You need to have a special kind of brain to understand engineering. But if you have that genius gene for how to design, create, and troubleshoot mechanical and engineering projects, you are likely to be ahead of your classmates in earning power.

Should you decide to go to engineering school, the best colleges and universities give you a solid foundation to launch into a career that can be very lucrative.

Where are the best engineering schools in the United States?  Fortunately, bright students have plenty of choices, but engineering schools of any size or caliber can be tough to get into.

Criteria for grading the best higher education schools, especially for a masters or doctorate degrees, include the amount of research the university does and how much is published, according to

There's a saying amongst academia scholars, which is "Publish or perish".  The more research done, the more published works, and the more acknowledgement each professor receives, gives the institution a higher ranking.  Published works also helps with tenure.

Joe Raedle/Getty Images The Ray and Maria Stata Center
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
The Ray and Maria Stata Center

Out of the top 50 engineering schools with exceptional graduate degrees, only five are in New England. However, the number one university for graduate engineering programs was right in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  Yes, it's Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT.

The other New England universities on the top 50 list were Harvard University at #20, Boston University at #31, Northeastern University at #38, and University of Massachusetts Amherst at #48.

William B. Plowman/Getty Images
William B. Plowman/Getty Images

MIT students have a sense of humor too. Each spring, something crazy is designed, or taken apart and put back together atop the great dome of the school.  It's often a police car.

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Gallery Credit: Kira Lew

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