The Department of Mechanical Engineering (ME) within the University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Engineering is the home of two undergraduate degree programs (mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics, including an option in aerospace engineering) and two graduate degree programs (mechanical engineering and engineering mechanics). The department's faculty conducts research in the areas of advanced manufacturing, biomechanics, computation & data-driven engineering, energy systems, solid & fluid mechanics, and robotics, controls, & sensing. This combination of topics fosters synergies with respect to polymers, mechatronics, aerospace, thermal, materials, additive manufacturing, and fluids. The mechanical engineering undergraduate program has been ranked in the top twelve, and the mechanical engineering graduate program has been ranked in the top seven, among public universities, according to U.S. News and World Report 2022 rankings.
Mechanical Engineering Program Educational Objectives
Graduates from the undergraduate program in mechanical engineering will choose to use the knowledge and skills they have acquired during their undergraduate years to pursue a wide variety of career and life goals. We encourage this diversity of paths.
Independent of whether our graduates choose to pursue a professional career, postgraduate education, or volunteer service in engineering or a different field; we expect that our graduates will achieve the following objectives within three to five years after graduation:
- They will exhibit a fundamental understanding of broader engineering disciplines with strong skills in mechanical engineering, problem solving, leadership, teamwork, and communication.
- They will use these skills to contribute to their organizations and communities.
- They will make thoughtful, well-informed decisions in their career and life.
- They will demonstrate a continuing commitment to and interest in their own and other’s education.
Admission to the College as a Freshman
Students applying to UW–Madison need to indicate an engineering major as their first choice in order to be considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering. Direct admission to a major means students will start in the program of their choice in the College of Engineering and will need to meet progression requirements at the end of the first year to guarantee advancement in that program.
Cross-Campus Transfer to Engineering
UW–Madison students in other schools and colleges on campus must meet minimum admission requirements for admission consideration to engineering degree granting classifications. Cross-campus admission is competitive and selective, and the grade point average expectations may increase as demand trends change. The student’s overall academic record at UW–Madison is also considered. Students apply to their intended engineering program by submitting the online application by stated deadlines for spring and fall. The College of Engineering offers an online information tutorial and drop-in advising for students to learn about the cross-campus transfer process.
Off-Campus Transfer to Engineering
With careful planning, students at other accredited institutions can transfer coursework that will apply toward engineering degree requirements at UW–Madison. Off-campus transfer applicants are considered for direct admission to the College of Engineering by applying to the Office of Admissions with an engineering major listed as their first choice. Those who are admitted to their intended engineering program must meet progression requirements at the point of transfer or within their first two semesters at UW–Madison to guarantee advancement in that program. A minimum of 30 credits in residence in the College of Engineering is required after transferring, and all students must meet all requirements for their major in the college. Transfer admission to the College of Engineering is competitive and selective, and students who have exceeded the 80 credit limit at the time of application are not eligible to apply.
The College of Engineering has dual degree programs with select four-year UW System campuses. Eligible dual degree applicants are not subject to the 80 credit limit.
Off-campus transfer students are encouraged to discuss their interests, academic background, and admission options with the Transfer Coordinator in the College of Engineering: firstname.lastname@example.org or 608-262-2473.
Second Bachelor's Degree
The College of Engineering does not accept second undergraduate degree applications. Second degree students might explore the Biological Systems Engineering program at UW–Madison, an undergraduate engineering degree elsewhere, or a graduate program in the College of Engineering.
University General Education Requirements
All undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin–Madison are required to fulfill a minimum set of common university general education requirements to ensure that every graduate acquires the essential core of an undergraduate education. This core establishes a foundation for living a productive life, being a citizen of the world, appreciating aesthetic values, and engaging in lifelong learning in a continually changing world. Various schools and colleges will have requirements in addition to the requirements listed below. Consult your advisor for assistance, as needed. For additional information, see the university Undergraduate General Education Requirements section of the Guide.
|General Education|| |
* The mortarboard symbol appears before the title of any course that fulfills one of the Communication Part A or Part B, Ethnic Studies, or Quantitative Reasoning Part A or Part B requirements.
