Best Maker Schools 2021 from Make: and Newsweek

Best of Maker Schools 2021

The Maker Movement is all about “learning by doing,” supported by online communities and DIY publications like Make:, by 2,000 shared makerspaces around the world, and by in-person Maker Faire events held in 72 countries (and counting). But DIY doesn’t mean learning alone — the Maker Movement has also been embraced by educators who seek to prepare students for careers in science, technology, engineering, and the arts.

Hands-on “maker education” — training in the tools and techniques of electronics and engineering, 3D design and digital fabrication, and traditional craft skills — has become a star attraction at institutions of higher learning. Maker education is cutting-edge, constantly evolving, and exciting — a pathway to brand-new careers literally creating the future.

This year, for the first time, Make: has teamed with Newsweek to seek out the Best Maker Schools in Higher Education. Nominated by our unique global community of makers, educators, and Maker Faire leaders, we’ve found 200 great maker schools — powerhouse universities with vast resources, lesser-known schools with amazing programs, and standout community colleges, vocational and trade schools. Large or small, these are the schools that have invested in innovative maker-focused programs and on-campus makerspaces, the schools that makers themselves want to attend to deepen their skills and broaden their scope.

We hope this list will help guide students, parents, educators, and employers to recognize excellence in maker education around the world.

Methodology
This non-ranked list was generated by recommendation through a survey tool in collaboration with an international community of educators, administrators, students, and maker leaders. To be considered for the list, recommended schools had to demonstrate excellence or competency in the following areas:

  • Integrated learning-through-doing orientation
  • Mentoring / guidance / coaching for making
  • Physical makerspaces / fab labs / workshops / studios
  • Accessible spaces and tools that support independent, collaborative projects
  • A diverse, active community of makers

 

For Educators
Experienced maker educators and their know-how — technical skills and approach to learning — are a strong feature of the schools nominated to this list. For years, Make: has been collaborating with these educators to help apply these tools in classrooms of all ages. This September 24-25, we’re excited to announce a special event for maker educators and practitioners, the Make: Education Forum, taking place online for a virtual version of our popular educator event. The focus will be on best practices for incorporating making into the classroom. We will have hands-on workshops and deep-dive discussions. Early Bird tickets are on sale now until August 15, 2021. Save 20% today!

