I would go so far as to say you need to speak personally with the specific department of the school (university or college) being considered for the latest information. This information can sometimes be hidden, obscure, not available, or, in some cases, out of date online due to the rapid pace of obsolescence. This information is best collected on school visits during the decision process. Even the model of calculator required can vary widely from discipline to discipline.By the way, it's worth checking a school's website before making hardware or software purchases for a student. While academic hardware discounts aren't as large as they used to be, they still can save a reasonable amount of money, especially for higher-end systems.
Engineering students can have a much different set of hardware and software needs even when compared to similar disciplines within the department, depending on the school. At Penn State, for example, the College of Engineering has the following guidelines. Note how the Architectural and Biomedical Engineering departments have slightly different requirements, and that none of them mention Linux at all.
At Carnegie Mellon, they take a slightly different approach, and include Linux support in a similar department.
Most all institutions of higher education still maintain large computer labs scattered around campus for student use containing all the software a student may need outside of the basics. It should be of importance for the student to familiarize themselves with these in case of problems with their personally owned hardware.
Which brings me to my final recommendation. Where will the student get technical support or repairs when away from home? If bringing Apple hardware, is there an Apple Store local to the school? How does the student get there if needed? Does the school itself provide onsite warranty service? Regardless, it is best to purchase an AppleCare plan for such needs. In the case of Penn State, there is no Apple Store within hours of the campus. Choosing a Windows laptop from Dell or Lenovo may get you onsite warranty repairs depending on the policy selected at the time of purchase.