Mechanical Engineering, B.S. (Berks)

Program Code: MEBK_BS

Program Description

Built upon a broad foundation in physics, chemistry, and mathematics, this major has the objective of educating graduates to be problem solvers. Graduates of this program will have opportunities to learn about applying scientific principles, engineering analysis, and engineering design to solve unstructured problems that are typical of those found in mechanical engineering. The major helps prepare graduates for a lifelong productive career, whether they choose professional practice, graduate school, or some other career path. Graduates will have had opportunities to learn how to work with others toward a common goal, to clearly express their ideas in written and verbal form, and to be independent and capable of adapting to the continuously changing technology of the work environment.

After completing the fundamental science core, students may pursue their interest in mechanical engineering by studying fluid and solid mechanics, engineering materials and their properties, thermodynamics, and heat transfer, computer-aided design, kinematics and dynamics of machine elements, machine design, finite elements, control systems, electricity, and electronic instrumentation and machinery. The students will be required to analyze and solve a significant mechanical engineering design problem during their fourth year.

What is Mechanical Engineering?

Mechanical engineering is the largest and broadest engineering discipline. It uses a combination of physics, chemistry, mathematics, and materials science to study mechanical, fluid, and thermal systems. Mechanical engineers are problem solvers: They use their foundational knowledge to apply scientific and engineering methods to the design, construction, and testing of products and components to ensure that they are safe, reliable, and cost effective. Mechanical engineering differs from mechanical engineering technology in that it emphasizes the math and science behind the theoretical development of engineering analysis and design process principles rather than the application of these principles. Mechanical engineers design everything from athletic equipment, medical devices, theme park rides, and personal computers to engines and power plants.

You Might Like This Program If...

  • You are a curious, creative problem solver.
  • You are interested in engineering, math, chemistry, and physics.
  • You are looking for a broad discipline with career flexibility.
  • You enjoy working on team-based projects.

Entrance to Major

In addition to the Carnegie unit and minimum GPA requirements1 described by University policies, all students applying for entrance to any of the engineering majors at Behrend, Berks, or Capital College must have at least a 2.0 cumulative GPA by the end of the semester prior to applying for entrance to the major and have completed, with a minimum grade of C: CHEM 110, MATH 140, MATH 141, and PHYS 211. These courses must be completed by the end of the semester during which the entrance-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.

Degree Requirements

For the Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering, a minimum of 131 credits is required:

Requirement Credits
General Education 45
Requirements for the Major 107-108

21 of the 45 credits for General Education are included in the Requirements for the Major. This includes: 9 credits of GN courses; 6 credits of GQ courses; 3 credits of GS courses; 3 credits of GWS courses.

Per Senate Policy 83.80.5, the college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of coursework in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned.

Requirements for the Major

Each student must earn at least a grade of C in each 300- and 400-level course in the major field.

To graduate, a student enrolled in the major must earn a grade of C or better in each course designated by the major as a C-required course, as specified by Senate Policy 82-44.

Prescribed Courses
CMPSC 200Programming for Engineers with MATLAB Keystone/General Education Course3
EDSGN 100SIntroduction to Engineering Design3
EE 211Electrical Circuits and Power Distribution3
MATH 230Calculus and Vector Analysis4
PHYS 212General Physics: Electricity and Magnetism Keystone/General Education Course4
Prescribed Courses: Require a grade of C or better
CHEM 110Chemical Principles I Keystone/General Education Course3
EMCH 211Statics3
ENGL 202CEffective Writing: Technical Writing Keystone/General Education Course3
EMCH 212Dynamics3
EMCH 213Strength of Materials3
MATH 140Calculus With Analytic Geometry I Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 141Calculus with Analytic Geometry II Keystone/General Education Course4
MATH 220Matrices Keystone/General Education Course2-3
MATH 251Ordinary and Partial Differential Equations4
MATSE 259Properties and Processing of Engineering Materials3
ME 300Engineering Thermodynamics I3
ME 320Fluid Flow3
ME 345WInstrumentation, Measurements, and Statistics4
ME 349Intermediate Mechanics of Materials3
ME 357System Dynamics3
ME 365Materials Testing Laboratory1
ME 367Machine Design3
ME 380Machine Dynamics3
ME 410Heat Transfer3
ME 448Engineering Design Concepts3
ME 449Mechanical Design Projects3
ME 468Engineering for Manufacturing3
PHYS 211General Physics: Mechanics Keystone/General Education Course4
Additional Courses
ECON 102Introductory Microeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course3
or ECON 104 Introductory Macroeconomic Analysis and Policy Keystone/General Education Course
Select one of the following:3
Experimental Chemistry I Keystone/General Education Course
and General Physics: Wave Motion and Quantum Physics Keystone/General Education Course
Chemical Principles II Keystone/General Education Course
Introduction to Human Physiology Keystone/General Education Course
Supporting Courses and Related Areas
Supporting Courses and Related Areas: Require a grade of C or better
Select 13 credits of program elective courses from school-approved list 113

These credits must be selected to fulfill the thematic requirements of the major.

