Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering
Mechanical engineering is one of the largest and broadest fields of technical study. Mechanical engineers are concerned with the engineering systems used to control and transform energy to meet the needs of humanity. In mechanical engineering, students develop an understanding of basic topics and fundamental principles upon which engineered systems are conceived and developed in a modern society. It is an excellent foundation for a rewarding career in engineering, as well as for further study in business, law, medicine, and other professions that require a solid foundation in science and technology, and the ability to solve problems.
The mechanical engineering department is dedicated to graduating mechanical engineers who practice mechanical engineering in the general stems of thermal/fluid systems, mechanical systems and design, and materials and manufacturing in industry and government settings; pursue advanced education, research and development, and other creative efforts in science and technology; conduct themselves in a responsible, professional, and ethical manner; and participate as leaders in activities that support service to and economic development of the region, state, and nation.
The mechanical engineering faculty has defined ten educational outcomes that students in the program are expected to achieve by the time of graduation. These outcomes are
- Knowledge of and ability to apply engineering and science fundamentals to real problems
- Ability to formulate and solve open-ended problems
- Ability to design mechanical components, systems, and processes
- Ability to set up, conduct, and interpret experiments, and to present the results in a professional manner
- Ability to use modern computer tools in mechanical engineering
- Ability to communicate in written, oral, and graphical forms
- Ability to work in teams and apply interpersonal skills in engineering contexts
- Ability and desire to lay a foundation for continued learning beyond the baccalaureate degree
- Awareness of professional issues in engineering practice, including ethical responsibility, safety, the creative enterprise, and loyalty and commitment to the profession
- Awareness of contemporary issues in engineering practice, including economic, social, political, and environmental issues and global impact
The mechanical engineering curriculum meets these outcomes by providing breadth and depth across a range of topics.
- A combination of college-level mathematics and basic science courses (some with experimental work) that includes mathematics through differential equations, probability and statistics, physics, and chemistry
- Engineering courses that develop a working knowledge of graphics and computer-aided design, engineering mechanics, thermodynamics, kinematics, dynamics and control of mechanical systems, computational methods, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, materials science and engineering, mechatronics, technical communication, and engineering economics
- Mechanical engineering project and laboratory experiences that develop competence in measurements and instrumentation, interpretation of data, reverse engineering analysis of mechanical systems, use of computational tools for engineering analysis, integration of multidisciplinary topics in design of complex systems, teamwork and project planning, and written and oral communication
- A sequence of engineering design courses, culminating in a major capstone design experience in collaboration with an industrial sponsor, that draws on the knowledge and skills students have acquired in earlier coursework and incorporates modern engineering standards and realistic constraints
- Core curriculum courses, including social and behavioral sciences, humanities, and visual and performing arts electives, that complement the technical content of the curriculum
- A variety of senior elective options that provide a career gateway to further study and lifelong learning in the practice of engineering and other professions
PROCEED (Project-Centered Education)
The undergraduate curriculum in mechanical engineering is built on the principle of project-centered education, or PROCEED. A number of courses throughout the curriculum are structured to motivate the study of engineering science by challenging students with in-depth analysis of real mechanical components and systems. In PROCEED, students address real-world projects based on current industrial methods and practices. Undergraduate laboratories and computer facilities are integrated into the curriculum to connect theory with practice.
Portable Computing Devices
Students entering Mechanical Engineering are expected to have a laptop computer at their disposal. The use of laptop computers will be necessary in many required courses, and individual instructors may require that a laptop be brought to class or lab sessions. For a list of minimum system requirements see: http://www.me.utexas.edu/laptopreq .
Course requirements are divided into three categories: basic sequence courses, major sequence courses, and other required courses. In addition, each student must complete the University’s core curriculum . In some cases, a course required as part of the basic sequence may also be counted toward the core curriculum; these courses are identified below. To ensure that courses used to fulfill the social and behavioral sciences and visual and performing arts requirements of the core curriculum also meet ABET criteria, students should follow the guidance given in Liberal Education of Engineers .
In the process of fulfilling engineering degree requirements, students must also complete coursework to satisfy the University's flag requirements: one independent inquiry flag, one course with a quantitative reasoning flag, one ethics and leadership flag, one global cultures flag, one cultural diversity in the United States flag, and three writing flags. The independent inquiry flag, the quantitative reasoning flag, the ethics and leadership flag, and three writing flags are carried by courses specifically required for the degree; these courses are identified below. Courses that may be used to fulfill flag requirements are identified in the Course Schedule .
