Mechanical Engineering

What Is It?:

Mechanical Engineers work on new machines, products, and processes that hold the promise of better lives for all of us. They are concerned with both technological and economic aspects in the design, development, and use of their products. Today, one of the challenges is to design efficient, low-cost machines and processes that use the fewest possible natural resources to improve the lives of people throughout the world.

The technical curriculum is designed as a sequence of increasingly specialized experiences. The entering student's first year is spent mastering the basics of science: math, chemistry, and physics. Building on this base, in the second year, students begin to take fundamental engineering courses such as statics, dynamics, basic circuits and electronics, thermodynamics, and strength of materials. By the third year, students are taking specialized mechanical engineering courses in the subfields of fluid mechanics, heat transfer, dynamic systems and controls, materials, mechanical design, and manufacturing.

For more information, please visit the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering.

Courses That Introduce the Major:

  • CHEM 102/103—General Chemistry I / General Chemistry Lab I
  • MATH 221—Calculus I
  • MATH 231—Calculus II
  • PHYS 211—University Physics: Mechanics
  • PHYS 212—University Physics: Electricity & Magnetism

Students should consult with an academic advisor regarding course selection prior to the advanced registration period.

Possible Career Opportunities:

  • Chartered management accountant
  • Consultant
  • Production
  • Quality assurance
  • Technical sales

Common Career Titles Related to this Major:

(Some careers may require education beyond an undergraduate degree)

  • Aeronautical Engineer
  • Automotive Engineer
  • Management Consultant
  • Manufacturing Engineer
  • Mechanical Engineer
  • Process Engineer
  • Production Manager
  • Quality Assurance Manager
  • Technical Sales Engineer

Enhancing Your Academic Experience:

  • Participating in undergraduate research
  • Applying for a study abroad experience
  • Utilizing resources of The Career Center
  • Joining a Registered Student Organization (RSO) related to this major, such as:
    • American Society of Mechanical Engineers: provides all students of the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering with an open-membership society that creates a dynamic bridge between students, faculty, and corporations.
    • National Society of Black Engineers: increases the number of black engineers who excel academically, succeed professionally, and positively impact the community.
    • Society for Experimental Mechanics: provides social and academic resources for students interested in theoretical and applied mechanics.

Related Skills:

  • Communicate effectively
  • Design and conduct experiments
  • Knowledge of contemporary issues
  • Problem solving
  • Teamwork
  • Understanding of technology
  • Understanding of the impact of engineering solutions in a global and societal context

Further Information:

For more information on what you can do with a major in Mechanical Engineering, visit The Career Center’s webpage: What Can I Do With This Major.

There are several professional organizations dedicated to Mechanical Engineering.  Their websites might be able to provide a glimpse in the world of Mechanical Engineering.  These organizations include American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Society of Automotive Engineers.

For more information on the classes needed for a degree in Mechanical Engineering, visit Undergraduate Programs.