General Education

Connecting career and curiosity, the General Education curriculum provides the opportunity for students to acquire transferable skills necessary to be successful in the future and to thrive while living in interconnected contexts. General Education aids students in developing intellectual curiosity, a strengthened ability to think, and a deeper sense of aesthetic appreciation. These are requirements for all baccalaureate students and are often partially incorporated into the requirements of a program. For additional information, see the General Education Requirements section of the Bulletin and consult your academic adviser.

The keystone symbol Keystone/General Education Course appears next to the title of any course that is designated as a General Education course. Program requirements may also satisfy General Education requirements and vary for each program.

Foundations (grade of C or better is required and Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Quantification (GQ): 6 credits
  • Writing and Speaking (GWS): 9 credits

Breadth in the Knowledge Domains (Inter-Domain courses do not meet this requirement.)

  • Arts (GA): 3 credits
  • Health and Wellness (GHW): 3 credits
  • Humanities (GH): 3 credits
  • Social and Behavioral Sciences (GS): 3 credits
  • Natural Sciences (GN): 3 credits

Integrative Studies

  • Inter-Domain Courses (Inter-Domain): 6 credits


  • GN, may be completed with Inter-Domain courses: 3 credits
  • GA, GH, GN, GS, Inter-Domain courses. This may include 3 credits of World Language course work beyond the 12th credit level or the requirements for the student’s degree program, whichever is higher: 6 credits

University Degree Requirements

First Year Engagement

All students enrolled in a college or the Division of Undergraduate Studies at University Park, and the World Campus are required to take 1 to 3 credits of the First-Year Seminar, as specified by their college First-Year Engagement Plan.

Other Penn State colleges and campuses may require the First-Year Seminar; colleges and campuses that do not require a First-Year Seminar provide students with a first-year engagement experience.

First-year baccalaureate students entering Penn State should consult their academic adviser for these requirements.

Cultures Requirement

6 credits are required and may satisfy other requirements

  • United States Cultures: 3 credits
  • International Cultures: 3 credits

Writing Across the Curriculum

3 credits required from the college of graduation and likely prescribed as part of major requirements.

Total Minimum Credits

A minimum of 120 degree credits must be earned for a baccalaureate degree. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 credits. Students should consult with their college or department adviser for information on specific credit requirements.

Quality of Work

Candidates must complete the degree requirements for their major and earn at least a 2.00 grade-point average for all courses completed within their degree program.

Limitations on Source and Time for Credit Acquisition

The college dean or campus chancellor and program faculty may require up to 24 credits of course work in the major to be taken at the location or in the college or program where the degree is earned. Credit used toward degree programs may need to be earned from a particular source or within time constraints (see Senate Policy 83-80). For more information, check the Suggested Academic Plan for your intended program.

Academic Advising

The objectives of the university's academic advising program are to help advisees identify and achieve their academic goals, to promote their intellectual discovery, and to encourage students to take advantage of both in-and out-of class educational opportunities in order that they become self-directed learners and decision makers.

Both advisers and advisees share responsibility for making the advising relationship succeed. By encouraging their advisees to become engaged in their education, to meet their educational goals, and to develop the habit of learning, advisers assume a significant educational role. The advisee's unit of enrollment will provide each advisee with a primary academic adviser, the information needed to plan the chosen program of study, and referrals to other specialized resources.



Rungun Nathan
Program Coordinator, Associate Professor
Gaige 223
Reading, PA 19610


Elisa Wu, Ph.D.
Program Chair, Professor
227 AMIC
Erie, PA 16563


Casey McDowell
Administrative Support Assistant
W239 Olmsted
Middletown, PA 17057

Suggested Academic Plan

The suggested academic plan(s) listed on this page are the plan(s) that are in effect during the 2024-25 academic year. To access previous years' suggested academic plans, please visit the archive to view the appropriate Undergraduate Bulletin edition.

