We are in a wired world, and technology puts electrical engineering at the forefront of in-demand careers. High school students seeking to enter this field can use this guide to determine whether they are on the right track to attend a top electrical engineering school.

Toggle between the years below for a detailed list of activities to complete in each year of high school. Completing these activities may help you get into the electrical engineering school of your choice.


What You Should Do as a High School Freshmen


Meet with your guidance counselor at least once per term. Discuss your upcoming class schedule and determine which electives to take. Electives such as speech and foreign languages are beneficial to your collegiate career.

Enroll in advanced math courses, as these will heavily influence your ability to succeed in an electrical engineering program.

Talk to your guidance counselor about Advanced Placement (AP) and honors courses. It is best to spread these classes out over all four years of high school instead of taking them during your final two years, so that you can distribute the intense workload over time.


Study for the Preliminary Scholastic Assessment Test (PSAT), which you can either take your freshman or sophomore year of high school.

Spend time really studying and preparing for final exams in your classes. Tests in advanced and AP classes best emulate the type of exams administered at the collegiate level.


Get involved early! Find out about extracurricular activities at your school. This may include outside clubs, sports or events in your community.

Look into clubs such as the The Odyssey, Brain Bowl, Mu Alpha Theta, National Honor Society and other science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) focused organizations. These types of clubs will provide insight into electrical engineering and STEM fields overall.


Prepare for your sophomore year by mapping out the next three years of academics, making sure you have the right courses and grades to graduate.

Complete any assigned summer homework or projects.

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It is never too early to research available scholarships. Find scholarships that are merit- and/or need-based and are applicable to electrical engineering schools.

Research the types of colleges you may be interested in, and take note of application deadlines well in advance.


What You Should Do as a High School Sophomore


Make sure you have taken algebra I and II. You should be on track to complete geometry, chemistry and physics over the next two years.

Maintain your grades, and strive for perfect attendance.


Take the PSAT, and use the results to help prepare for the SAT / ACT. Remember, you have to register early for the SAT and ACT tests and prepare a study plan several months in advance. Tackle a section of the ACT or SAT each month (i.e., math the first month, writing the next, etc.).

Spend time really studying and preparing for final exams in your classes. Tests in advanced and AP classes best emulate the type of exams administered at the collegiate level.


Continue participation in an extracurricular activity of your choice. Colleges show preference for students who are well-rounded and involved in activities outside of the classroom.

Are you interested in making the student body experience better? Consider joining the Student Government Association (SGA) and other student-focused organizations.


Consider job shadowing or applying for a summer electrical engineering camp or study program. There is no better way than shadowing an electrical engineer to determine whether the field is right for you.

Start studying for the SAT / ACT. Sign up for your test date, and stick to your study plan. Each student studies differently, but a helpful technique is to spend three to four months to prepare, devoting a month to each subject. For example, study math the first month followed by writing.

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Consider which electrical engineering schools you are interested in and compile a list. Reach out to admissions counselors for more information about specific electrical engineering programs and faculty.

Many electrical engineering schools have recommended reading lists and courses for high school students to complete. Look into these recommendations from your school of choice, and complete them over the summer.


What You Should Do as a High School Junior


Meet with your guidance counselor, and make sure you are on track to fulfill your required credits for graduation.

Take pre-calculus and consider taking calculus I before graduation.

Maintain your grades, and strive for perfect attendance. You are almost at the finish line!


Schedule, prepare and take the SAT or ACT.

If you feel there is room for improvement in your scores, practice the concepts that you missed and retake the test to raise your score. There is no evidence that taking either exam more than two times significantly changes scores.


Stay involved in clubs and outside organizations. Obtaining a leadership position within an organization of your choice will provide additional value when applying to college.

Have you considered a position as an academic tutor? Many schools offer the opportunity to mentor younger students in difficult subjects.


Visit the campus of one of your top three colleges. Talk to the students and professors to get the full experience of what it is like to attend.

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Find a summer job, camp or internship in electrical engineering. Research the electrical engineering companies in your area to see if they hire summer interns or offer a training program.

Consider your desired career goals within the field of electrical engineering. Are you interested in certain concentrations such as magnetics or electrodynamics? Explore your options. Ask mentors, professionals and college faculty about their experience within the field. Does it sound like something you would enjoy?

Start preparing your college application materials, such as transcripts, essays and letters of recommendation. Get ready to apply!


What You Should Do as a High School Senior


Resist the urge to coast through your senior year. Maintain your grades, and strive for perfect attendance.

Study for your final exams.


If you decide to retake the SAT early during your senior year, make sure you have ample time to study.

Prepare for any AP exams. These most emulate the exams you’ll experience in college.


Stay involved in your extracurricular activities, especially any leadership roles you’ve assumed.

Explore extracurricular activities at the colleges to which you will apply. Have an idea of the ones you would be interested in joining, and reach out to their leadership. They could give you great information from a student perspective and might be your first college friends should you attend.


Fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), and apply for financial assistance and applicable scholarships.

Put together your academic portfolio, which includes transcripts, resume, personal statement, electrical engineering projects, papers and other relevant work.

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Identify and apply to your target universities. Be aware of all admissions requirements and deadlines. Prepare applications, essays and letters of recommendation if you need them.

Visit the electrical engineering school’s campus if you have not done so already. It is important to see where you will potentially be spending the next four years. Talk with electrical engineering majors and professors already in the field. These individuals may have the best insight and advice regarding the industry and education.

Florida Polytechnic University, the newest university in Florida wholly dedicated to STEM education encourages students to visit their campus and the award-winning Innovation, Science and Technology Building to discover the university’s electrical engineering program. Florida Poly’s electrical engineering program involves three concentrations instructed by professors who are high-tech industry leaders themselves.


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