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The Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering

The Mechanical Engineering degree program includes the study of mechanical design, thermal-fluid systems, applied mechanics, and automation. The mechanical engineering student is prepared in all of these areas in order to analyze and design complex mechanical systems. Graduates can specialize in areas such as energy conversion systems, mechanisms and machines, manufacturing, materials, and automation through elective courses.

Mechanical Engineering Program Mission

The mechanical engineering program has the primary mission of providing students a high-quality undergraduate engineering education with

1. A curriculum that is firmly grounded in engineering fundamentals

2. A faculty that provides superior teaching and mentoring both in and out of the classroom

3. A faculty whose focus is undergraduate education

4. Class sizes that encourage student participation

5. Project experiences that build on fundamentals and develop team skills

6. Facilities and equipment that are readily accessible

7. An environment that is conducive to learning and encourages students from different genders and backgrounds.

The faculty is committed to offering a broad undergraduate experience that will promote professional growth and prepare students for a variety of engineering careers, graduate studies, and continuing education.

Mechanical Engineering Program Educational Objectives

The program's educational objectives are best framed in terms of goals for its graduates. Mechanical engineering graduates will:

1. Be effective engineers and problem solvers.

2. Be well educated in the mechanical engineering sciences.

3. Be able to use engineering tools that will enhance their productivity.

4. Be familiar with current technology and how it can be incorporated into their design, analysis, and testing activities including an understanding of manufacturing methods and the use of computers, sensors, and actuators to automate machines and processes.

5. Be effective oral, written, and graphical communicators.

6. Be able to function effectively as members of multi-disciplinary teams.

7. Have an appreciation for the individual, society, and human heritage, and be aware of the impact of their designs on human-kind and the environment.

8. Be prepared for a variety of engineering careers, graduate studies, and continuing education.

Mechanical Engineering Design Experience

The mechanical engineering program at CSU, Chico is a traditional balance of engineering science and design. The design sequence for mechanical engineers is a progressive one. The courses which are primarily devoted to design are:

MECH 140 - Introduction to Engineering Design and Automation

MECH 340 - Mechanical Engineering Design

MECH 440A- Mechanical Engineering Design Project I

MECH 440B- Mechanical Engineering Design Project II

The freshman experience (MECH 140) gives students an introduction to the engineering design process and exposure to core automation concepts and components through semester-long projects. At the junior level (MECH 340), there is an opportunity to learn about safety, failure, reliability, codes and standards, and economic considerations, while carrying out detailed design of mechanical components. In the final senior project (MECH 440A and MECH 440B), students are expected to exercise what they learned throughout the preceding design courses in a final project that includes manufacturing and testing, as well as the more global aspects of design including product realization, economic factors, environmental issues, and social impact. Together, these experiences prepare graduates to be successful practitioners with an awareness of the multitude of issues involved.

Total Course Requirements for the Bachelor's Degree: 127 units

See Bachelor's Degree Requirements in the University Catalog for complete details on general degree requirements. A minimum of 40 units, including those required for the major, must be upper division.

A suggested Major Academic Plan (MAP) has been prepared to help students meet all graduation requirements within four years. You can view MAPs on the Degree MAPs page in the University Catalog or you can request a plan from your major advisor.

General Education Pathway Requirements: 48 units

See General Education in the University Catalog and the Class Schedule for the most current information on General Education Pathway Requirements and course offerings.

This major has approved GE modifications. See below for information on how to apply these modifications.

  • Take CMST 131 for Oral Communication (A1)
  • Critical Thinking (A3) is waived.
  • MATH 120 is an approved advanced course substitution for Quantitative Reasoning (A4)
  • CHEM 111 and PHYS 204A are approved advanced course substitutions for Physical Sciences (B1).
  • Take only one course in either Arts (C1) or Humanities (C2).
  • Take only course in either Individual & Society (D1) or Societal Institutions (D2).
  • CIVL 495 meets Learning for Life (E).
  • Take only two upper-division Pathway courses; one in Arts/Humanities and one in Social Sciences.

Diversity Course Requirements: 6 units

See Diversity Requirements in the University Catalog. Most courses taken to satisfy these requirements may also apply to General Education .