SchoolCountryState/ProvinceCity
University of QueenslandAustraliaQLDBrisbane
Monash UniversityAustraliaVICMelbourne
University of New South WalesAustraliaNSWSydney
University of WollongongAustraliaNSWWollongong
TU GrazAustriaGraz
Instituto Federal do Rio Grande do Sul - Campus Porto AlegreBrazilPorto Alegre
Universidade de São Paulo (USP)BrazilSão Paulo
University of TorontoCanadaOntarioToronto
Emily Carr University of Art+DesignCanadaBCVancouver
Concordia UniversityCanadaQuebecMontreal
Simon Fraser UniversityCanadaBCVancouver
Ryerson UniversityCanadaOntarioToronto
Wilson School of DesignCanadaBCRichmond
Universidad Viña del MarChileViña del Mar
The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (School of Design)ChinaHong Kong
Tongji UniversityChinaShanghai
CUHK-ShenzhenChinaShenzhen
Tsinghua UniversityChinaBeijing
University of ZagrebCroatiaZagreb
Czech Technical University (CTU Prague)Czech RepublicPrague
FælleshåbsskolenDenmarkBørkop
UCL Jelling DenmarkJelling
The American University CairoEgyptCairo
Talinn University of Technology (TalTech)EstoniaTalinn
Aalto UniversityFinlandEspoo
ENSCI Les AteliersFranceParis
Paris College of ArtFranceParis
TU MunichGermanyMunich
Hochschule Rhein WaalGermanyKamp-Lintfort
University of Europe for Applied SciencesGermanyBerlin
University of GhanaGhanaAccra
Universidad Del Valle de GuatemalaGuatemalaGuatemala City
CMR UniversityIndiaBangalore
Technion (Israel Institute of Technology)IsraelHaifa
Politécnico di Milano (Polimi)ItalyMilan
Università degli Studi di TorinoItalyTorino
La Sapienza di RomaItalyRome
Institute of Advanced Media Arts and SciencesJapanOgaki
Tokyo Metropolitan UniversityJapanTokyo
Korea UniversityKoreaSeoul
Malawi University of Business and Applied SciencesMalawiBlantyre
Tech de Monterrey MexicoMexicoMonterrey
Universidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoMexicoMexico City (D.F.)
La Universidad Politécnicade Baja CaliforniaMexicoTijuana
Design Academy EindhovenNetherlandsEindhoven
University of AucklandNew ZealandAuckland
Massey UniversityNew ZealandPalmerston North
University of LagosNigeriaLagos
University of Oslo (UIO)NorwayOslo
ITU PunjabPakistanLahore
Universidad de LimaPeruLima
Politécnico de LisboaPortugalLisbon
National University of Science and Technology MISISRussiaMoscow
King Abdullah University of Science and TechnologySaudi ArabiaThuwal
University of LjubljanaSloveniaLjubljana
University of PretoriaSouth AfricaHatfield
Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC)SpainBarcelona
Madrid CEU UniversitySpainMadrid
Umeå UniversitySwedenUmeå
Uppsala UniversitySwedenUppsala
University of GenevaSwitzerlandGeneva
National Kaohsiung First University of Science and Technology (NKFUST)TaiwanKaohsiung City
Lunghwa University of Science and Technology LOHOCTaiwanTaoyuan City
TU DelftNetherlandsDelft
Amsterdam University of the ArtsNetherlandsAmsterdam
UAE UniversityUAEAbu Dhabi
University of SheffieldUKSheffield
Cambridge UniversityUKCambridge
University College LondonUKLondon
University of Brighton UKBrighton
University of ManchesterUKManchester
London College of CommunicationUKLondon
University of SurreyUKGuildford
Glasgow School of ArtUKScotlandGlasgow
Royal College of ArtUKLondon
Stanford UniversityUSACAPalo Alto
University of California, BerkeleyUSACABerkeley
University of Southern CaliforniaUSACALos Angeles
Case Western Reserve UniversityUSAOHCleveland
University of MarylandUSAMDCollege Park
University of WyomingUSAWYLaramie
Kent State UniversityUSAOHKent
Purdue UniversityUSAINLafayette
University of WashingtonUSAWASeattle
University of MichiganUSAMIAnn Arbor
Wheaton CollegeUSAMANorton
Sierra CollegeUSACARocklin
Cabrillo CollegeUSACAAptos
Georgia Institute of TechnologyUSAGAAtlanta
Rice UniversityUSATXHouston
Florida Polytechnic UniversityUSAFLLakeland
Arizona State UniversityUSAAZTempe
Duke UniversityUSANCDurham
University of ArkansasUSAARFayetteville
Carnegie-Mellon UniversityUSAPAPittsburgh
Massachusetts Institute of TechnologyUSAMABoston
Johns Hopkins UniversityUSAMDBaltimore
Rhode Island School of DesignUSARIProvidence
Bucknell UniverstyUSAPALewisburg
University of Illinois, Urbana-ChampaignUSAILUrbana
University of Massachusetts AmherstUSAMAAmherst
University of Colorado, BoulderUSACOBoulder
Georgetown UniversityUSADCWashington
Olin CollegeUSAMANeedham
Yale UniversityUSACTNew Haven
University of PennsylvaniaUSAPAPhiladelphia
Penn StateUSAPAUniversity Park
University of ArizonaUSAAZTucson
Columbia UniversityUSANYNew York
New York UniversityUSANYNew York
Boise State UniversityUSAIDBoise
New Jersey Institute of TechnologyUSANJNewark
IYRS School of Technology and TradesUSARINewport
University of Texas, AustinUSATXAustin
California College of the ArtsUSACAOakland
Penland School of CraftUSANCPenland
DePaul UniversityUSAILChicago
Northwestern UniversityUSAILEvanston
Houston Community CollegeUSATXHouston
University of Nevada RenoUSANVReno
Virginia Commonwealth UniversityUSAVARichmond
University of New MexicoUSANMAlbuquerque
Princeton UniversityUSANJPrinceton
Hazard Community and Technical CollegeUSAKYHazard
University of Texas at Arlington (UTA)USATXArlington
University of CincinnatiUSAOHCincinnati
Lafayette CollegeUSAPAEaston
Central New Mexico Community CollegeUSANM(multiple)
Boston UniversityUSAMABoston
University of California, DavisUSACADavis
University of California, San Diego (UCSD)USACASan Diego
University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)USACALos Angeles
University of OklahomaUSAOKNorman
Tulane UniversityUSALANew Orleans
Wesleyan CollegeUSACTMiddletown
University of Hawaii at ManoaUSAHIHonolulu
Cooper UnionUSANYNew York
University of New EnglandUSAMEBiddeford
University of North Carolina at Chapel HillUSANCChapel Hill
Harvard UniversityUSAMABoston
California Institute of TechnologyUSACAPasadena
CalPoly SLOUSACASan Luis Obispo
Hampshire CollegeUSAMAAmherst
Mount Holyoke CollegeUSAMASouth Hadley
Brown UniversityUSARIProvidence
University of MontanaUSAMTMissoula
Montana State UniversityUSAMTBozeman
Milwaukee College of Science and EngineeringUSAWIMilwaukee
University of MinnesotaUSAMNMinneapolis - St. Paul
University of Akron, Wayne CollegeUSAOHOrville
University of OregonUSAOREugene
SciArcUSACALos Angeles
Fort Hays State UniversityUSAKSHays
Alfred UniversityUSANYAlfred
Auburn UniversityUSAALAuburn
University of UtahUSAUTSalt Lake City
Cornell UniversityUSANYIthaca
Navajo Technical UniversityUSANMCrownpoint
SUNY Polytechnic InstituteUSANYUtica
University of Vermont USAVTBurlington
Pratt InstituteUSANYNew York
Morehouse CollegeUSAGAAtlanta
Lehigh UniversityUSAPABethlehem
Drexel UniversityUSAPAPennsylvania
Texas A&MUSATXCollege Station
University of West FloridaUSAFLPensacola
Union CollegeUSANYSchenectady
Spelman CollegeUSAGAAtlanta
Rochester Institute of TechnologyUSANYRochester
Smith CollegeUSAMANorthampton
University of FloridaUSAFLGainesville
University of Wisconsin, MadisonUSAWIMadison
Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD)USAGASavannah
University of Alaska FairbanksUSAAKFairbanks
GateWay Community CollegeUSAAZPhoenix
University of Nebraska-LincolnUSANBLincoln
Stevens Institute of TechnologyUSANJHoboken
Oregon State UniversityUSAORCorvallis
Vanderbilt UniversityUSATNNashville
Middle Tennessee State UniversityUSATNMurfreesboro
Tennessee TechUSATNCookeville
George Mason UniversityUSAVAFairfax
Iowa State UniversityUSAIAAmes
West Virgina UniversityUSAWVMorgantown
University of GeorgiaUSAGAAthens
James Madison UniversityUSAVAHarrisonburg
University of ChicagoUSAILChicago
University of Puerto RicoUSAPRSan Juan
Emory UniversityUSAGAAtlanta
South Dakota School of Mines & TechnologyUSASDRapid City
North Dakota State UniversityUSANDFargo
Ohio UniversityUSAOHAthens
Abilene Christian UniversityUSATXAbilene
Harvey Mudd CollegeUSACAClaremont
Otterbein UniversityUSAOHWesterville
Sacramento City CollegeUSACASacramento
School of the Art Institute of ChicagoUSAILChicago
Mississippi State UniversityUSAMSMississippi State
Washington State UniversityUSAWAPullman
Parsons School of DesignUSA NYNew York

