11 of The Oldest Engineering Schools In The World That Shaped The Field

A list of the most prestigious and oldest engineering colleges around the world that nurtured the talent that made the field what it is today.
Kashyap Vyas
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Engineering has truly changed the way we live and has been at the helm of most modern-day discoveries and developments. Now, let's look at the places in the world where our early engineering talents were nurtured and brought up: the 10 oldest engineering colleges in the world!

1. Czech Technical University

Czech Technical University Campus
Source: Urbanekivo/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1707 by Emperor Josef I

Country: The Czech Republic

Oldest faculties:

  • Civil Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Nuclear Science and Physical Engineering

By 1717, the university taught subjects pertaining to surveying, mapping, drainage, constructing mechanisms for lifting heavy loads, etc.

Optics, perspective drawing, and geography were added to the syllabus between 1726 and 1767

The syllabus was modified to include studies that adhered to mathematics and to the exact sciences.

The Czech Technical University is the oldest technical university, dating back to 1707. The university offers students 419 fields of study and also allows distance study.

2. TU Braunschweig

TU Braunschweig Campus
Source: Brunswyk/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1745 as Collegium Carolinum

Country: Germany

Oldest Faculties:

  • Department of Architecture
  • Department of Civil Engineering
  • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering
  • Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Information Technology, Physics

The Technical University of Braunschweig, or as it is officially known, the Technische Universität Braunschweig is the oldest technical university in Germany. It currently houses 20,000 students.

The Technical University of Braunschweig is also the third largest university in Germany.

3. Freiberg University of Mining and Technology

Freiberg University Library
Source: UBFG/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1765

Country: Germany

Engineering study programs providing Diploma, Bachelors, and Masters:

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Process Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering and Management
  • Most coveted engineering studies:
  • Advanced Materials Analysis (Masters)
  • Automotive Construction: Materials and Components (Masters and Diploma)
  • Foundry Technology (Bachelors and Masters)
  • Metallic Materials Technology (Masters)
  • Technology and Application of Inorganic Engineering Materials (Masters)
  • Materials Science and Materials Technology (Diploma)
  • Nanotechnology (Masters and Diploma)

The Freiberg University of Mining is officially known as TU Bergakademie Freiberg. It was founded in 1765, making it the oldest mining and metallurgy oriented university in the world.

4. Istanbul Technical University

Istanbul Technical University Campus
Source: Unknowledge/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1773

Country: Turkey

Top engineering courses offered at The Istanbul Technical University:

  • Mineral Processing Engineering 
  • Maritime Transportation and Management Engineering  
  • Environmental Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Industrial Engineering
  • Shipbuilding and Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Aeronautical Engineering
  • Astronautical Engineering

The Istanbul Technical University, officially known as the İstanbul Teknik Üniversitesi is the third oldest university in the world that dedicates itself to engineering sciences. Istanbul Technical University was founded to give students the best of engineering education.  

5.    Clausthal University of Technology

Clausthal University of Technology
Source: Moosmutzel/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1775

Country: Germany

Engineering faculties in Clausthal:

  • Institute of Materials Science and Engineering
  • Institute of Polymer Materials and Plastics Engineering
  • Institute of Geotechnical Engineering and Mine Surveying
  • Institute of Petroleum Engineering
  • Institute of Petroleum Engineering
  • Institute of Mechanical Engineering
  • Institute of Plant Engineering and Fatigue Analysis
  • Institute of Welding and Machining
  • Institute of Chemical Engineering
  • Institute of Energy Process Engineering and Fuel Technology

The Clausthal University of Technology, also known as TU Clausthal or TUC stands proudly in the Harz mountain range. It was established in 1775 and has a wide range of faculties that pertain to both engineering and non-engineering streams.

The university is globally acclaimed for its material science branches. The university was formed to teach mining engineering in its first few years.

