The educational objective of the undergraduate program in mechanical engineering is to prepare graduates so that, within three years of graduation, they will have successfully established themselves in professional careers and/or obtained a graduate degree, and they will have begun to generate new knowledge or exercise leadership in their positions to the benefit of society.
Each graduate of the mechanical engineering program is expected to:
Course code for this program is MCEN.
The undergraduate curriculum in mechanical engineering incorporates engineering science, physical science, mathematics, and the humanities and social sciences. The engineering science component provides basic theoretical and practical concepts in solid mechanics, materials, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, design, and manufacturing. Required courses in engineering science, physical science, and mathematics are interwoven throughout the curriculum to provide a balanced education in the fundamentals of the profession and comprise three-fourths of the minimum curriculum requirement of 128 semester hours; they are complemented by four technical electives, five electives in the humanities and social sciences, a junior-level writing course, and a free elective.
Options in environmental and biomedical engineering are available for students interested in these interdisciplinary areas.
Required Courses and Semester Credit Hours
Minimum total hours for degree—128
Colorado Mesa University and the University of Colorado Boulder have created a partnership to deliver a baccalaureate mechanical engineering program in its entirety in Grand Junction, Colorado. The first two years of the program are taught by CMU faculty and the second two years of the program are taught by CU-Boulder faculty who live permanently in Grand Junction. Students completing the program will be awarded a BS in Mechanical Engineering from CU-Boulder. For more information, see www.coloradomesa.edu/engineering.
The concurrent bachelor’s/master’s degree program offers the opportunity of pursuing the bachelor’s and master’s degrees leading towards the awarding of the degrees at the completion of the joint program. The program is normally a 5–6 year program designed for currently enrolled CU-Boulder students. Initial admission to the program typically occurs during the junior year. Minimum standards for admission require a cumulative GPA of 3.000 and completion of all MAPS deficiencies. Additional admissions criteria are determined by the individual departments in conjunction with the appropriate school or college deans.
In order to gain admission to the BS/MS program in mechanical engineering a student must meet the following criteria:
The degrees will be awarded simultaneously when requirements for both degrees are met. If the student wishes to withdraw from the program and only receive the BS degree they may do so by contacting the graduate advisor, who will have the graduate school change their status from BS/MS concurrent back to BS.
To comply with Title IV Higher Education regulations, CU-Boulder students pursuing a concurrent BS/MS degree will automatically be changed to graduate status after the completion of 145 credit hours. Students at graduate status are assessed graduate tuition rates and are no longer eligible for COF. In addition, graduate students receiving financial aid are considered independent and are no longer eligible for aid requiring undergraduate status.
If you are interested in the BS/MS concurrent degree please stop by and see the graduate advisor for an application.
The department offers master of science (MS), master of engineering (ME), and doctor of philosophy (PhD) degree programs to students whose career plans include advanced practice, research and development, and/or teaching at the college or university level.
The MS in mechanical engineering consists of 30 credit hours: usually ten 3-credit hour courses or eight 3 semester hour courses and six semester hours of thesis.
Tracks. Our curriculum consists of a set of nine study tracks designed to provide a balance between modern technological focus and disciplinary depth:
Each track consists of six courses, comprised of a set of three to five core courses and one to three enrichment courses. The remaining courses are electives, and may include thesis hours. Core courses are taught every year, and enrichment courses are taught at various intervals. Enrichment courses are more specialized and are chosen from a list of approved courses for each track. Additional courses may be approved on a petition basis. Lists of core and enrichment courses for each track are available at the links above.
In addition to the course work for each track, MS students are required to take two semesters of MCEN 5027 Graduate Seminar. This class is pass/fail and is attendance-based. It does NOT count towards the 30 credit hours required for the degree. Attendance is required at 2/3 of the seminars for a passing grade. NOTE: For BS/MS students the requirement is only one semester of Graduate Seminar.