Enrollment in major sequence courses is restricted to students who have received credit for all of the basic sequence courses and have been admitted to the major sequence. Requirements for admission to a major sequence are given in Admission to a Major Sequence . Enrollment in other required courses is not restricted by completion of the basic sequence.
|Basic Sequence Courses|
|CH 301||Principles of Chemistry I (part II science and technology)||3|
|E M 306||Statics||3|
|E M 319||Mechanics of Solids||3|
|M 408C||Differential and Integral Calculus (mathematics; quantitative reasoning flag)||4|
|M 408D||Sequences, Series, and Multivariable Calculus||4|
|M 427K||Advanced Calculus for Applications I (quantitative reasoning flag)||4|
|M E 302||Introduction to Engineering Design and Graphics||3|
|M E 318M||Programming and Engineering Computational Methods||3|
|M E 324||Dynamics||3|
|M E 326||Thermodynamics||3|
|M E 330||Fluid Mechanics||3|
|M E 130L||Experimental Fluid Mechanics||1|
|M E 333T||Engineering Communication (writing flag and ethics and leadership flag)||3|
|PHY 303K||Engineering Physics I (part I science and technology; quantitative reasoning flag)||3|
|PHY 303L||Engineering Physics II (part I science and technology; quantitative reasoning flag)||3|
|PHY 103M||Laboratory for Physics 303K||1|
|PHY 103N||Laboratory for Physics 303L||1|
|Rhetoric and Writing|
|RHE 306||Rhetoric and Writing (English composition)||3|
|Major Sequence Courses|
|M E 334||Materials Engineering||3|
|M E 134L||Materials Engineering Laboratory||1|
|M E 338||Machine Elements||3|
|M E 339||Heat Transfer||3|
|M E 139L||Experimental Heat Transfer||1|
|M E 340||Mechatronics||3|
|M E 140L||Mechatronics Laboratory||1|
|M E 344||Dynamic Systems and Controls||3|
|M E 144L||Dynamic Systems and Controls Laboratory||1|
|M E 366J||Mechanical Engineering Design Methodology (writing flag)||3|
|M E 266K||Mechanical Engineering Design Project (independent inquiry flag and writing flag)||2|
|M E 266P||Design Project Laboratory||2|
|Other Required Courses|
|M E 335||Engineering Statistics||3|
|M E 353||Engineering Finance||3|
|Approved career gateway electives||12|
|Approved mathematics elective||3|
|Approved natural science/mathematics elective||3|
|Remaining Core Curriculum Requirements|
|E 316L||British Literature (humanities)||3|
|or E 316M||American Literature|
|or E 316N||World Literature|
|or E 316P||Masterworks of Literature|
|American and Texas government||6|
|Social and behavioral sciences||3|
|Visual and performing arts||3|
|UGS 302||First-Year Signature Course (some sections carry a writing flag)||3|
|or UGS 303||First-Year Signature Course|
Bridges to the Future Certificate Program
The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers highly qualified senior-level undergraduate students an opportunity for in-depth study and research in an emerging area of mechanical engineering through the Bridges to the Future Certificate Program. Upon completion of a prescribed series of technical electives and an independent research study under the direction of a faculty member and a doctoral student mentor, students receive a certificate and a letter from the department chair that describes the program and the work completed. The certificate and its supporting documentation, plus supporting letters from supervising faculty and mentors, can be valuable assets for students applying to graduate school or pursuing competitive job opportunities. This certificate will not appear on the student’s transcript.
Students must apply for admission to a certificate program during the junior year; they must have completed all basic sequence courses and must have been admitted to the major sequence in mechanical engineering. In some cases, the coursework may include a graduate course, which may be credited toward a University graduate degree.
Details on course offerings and admission procedures are available from the Department of Mechanical Engineering undergraduate office and on the mechanical engineering Web site .
Career Gateway Elective Options
The mechanical engineering curriculum includes twelve hours of career gateway electives, which are to be selected by the student to support his or her career goals. These courses should be chosen carefully and must be pertinent to each other and to the student’s career goals.
To assist students in thinking about career options, the advising section of the mechanical engineering Web site contains information that describes potential career paths in traditional and nontraditional areas. Students are required to review these materials and to meet with a faculty elective adviser to discuss their options prior to selecting their career gateway elective courses.
Before registering for any career gateway elective courses, students must prepare a career statement and a list of relevant, related courses, and a mechanical engineering faculty elective adviser must provide preliminary approval. Ultimately, the faculty undergraduate adviser in mechanical engineering must provide final approval before the student’s first degree audit for graduation.
By the beginning of the semester in which he or she will take the first career gateway elective, the student must have completed all basic sequence courses with a grade of at least C- in each and must have been admitted unconditionally to the major sequence in mechanical engineering.
Career gateway electives can include approved upper-division courses from mechanical engineering and other engineering departments, as well as upper-division courses from a number of other colleges and departments. A detailed description of courses that satisfy the career gateway elective requirements is available on the advising section of the mechanical engineering Web site. Highly qualified students are encouraged to fulfill career gateway elective requirements as part of the Bridges to the Future Certificate Program described above.