Both courses must also satisfy one of the General Education requirements in order for 127 units to fulfill all requirements for the Mechanical Engineering degree.

Literacy Requirement:

See Mathematics and Writing Requirements in the University Catalog. Writing proficiency in the major is a graduation requirement and may be demonstrated through satisfactory completion of a course in your major which has been designated as the Writing Proficiency (WP) course for the semester in which you take the course. Students who earn below a C- are required to repeat the course and earn a C- or higher to receive WP credit. See the Class Schedule for the designated WP courses for each semester. You must pass ENGL 130I or JOUR 130I (or equivalent) with a C- or higher before you may register for a WP course.

Course Requirements for the Major: 100 units

Completion of the following courses, or their approved transfer equivalents, is required of all candidates for this degree.

Enrollment in any mathematics course requires a grade of C- or higher in all prerequisite courses or their transfer equivalents.

Lower-Division Requirements: 50 units

17 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204A.
Force systems, moments, equilibrium, centroids, and moments of inertia. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (001489)
Prerequisites: Second-year high school algebra; one year high school chemistry. (One year of high school physics and one year of high school mathematics past Algebra II are recommended.)
Principles of chemistry for students in science, medical, and related professions. Atomic structure, chemical bonding, stoichiometry, periodic table, gases, solids, liquids, solutions, and equilibrium. 3 hours lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (001816)
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204B.
DC and sinusoidal circuit analysis, including resistive, capacitive, and inductive circuit elements and independent sources. Ideal transformer. Thevenin and Norton circuit theorems and superposition. Phasors, impedance, resonance, and AC power. Three-phase AC Circuit analysis. 3 hours discussion. (002519)
Corequisites: EECE 211.
Experiments to reinforce the principles taught in EECE 211. 2 hours activity. (002520)
Prerequisites: Completion of ELM requirement; both MATH 118 and MATH 119 (or high school equivalent); a score that meets department guidelines on a department administered calculus readiness exam.
Limits and continuity. The derivative and applications to related rates, maxma and minima, and curve sketching. Transcendental functions. An introduction to the definite integral and area. A grade of C- or higher is required for GE credit. 4 hours discussion. (005506)
Prerequisites: MATH 120.
The definite integral and applications to area, volume, work, differential equations, etc. Sequences and series, vectors and analytic geometry in 2 and 3-space, polar coordinates, and parametric equations. 4 hours discussion. (005507)
Prerequisites: MATH 121.
Vector functions and space curves. Functions of several variables, partial derivatives, and multiple integrals. Vector calculus line integrals, surface integrals, divergence/curl, Green's Theorem, Divergence Theorem, and Stokes' Theorem. 4 hours discussion. (005508)
Prerequisites: MATH 121.
First order separable, linear, and exact equations; second order linear equations, Laplace transforms, series solutions at an ordinary point, systems of first order linear equations, and applications. 4 hours discussion. (005509)
Corequisites: MECH 100L.
Introduction to engineering graphics. Orthographic projection, auxiliary views, isometric views, dimensioning, tolerancing, drawing standards, working drawings, free-hand sketching, solid modeling. 1 hour discussion. (015811)
Corequisites: MECH 100.
Introduction to solid modeling using a parametric, feature-based application software, SolidWorks. Solid modeling of parts and assemblies, detail and assembly drawings. 3 hours laboratory. (020257)
Introduces the design engineering process. Hands-on use of sensors, pneumatics, stepper motors, bearings, couplings, gears, belts, pulleys, and framing materials. Topics include AC and DC motor control, simple electrical circuits, machine controllers, PLC programming, testing and analysis of results, budgeting, and bills of materials. Teams design and build a proof-of-concept system to verify their design. 1 hour discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (005401)
Prerequisites: MECH 100 and MECH 100L.
Drawing standards, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing, working drawings, product data management, intermediate solid modeling, introduction to Rapid Prototyping and specialized graphic applications. 1 hour lecture, 3 hours laboratory. (015854)
Prerequisite: MATH 121. Recommended: PHYS 204A.
A foundation course in technical computing for engineering. Introduces commercial software commonly used in the solution of engineering problems. Application areas include kinematics and kinetics, fluid flow, thermal systems, and machine design. 3 hours lecture. (021113)
Prerequisites: PHYS 204A; CHEM 111.
Processing, structure, properties, and performance of engineering materials. Applied knowledge of material properties as engineering design parameters. Advanced manufacturing processes, including microfabrication. 1 hour discussion, 3 hours laboratory, 2 hours activity. (005402)
Prerequisites: High school physics or faculty permission. Concurrent enrollment in or prior completion of MATH 121 (second semester of calculus) or equivalent.
Vectors, kinematics, particle dynamics, friction, work, energy, power, momentum, dynamics and statics of rigid bodies, oscillations, gravitation, fluids. Calculus used. A grade of C- or higher is required before progressing to either PHYS 204B or PHYS 204C. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007401)
Prerequisites: MATH 121, PHYS 204A with a grade of C- or higher.
Charge and matter, electric field, Gauss' law, electric potential, capacitors and dielectrics, current and resistance, magnetic field, Ampere's law, Faraday's law of induction, magnetic properties of matter, electromagnetic oscillations and waves. Calculus used. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (007402)
This course is designed to familiarize the student with the basic concepts of manufacturing processes with an emphasis on using sustainable practices. Students gain an understanding of the principle manufacturing materials and processes, learn how to solve manufacturing problems, and understand how Life Cycle Analysis and Reduce, Reuse, Recycle principles can be integrated into manufacturing processes. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (005149)

