Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The mission of the undergraduate program in mechanical engineering is to prepare students within the broad and evolving field of mechanical engineering. The program instills in students a capacity for creative design through critical and analytical thought. The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME) is the first step toward a career in industry, academia or government; it encourages a commitment to independent lifelong learning and professional development. In addition to their technical studies, students learn to communicate their ideas clearly and to conduct themselves in an ethical and socially responsible manner.

Program Educational Objectives

Program educational objectives are broad statements that describe what graduates are expected to attain within a few years of graduation. These objectives are based on the needs of the program's constituencies.

Within a few years of graduation, graduates of the BSME program are expected to do the following:

  • Engage in professional practice and/or advanced study
  • Further their knowledge and skills through education and/or professional development
  • Serve society by using and communicating their knowledge and values

Student Outcomes

The Mechanical Engineering program has the following student outcomes that describe what students are expected to know and be able to do by the time of graduation. These relate to the knowledge, skills and behaviors that students acquire as they progress through the program.

The student outcomes of the BSME program are as follows:

  • An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
  • An ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
  • An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
  • An ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental and societal contexts
  • An ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
  • An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
  • An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies


The curriculum is a four-year program leading to the first professional degree, the BSME, which is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. The curriculum prepares the student for professional practice or postgraduate education in a broad spectrum of mechanical and other engineering or professional fields. It provides critical knowledge in solid mechanics, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and heat transfer, materials science, dynamics and control, and design. It includes 34 units of mathematics and basic sciences, 58 units of engineering topics, and 28 units of general education for a total degree requirement of 120 units. The general education requirement includes 18 units of social science and humanities.

Core courses must be taken for credit (i.e., for a grade). The social science and humanities courses may be taken on a pass/fail basis. The undergraduate program provides the necessary foundations in these areas and the opportunity to specialize in topics of particular interest. Specialization is accomplished via the judicious choice of engineering electives taken as 300-, 400- or 500-level courses approved by the student's adviser. At the end of the four-year program, the student is ready to go on to graduate education or into research or professional practice.

Basic Core Courses

Humanities, Social Sciences and Writing

Humanities and social sciences (refer to McKelvey School of Engineering degree requirements for details)18
Engr 310Technical Writing3
Total Units21

Mathematics and Computation

Math 132Calculus II3
Math 233Calculus III3
Math 217Differential Equations3
MEMS 201Numerical Methods and Matrix Algebra3
or ESE 318 Engineering Mathematics A
ESE 319Engineering Mathematics B3
ESE 326Probability and Statistics for Engineering3
CSE 131Introduction to Computer Science3
Total Units21

Physical Sciences

Chem 111AGeneral Chemistry I3
or Chem 105 Introductory General Chemistry I
Chem 151General Chemistry Laboratory I2
Physics 191Physics I3
Physics 191LPhysics I Laboratory1
Physics 192Physics II3
Physics 192LPhysics II Laboratory1
Physical or Life Science (200 level or above natural science course in Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Earth and Planetary Science, or Environmental Studies)3
Total Units16

 Mechanical Engineering

MEMS 1001Machine Shop Practicum1
MEMS 101Introduction to Mechanical Engineering and Mechanical Design2
MEMS 202Computer-Aided Design2
MEMS 205Mechanics and Materials Science Laboratory2
MEMS 253Statics and Mechanics of Materials3
MEMS 255Dynamics3
MEMS 301Thermodynamics3
MEMS 305Fluid Mechanics and Heat Transfer Laboratory2
MEMS 3110Machine Elements3
MEMS 3410Fluid Mechanics3
MEMS 3420Heat Transfer3
MEMS 350Solid Mechanics3
MEMS 3610Materials Science3
MEMS 4050Vibrations Lab1
MEMS 411Mechanical Engineering Design Project3
MEMS 412Design of Thermal Systems3
MEMS 4301Modeling, Simulation and Control3
MEMS 4310Dynamics and Vibrations3
ESE 230Introduction to Electrical and Electronic Circuits4
MEMS senior electives9
Other courses3
Total Units62