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Overall School Rating
183 Ratings

4.5 out of 5 Stars

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183 Student Reviews

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2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Quality of Life

Olin dining is superb, very safe, in a college town, and overall very easy to live in.

Admissions

At the time, there was no common application for Olin (I believe they have changed it in the last year). There is only regular decision, and admission staff pick "candidates" for admission. These candidates are then put through a rigorous evaluation program for two days on campus, and then some are offered admission. All students are offered a half-tuition scholarship on top of generous financial aid.

Level

1

Graduation Year

2014

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Quality of Life

Housing is excellent and clean. Students have their own bathrooms in the dorms, and students are respectful of each other and each other's posessions.

Admissions

Students are first admitted as candidates to a candidate's weekend, and then from that candidate pool, admitted students are selected.

Level

2

Graduation Year

2013

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Admissions

Olin's application is unique in that selected applicants are invited to "Candidate's Weekend"-a weekend where they get to know the school and the school gets to know them better. This is important because of the strong culture at Olin-there may be many academically qualified applicants who would not be happy at Olin, and they deserve a chance to understand that before making their decisions (likewise, Olin needs to see whether the "fit" is there for those applicants as well).

Level

2

Graduation Year

2013

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

We have some core requirements, such as biology and math, but the more liberal artsy parts are broader [with credit values that must be filled].

Quality of Life

I love it. There's way too much that's great about this place.

Admissions

We submit the common app, along with two supplementary essays. Then, we are accepted to candidate's weekend, in which we come up for a weekend to participate in group/individual interviews. This second process is to see whether our personalities fit with the school and current students. The students are a part of the interviewing process, and can give feedback based on interactions they have with students.

Level

1

Graduation Year

2014

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Fantastic faculty! - Very available to help mentor students and supervise research on top of above average course support through office hours, etc. The classes are tough and highly demanding, but worth every minute! The integrated importance of developing superb communication skills in every class is serving Olin alumni extremely well in the workplace.

Admissions

Unique and highly selective with "Candidates Weekends" in which all of the top candidates are brought on campus and interviewed in both individual and group settings before final admissions decisions are made.

Graduation Year

2006

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Engineering is the focus of the school, though students receive a strong background in business and the humanities too

Quality of Life

Beautiful facilities that are well-maintained and foster a productive and fun learning environment

Admissions

In addition to standard application requirements, there's an on-campus weekend full of interviews, group activities, and teamwork exercises.

Graduation Year

2006

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Focus on engineering but includes relevant foundation courses. Opportunity to study at Brandeis University, Wellesley College, and Babson College for credit. Study abroad program lets you go anywhere, not just partner schools (I went to Hong Kong Polytechnic University). Small classes with lots of hands on projects. Few written finals, mostly projects and presentations.

Quality of Life

Everyone knows each other and is very friendly. The Honor Code is strictly followed. Very safe campus in terms of crime, since it is so small and everyone keeps a community watch, and in a very good neighborhood. Dorms and food are great.

Admissions

Unique essays and questions, personal interview and a group interview, on-campus design and build competitions, portfolio submission.

Graduation Year

2010

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

Olin has much fewer core engineering requirements than other engineering programs (6 specific major classes as opposed to 12). However, Olin has very many interdisciplinary requirements- an integrated course block, controls, mechatronics, and a full design stream. We also have a senior capstone course that involves consulting for a company, and a required humanities or entrepreneurship capstone.

The course sizes are generally very small. The academic advising program matches each student to an advisor, but many students talk to lots of faculty about their course of study. Professors and research are always available.

Grades is not a strong factor at Olin. Olin is about LEARNING, and has pass/no record for the first semester. While students do strive for high academic achievement, some are more or less motivated by grades (moreso when they intend to go to a graduate program after Olin).

Oliners are not competitive. While they are all very capable and smart, the team nature of many projects and classes mean that Oliners help each other along with work. There is a strong honor code that means students do not cheat, but work together to help each other understand concepts and homework.

Quality of Life

Everyone is required to live on campus and be on the meal plan. This is a bit pricier than at other schools because of the very high-quality, nice, well done dorms, and because having so few students makes it difficult to support a meal plan. Overall, there is a positive relationship between Needham and Olin students. The dorms are very sociable and many students like to live in them.

Admissions

Olin has a two tiered admissions process- a standard paper application (I believe we now accept Common App or our own App.. when I applied it was just our own App)- that application includes essays, test scores, and the usual information one uses while applying for college. Evaluating that allows us to invite about 240 students to campus for a weekend of a design build exercise, and individual and group interviews. At this weekend we filter by how well we think students "fit" with Olin, and Olin "fits" with students.

Graduation Year

2010

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

The academic programs at Olin are truly exceptional. Olin strives to provide a non-traditional education that emphasizes communication, team work, problem solving, and many over-arching competencies that are important in the workplace. Class sizes are generally quite small, so students have a lot of involvement with faculty. Research opportunities abound - I participated in scientific research outside of classes for seven of the eight semesters I attended, as well as over one summer. When I attended Olin, there was an element of competitiveness, but I sensed that for a school of its academic rigor and achievement, the level of collaboration was high and those who needed help were easily able to receive it. The workload at Olin is quite high, partly due to the level of achievement that professors and students excepted of themselves, but the quality of education received at Olin is very high. The hard work is not due to rote memorization or dull problems...rather, long hours are spent creating and learning at a level that in many cases is equivalent to the graduate level (I know this because I am in the third year of my PhD at a good school now).

Quality of Life

Housing is wonderful - the two dorms are very nice, with bathrooms within rooms and suites. All of the facilities at Olin are very beautiful and well maintained. The campus is a safe place, and there is a lot of trust among members of the community. Food is delicious as well! The neighborhood is fine, though there is not a great amount to do within walking distance or even a short drive of campus. Boston is not far, however, for those who want more excitement. Overall happiness seems fairly high, except that many students work too hard and are under too much pressure. Yet the passion and excitement of the students, along with the great community, perhaps more than make up for this.

Admissions

The admissions process was quite unique - beyond the application and essays, all candidates for admission gather for a weekend of interviews, group design project, and social events that help Olin and the student really see if the college is a good fit. I believe the majority of candidates are accepted or wait listed, and both groups have the option of deferring a year before enrolling and starting in the fall. Olin College has a vision for making a great education affordable, and so every student receives a sizable scholarship to attend. Financial aid is also available for those who need additional support.

Graduation Year

2008

2011VERIFIED STUDENT
Academics

A small set of requirements for all students, with a set of Major requirements, and Humanities requirements (from which you can select either a traditional arts and sciences path, or an entrepreneurship concentration). Mechanical and Electrical engineering have rather rigid and set requirements, while the Engineering degree allows for the student to prescribe their own course of study with the approval of the faculty.

Admissions

Very unique application, followed by a "Candidate's Weekend" where candidates are interviewed both individually and in a group setting, to see how they perform in a group environment.

Graduation Year

2010

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