Apr 23, 2024  
2023-2024 University Catalog 
2023-2024 University Catalog

Mechanical Engineering, BSME

About the Program

The Mechanical Engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Program Educational Objectives and Outcomes

The School of Mechanical Engineering offers coursework leading to the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (B.S.ME).

The program educational objectives of the School of Mechanical Engineering are to matriculate graduates who conduct themselves in a responsible, professional and ethical manner (citizenship), and who upon the years following graduation, are committed to:

1. Professional Practice

  • Actively embracing leadership roles in the practice of engineering in industry and government organizations (including both traditional and emerging technical areas).
  • Conducting research and development across disciplines (via graduate study or industry) to advance technology and foster innovation in order to compete successfully in the global economy.
  • Applying their engineering problem-solving skills to less-traditional career paths (e.g., law, medicine, business, education, start-up ventures, public policy, etc.).

2. Professional Development

  • Actively participating in ongoing professional development opportunities (conferences, workshops, short courses, graduate education, etc.).
  • Updating and adapting their core knowledge and abilities to compete in the ever-changing global enterprise.
  • Developing new knowledge and skills to pursue new career opportunities.

3. Professional Outreach

  • Serving as ambassadors for the engineering profession, inspiring others to develop a passion for engineering.
  • Exchanging and applying knowledge to create new opportunities that advance society and solve a variety of technical and social problems.
  • Advancing entrepreneurial ventures and fostering activities that support sustainable economic development to enhance the quality of life of people in the state, across the country and around the world.

In order for students to achieve these objectives. the program of study should satisfy the comprehensive set of student outcomes as outlined below.

School of Mechanical Engineering Student Outcomes

The program should provide students with a solid technical foundation for their careers. The graduates of the School of Mechanical Engineering will have demonstrated the following: 

  1. Engineering fundamentals:  an ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. Engineering design:  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. 
  3. Communications skills:  an ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. Ethical/Professional responsibilities:  an ability to recognize ethical and professional responsibilities in engineering situations and make informed judgements, which must consider the impact of engineering solutions in global, economic, environmental, and societal contexts. 
  5. Teamwork skills:  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.
  6. Experimental skills:  an ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgement to draw conclusions.
  7. Knowledge acquisition:  an ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies. 

Mechanical Engineering Program Description

To achieve the above stated objectives and outcomes, the School of Mechanical Engineering has developed a comprehensive, integrated curriculum to provide students with a broad base on which to build an engineering career. It is founded on basic sciences, including physics, chemistry and mathematics; computer science and computer graphics; and oral and written communications skills.

To this foundation, a core of engineering science and design courses are added in three main curriculum stems: mechanical sciences (statics, dynamics, mechanics of materials, and structures and properties of materials), information technologies (electric circuits and electronics, instrumentation, system modeling and controls), and thermal-fluid sciences (thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and heat transfer).

Throughout the core curriculum, students gain extensive laboratory and computer experience via modern facilities in all basic areas of the discipline. In addition, the curriculum provides an integrated innovation, design and entrepreneurship experience. This experience - which begins with a sophomore-level cornerstone course and culminates with a senior-level capstone course - emphasizes innovation, problem-solving, leadership, teamwork, communication skills, practical hands-on experience with various product design processes and entrepreneurship. Students then specialize by selecting three ME electives that provide additional depth in one or more main stems of the curriculum. Students can further specialize with 9 credit hours of technical/professional electives in engineering, mathematics, natural sciences, select management courses or individualized project courses (ME 49800/ME 49900 ).

Just as design experiences are integrated throughout the mechanical engineering curriculum, so too are opportunities to communicate technical information, both orally and in writing. Students experience a variety of communications opportunities in progressing through the mechanical engineering program.

As a freshman, each student is required to take both oral and written communication courses. These courses lay the foundation for future oral and written communications. In the sophomore seminar course (ME 29000), students learn how to create professional documents and correspondence (e.g., resumes, letters, memos, etc.), develop personal interview skills, learn the basics of Web publishing and develop a global engineering professional profile. In ME 26300, the cornerstone design course, student teams prepare formal design reports, give oral presentations and maintain individual design notebooks. The communications experiences culminate in the capstone design course (ME 46300), in which student teams prepare presentations and reports for the sponsors of their selected design projects and compete in an innovation competition.

A major feature of the curriculum is the flexible 39-credit-hour elective program, of which 24 credit hours are taken during the senior year. This allows for a program with considerable breadth while also permitting the depth and specialization in an area of the student’s professional interests.

