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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Penn State University Park

Begin Date: Summer Session 2008
End Date: Spring Semester 2010

Mechanical Engineering - ARCHIVE

University Park, College of Engineering (M E)

PROFESSOR KAREN A. THOLE; Head, Department of Mechanical and Nuclear Engineering

Mechanical Engineering is the science of understanding, and art of design of mechanisms and engines. Mechanisms are devices composed of solid, fluid, electrical, and optical components that perform specified tasks. Examples include: robots, tape drives, earth movers, clocks, sports equipment, energy-absorbing bumpers, acoustic sensors, low-friction bearings, high-friction brakes, automated inspection equipment, satellite positioners, and artificial hips. Engines are devices that convert (or conserve) thermal and mechanical energy to perform specified tasks. Examples include: internal combustion engines, jet engines, missile launchers, heat exchangers, refrigerators, ovens, ventilators, pumps, turbines, solar heaters, compressors, hydraulic actuators, and explosively deployed air bags.

The Mechanical Engineering program prepares students for a rewarding career in one of the broadest engineering disciplines. Since the industrial revolution, mechanical engineers have found themselves at the forefront of technology development and applications.

The objective of the Mechanical Engineering program is to prepare students for a wide range of career paths that use mechanical engineering principles and methodology. We will maintain and provide a curriculum that prepares our recent graduates for:

  1. working in industry and government including computer-aided design, simulation and analysis of products or systems, experimentation and testing, manufacturing, and technical sales.
  2. assuming increasing levels of responsibility in project, personnel, and budget management.
  3. working and leading effectively in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural teams.
  4. communicating effectively and recognizing the global, social and ethical contexts of their work.
  5. entering into graduate and professional studies.

The program offers a balance of engineering applications and theory with an emphasis on design from the first year through the industry-based capstone design experience in the senior year. In addition, mechanical engineering students find it easy to incorporate co-operative educational experiences as well as many minors into their program.

For the B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering, a minimum of 131 credits is required. This baccalaureate program in Mechanical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, Inc., 111 Market Place, Suite 1050, Baltimore, MD 21202-4012; telephone 410-347-7700; or

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem:1-2)

(27 of these 45 credits are included in the REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR)
(See description of General Education in front of Bulletin.)


(Included in GENERAL EDUCATION course selection)


(This includes 27 credits of General Education courses: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GS courses; 9 credits of GWS courses.)

CHEM 110 GN(3)[1], EDSGN 100(3), MATH 140 GQ(4)[1], MATH 141 GQ(4)[1], PHYS 211 GN(4)[1] (Sem: 1-2)
E MCH 211(3)[1], E MCH 212(3)[1], E MCH 213(3)[1], M E 300(3)[1], MATH 220 GQ(2-3), MATH 231(2), MATH 251(4), PHYS 212 GN(4), PHYS 214 GN(2) (Sem: 3-4)
E E 212(3), E MCH 315(2), ENGL 202C GWS(3), M E 320(3)[1], M E 340(3)[1], M E 345(4)[1], M E 360(3)[1], M E 370(3)[1], M E 410(3)[1], MATSE 259(3) (Sem: 5-6)
I E 312(3), M E 450(3)[1] (Sem: 7-8)

Select 1 credit of First-Year Seminar (Sem: 1-2)
CHEM 112 GN(3), or BIOL 141 GN(3) (Sem: 1-2)
ENGL 015 GWS(3) or ENGL 030 GWS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
ECON 002 GS(3), ECON 004 GS(3), ECON 014 GS(3), or E B F 200 GS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
CAS 100A GWS(3) or CAS 100B GWS(3) (Sem: 3-4)
CMPSC 201 GQ(3) or CMPSC 202 GQ(3) (Sem: 3-4)
M E 440W(3) or M E 441W(3) (Sem: 7-8)
Select 2 credits from M E 325(1), M E 315(1), M E 375(1), M E 355(1), or E MCH 316(1) (Sem: 7-8)

Select 3 credits in a 400-level M E Technical Elective course excluding M E 410(3), M E 440W(3), M E 441W(3), M E 450(3), M E 494(1-9), and M E 496(1-18) (Sem: 5-8)
Select 6 credits in Engineering Technical Elective courses, any 400-level courses in the College of Engineering not required for a B.S. in M.E. (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3 credits in General Technical Elective courses from department list (Sem: 7-8)
(Students who complete Basic ROTC may substitute 6 of the ROTC credits for 3 credits of GTE and 3 credits of GHA.)
Three rotations of Engr Co-op (ENGR 295, ENGR 395, and ENGR 495) can be used as 3 credits of GTE.

Integrated B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering

A limited number of undergraduate students in the B.S.M.E. program will be considered for admission to the integrated undergraduate/graduate program leading to the B.S.M.E. and the M.S.M.E. degrees. Students with a junior standing in the B.S.M.E. degree program may be admitted to the integrated B.S.M.E./M.S.M.E. program, following a positive review of an application specific to this program by the faculty committee on graduate admissions. Students must have attained a GPA of at least 3.0. Students admitted to the integrated program must maintain a GPA in all classes used toward the M.S.M.E. degree of at least 3.0.

[1] A student enrolled in this major must receive a grade of C or better, as specified in Senate Policy 82-44.

Last Revised by the Department: Spring Semester 2008

Blue Sheet Item #: 36-01-039

Review Date: 8/28/07

UCA Revision #1: 8/9/06
UCA Revision #2: 7/30/07

Dept Head update by Publications: 8/1/06




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