Undergraduate Program

Program Overview

The Mechanical Engineering Department prides itself in providing a challenging, yet rewarding experience for undergraduate students to develop as engineers, scholars, and citizens. The department supports an undergraduate degree program leading to a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (BSME).

The program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

The enrollment and graduation data for the Mechanical Engineering program and other Mines programs can be found on the homepage of the Office of Institutional Research.


Wind projectThe BSME program at Mines provides students with a strong background in core sciences and engineering courses. The program builds on this base with mechanical engineering courses in thermodynamics, fluids, mechanics of materials, machine design, computer-aided engineering, and heat transfer.

Our program also expects that students take advanced technical electives of their own choosing, which may be used to focus on an area of special interest or to obtain a minor in another field. These courses are supplemented by a 4-course project-based experience, with integrated design concepts and mechanical engineering applied skills in programming, machining and experimentation. This prepares students for their year-long senior-design capstone course.  The mechanical engineering courses are augmented with courses from other disciplines including applied math, economics, electrical engineering, and material science.

BSME Flowchart 2018-19 provides a typical schedule of a four-year program to fulfill the degree requirements.

Beyond the classroom, undergrad students are encouraged to engage in on-campus activities such as student groups, team competitions, and undergraduate research opportunities. The opportunities are plentiful and allow students to express themselves, develop skills, and network with other students and faculty with related interests.


The Mechanical Engineering program prepares graduates within three to five years of completing their degree to:

  • Apply their Mechanical Engineering education as active contributors in the workforce or graduate school;
  • Effectively communicate technical information in a diverse and globally integrated society;
  • Demonstrate their commitment to continued professional development through training, coursework, and/or professional society involvement;
  • Exemplify ethical and social responsibility in their professional activities.


The Mechanical Engineering Department offers a design-oriented undergraduate program that emphasizes fundamental engineering principles. Students receive a strong foundation in mechanical engineering disciplines, and a working knowledge of modern engineering tools. Many courses are augmented through hands-on and project-based experiences. Successful graduates are well-prepared for a mechanical engineering career in a world of rapid technological change.

The program leading to the degree of Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org.

Current course descriptions, course offerings, and co-/pre-requisites can be found in the Undergraduate Catalog.

Click here to view the ME Curriculum Flowchart for 2018-19.

thumbnail image of flowchart


The Mechanical Engineering program intentionally embeds several professional and technical skills, e.g. working on teams, engineering design, technical communication and programming, throughout the Mechanical Engineering curriculum.  During the freshman and sophomore years, students complete a set of core courses that include mathematics, basic sciences, and fundamental engineering disciplines. This includes early open-ended design experiences in Introduction to Design (EDNS151), Introduction to Mechanical Engineering: Programming and Hardware Interface (MEGN200), and Introduction to Mechanical Engineering: Field Session (MEGN201). Additionally, courses in humanities and social sciences allow students to explore the linkages between the environment, human society, and engineered systems.

In the middle years, Mechanical Engineering offers a four course project-based design sequence to learn engineering tools, including MATLAB, SolidWorks, and LabVIEW, to solve engineering problems in a hands-on environment. This experience teaches design methodology and stresses the creative aspects of the mechanical engineering profession. This course sequence helps prepare students for an open-ended, industry-based project in the senior design experience.

In the junior and senior years, students complete an advanced mechanical engineering core that includes fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, numerical methods, control systems, machine design, computer-aided engineering, and manufacturing processes. This engineering core is complemented by courses in economics and electives in humanities and social sciences. Students must also take three advanced technical electives and three additional free electives to explore specific fields of interest. In the senior year, all students must complete a capstone design course focused on a multidisciplinary engineering project.

Students in mechanical engineering spend considerable time with design and testing equipment available in the CECS Garage, a large machine shop, and automation spaces for prototyping and testing equipment. Students are also encouraged to get involved in research with our faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. These research areas include: biomechanics; solid mechanics and materials; thermal-fluid systems; and robotics. Our students also find internship opportunities to gain practical experience and explore the many industries under the mechanical engineering umbrella.

There are plenty of opportunities outside of the curriculum for students to explore their passions.  We have an active Mines Maker Space, Robotics Club, and Abilities Research & Design Group, a group of students enabling those with disabilities to try new activities or advance their performance in a given sport.  These are just a few of the clubs and societies where students engage with the community or compete in design challenges nation-wide.


Mechanical Engineering offers a five year combined program in which students have the opportunity to obtain specific engineering skills supplemented with graduate coursework in mechanical engineering. Upon completion of the program, students receive two degrees, the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and the Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering.

Admission into a graduate degree program as a Combined Undergraduate/Graduate degree student may occur as early as the first semester Junior year and must be admitted by census day of the last semester of their Senior year. Students must meet minimum GPA admission requirements for the graduate degree.

Students are required to take an additional thirty credit hours for the M.S. degree. Up to nine of the 30 credit hours beyond the undergraduate degree requirements can be 400-level courses. The remainder of the courses will be at the graduate level (500-level and above). The Mechanical Engineering Graduate Bulletin provides detail into the graduate program and includes specific instructions regarding required and elective courses.




The Mechanical Engineering Department offers minor and areas of special interest (ASI) programs. Students who elect an ASI or minor, must fulfill all prerequisite requirements for each course in a chosen sequence. Students in the sciences or mathematics must be prepared to meet prerequisite requirements in fundamental engineering and engineering science courses. Students in engineering disciplines are better positioned to meet the prerequisite requirements for courses in the minor and ASI Mechanical Engineering program. (See Minor/ASI section of the catalog for all requirements for a minor/ASI at Mines.)




One of several ways to apply learning outside the classroom at Mines is through active participation in student organizations. There are a handful of mechanical engineering and professional engineering student organizations in which a student can become involved. Each organization extends networking opportunities and leadership experiences.

Professional organization dedicated to shaping tomorrow’s built environment today. Exploring heating, air conditioning, refrigeration engineering as well as building modeling, control systems, and HVAC design.

The Mines chapter of ASME strives to serve and improve the Mines campus and community by advancing, educating, and applying engineering knowledge. This is accomplished through service hours, tutoring, social and professional development events, and project presentations. Projects include floating arm trebuchet, build-your-own long board, and a kinetic wave sculpture.

Colorado School of Mines Robotics is dedicated to bringing basic robotic knowledge and competition to the students of Mines and volunteering in STEM.

SAE® is a professional organization for scientists and engineers who have an interest in cars. The organization promotes learning and innovation in the automotive world, and establishes many of the industry standards for the safety of automobiles and passengers. The Colorado School of Mines has a collegiate chapter that is a branch of SAE® International.

Formula SAE® challenges students to conceive, design, fabricate, and compete with small formula-style racing cars. Teams spend 8-12 months designing, building, and preparing their vehicles for a competition. These cars are judged in a series of static and dynamic events, including technical inspection, cost, presentation, engineering design, solo performance trials and high performance endurance.


The Student Outcomes for the Mechanical Engineering program are the same as those required by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

BSME graduates from our program will demonstrate:

  1. an ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering
  2. an ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as to analyze and interpret data
  3. 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
  4. an ability to function on multidisciplinary teams
  5. an ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
  6. an understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
  7. an ability to communicate effectively
  8. the broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental, and societal context
  9. a recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
  10. a knowledge of contemporary issues
  11. an ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice.




Kelly Knechtel