Because of the wide scope of activities in which the mechanical engineer is engaged and because of the broad spectrum of student interests, mechanical engineering graduates may choose either to enter the profession immediately after receiving their bachelor’s degree or go directly to graduate school. In either case, the curriculum provides a firm foundation for continuing education and fosters a commitment to lifelong learning, whether it is as a member of the engineering profession, through formal graduate work or through independent study.

Visit the School of Mechanical Engineering website for more current information about the undergraduate programs.


The School of Mechanical Engineering sponsors a broad array of need-based and merit-based scholarships. Eligible candidates (incoming sophomores through senior mechanical engineering students) are invited in mid-spring to submit applications for consideration. To qualify, students are required to have a scholastic index of 2.8 or better on a 4.0 scale. Awards range from $500 to $10,000 and total more than $1 million. This scholarship money is in addition to the University’s Trustees and Presidential scholarships in Mechanical Engineering, which, when fully funded, will include more than 350 awards worth a total of more than $2 million.

Professional Student Organizations and Activities

Student organizations provide valuable opportunities for students to enhance organizational, communication, teamwork and leadership skills. Students also are strongly encouraged to become involved in one or more extracurricular activities.  Student organizations specific to mechanical engineering include the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), the Purdue Mechanical Engineering Ambassadors (PMEA), Pi Tau Sigma (the Mechanical Engineering Honor Society) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE).

Professional Practice Program with Industry or Governmental Organizations

The professional practice programs enable qualified students to obtain experiences related to their specific engineering discipline with selected employers while completing the requirements of their undergraduate degree. Students can participate in an Industry Co-op Certificate and an Extensive Industry Co-op Certificate or an internship program. The Office Professional Practice also offers the GEARE program, which combines domestic and international work experiences, a design project component and an opportunity to study abroad.

For more information, visit the Office of Professional Practice website.

Honors Program

An honors program is available for outstanding mechanical engineering undergraduate students. The Honors program utilizes the mechanical engineering, technical, general education and elective requirements for the B.S.ME degree in a way that is consistent with the honors designation. Admission to the Honors program is by selection for any student meeting the minimum admission requirements for the First-Year Engineering Honors program. Students not in the First-Year Engineering Honors program can apply for admission into the Honors program by completing an honors application and meeting the required cumulative GPA for admission.

Completion of the Honors program requires earning a required minimum number of honor points (credit hours) earned in one of the following manners:

  • Take honors courses (including the sophomore and junior honors seminar sequence).
  • Complete honors experiences (e.g., study abroad, special work experiences, etc.).
  • Take honors strategic initiative courses (defined by the College of Engineering).

Successful completion of the minimum number of honors points will earn a student a certificate and his/her transcript will read, “Bachelor of Science Mechanical Engineering - Honors Program Awarded at West Lafayette.”

More details on the Honors program can be found on the ME website.

Study Abroad

Global competency skills are a major focus in the School of Mechanical Engineering. By graduation, roughly 40 percent of ME graduates have international experience (as compared to about 3 percent nationally in engineering). The School of Mechanical Engineering has developed an extensive and multi-faceted study abroad program that ranges from an extensive eight-month experience abroad to a three-week stint abroad. This staged program allows students to pick and choose the program that best fits their requirements and timing. Additional information can be found on the ME Global Programs website.

Registration for the Fundamentals of Engineering Examination

Mechanical engineering seniors are strongly encouraged to take the first step to becoming registered professional engineers (PEs) by registering and successfully completing the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) examination, also called the Engineer in Training (EIT) exam. Seniors can register to take the FE exam at the West Lafayette campus in their senior year prior to graduation. Announcements appear periodically throughout the semester to alert students to this opportunity.  The FE exam can be taken daily at Purdue in the months of January/February, April/May, July/August, and October/November.  To aid seniors in their preparation for the exam, Chi Epsilon, the Civil Engineering Honor Society organizes annual faculty-taught review sessions on key topics covered on the FE exam. Also, a simple internet search of FE Review Sessions can provide valuable review information available at a student’s convenience.  Typically, 95 to 100 percent of graduateing mechanical engineering seniors registered to take the FE exam pass the exam on the first attempt.

