This is an archived copy of the 2017-2018 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, please visit

Today, the role of mechanical engineer is ever expanding in order to find innovative solutions for contemporary problems, and to address problems yet to be identified. To meet the growing demands of worldwide energy needs spurred by population growth and dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, for instance, mechanical engineers seek innovations in nuclear energy, bio-fuels, wind, and tidal energies to build an energy portfolio that exploits these seemingly limitless resources. From product design, which spans from biomedical devices to turbo-machinery, to manufacturing, which develops machines and systems needed to process raw materials into these products, an awareness of the benefits of advanced materials for sensing and monitoring the health of these systems and an awareness of the stealth threats to manufacturing brought on by an ever present cyber threat are in the minds of the mechanical engineers. Now more mechanical engineers oversee the operations and management of large systems along with the fiscal and human resources needed to run them.

James Michener once said, "Scientists dream about doing great things. Engineers do them." Mechanical engineers use science to advance technologies and to develop products for the benefit of society, in a discipline which dates back to the earliest of times in civilization. The major in mechanical engineering has three program education objectives, namely:

  • Graduates have demonstrated success as a mechanical engineer or their chosen career field;
  • Graduates have advanced their educational pursuits through graduate education, professional registration, or similar means;
  • Graduates have advanced their careers by engaging in professional society participation and community service outreach. 


For policies governing all undergraduate degrees, see AP.5 Undergraduate Policies.

Change of Major

See Change of Major for more information. 

Termination from the Major

No math, science, or Volgenau School of Engineering course that is required for the major may be attempted more than three times. Those students who do not successfully complete such a course within three attempts will be terminated from the major. Undeclared students in the Volgenau School who do not successfully complete a course required for a Volgenau School major within three attempts will also be terminated. For more information, see AP.5.2.4 Termination from the Major.

Once a student has attempted one of these courses twice unsuccessfully, the third attempt must be no later than the next semester of enrollment, excluding summers. Failure to take the course at that time will result in termination from the major. If the student is unable to take the course when required, the student may request an extension to a future semester; extensions require approval of the student's advisor, their department, and the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs. The deadline for extension requests is the add deadline for the semester in which the course is required.

Students who have been terminated from a Volgenau School of Engineering major may not register for a Volgenau School course without permission of the department offering the course. This applies to all undergraduate courses offered by the Volgenau School except IT 104 Introduction to Computing (Mason Core) and STAT 250 Introductory Statistics I (Mason Core).

A student may not declare any major in the Volgenau School of Engineering if the student has previously met the termination criteria for that major at any time, regardless of what the student's major was at the time the courses were taken.

Grade Requirements and Advising

Degree requirements include 121 credits distributed in three main areas: mechanical engineering, mathematics and basic science, and humanities and social sciences. Students must complete all math, science and Volgenau School of Engineering courses presented as part of the required 121 credits for the degree with a grade of C or better.

Students are required to see their faculty advisor at least once each year to plan their curriculum.

Banner Code: VS-BS-ME

Degree Requirements

Total credits: 121


ECE 285Electric Circuit Analysis I3
ECE 286Electric Circuit Analysis II3
ME 151Practicum in Engineering2
ME 211Statics3
ME 212Solid Mechanics3
ME 221Thermodynamics3
ME 231Dynamics3
ME 311Mechanical Experimentation I1
ME 313Material Science3
ME 321Mechanical Experimentation II1
ME 322Fluid Mechanics3
ME 323Heat Transfer3
ME 341Design of Mechanical Elements3
or ME 342 Design of Thermal Systems
ME 352Entrepreneurship in Engineering3
ME 432Control Engineering4
ME 443Mechanical Design I3
ME 444Mechanical Design II (Mason Core)3
ME 453Developing the Societal Engineer2
Technical Electives
Select 12 credits from the following:12
Systems Dynamics
Independent Study in Mechanical Engineering 1
Special Topics in Mechanical Engineering 1
Total Credits61

May be repeated for credit.

Mathematics and Science

Select one from the following:4
General Chemistry for Engineers (Mason Core)
General Chemistry I (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory I (Mason Core)
MATH 113Analytic Geometry and Calculus I (Mason Core)4
MATH 114Analytic Geometry and Calculus II4
MATH 213Analytic Geometry and Calculus III3
MATH 214Elementary Differential Equations3
ME 351Analytical Methods in Engineering3
PHYS 160University Physics I (Mason Core)3
PHYS 161University Physics I Laboratory (Mason Core)1
PHYS 260University Physics II (Mason Core)3
PHYS 261University Physics II Laboratory (Mason Core)1
Select 3 credits from the list of pre-approved mathematics/science electives3
Total Credits32

Mathematics and Science Electives

BIOL 213Cell Structure and Function (Mason Core)4
BIOL 309Introduction to Oceanography3
CHEM 212
CHEM 214
General Chemistry II (Mason Core)
and General Chemistry Laboratory II (Mason Core)
CHEM 300Chemistry of Semiconductor Processing3
CHEM 333Physical Chemistry for the Life Sciences I3
CLIM 411Atmospheric Dynamics3
CLIM 412Physical Oceanography3
CLIM 429Atmospheric Thermodynamics3
EVPP 210Environmental Biology: Molecules and Cells4
GEOL 412Physical Oceanography3
PHYS 262
PHYS 263
University Physics III (Mason Core)
and University Physics III Laboratory (Mason Core)
PHYS 331Fundamentals of Renewable Energy3
MATH 203Linear Algebra3
MATH 290Introduction to Advanced Mathematics3
MATH 301Number Theory3
MATH 302Foundations of Geometry3
MATH 312Geometry3
MATH 313Introduction to Applied Analysis3
MATH 314Introduction to Applied Mathematics3
MATH 351Probability3
MATH 411Functions of a Complex Variable3
STAT 344Probability and Statistics for Engineers and Scientists I3
STAT 346Probability for Engineers3

Computer Science 

CS 112Introduction to Computer Programming (Mason Core)4
Total Credits4

Communication and Economics 

COMM 100Public Speaking (Mason Core)3
or COMM 101 Interpersonal and Group Interaction (Mason Core)
ECON 103Contemporary Microeconomic Principles (Mason Core)3
Total Credits6

Additional Mason Core

Global Understanding3
Western Civilization/World History3
Written Communication 16
Total Credits18

Both lower and upper level requirement.

Writing Intensive Requirement

Mason's writing-intensive requirement is satisfied by ME 444 Mechanical Design II (Mason Core) (pending approval).

Capstone Experience Requirement

Mason's synthesis requirement for mechanical engineering majors is satisfied by ME 444 Mechanical Design II (Mason Core).