Mechanical Engineering, B.S. at Berks Campus

The course series listed below provides only one of the many possible ways to move through this curriculum. The University may make changes in policies, procedures, educational offerings, and requirements at any time. This plan should be used in conjunction with your degree audit (accessible in LionPATH as either an Academic Requirements or What If report). Please consult with a Penn State academic adviser on a regular basis to develop and refine an academic plan that is appropriate for you.

First Year
ENGL 15 or 30H (GWS)3CAS 100A or 100B (GWS)3
MATH 140 (GQ)*‡#4MATH 141 (GQ)*‡#4
CHEM 110*#3MATH 220*3
EDSGN 1003CMPSC 2003
General Education Course (GA or GH)3PHYS 211 (GN)*#†4
First-Year Seminar1CHEM 1111
 17 18
Second Year
EMCH 211*3ENGL 202C (GWS)3
MATH 2304EE 2113
MATH 251*4EMCH 212*3
PHYS 212 (GN)4EMCH 213*3
General Education Course (GHW)1.5ME 300*3
 PHYS 2142
 16.5 17
Third Year
ME 320*3ME 357*3
ME 345W*4ME 367*3
ME 349*3ME 380*3
ME 365*1ME 410*3
MATSE 259*3General Education Course (GA or GH)3
ECON 102 or 104 (GS)3 
 17 15
Fourth Year
ME 355 (Satisfies Technical Lab Elective, Consult adviser for details)*1ME 449*3
ME 448*3Technical Elective*3
ME 468*3Technical Elective*3
Technical Elective*3General Education Course (Integrative Studies)3
Technical Elective*3General Education Course (Exploration)3
General Education Course (Integrative Studies)3General Education Course (GHW)1.5
 16 16.5
Total Credits 133

Course requires a grade of C or better for the major

Course requires a grade of C or better for General Education


Course is an Entrance to Major requirement

Course satisfies General Education and degree requirement


For General Education Course notations, please be sure to include three (3) credits of United States (US) Cultures and three (3) credits of International (IL) Cultures. Consult adviser for details.


The following courses are offered Fall Semester only: MATSE 259, ME 320, ME 345, ME 349, ME 355, ME 448, ME 468.


The following courses are offered Spring Semester only: EMCH 212, EMCH 213, ME 357, ME 367, ME 380, ME 410, ME 449, PHYS 214.


Take (CHEM 111 & PHYS 214) or BIOL 141 or BIOL 161 or CHEM 112.


For Technical Elective, these include for Fall Semester: ME 445, ME 470, ME 495, STAT 401; for Spring Semester: KINES 488, ME 427, ME 461, ME 495; For Summer: ME 495.

University Requirements and General Education Notes:

US and IL are abbreviations used to designate courses that satisfy Cultural Diversity Requirements (United States and International Cultures).

W, M, X, and Y are the suffixes at the end of a course number used to designate courses that satisfy University Writing Across the Curriculum requirement.

General Education includes Foundations (GWS and GQ), Knowledge Domains (GHW, GN, GA, GH, GS) and Integrative Studies (Inter-domain) requirements. N or Q (Honors) is the suffix at the end of a course number used to help identify an Inter-domain course, but the inter-domain attribute is used to fill audit requirements. Foundations courses (GWS and GQ) require a grade of 'C' or better.

Career Paths

Because every industry values a mechanical engineer’s problem-solving capabilities, you’ll enjoy tremendous career flexibility in disciplines as varied as research, manufacturing, product and systems design and testing, health care, energy, the military, transportation, and consumer products. A mechanical engineering education also is excellent preparation for technical management, business, law, or technical sales.


Typical entry-level careers for mechanical engineering graduates are applications engineer, design engineer and mechanical design engineer, test engineer, equipment installation engineering, facilities technician, stress analysis engineer, product development engineer, and project engineer.

Opportunities for Graduate Studies

Graduate programs in mechanical engineering delve more deeply into areas of specialization such as automotive engineering, robotics, advanced manufacturing, thermal science, computational fluid mechanics, combustion modeling, or biomechanical engineering.

Professional Resources


The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at Penn State Berks is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET,, under the commission’s General Criteria and Program Criteria for Mechanical and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.

Professional Licensure/Certification

Many U.S. states and territories require professional licensure/certification to be employed. If you plan to pursue employment in a licensed profession after completing this program, please visit the Professional Licensure/Certification Disclosures by State interactive map.



Gaige Building
Reading, PA 19610


242 Jack Burke Research and Economic Development Center
5101 Jordan Road
Erie, PA 16563


Olmsted Building, W239
Middletown, PA 17057