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University Bulletin
Undergraduate Degree Programs

Penn State University Park

Begin Date: Spring 2010
End Date: Fafll 2017

Mechanical Engineering

University Park, College of Engineering (M E)

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

Mechanical Engineering is one of the broadest engineering disciplines and is central in many new technological developments. Mechanical engineers create things that help improve the health, happiness and safety of our everyday lives such as biomedical devices, aircraft propulsion, and ways to store renewable energies. Mechanical engineering is divided into two broad areas: mechanical systems and thermal systems. Mechanical systems include the design of mechanisms and the analysis of the strength and wear of materials. Thermal systems include methods of energy conversions, heat transfer and fluid flow.

Program Educational Objectives:

Three to five years after graduation, Mechanical Engineering graduates will be:

  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.

Program Outcomes (Student Outcomes):

The Program outcomes are knowledge, skills, and/or behavior that are derived from the program educational objectives.

a. An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering.
b. An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data.
c. An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, ethical, health and safety, manufacturability, and sustainability.
d. An ability to function on multidisciplinary teams.
e. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems.
f. An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility.
g. An ability to communicate effectively.
h. The braod education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context.
i. A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning.
j. A knowledge of contemporary issues.
k. An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.

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.

ENTRANCE TO MAJOR -- In addition to the minimum grade point average (GPA) requirements* described in the University Policies, all College of Engineering entrance to major course requirements must also be completed with a minimum grade of C: CHEM 110 (GN), MATH 140 (GQ), MATH 141 (GQ), MATH 250 or MATH 251, PHYS 211 (GN) and PHYS 212 (GN). All of these courses must be completed by the end of the semester during which the admission to major process is carried out.

*In the event that the major is under enrollment control, a higher minimum cumulative grade-point average is likely to be needed and students must be enrolled in the College of Engineering or Division of Undergraduate Studies at the time of confirming their major choice.

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.,

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)
CMPSC 200 GQ(3), EMCH 211(3)[1], EMCH 212(3)[1], EMCH 213(3)[1], ME 300(3)[1], MATH 220 GQ(2-3), MATH 231(2), MATH 251(4)[1], PHYS 212 GN(4)[1], PHYS 214 GN(2) (Sem: 3-4)
EE 212(3), EMCH 315(2), ENGL 202C GWS(3), ME 320(3)[1], ME 340(3)[1], ME 345(4)[1], ME 360(3)[1], ME 370(3)[1], ME 410(3)[1], MATSE 259(3) (Sem: 5-6)
IE 312(3), ME 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 15 GWS(3) or ENGL 30 GWS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
ECON 102 GS(3), ECON 104 GS(3), ECON 14 GS(3), or ENNEC 100 GS(3) (Sem: 1-2)
CAS 100A GWS(3) or CAS 100B GWS(3) (Sem: 3-4)
ME 440(3) or ME 441(3) (Sem: 7-8)
Select 2 credits from ME 325(1), ME 315(1), ME 375(1), ME 355(1), or EMCH 316(1) (Sem: 7-8)

Select 3 credits in a 400-level ME Technical Elective course excluding ME 410(3), ME 440(3), ME 441(3), ME 450(3), ME 494(1-9), and ME 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: Summer Session 2010

Blue Sheet Item #: 38-05-038

Review Date: 02/23/2010

R & T: Approved 5/24/2013

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





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