Upper-Division Requirements: 50 units

15 courses required:

SUBJ NUM Title Sustainable Units Semester Offered Course Flags
Prerequisites: MATH 121, junior standing.
Analysis of alternatives by basic engineering economic methods and applications of statistics including probability, sampling theory and data analysis, and tests of hypotheses. 3 hours discussion. This course requires the use of a laptop computer and appropriate software. (001495)
Prerequisites: CIVL 211 with a grade of C- or higher; MATH 260 and MECH 210 (may be taken concurrently).
Strength and elastic properties of materials of construction; tension, compression, shear, and torsion stresses; deflection and deformation; stress analysis of beams and columns. 4 hours discussion. (001491)
Prerequisites: CIVL 211 with a grade of C- or higher. Recommended: MATH 260, MECH 320 (may be taken concurrently).
Hydrostatics, principles of continuity, work-energy and momentum, viscous effects, dimensional analysis and similitude, flow in closed conduits, drag on objects. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (001496)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or equivalent; senior standing.
History of engineering, professional registration, codes of ethics, management issues, diversity, outsourcing, intellectual property, international development and technology transfer, sustainable design. A substantial written project with oral presentation is required. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (003716)
Prerequisites: EECE 211, EECE 211L; either CSCI 111 or MECH 208. Recommended: CIVL 302.
Measurement of steady-state and dynamic phenomena using common laboratory instruments. Calibration of instruments, dynamic response of instruments, and statistical treatment of data. 2 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (005420)
Prerequisites: EECE 211, MATH 260. Recommended: MECA 380, MECH 320; either CSCI 111 or MECH 208.
Modeling and simulation of dynamic system performance. Control system design for continuous systems using both analog and digital control techniques. 3 hours lecture. (005407)
Prerequisites: MATH 260, MECH 208. Recommended: PHYS 204A.
Numerical analysis, analytical methods, and equation solving techniques for mechanical engineering design. Structured problem formulation, parametric studies, introduction to programming concepts, and optimization for design. 3 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (005413)
Prerequisites: CIVL 311 with a grade of C- or higher, MECH 306. Recommended: PHYS 204C.
Development of finite element formulation from fundamental governing engineering equations. Coverage includes areas ranging from elasticity, vibration, and heat transfer to acoustics and composites. 3 hours lecture. (005439)
Prerequisites: CIVL 211 with a grade of C- or higher, MATH 260.
Kinematics and dynamics of mechanical systems composed of rigid bodies. Moments and products of inertia, forces of interaction, inertia forces and torques. Equations of motion of non-planar systems. 3 hours discussion. (005409)
Prerequisites: PHYS 204A. Recommended: PHYS 204C.
Properties of substances, ideal gas equation of state, heat and work, first and second laws of thermodynamics, steady-state analysis of closed and open systems, entropy, gas and vapor power cycles, introduction to renewable energy sources. 3 hours discussion. (005414)
Prerequisites: CIVL 321, MECH 332. Recommended: MECH 306.
Conduction, convection, and radiation heat transfer; steady-state and transient analysis methods; numerical methods applied to conduction heat transfer; design of finned arrays, systems for electronics cooling, heat exchangers, and solar collectors. 2 hours discussion, 2 hours activity. (005448)
Prerequisites: CIVL 311 with a grade of C- or higher, MECH 100, MECH 100L, MECH 140, MECH 210, SMFG 160. Recommended: MECH 320.
Design and performance of machine components and systems subjected to both steady and variable loading conditions. Introduction to failure theories, reliability, use of codes and standards, and standard design practices. 3 hours lecture. (005411)
Prerequisites: MECH 338.
Thermodynamics of power cycles, refrigeration, air-conditioning, and combustion processes; analysis, design, and testing of systems involving both conventional and renewable energy sources for power generation, heating, and cooling applications. 3 hours discussion, 3 hours laboratory. (005442)
Prerequisites: ENGL 130 or JOUR 130 (or equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, MECH 200, MECH 340. Recommended: CIVL 302, MECA 380, MECH 308, MECH 338.
System design methods applied to mechanical systems. Group design projects. Consideration of the manufacturing cost, and environmental and social impact. Oral and written presentation of results. Initial design of the capstone design project to be continued in MECH 440B. 2 hours lecture, 3 hours supervision. This is an approved Writing Proficiency course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (005433)
Prerequisites: MECH 440A. Recommended: CIVL 302, MECA 380, MECH 308, MECH 338.
Continuation of the capstone design project from MECH 440A. Implementation of the capstone design project, including fabrication, testing, and evaluation of a working prototype. Must be taken the semester immediately following MECH 440A. 1 hour lecture, 3 hours supervision. (005434)