6. The Budapest University of Technology and Economics

The Budapest University of Technology and Economics
Source: Dennis Jarvis/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1782

Country: Budapest, Hungary

Engineering faculties (pre-1900s):

  • Faculty of Civil Engineering (1782)
  • Faculty of Mechanical Engineering (1871)
  • Faculty of Architecture (1873)
  • Faculty of Chemical Technology and Biotechnology (1873)

The Budapest University of Technology and Economics or Budapesti Műszaki és Gazdaságtudományi Egyetem is the most popular and heritage-rich university in Hungary. It was the first university in Europe to train engineers.

The university is a prime target for foreign students due to its value among the world’s best. The university has over 15 accreditation to its name.

7. College of Engineering, Guindy

College of Engineering Guindy
Source: Surya Prakash.S.A./Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1794 by the East India Company

Country: India

The College of Engineering, Guindy started out as a survey school and was later improved to a college of engineering that pioneered in civil engineering. It is touted as the first engineering college in India.

Now, the college handles more than 16 departments and has 12 research centers to empower students to contribute to the world.  

8. Karlsruhe Institute of Technology 

Karslruhe Institute of Technology
Source: Haeferl/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1825

Country: Germany

Most coveted engineering faculties in KIT:

  • Civil Engineering, Geo- and Environmental Sciences 
  • Chemical and Process Engineering 
  • Mechanical Engineering 
  • Electrical Engineering and Information Technology 

The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology is a public research university in Germany and has a plethora of institutions tied to its name, making it one of the largest in Germany. The name Karlsruhe Institute of Technology was adopted in 2009 as a result of a merger.

When it was founded in 1825, this prestigious venture was named University of Karlsruhe.

9. Technische Universität Dresden

Technische Universität Dresden
Source: Kay Körner/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1828

Country: Germany

Faculties pertaining to engineering:

  • Faculty of Electrical and Computer Engineering
  • Faculty of Computer Science
  • Faculty of Mechanical Science and Engineering
  • Faculty of Architecture
  • Faculty of Civil Engineering
  • Faculty of Transportation and Traffic Science

The Technische Universitat Dresden, or as it is most commonly called TU Dresden, is an open university in Germany that provides courses in different verticals in addition to engineering. The university is also an active member of TU9 – the consortium of the nine leading edge universities in Germany.

The university first started out as a training center for skill development in 1828 where it provided training in mechanical engineering and shipbuilding.

10. Technical University of Denmark


Technical University of Denmark
Source: Finn Årup Nielsen/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1829

Country: Denmark

Most coveted engineering courses in DTU:

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Civil Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Management Engineering
  • Bioengineering

The Technical University of Denmark or DTU started out as a polytechnic school and has grown to become one among Europe’s best engineering colleges. In 1829, it was known as the 'College of Advanced Technology' and provided courses in civil and mechanical engineering.

11. University of Hannover

University of Hannover
Source: S Harakterom/Wikimedia Commons

Founding Year: 1831

Country: Germany

List of engineering courses offered by the University of Hannover:

  • Biomedical Engineering (Master of Science)
  • Civil and Environmental Engineering (Bachelor of Science)
  • Computational Methods in Engineering (Master of Science)
  • Electrical Engineering and Information Technology (Bachelor of Science)
  • Electrical Engineering as a subject in the Bachelor’s Teacher Training Course for Technical Education (Bachelor of Science)
  • Engineering and Business Administration (Bachelor of Science)
  • Mechanical Engineering (Bachelor of Science)
  • Mechanical Engineering (Master of Science)
  • Nanotechnology (Bachelor of Science)
  • Nanotechnology (Master of Science)
  • Power Engineering (Bachelor of Science)
  • Power Engineering (Master of Science)
  • Structural Engineering (Master of Science)
  • Wind Energy Engineering (Master of Science)

Officially known as the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Universität Hannover, the university was founded in 1831. It is one among the most cherished university in Germany due to the vast array of engineering and science courses it offers to the students.


These colleges have stood witness to many talents who have later gone to change the world. We hoped you enjoyed this list and that you now understand a little better where this important field got some of its earliest masters. 

Today there are many more colleges to pick from. Still, it is always good to remember our past heritage.

If you are into engineering, perhaps this list will inspire you to select an institute that has a rich history of accomplishments to its name. But whatever you choose to do just make sure to put your heart into it. After all, passion is the best motivator!

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