The Master of Engineering is a degree plan designed primarily for working professionals or those who seek exceptional breadth in their educational plan. The ME requires 30 semster hours of course work as described below. You have six years to complete these requirements. A GPA of 3.0 must be maintained. Up to 9 semester hours of approved graduate level course work from other institutions may be transferred. As much as nine hours of Center for Engineering and Technology Education (CAETE) courses taken before application may also be allowed. However, taking CAETE courses does not guarantee admission into a Master of Engineering degree program.
A student pursuing the PhD in mechanical engineering must complete a minimum of 30-36 semester credit hours in courses numbered 5000 or above (9 of these credits must include MCEN 5020, 5040, and 5208), as well as 30 semester hours of dissertation credit. Up to 21 semester hours of graduate course work may be transferred from another accredited institution; there is no credit limit for appropriate courses taken at the University of Colorado, such as those taken for the master of science degree.
Every student desiring to pursue the PhD degree must first pass a preliminary examination. As a part of this evaluation, students must pass two written examinations designed to test research and fundamental mechanical engineering competency. They must also pass a research presentation given to a committee of at least three faculty members. Overall performance in the required examinations will determine pass/fail status.
After passing the preliminary examination, students continue their course work and prepare a written thesis prospectus. When ready, they take an oral comprehensive examination covering the graduate course work and the thesis prospectus. After passing the comprehensive examination, students are admitted into the PhD program and conduct original research required to satisfy the thesis requirement. This research culminates in the writing of the thesis, which students defend in a final examination.
PhD students are assigned an academic advisor to review their progress toward the degree. Students are expected to meet with the advisor at least once each semester prior to registration. Once students have selected a research topic for the thesis, academic advising is done by their thesis advisor. Additional information on graduate study may be found in the Graduate School section.
Research activities are concentrated in three contemporary themes: micro/nano scale engineering, energy/environment, and bioengineering. Faculty engage in these theme areas through three disciplinary areas of mechanical engineering: fluid mechanics/thermal sciences, solid mechanics/material sciences, and design/manufacturing. Faculty and students collaborate with universities and laboratories across the United States and throughout the world.
Example research efforts in micro/nano systems include: design and reliability of MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS), nanosystems, carbon nanotubes, mechanical properties of nanowires, nanomaterial processing, nanocomposites, disk drive shock analysis, microporous membranes, polymer derived ceramics, active materials and structures, multi-scale computational fluids modeling, and MEMS/electronics packaging.
Example research efforts in energy/environment include: urban air quality modeling, indoor air pollution, aerosol particle characterization and health effects, energy policies and climate impacts, and theoretical/computational fluid dynamics.
Example research efforts in bioengineering include: optical biopsy of prostate cancer, shape memory polymers/alloys, cardiovascular fluid/bio mechanics, MEMS-based biosensing, ultrasound imaging, device design, nanoparticle diagnostics, and metallic/polymer biomaterials. These efforts are facilitated by collaborations with the Anschutz Medical Campus of the University of Colorado Denver, the Children’s Hospital, and the Colorado State Veterinary College.
Department research activities are supported by a wide range of industrial and federal agencies such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), National Institute of Health (NIH), Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR), and Defense Agency Research Project Association (DARPA). Some research activities are carried out through interdisciplinary department research centers including the Collaboratory for Air Quality Research (CAQR), Membrane Applied Science and Technology (MAST) Center, and Integrated Micro/Nanoelectro-mechanical Transducers (iMINT).
A student pursuing the ME Engineering Management degree (primary) who wishes to also obtain the ME Mechanical Engineering degree, must complete the following requirements:
NOTE: EMEN 5000 Engineering Analysis and EMEN 5005 Introduction to Applied Statistics cannot be applied towrard the engineering management degree.
A student who is pursuing the ME engineering management degree (primary) and wishes to also obtain the ME mechanical engineering degree, must complete the following requirements.