3 units selected from:

An upper-division course chosen from CIVL, CSCI, EECE, MECA, MECH, or SMFG programs.

Grading Requirement:

All courses taken to fulfill major course requirements must be taken for a letter grade except those courses specified by the department as Credit/No Credit grading only.

Fundamentals of Engineering Examination

The Fundamentals of Engineering Exam is the first of two exams that the California State Board of Registration requires to be passed to be a licensed professional engineer. Prior to graduation, those majoring in Mechanical Engineering must apply to the California State Board of Registration and take the exam. Passing the exam is not required for graduation.

Advising Requirement:

Advising is mandatory for all majors in this degree program. Consult your undergraduate advisor for specific information.

Honors in the Major:

Honors in the Major is a program of independent work in your major. It requires 6 units of honors course work completed over two semesters.

The Honors in the Major program allows you to work closely with a faculty mentor in your area of interest on an original performance or research project. This year-long collaboration allows you to work in your field at a professional level and culminates in a public presentation of your work. Students sometimes take their projects beyond the University for submission in professional journals, presentation at conferences, or academic competition. Such experience is valuable for graduate school and professional life. Your honors work will be recognized at your graduation, on your permanent transcripts, and on your diploma. It is often accompanied by letters of commendation from your mentor in the department or the department chair.

Some common features of Honors in the Major program are:

  1. You must take 6 units of Honors in the Major course work. All 6 units are honors classes (marked by a suffix of H), and at least 3 of these units are independent study (399H, 499H, 599H) as specified by your department. You must complete each class with a minimum grade of B.
  2. You must have completed 9 units of upper-division course work or 21 overall units in your major before you can be admitted to Honors in the Major. Check the requirements for your major carefully, as there may be specific courses that must be included in these units.
  3. Your cumulative GPA should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  4. Your GPA in your major should be at least 3.5 or within the top 5% of majors in your department.
  5. Most students apply for or are invited to participate in Honors in the Major during the second semester of their junior year. Then they complete the 6 units of course work over the two semesters of their senior year.
  6. Your honors work culminates with a public presentation of your honors project.

While Honors in the Major is part of the Honors Program, each department administers its own program. Please contact your major department or major advisor to apply.

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