After passing the FE exam and completing four years of engineering experience after graduation, an engineer is typically eligible to take the professional engineering (PE) licensing examination. Specific information about the EIT exam is available on the School of Mechanical Engineering home page. Questions about the FE Exam or the process to become a registered professional engineer should be directed to the Associate Head of the School of Mechanical Engineering.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

In addition to the traditional classroom experience, students in the School of Mechanical Engineering have the opportunity to conduct cutting-edge research in one of the thirteen ME Research Areas listed below:

  • Acoustics and Noise Control
  • Bioengineering
  • Combustion
  • Design
  • Fluid Mechanics and Propulsion
  • Heat Transfer
  • Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
  • Manufacturing and Materials Processing
  • Mechanics and Vibrations
  • Nanotechnology
  • Robotics
  • Solid Mechanics
  • Systems, Measurement and Control

Students discover first-hand how research contributes to the advancement of human knowledge. They experience a change of pace from formal classroom activities and gain valuable hands-on skills applicable to both research and non-research careers. In addition, students develop their knowledge of the research process and tools used by professional researchers and increase their proficiencies in technical communication.  Such experiences help students connect their summer experience with their future goals, with particular focus on post-graduate education. Learn more about ME Faculty directed research opportunities by visiting the ME Undergraduate Research Opportunities webpage.  https://engineering.purdue.edu/ME/Undergraduate/ResearchOpportunities

Interested students are strongly encouraged to consider participation in the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) Program or the Discovery Park Undergraduate Research Internship (DURI) Program. 

Preparation for Graduate Study

The School of Mechanical Engineering also offers graduate work leading to the degrees of Master of Science (M.S.), for students with non-engineering degrees; Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E), for students with non-mechanical engineering degrees; Master of Science in mechanical engineering (M.S.ME), for students with B.S.ME degrees; and the Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.).

The regular undergraduate curriculum (and the honors undergraduate program) provide a strong foundation for graduate study, and students who complete either of the programs with appropriate academic records are encouraged to pursue graduate work. Many graduates have continued their education by pursuing advanced studies in engineering, business, law, medicine, dentistry and public policy.

For answers to your questions about graduate study, visit the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Office in the Mechanical Engineering Building, Room 1003, call 765-494-5730, email MEgradoffice@purdue.edu or visit the ME website.

Combined B.S.ME/M.S.ME Program

A combined B.S.ME/M.S.ME program is available for outstanding mechanical engineering undergraduate students. This program is anticipated to take approximately five years to complete (with the M.S.ME non-thesis option) and result in receiving both the B.S.ME and M.S.ME degrees.

The B.S.ME/M.S.ME program is a mechanism for:

  1. Providing a seamless transition from the B.S.ME to the M.S.ME program.\
  2. Participating in a directed project in their area of interest.
  3. Stimulating interest in graduate study and research/academic careers.
  4. Allowing for special recognition of high levels of academic achievement.

The B.S.ME/M.S.ME program requires students to take 12 hours of graduate coursework toward their B.S.ME professional elective requirement. This same 12 hours likewise count toward the M.S.ME degree.

Interested students typically apply as an “internal ME applicant” in the second half of their junior year after completion of 81 hours of coursework in the undergraduate program with a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.2 or higher. If a GPA of 3.0 has been maintained and grades of “B” or better are received in the first two graduate courses (typically in the seventh semester), the student will be asked to formally apply to the Purdue Graduate School at the beginning of his or her eighth semester of the senior year.

Complete details of the combined B.S.ME/M.S.ME program can be found on the Web. Questions about this information should be emailed to MEgradoffice@purdue.edu.

School of Mechanical Engineering

Mechanical Engineering Major Change (CODO) Requirements   

Degree Requirements

128 Credits Required

Mechanical Engineering Major Requirements (67-68 credits)

Other Program/Department Requirements (58-68 credits)

First-Year Engineering Requirements (29-39 credits)

Click here for First-Year Engineering  requirements.

  • Requirement #1 - Intro to Engineering I (2-4 credits)
  • Requirement #2 - Intro to Engineering II (2-4 credits)
  • Requirement #3 - Calculus I (4-5 credits) (satisfies Quantitative Reasoning for core) 
  • Requirement #4 - Calculus II (4-5 credits) (satisfies Quantitative Reasoning for core) 
  • Requirement #5 - Chemistry I (4-6 credits) (satisfies Science #1 for core)
  • Requirement #6 - Physics (4 credits) (satisfies Science #2 for core)
  • Requirement #7 - First-Year Engineering Selective (3-4 credits)
  • Requirement #8 - Written and Oral Communication (6-7 credits) (could satisfy Written Communication, Information Literacy or Oral Communication for core)

Mechanical Engineering Electives (9 credits)

  • ME Elective I - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • ME Elective II - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • ME Elective III - Credit Hours: 3.00
Note: Any ME 30000, 40000, 50000 Level Course (Includes any ME Course not used to fulfill Major Course requirements.) These courses are not included in the major GPA calculation)

Other Departmental Requirements (14 credits)

General Education Requirement (15 credits)

  • General Education-I - Credit Hours: 3.00 
  • General Education-II - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • General Education-III - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • General Education-IV - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • World & Cultural Affairs Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00  (satisfies Human Cultures: Humanities for core)

See supplemental information for specific requirements and list of courses 

Supplemental List

Click here for Mechanical Engineering Supplemental Information  

Elective (3 credits)

  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00  See supplemental information no count list for information on courses that do not count.

