Missouri S&T was one of the first tech schools west of the Mississippi River, and today it's considered among the top technological research universities in the country. It is located in the small town of Rolla, Missouri, and surrounded by beautiful Ozark scenery.

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While best known for its engineering programs, S&T (as it is called by most students) also offers degrees in the sciences, liberal arts, humanities and business. The variety clearly benefits students, who go on to earn early career salaries of about $83,000, on average.

Its roughly 5,500 undergrads can participate in more than 200 student organizations and an assortment of varsity and intramural sports. The Miners compete in the Great Lakes Valley Conference of the NCAA Division II.

A cornerstone of S&T student life is its 19 design teams, who collaborate with industry professionals to build everything from dirt bikes to robots to remote-controlled aircrafts. The biggest school tradition each year is S&T's famous St. Patrick's Day celebration, in which students, faculty and local residents get together and literally paint the town green.