The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical engineering includes mechanical design, thermal-fluid systems, applied mechanics, and automation. The mechanical engineering student is prepared in all of these areas in order to analyze and design complex mechanical systems. Graduates can specialize in areas such as energy conversion systems, mechanisms and machines, manufacturing, materials, and automation through electives.

Mechanical Engineering Program Mission

The mechanical engineering program has the primary mission of providing students a high-quality undergraduate engineering education with:

  • A curriculum that is firmly grounded in engineering fundamentals
  • A faculty that provides superior teaching and mentoring both in and out of the classroom
  • A faculty whose focus is undergraduate education
  • Class sizes that encourage student participation
  • Project experiences that build on fundamentals and develop team skills
  • Facilities and equipment that are readily accessible
  • An environment that is conducive to learning and encourages students from different genders and backgrounds.

We are committed to offer a broad undergraduate experience that will promote professional growth and prepare students for a variety of engineering careers, graduate studies, and continuing education.

Mechanical Engineering Program Educational Objectives

The program's educational objectives are best framed in terms of goals for its graduates. Mechanical engineering graduates will:

  • Be effective engineers and problem solvers.
  • Be well educated in the mechanical engineering sciences.
  • Be able to use engineering tools that will enhance their productivity.
  • Be familiar with current technology and how it can be incorporated into their design, analysis, and testing activities including an understanding of manufacturing methods and the use of computers, sensors, and actuators to automate machines and processes.
  • Be effective oral, written, and graphical communicators.
  • Be able to function effectively as members of multi-disciplinary teams.
  • Have an appreciation for the individual, society, and human heritage, and be aware of the impact of their designs on human-kind and the environment.
  • Be prepared for a variety of engineering careers, graduate studies, and continuing education.

Mechanical Engineering Design Experience

The mechanical engineering program at CSU, Chico is a traditional balance of engineering science and design. The design sequence for mechanical engineers is a progressive one. The courses which are primarily devoted to design are:

  • MECH 140--Introduction to Engineering Design
  • MECH 340--Mechanical Engineering Design
  • MECH 440A--Mechanical Engineering Design Project I
  • MECH 440B--Mechanical Engineering Design Project II

The freshman experience (MECH 140) focuses on the creative aspects of design and gives students an opportunity to practice the engineering design process with little or no emphasis on engineering science. At the junior level (MECH 340), there is an opportunity to learn about safety, failure, reliability, codes and standards, and economic considerations, while carrying out detailed design of mechanical components. In the final senior project (MECH 440A and MECH 440B), students are expected to exercise what they learned throughout the preceding design courses in a final project that includes manufacturing and testing, as well as the more global aspects of design including product realization, economic factors, environmental issues, and social impact. Together, these experiences prepare graduates to be successful practitioners with an awareness of the multitude of issues involved.

Bachelor Degree Requirements

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 132 units

See "Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree" in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. Please request a plan from your major advisor or view it and other current advising information on the CSU, Chico Web.

General Education Requirement

Mechanical Engineering is a major with modifications to the University's General Education Requirements. The following requirements, together with the approved General Education courses required for the Mechanical Engineering major (marked with an * below), fulfill the General Education Requirement. 1. Select two courses, one from each of the Core Areas A1 and A2. 2. Select one course from Breadth Area B2. 3. Select one course from Breadth Area C1 or C2 or C3. 4. Select one course from Breadth Area D1 or D2 or D3. 5. Upper-divisison theme modification has been approved for this major. See the General Education chapter in the University Catalog for specifics on how to apply this modification.

Cultural Diversity Requirement: 6 units

Complete two Cultural Diversity courses, one Ethnic and one Non-Western. (See the "Bachelor's Degree Requirements" section.) Both courses must also satisfy one of the General Education requirements in order for 132 units to fulfill all requirements for the Mechanical Engineering degree.

American Institutions Requirement: 6 units

This requirement is normally fulfilled by completing HIST 130 and POLS 155. For other alternatives, see the "Bachelor's Degree Requirements" section.

Literacy Requirement:

See "Mathematics and Writing Requirements" in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or better to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a C- or better before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 105 units

The following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, are required of all candidates for this degree.