Not on the list? You can nominate post-secondary schools for next year’s Best Maker Schools list:

More About Featured Schools

To learn more about some of the schools featured on this list, watch the Make: blog at makezine.com and the Make:cast podcast for interviews and profiles of excellent maker schools and programs.

More About This List

How was Make: able to gather the most comprehensive list of maker schools? We’re non-biased — we are not an education institution looking to compete, nor an education-market publisher. We are a community of makers of all types and levels, from self-taught inventors and rank beginners to PhD engineers and entrepreneurs.

We asked our unique network of makers and educators in the US and worldwide that’s been built over 15 years by Maker Faires, Make: Magazine, and events like our Maker Education Forum. Many of the schools on this list have built a maker community over the years by hosting local and regional Maker Faires.

We strove for a balance of programs: engineering but also arts and design, vocational/technical, mechanical/fabrication, and standout interdisciplinary programs. We also strove for geographic balance, soliciting recommendations for all regions of the US and the world, and considered accessibility (location and cost).

About Make:

Make: has been a vanguard of the worldwide maker movement through the publication of Make: magazine and Make: books for over 16 years, as well as through a global network of Maker Faires. Make: has two goals: to increase the number of people who are exposed to making and become makers, and to share the wide variety of projects that makers create and show their contribution to our society. Make: believes it is essential that more youth are provided access to the tools, materials, concepts, and support to grow as makers through both formal and informal learning opportunities in their local communities. Making empowers people to solve real-world problems and develop their own voices and skills. Making creates a more highly skilled workforce ready for the 21st century.