How to Get Admission Into Polytechnic Colleges in the US

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By Sakina Taher
Last updated on August 11, 2023

A polytechnic degree is a well-rounded credential to pursue if you are interested in a career in science and technology.

International students working on a circuit board

Polytechnic colleges specialize in teaching science and technology courses with a focus on applied learning. These polytechnic courses allow students to gain practical experience while also learning key theories and concepts. A polytechnic college degree provides a well-rounded skill set that can qualify graduates for growing roles in many industries including engineering, IT, finance, and health care.

Read on to learn more about courses at polytechnic institutes, where to pursue a polytechnic degree in the US, and polytechnic jobs.

What Is a Polytechnic Degree?

Courses at polytechnic institutions combine applied learning and in-depth study of science and technology subjects. In classes, students can expect vocational education curriculum in technology, industrial arts, and applied sciences that focuses on real-world applications of theoretical knowledge. Students gain the confidence to learn, experiment, and collaborate during their degree program while working with complex systems, developing new technologies, and applying their skills to a wide range of professional projects.

Another feature of a polytechnic degree is its unique experiential learning opportunities. Internships and other on-the-job training during the program prepares students for many polytechnic jobs by the time they graduate. For example, technology majors can consider careers at companies such as Amazon, Google, and Meta, while science majors can work alongside renowned scientists and industry experts on groundbreaking research projects that can lead to roles in academia or major research firms. 

A polytechnic degree is ideal for students who wish to pursue a science or technology career and gain practical skills while still in school. The hands-on learning approach, course flexibility, and technical knowledge give students the functional skills and knowledge needed to build and create innovative solutions for real-world problems. 

With a polytechnic-related degree, you can gain industry-specific knowledge and skills, allowing you to pursue diverse career roles. Let’s explore some potential career pathways.

Career Pathways with a Polytechnic Degree

As technology advances and global economic trends progress, the demand for polytechnic degree graduates is growing rapidly. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, technology-related occupations are predicted to expand by 15% from 2021 to 2031, while the need for science graduates is expected to increase by 7% in the same timeframe. 

With a polytechnic-related degree, you could pursue careers in industries like cyber security, computer science, engineering, and infrastructure, to name just a few. Check out several polytechnic jobs and an estimate of their potential annual earnings in key regions around the world.

Architectural drafter

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Civil engineer

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Quality control engineer

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Web developer

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Source: SalaryExpert

Shorelight Universities Offering Polytechnic-Related Programs

A unique feature of polytechnic degrees is the combination of theoretical learning with the practical application of concepts in real-world scenarios. This enhances your technical knowledge and also gives you the chance to improve soft skills such as adaptability, problem-solving, and communication, preparing you for full-time employment once you graduate.

As polytechnic degrees include STEM-related programs, students are also eligible for extended Optional Practical Training (OPT) and Curricular Practical Training (CPT), depending on the subject and nature of the degree.

Experiential learning supports students in getting a better understanding about the work culture in the US. Internships and on-campus jobs are ideal to build professional connections, expand your network, and make friends during your studies in the US.

Studying in the US gives you access to multiple educational resources and learning opportunities — world-class universities and degree programs, state-of-the-art campus facilities, expert faculty, and more. Here are several Shorelight universities offering polytechnic programs.

Cleveland State University

Cleveland State University in Ohio offers well-rounded engineering degrees through the Washkewicz College of Engineering. Students learn to apply theoretical, scientific, and technical knowledge to various research programs, senior engineering projects, and mentorship programs. For example, electronic engineering technology majors learn how to identify and investigate developments in machines, optimize them, and build better equipment for the industry.

Johns Hopkins University

Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, offers 16 master’s and 10 doctoral full-time degree programs through its Whiting School of Engineering. It is ranked #7 among National Universities and #10 in Best Global Universities by U.S. News & World Report. With a focus on creative problem-solving and imaginative technical applications, Johns Hopkins polytechnic-related programs encourage students to adapt, learn fast, and build a solution-driven mindset. For instance, students in the bioengineering, innovation, and design program begin their studies with an eight-week clinical rotation at The Johns Hopkins Hospital.

Roosevelt University

In Chicago, Roosevelt University’s polytechnic-related programs range from computer science, medical technology, nuclear medicine technology, radiation therapy technology, and more. The university provides personalized learning experiences, in-depth technical knowledge, and opportunities to apply classroom concepts during internships designed to align with one’s major and intended career path. Students pursuing degrees in medicine gain hands-on hospital training at the Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, while computer science majors participate in experiential learning models and team projects as a part of the curriculum.

University of Dayton

The University of Dayton in Ohio provides polytechnic programs, including degrees in electronic and computer engineering technology, industrial engineering technology, and discover engineering. Curricula offer practical experience through industry-relevant research programs, makerspaces, and internships. UD’s Innovation Center enables students to engineer solution-driven developments, like the student-designed treadmill device for Air Force veteran and blind athlete Larry Gunter.

University of Illinois Chicago

Ranked in the top 100 National Universities by U.S. News & World Report, the University of Illinois Chicago offers engineering degrees focusing on innovative learning, industry-specific research, and internships. Students can conduct hands-on research in over 150 faculty-run laboratories and interdisciplinary centers focusing on biomedical engineering, civil engineering, industrial engineering, and everything in between. Popular courses in growing fields include advanced design of metal structures, chemistry for environmental professionals, foundation analysis and design, among many others. 

Wentworth Institute of Technology

Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston offers graduate degrees in applied computer science and data science. Ranked #40 — Regional Universities North by U.S. News & World Report, Wentworth provides students with state-of-the-art resources to learn data analysis techniques and quantitative modeling while they work on real-world projects in extracting and processing data. Students can access design studios, laboratories, and makerspaces to ideate and discuss developments with faculty and students in a supportive environment.

Western New England 

Experiential learning is a key segment of all curriculum at Western New England in Springfield, Massachusetts. The College of Engineering inspires students to conduct independent study and research, innovate mechanical solutions, and build product prototypes they can showcase at inter-university conventions and competitions, demonstrate for investors, and more. 

Begin Your Polytechnic Studies with Shorelight

The exact requirements to apply for a polytechnic-related program may vary based on the school and course you decide to pursue, so be sure to research carefully. When choosing your university and program, consider using Shorelight’s school match tool to help you choose based on the degree programs that interest you, the university facilities, tuition fees, career guidance services, and more.

Pursuing a polytechnic degree in the US is an exciting and rewarding opportunity for international students. Shorelight universities offer STEM-related programs, polytechnic-related degrees, and access to language courses and support services to ease your transition to the US. 

To learn more about polytechnic-related degrees and which program is the right choice for you, reach out to your Shorelight advisor. Shorelight advisors can support your research, application process, visa application, career development, and more. 

Take advantage of a polytechnic degree and pursue the career of your dreams!

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