Will engineering schools at universities like UPenn, CalTech etc. reject my application if I have industrial internships that involve techno-management profiles rather than just research internships as an undergraduate?

1 Answer 1


For specific schools you need to ask them. However, in general, at the MS level in the US, I don't think that any sort of experience will harm your chances. Some may contribute more and some less, of course.

I would guess that even top universities in the US accept a lot of candidates with no experience at all beyond the BS/BA degree. Of course, the competition at such places is fierce with few seats available and many well qualified candidates.

But, if the purpose of your question is to pick which of two internships to accept, the research one might be marginally better. But who knows? Real world experience in engineering is pretty valuable.

If you have already done one of these then there is no question at all. Your record is what it is and it is up to you to present it in the best light.

The answer might be different at the doctoral level, of course, and may be different in other countries with different educational systems.

  • For more context, I have done one research internship. I now have an industrial internship in a pretty big company for summer 2019 and I want to try it out to see if I like it better. But I also want to apply for Masters, with financial aid. I have a pretty decent GPA. I need to understand the extent of the negative consequence of an industrial internship on my masters selection, as in do colleges look down upon this kind of internships? Aug 23, 2018 at 13:19
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    @user7578203, I think you can rest assured that nothing like this can hurt - especially in Engineering. Even if your long term goal is research, rather than practice, knowing something about the dirty old world is a positive. If anyone questions you, that is really all you need to say.
    – Buffy
    Aug 23, 2018 at 13:24

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