Summary of Requirements
The following curriculum applies to undergraduate students admitted to the Mechanical Engineering degree program in Fall 2023 or later.
|Mathematics and Statistics||19|
|Mechanical Engineering Core||53-54|
|Total Credits||Minimum 128|
|MATH 221||Calculus and Analytic Geometry 1||5|
|MATH 222||Calculus and Analytic Geometry 2||4|
|MATH 234||Calculus--Functions of Several Variables||4|
|MATH 320||Linear Algebra and Differential Equations||3|
|STAT 324||Introductory Applied Statistics for Engineers||3|
|or I SY E 210||Introduction to Industrial Statistics|
All students must have the equivalent of the above courses. If the above requirement is fulfilled with fewer than 19 credits, additional math/science credits may be needed to meet the math/science auxiliary credit condition.
Transfer students may fulfill the statistics requirement with other statistics courses having a calculus prerequisite and the approval of the mechanical engineering department via a Course Substitution Form.
|Select one of the following:||4-5|
|General Chemistry I|
|Advanced General Chemistry|
|COMP SCI 220||Data Science Programming I||4|
|PHYSICS 202||General Physics 2||5|
Basic science courses, excluding Computer Science courses, are included in the math/science auxiliary credit condition.
|E M A 201||Statics (with a grade of C or better)||3|
|M S & E 350||Introduction to Materials Science||3|
Mechanical Engineering Core
|M E 201||Introduction to Mechanical Engineering||3|
|M E 231||Geometric Modeling for Design and Manufacturing||3|
|M E 240||Dynamics (with a grade of C or better)||3|
|M E 306||Mechanics of Materials (with a grade of C or better)||3|
|M E/E M A 307||Mechanics of Materials Lab||1|
|M E 310||Manufacturing: Polymer Processing and Engineering||3|
|M E 311||Manufacturing: Metals and Automation||3|
|M E 331||Computer-Aided Engineering||3|
|M E 340||Dynamic Systems||3|
|M E 342||Design of Machine Elements||3|
|M E 351|
& M E 352
| Interdisciplinary Experiential Design Projects I|
and Interdisciplinary Experiential Design Projects II
|M E 361||Thermodynamics (with a grade of C or better)||3|
|M E 363||Fluid Dynamics||3|
|M E 364||Elementary Heat Transfer||3|
|M E 368||Engineering Measurements and Instrumentation||4|
|M E 370||Energy Systems Laboratory||3|
|Introduction to Mechatronics|
|Electrical and Electronic Circuits|
|The mechanical engineering curriculum requires a total of 12 credits of technical electives. A minimum of 3 of those 12 credits must be from formal M E courses numbered 400 and higher. A formal course is defined as a class that meets regularly in a lecture format to study a selected topic. The educational mission is assisted with homework and exams. Formal courses include online courses but do not include seminar, survey, independent study, research, topics, or similar courses.||12|
|Additional technical electives may include formal courses in engineering, mathematics, physics, chemistry, statistics, and computer science courses numbered 400 and higher. Course choices may impact the math/science auxiliary credit condition. INTEREGR and E P D courses are limited to those listed below. The following courses are also accepted as technical electives:|
|BSE 351||Structural Design for Agricultural Facilities||3|
|BSE 364||Engineering Properties of Food and Biological Materials||3|
|BSE/ENVIR ST 367||Renewable Energy Systems||3|
|CBE 320||Introductory Transport Phenomena||4|
|CBE 326||Momentum and Heat Transfer Operations||3|
|CHEM 341||Elementary Organic Chemistry||3|
|CHEM 343||Organic Chemistry I||3|
|CHEM 345||Organic Chemistry II||3|
|CIV ENGR 311||Hydroscience||3|
|CIV ENGR 320||Environmental Engineering||3|
|CIV ENGR/G L E 330||Soil Mechanics||3|
|CIV ENGR 340||Structural Analysis I||3|
|CIV ENGR 370||Transportation Engineering||3|
|CIV ENGR 392||Building Information Modeling (BIM)||3|
|CIV ENGR 415||Hydrology||3|
|COMP SCI 300||Programming II||3|
|COMP SCI 320||Data Science Programming II||4|
|COMP SCI/E C E 354||Machine Organization and Programming||3|
|E C E 320||Electrodynamics II||3|
|E C E 330||Signals and Systems||3|
|E C E 340||Electronic Circuits I||3|
|E C E 342||Electronic Circuits II||3|
|E C E/COMP SCI 352||Digital System Fundamentals||3|
|E C E 353||Introduction to Microprocessor Systems||3|
