are contacting the programs and complaining about the graduates. So, if you know how to write well coming out of school, you'll have a major leg up on the competition.

Good luck!

June 4, 2004, 11:04 AM
Texas A&M University! Engineering is their forte and it's a great school with lots of deep tradition.

brad cook

June 4, 2004, 11:23 AM
top ranked Engineering College + gun friendly state = Texas A&M University

If you choose to live on campus, you will have to check your guns with the Kampus Kops, but you should have 24-hour access to them (at least that was the case when I was there.)

Shows the rankings.

Texas, Baylor, Texas Tech and Rice are alternatives, but depending on your lifestyle may or may not be for you. Texas A&M is removed enough from urbania to keep the distractions to a minimum but close enough to Austin, San Antonio and Houston (about 2 to 2-1/2 hours) should you like urban life. Enrollment about 40,000 to 45,000; surrounding community is about 200,000+.

When I went to the school, I could go from afternoon classes to Dove hunting in about 30 minutes.

Good Luck - the country needs more engineers.

June 4, 2004, 11:36 AM
First, live in off-campus housing. Firearms are generally prohobited in dorms.

Undergrad/Grad Schools Options:

Texas A&M
Been mentioned. My wife is an alumnus & loved her time there & buys me all sorts of A&M gear. Good engineering schools. Can get hot & muggy in the summer. Much tradition and if A&M's footbal team scores, YOU score.

Texas Tech
The guys I work with who went there liked it, except for the sand storms.

Georgia Tech
Fine engineering school in a really cool city. Atlanta rocks.

As far as your age & such:
Keep your eye on the ball in front of you WRT grades, SATs, athletics, etc. I first took the verbal part of the SAT in 8th grade (did not have the math for the math portion). Do well in HS, excel, work hard, and realize that things can change.

June 4, 2004, 05:57 PM
consider your couse of study well.

I'm glad you're choosing engineering as a big direction. I'd like to plug this choice. A liberal arts education is a rich man's education because you need to be rich to afford it and feed yourself after graduating.

Now, there's absolutely *NO* reason why you must major in the same discipline from college to masters. Very often it's a la carte. I'm getting my PhD in EE after getting my BS and MS in electrical engineering and find that there is zero advantage.

In fact a lot of brilliant researchers start off in one discipline and move to others, unrelated areas.

The important skills regardless of discipline/majors are as follows:

1. statistics (a deep understanding of argument with statistics, not just the mechanical application of statistical tests, heck, computers do that for you)

2. logic. Two prongs: (1) present your ideas and story problems in logic symbols (requires abstraction and be able to articulate your choices of abstraction) and (2) push the symbols around with fluency

3. topology. (sounds intimidating, but really just abstractions based on what we understand about the real numbers) the requisite skill is to understand proofs and apply reasoning to make your own proofs of different hypotheses/theorems/lemmas etc.

4. Then you apply your understanding to mechanical applications of calculus and physics. Yes. calculus and physics. The fundamental theorems of calculus and classical physics problems are really similar once you realize calculus was a language for describing classical physics.

5. also apply your understanding of probability/statistics towards quantum physics which require things (the language of the trade) variational calculus, tensor calculus, Ito calculus, and wave equations (differential equations) ---- note that these big words are extensions of calculus. The deep fundamental understanding comes from logic, topology, and random events.

6. finally, that all of our learnings are really just musings. Some call them models. Others call them 'physical laws' In the end, it was some guy's BS that fit the observations at the time.

My conclusion? You can start with these two books as early as now. Nevermind the school curriculum. They are not required for your understanding of the why's. "Statistics as principled argument" and Schaum's outline for topology. Don't worry about the specific details such as the p-values or the sigma-algebra. It's all just language.

Read them for the why's, and the rest of your education should fill in the how's. If it does not fill in quickly enough, you can always get other books and skip ahead of your peers.

June 4, 2004, 06:27 PM
One other piece of advise. Don't go into engineering for the money. Almost no-one ever gets rich as an engineer. The salaries are pretty good, but the only engineers that ever get rich either start their own company, or they are savvy with investments.

Liberal arts degrees can be useful as a gateway to something else. My sister got a bachelors in psych. She's now almost done with a PhD in the same field. Once she's done with that she'll be making a lot more than I am if she's smart enough about it. I've known people who've gotten a degree in some "would you like fires with that" field in order to get into a good med or law school. By going for the "easy" majors they were able to get top grades which gave them an edge in getting into their grad school of choice.

another okie
June 4, 2004, 08:45 PM
If you want to be an engineer, take every math course your school offers and do extra work on that side. That's the most important thing you can do to get ready for engineering courses. Inadequate math preparation is why folks flunk out of engineering. You should be ready to do calculus when you go to college, at least.

Even though I'm a okie I would second the recommendation of Texas A & M as both a good engineering school and a gun-friendly place, not to mention an alumni network second only to perhaps West Point in strength. If you want to do petroleum engineering, either the University of Oklahoma or the University of Tulsa is the place.

June 4, 2004, 10:49 PM
all the schools I have seen listed in the responses would be great, but come on down to Georgia Tech. Guns? Yeah, like everywhere we have some restrictions, but you will not have any problem getting a CCW, you will be 15 miles from Glocks HQ (if that is to your liking), HK is building a new plant in Columbus, the state legislature has prohibited the city of Atlanta from suing gunmakers, fun place, you will get a great education (not easy, but great), and like I said, this is Georgia! We love guns.

June 4, 2004, 11:15 PM
As others have posted, you won't find a major university that will allow you to have firearms on campus. That means living off campus. Then you have to determine if you could even provide the time and funds needed to spend on firearms. Your schedule will most likely be hectic and disposable funds limited. College is a totally different world from high school.

Sean T
June 4, 2004, 11:43 PM
Colorado School of Mines in Golden, CO...? Supposed to be one of the toughest engineering schools in the country.

Also home to Coors Brewery, a nice plus :D! You can't miss it either as it's about as big as the town itself. Although the campus does have a male to female ratio of about 9:1 :( . The campus itself is pretty small too. CU-Boulder is much nicer and bigger (~20,000 plus grads) and has a more even distribution of the fairer sex :). Their engineering program is pretty good, one of the best if you're into geological engineering, i.e. stuff regarding the production of natural resources.

June 4, 2004, 11:52 PM
I only skimmed the thread, but....

I will recommend Clemson or GA Tech... emphasis on Clemson, unless you like living in the middle of the city. ;) Both are quality engineering schools in gun friendly states. I've got about 30 hours to go on my undergrad computer engineering degree from Clemson. Living off campus is a must though, as you will find that its a felony to have a gun on campus... in Clemson, at least.

Don't get too worked up about ivy league schools or the like in the northeast. I thought they were the be-all-end-all in high school too, but a few years and some real world experience has changed my perspective/opinion. You will see the light sooner than you think. :)

June 5, 2004, 01:36 AM
Kettering in Flint Michigan is a great Engineering school.

The University of Kentucky also has a world class Engineering department.

June 5, 2004, 08:54 AM
Purdue is a great choice. The gun laws here are very good. Carrying on campus is not illegal, just against school policy, i.e. you can get kicked out but no legal ramifications will result. They are of course a top engineering school as well.

June 5, 2004, 10:15 AM
Try The Ohio State University. Ohio just got concealed carry, there is no AWB (outside city limits oc Columbus) no gun registration and no FOID or silly crap like that. And besides, OSU has a pretty good engineering program.

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