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College of Engineering and Computer Science

Mechanical Engineering

Department of Mechanical Engineering

Bachelor of Science Degree

What is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical Engineering applies the principles of science and mathematics to many kinds of machinery and equipment, especially those used in transportation, manufacturing and energy conversion. Mechanical engineers are involved in the design and development of aircraft, automobiles, trucks and other vehicles, power generation plants, manufacturing equipment, computer systems and components, biomedical devices, robots, and the climate control systems of buildings. The field is changing rapidly and many products currently being designed and built by mechanical engineers were not in existence a few years ago.

Graduates enter a variety of careers with both public agencies and private companies. These employers include manufacturers of electronic components, automobiles, airplanes and heavy machinery; public utilities; consulting engineers and architects; and federal, state and local governments. Many graduates continue their education by completing advanced degrees in engineering or management. 

What does the Mechanical Engineering student study?

Building on a base of mathematics, science, and engineering fundamentals, the Mechanical Engineering program features a four semester core of studies of modern design and manufacturing methods. In the senior year the students, individually or in small groups, design, build, and test a variety of practical devices, including laboratory equipment and competition vehicles, as well as devices for local industry. 

Along with this design core, there are courses on energy conversion, manufacturing, properties of materials, and the application of computers in the practice of mechanical engineering, as well as a variety of elective courses. The curriculum maintains a balance among fundamental principles, analytical methods, and design applications of current knowledge, thus preparing the graduate for both an entry into the engineering profession and a long-term career. 

More specifically, the subjects studied in the Mechanical Engineering program are: 

Lower Division (first and second years):

  • Calculus, Differential Equations
  • Chemistry and Physics
  • Engineering Graphics
  • Engineering Science (circuits, statics, materials)
  • Manufacturing Processes
  • Communications (oral and written)
  • General Education

Upper Division (third and fourth years):

  • Dynamics; Dynamics of Machinery; Stress analysis
  • Thermodynamics; Fluid mechanics; Heat transfer
  • Computer-aided Analysis and design; Statistics
  • Product and Machine Design
  • Properties of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering Measurements
  • Vibrations and Controls
  • Concurrent Engineering
  • Project Engineering
  • with electives in
    • Design with ceramics and composites
    • Solar energy engineering
    • Vehicle and engine design
    • Integrated production systems
    • ... and many more

What are some special features of the BS ME program?

With most classes having enrollments of 35 or less, there is opportunity for active participation in class discussion and for a real exchange of ideas between students and faculty. Laboratory classes, which provide practical experience, usually have 20 or fewer students. Each student has a faculty advisor who meets with him/her each semester to discuss academic progress, plan the following semester, explain university regulations, and answer questions about the Mechanical Engineering program. 

The BS in Mechanical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. http://www.abet.org. 

ABET accredited

For further information, contact the Department Chair: 

Dr. Sue Holl
Voice: (916) 278-6625
Fax: (916) 278-7713
Email: sueh@csus.edu