|E C E/COMP SCI 354||Machine Organization and Programming||3|
|E C E 355||Electromechanical Energy Conversion||3|
|E C E 356||Electric Power Processing for Alternative Energy Systems||3|
|E P 272||Engineering Problem Solving Using Maple||1|
|E P D 660||Core Competencies of Sustainability||3|
|INTEREGR 301||Engineering and Biology: Technological Symbiosis||1-4|
|I SY E 315||Production Planning and Control||3|
|I SY E 323||Operations Research-Deterministic Modeling||3|
|I SY E/PSYCH 349||Introduction to Human Factors||3|
|INFO SYS 371||Technology of Computer-Based Business Systems||3|
|MATH 321||Applied Mathematical Analysis||3|
|MATH 322||Applied Mathematical Analysis||3|
|M E 273||Engineering Problem Solving with EES||1|
|M S & E 330||Thermodynamics of Materials||4|
|M S & E 332||Macroprocessing of Materials||3|
|M S & E 352||Materials Science-Transformation of Solids||3|
|N E 305||Fundamentals of Nuclear Engineering||3|
|PHYSICS 205||Modern Physics for Engineers||3|
|PHYSICS 241||Introduction to Modern Physics||3|
|PHYSICS 321||Electric Circuits and Electronics||4|
|PHYSICS 322||Electromagnetic Fields||3|
|STAT 311||Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics I||3|
|STAT 312||Introduction to Theory and Methods of Mathematical Statistics II||3|
|STAT 333||Applied Regression Analysis||3|
|STAT 349||Introduction to Time Series||3|
|STAT 351||Introductory Nonparametric Statistics||3|
|Up to 3 technical elective credits may be obtained for non-formal courses such as independent study courses (M E 489, M E 491, M E 492, and other engineering independent study courses numbered 399 and higher); Cooperative Education (M E 1); and E P D 690, "Wisconsin Engineer Magazine."|
|The mechanical engineering curriculum requires 3 credits of math/science electives. CHEM 104 or CHEM 109, any formal course listed as a biological science and numbered 100 or higher, any non-engineering formal course listed with physical or natural science breadth and numbered 200 or higher will satisfy this requirement. If the math/science auxiliary credit condition is met with additional coursework, the math/science elective requirement may be met with a formal course offered by an engineering department numbered 200 and above (except INTEREGR and E P D).||3|
|ENGL 100||Introduction to College Composition||3|
|or LSC 100||Science and Storytelling|
|or COM ARTS 100||Introduction to Speech Composition|
|or ESL 118||Academic Writing II|
|INTEREGR 397||Engineering Communication||3|
|The Mechanical Engineering curriculum requires 15 credits of liberal elective courses. See College of Engineering Liberal Studies Requirements for details.|
Students fulfilling all course requirements with fewer than 128 credits must comply with the credit minimum by taking additional free elective credits. Students must meet the math/science auxiliary credit condition with a minimum of 30 credits. Students in good academic standing may take free elective courses pass/fail (see the College of Engineering Official Regulations for details). Pass/fail courses do not count toward specific degree requirements.
Independent Studies and projects courses:
|M E 291||Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Projects||1-3|
|M E 299||Independent Study||1-3|
|M E 489||Honors in Research||1-3|
|M E 491||Mechanical Engineering Projects I||1-3|
|M E 492||Mechanical Engineering Projects II||1-3|
Students must have a cumulative 2.5 GPA or a 3.0 GPA for their previous two semesters and have written permission to enroll from their research advisor.
For information on credit loads, adding or dropping courses, course substitutions, pass/fail, auditing courses, dean's honor list, repeating courses, probation, and graduation, see the College of Engineering Official Regulations.
Honors in Research Program
The ME Department's Undergraduate Honors in Research Program allows students to participate in the creation of new knowledge and experience the excitement of the research process. Students in the program write and submit a senior thesis. Admission requirements include:
- At least two semesters completed on the Madison campus with a cumulative GPA of at least 3.5;
- Majoring in Mechanical Engineering;
- Approval of an appropriate professor who will serve as the thesis advisor.