Lower-Division Requirements: 52 units

17 courses required:

CIVL 211 Statics 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121 and PHYS 204A. CIVL 110 (may be taken concurrently) or MECH 100 and MECH 100L (may be taken concurrently).
CHEM 111 General Chemistry 4.0 FS *
Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
EECE 211 Linear Circuits I 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204B.
EECE 211L Linear Circuits I Activity 1.0 FS
Corequisites: EECE 211.
MATH 120 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 4.0 FS *
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; both MATH 118 and MATH 119 (or high school equivalent); a score that meets department guidelines on a department administered calculus readiness exam.
MATH 121 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 120.
MATH 220 Analytic Geometry and Calculus 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121.
MATH 260 Elem Differential Equations 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121.
MECH 100 Graphics I 1.0 FS
Corequisites: MECH 100L.
MECH 100L Graphics I Laboratory 1.0 FS
Corequisites: MECH 100.
MECH 140 Intro to Engineering Design 3.0 FS
MECH 200 Graphics II 2.0 FS
Prerequisites: MECH 100 and MECH 100L.
MECH 210 Materials Science/Engineering 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: PHYS 204A; CHEM 111.
MFGT 160 Manufacturing Processes 3.0 FS
PHYS 204A Mechanics 4.0 FS *
Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of MATH 121 (second semester of calculus) or equivalent.
PHYS 204B Electricity and Magnetism 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204A with a grade of C- or higher.
PHYS 204C Heat/Wave Motion/Sound/Light 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204A with a grade of C- or higher.

Upper-Division Requirements: 53 units

15 courses required:

CIVL 302 Engineering Econ & Statistics 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: MATH 121, junior standing.
CIVL 311 Strength of Materials 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: CIVL 211 with a grade of C- or higher; CIVL 110 or MECH 100 and MECH 100L; MATH 260 and MECH 210 (may be taken concurrently).
CIVL 321 Fluid Mechanics 4.0 FS
Prerequisites: CIVL 211 with a grade of C- or higher. Recommended: MATH 260, MECH 320 (may be taken concurrently).
CIVL 495 Lifelong Development Engineers 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or equivalent; senior standing.
MECA 380 Measurements & Instrumentation 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: EECE 211, EECE 211L; either EECE 135 or MECH 306. Recommended: CIVL 302.
MECA 482 Control System Design 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: EECE 211, MATH 260. Recommended: MECA 380, MECH 320; either EECE 135 or MECH 306.

This course is also offered as EECE 482.

MECH 306 Equation Solving Techniques 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: MATH 260. Recommended: PHYS 204A.
MECH 308 Finite Element Analysis 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CIVL 311 with a grade of C- or higher, MECH 306. Recommended: MECH 210, PHYS 204C.
MECH 320 Dynamics 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: CIVL 211 with a grade of C- or higher, MATH 260.
MECH 332 Thermodynamics 3.0 FS
Prerequisites: PHYS 204A. Recommended: PHYS 204C.
MECH 338 Heat Transfer 4.0 SP
Prerequisites: CIVL 321, MECH 332. Recommended: MECH 306.
MECH 340 Mechanical Engineer Design 3.0 SP
Prerequisites: CIVL 311 with a grade of C- or higher, MECH 100, MECH 100L, MECH 210. Recommended: MECH 320, MFGT 160.
MECH 432 Energy Systems 4.0 FA
Prerequisites: MECH 338.
MECH 440A Mech Engr Design Project I 3.0 FA WP
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, MECH 200, MECH 340, MFGT 160. Recommended: CIVL 302, MECA 380, MECH 308, MECH 338.
MECH 440B Mech Engr Design Project II 2.0 SP
Prerequisites: MECH 440A. Recommended: CIVL 302, MECA 380, MECH 308, MECH 338.

3 units selected from:

A technical elective with advisor's approval.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Fundamentals of Engineering Examination (EIT)

The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam, also known as the Engineer-in-Training (EIT) Exam, is the first of two exams that the California State Board of Registration requires to be passed to be a licensed professional engineer. Prior to graduation, those majoring in Mechanical Engineering must apply to the California State Board of Registration and take the exam. Passing the exam is not required for graduation.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is strongly recommended for all majors in this degree program.

Honors in the Major

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It involves 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or competition in shows. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and later professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are

1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. At least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.

2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.

3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.

4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.

5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.

6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.