Supplemental List

Click here for Mechanical Engineering Supplemental Information  

Grade Requirements

  • MA courses must have C- or above

GPA Requirements

  • 2.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Science degree
  • Minimum 2.0 ME Core GPA
    • ME Core courses for GPA include: ME 20000, 26300, 27000, 27400, 29000, 30800, 30801, 31500, 32300, 35400, 35401, 36500, 37500, 46300.  In addition to the ME core classes, the following courses are also included the ME core GPA:  MA 26100, 26200 (26500/26600), 30300; PHYS 24100/27200; ECE 20001, 20007; and MSE 23000. 

Course Requirements and Notes

  • Non-Introductory/Upper level courses = 30000+ level course or courses with required pre-requisite in the same department.

Non-course / Non-credit Requirements

  • Milestone One: Refer to the College of Engineering Enrollment Management Policy for guaranteed admission to Mechanical Engineering after the completion of the FYE program - https://engineering.purdue.edu/Engr/InfoFor/CurrentStudents/enrollment-policy.
  • Milestone Two: At the time of degree completion, milestones of a minimum 2.0 ME Core GPA, minimum 2.0 cumulative GPA, completion of a senior exit survey, and applying for graduation should be met. (2.0 Graduation GPA required for Bachelor of Science degree)

Pass/No Pass Policy

  • All courses to satisfy the Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering degree (128 credit hours) must be taken for a letter grade. Pass/No pass grades will not be accepted to meet degree requirements.

University Requirements

University Core Requirements

For a complete listing of University Core Course Selectives, visit the Provost’s Website.
  • Human Cultures: Behavioral/Social Science (BSS)
  • Human Cultures: Humanities (HUM)
  • Information Literacy (IL)
  • Oral Communication (OC)
  • Quantitative Reasoning (QR)
  • Science #1 (SCI)
  • Science #2 (SCI)
  • Science, Technology, and Society (STS)
  • Written Communication (WC) 

Civics Literacy Proficiency Requirement

The Civics Literacy Proficiency activities are designed to develop civic knowledge of Purdue students in an effort to graduate a more informed citizenry. For more information visit the Civics Literacy Proficiency website.

Students will complete the Proficiency by passing a test of civic knowledge, and completing one of three paths:

  • Attending six approved civics-related events and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Completing 12 podcasts created by the Purdue Center for C-SPAN Scholarship and Engagement that use C-SPAN material and completing an assessment for each; or
  • Earning a passing grade for one of these approved courses (or transferring in approved AP or departmental credit in lieu of taking a course).

Upper Level Requirement

  • Resident study at Purdue University for at least two semesters and the enrollment in and completion of at least 32 semester hours of coursework required and approved for the completion of the degree. These courses are expected to be at least junior-level (30000+) courses.
  • Students should be able to fulfill most, if not all, of these credits within their major requirements; there should be a clear pathway for students to complete any credits not completed within their major.

Sample First Year Engineering Plan of Study

Fall 1st Year

13-14 Credits

Spring 1st Year

16 Credits

Mechanical Engineering Program Requirements

Milestone One: After the completion of two semesters, students should have met a 3.2 GPA/EAI or a holistic review for admission to Mechanical Engineering. See notes section for more information

16-17 Credits

17 Credits

16 Credits

Spring 3rd Year

16 Credits

Fall 4th Year

16 Credits

Spring 4th Year

Milestone Two: see information in the notes section.

  • Economics Selective - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • ME Elective III - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Technical Elective III - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • General Education Elective IV - Credit Hours: 3.00
  • Elective - Credit Hours: 3.00

18 Credits

Critical Course

The ♦ course is considered critical.

In alignment with the Degree Map Guidance for Indiana’s Public Colleges and Universities, published by the Commission for Higher Education (pursuant to HEA 1348-2013), a Critical Course is identified as “one that a student must be able to pass to persist and succeed in a particular major.  Students who want to be nurses, for example, should know that they are expected to be proficient in courses like biology in order to be successful.  These would be identified by the institutions for each degree program”. 


The student is ultimately responsible for knowing and completing all degree requirements.

Consultation with an advisor may result in an altered plan customized for an individual student.

The myPurduePlan powered by DegreeWorks is the knowledge source for specific requirements and completion.