The "Honors in Research" designation will be awarded to graduates who meet the following requirements:
- Satisfaction of the requirements for an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering;
- A cumulative GPA of at least 3.3;
- Completion of a total of at least 6 credits of M E 489 Honors in Research;
- Receive a final grade of at least "B" in M E 489;
- Completion of senior thesis.
Students must certify completion of the program with their M E 489 advisor the term they intend to graduate. To certify program completion students must complete the appropriate form and submit to student services.
University Degree Requirements
|Total Degree||To receive a bachelor's degree from UW–Madison, students must earn a minimum of 120 degree credits. The requirements for some programs may exceed 120 degree credits. Students should consult with their college or department advisor for information on specific credit requirements.|
|Residency||Degree candidates are required to earn a minimum of 30 credits in residence at UW–Madison. "In residence" means on the UW–Madison campus with an undergraduate degree classification. “In residence” credit also includes UW–Madison courses offered in distance or online formats and credits earned in UW–Madison Study Abroad/Study Away programs.|
|Quality of Work||Undergraduate students must maintain the minimum grade point average specified by the school, college, or academic program to remain in good academic standing. Students whose academic performance drops below these minimum thresholds will be placed on academic probation.|
- an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics
- an ability to apply engineering design to produce solutions that meet specified needs with consideration of public health, safety, and welfare, as well as global, cultural, social, environmental, and economic factors
- an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences
- an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgments, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts
- an ability to function effectively on a team whose members together provide leadership, create a collaborative and inclusive environment, establish goals, plan tasks, and meet objectives
- an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions
- an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.
SAMPLE FOUR-YEAR PLAN
|MATH 221||5||MATH 222||4|
|CHEM 103 or 1091||4||E M A 2012||3|
|M E 201||3||M E 231||3|
or Communication A
|Communication A or||3|
|Liberal Studies Elective||3|
|Liberal Studies Elective||3|
|MATH 234||4||MATH 320||3|
|M E 3062||3||M E 2402||3|
|M E/E M A 307||1||PHYSICS 202||5|
|COMP SCI 220||4||M S & E 350||3|
|Liberal Studies Elective||3||STAT 324||3|
|M E 331||3||M E 342||3|
|M E 3612||3||M E 363||3|
|M E 340||3||INTEREGR 397||3|
|Math/Science Elective||3||M E 376 or E C E 376||4|
|M E 310||3||M E 311||3|
|Liberal Studies Elective||3|
|M E 351||3||M E 352||3|
|M E 364||3||M E 370||3|
|M E 368||4||Technical Elective||3|
|Technical Elective||3||Technical Elective||3|
|Technical Elective||3||Liberal Studies Elective||3|
|Total Credits 128|
CHEM 109 Advanced General Chemistry may be taken in place of CHEM 103 General Chemistry I. If CHEM 103 is taken, students may need to take additional free electives to meet the minimum number of credits required for the degree.
Each College of Engineering program has academic advisors dedicated to serving its students. Program advisors can help current College of Engineering students with questions about accessing courses, navigating degree requirements, resolving academic issues and more. Students can find their assigned advisor on the homepage of their student center.
ENGINEERING CAREER SERVICES
Engineering Career Services (ECS) assists students in identifying pre-professional work-based learning experiences such as co-ops and summer internships, considering and applying to graduate or professional school, and finding full-time professional employment during their graduation year.
ECS offers two major career fairs per year, assists with resume writing and interviewing skills, hosts workshops on the job search, and meets one-on-one with students to discuss offer negotiations.
Students are encouraged to utilize the ECS office early in their academic careers. For comprehensive information on ECS programs and workshops, see the ECS website or call 608-262-3471.
Darryl Thelen (Chair)
Gregory F. Nellis
Scott T. Sanders
Mario F. Trujillo
Tom N. Krupenkin
Lecturers, Teaching Faculty, and Teaching Professors
Michael De Cicco
Erick L. Oberstar
See also Mechanical Engineering Faculty Directory.
Accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, https://www.abet.org, under the commission's General Criteria and Program Criteria for Mechanical and Similarly Named Engineering Programs.
Note: Undergraduate Program Educational Objectives and Student Outcomes are made publicly available at the Departmental website. (In this Guide, the program's Student Outcomes are designated by our campus as "Learning Outcomes.")