The College of Engineering is a great place to be. We have a physical plant of eight buildings, including ELab II with modern laboratory spaces, research facilities, computer labs, and graduate offices. The college's network of living alumni numbers more than 16,000 around the globe. Enrollment in the College of Engineering has increased by more than 50 percent in the last few years. The average SAT score for this year's entering class is the highest on campus and has significantly increased in recent years. The current undergraduate enrollment is about 1,988 students and graduate enrollment is about 539 students.
In academic year 2015-2016, there are 109 tenured and tenure-track faculty members in the College of Engineering. That includes six endowed professorships in the areas of electrical and computer engineering, entrepreneurship & innovation, measurement science, professional development, renewable energy, and materials science. Extramural research has reached $24.5 million in expenditures in a total budget of $48.4 million. We operate several national research centers, including the $7.5-million Northeast Climate Science Center, funded by the U.S. Department of the Interior.
With six of our faculty members receiving NSF CAREER awards in the past two years, 23 current faculty members from the college have now won this prestigious honor for young academics. Just to put the quality of our researchers in perspective, approximately half of our current faculty have received CAREER Awards and/or were chosen as Fellows of their professional organizations.
Last year, engineering undergraduates received over $400,000 in scholarships from 53 endowed funds and numerous annual scholarships. The average scholarship award was $1,500. More than 56 percent of College of Engineering undergraduate students qualify for need-based aid. The college also hosts 20 professional and honor societies, along with an active chapter of the Society of Women Engineers and one of the oldest Multicultural Engineering Programs in the country.
An Engineering Career Planning & Student Development Center prepares students for professional opportunities and provides a place where engineering students, faculty, and employers can meet and develop mutually beneficial relationships. Over the last five years, approximately 81 percent of our graduates have been placed in professional positions or graduate school, and the average starting salary for en entry level engineering job is about $60,000.
I look forward to leading the college at this time of continuing growth, mindful of challenges, but quite excited about the opportunities lying ahead. My goal as dean is to continue our upward trajectory as seamlessly as possible.