BS in Mechanical Engineering

The Mechanical Engineering BS degree prepares graduates for careers in mechanical engineering and to advance the science and technology of mechanical engineering through multidisciplinary research in selected focus areas. Students have the option to concentrate in one of the following areas: Aerospace Engineering, Manufacturing Engineering, Energy Technologies, Technology Innovation, or Nanotechnology. Our students develop the technical and lifelong learning skills required for immediate entry into industry or graduate school, and also to become leaders in tomorrow’s world and to prosper in a society whose problems increasingly require multidisciplinary solutions.

Students completing the undergraduate degree program in mechanical engineering develop competence or acquire knowledge in a variety of areas, including engineering tools, communication skills, modeling and formulation, design of individual components and multicomponent systems, professional ethics, mechanical and thermal systems, laboratory exploration, computational analysis, and more.

Most of the engineering science courses come from the two major stems of mechanical engineering: (1) energy and fluids, and (2) structures and motion in mechanical systems. During their sophomore and junior years, students take four first-level courses from the structures/motion stem (including two courses in engineering mechanics, mechanics of materials, and materials science) and three first-level courses from the energy/fluids stem (including fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer). In their senior year, students take a systems-level instrumentation course and capstone design experience, and have the opportunity to broaden and deepen their technical background through four advanced elective courses.

The required mechanical engineering design experience is integrated throughout the curriculum, beginning in the sophomore year and increasing in scope in each subsequent year. In the sophomore year, one engineering science course per semester requires a design project. In the junior year, design projects are required in multiple engineering science and design courses. The design courses introduce students to formal design methodologies, the use of CAD systems, and the professional aspects of engineering, including safety considerations and professional ethics. In the senior year, the design experience culminates in a capstone design sequence that builds on previous coursework and in which small student teams work on major design projects, and the instrumentation course incorporates a major measurement design project. As part of the design experience, the professional aspects of engineering are stressed, including professional ethics, teamwork, and oral and written communications.

Students in the Mechanical Engineering Program gain experience in laboratory settings through experiments associated with all of their natural science courses (in the freshman and sophomore years) and with most of their engineering science courses (in their sophomore and junior years). Laboratory experience culminates in the senior year with an intensive mechanical measurements and instrumentation course.

Computer experience for mechanical engineering students begins in the freshman year with the required college-wide introductory computer course. It then continues throughout the curriculum through its use in some homework, projects, and laboratories in most subsequent engineering courses. Students gain experience in programming in MATLAB; and using commercial software packages for CAD, spreadsheet analysis, finite element analysis, and graphical-interface-driven laboratory systems for data acquisition, data analysis, and instrument control.

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering BS degree program will have:

  1. An ability to identify, formulate, and solve complex engineering problems by applying principles of engineering, science, and mathematics.
  2. 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. An ability to communicate effectively with a range of audiences.
  4. 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.
  5. 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. An ability to develop and conduct appropriate experimentation, analyze and interpret data, and use engineering judgment to draw conclusions.
  7. An ability to acquire and apply new knowledge as needed, using appropriate learning strategies.

All students entering as freshmen in Fall 2018 and after will pursue coursework in the BU Hub, a general education program that is integrated into the entire undergraduate experience. BU Hub requirements are flexible and can be satisfied in many different ways, through coursework in and beyond the major and, in some cases, through co-curricular activities. Students majoring in Mechanical Engineering will ordinarily, through coursework in the major, satisfy BU Hub requirements in the areas of Quantitative Reasoning and Scientific Inquiry, as well as most of the requirements in the areas of Communication and the Intellectual Toolkit. Remaining BU Hub requirements will be satisfied by selecting from a wide range of electives outside the major or, in some cases, co-curricular experiences. 

Degree Requirements

A total of 135 credits is required for the Mechanical Engineering BS degree. In addition to satisfying all BS requirements as listed below, a minimum of 48 credits of coursework must be taken at Boston University in the upper-division program. The upper-division program consists of the program requirements and program electives as listed below for the junior and senior years. Social science, humanities and writing courses (CAS WR 120 & WR 150–152) taken to satisfy BU Hub requirements cannot be counted toward this requirement.

Required Courses 


First Semester (16 credits)

  • CAS CH 131 General Chemistry (4 cr)
  • CAS MA 123 Calculus I (4 cr)
  • CAS WR 120 Writing Seminar (4 cr)
  • ENG EK 100 Freshman Advising Seminar
  • ENG EK 125 Introduction to Programming for Engineers (4 cr)

Second Semester (17 credits)

  • CAS MA 124 Calculus II (4 cr)
  • CAS PY 211 Physics I (4 cr)
  • CAS WR 150 or CAS WR 151 or CAS WR 152 Writing and Research Seminar (4 cr)
  • ENG EK 131/2 Introduction to Engineering (2 cr)
  • ENG EK 103 Computational Linear Algebra (3 cr)


First Semester (18 credits)

  • CAS MA 225 Multivariate Calculus (4 cr)
  • CAS PY 212 Physics II (4 cr)
  • ENG EK 307 Electric Circuits (4 cr)
  • ENG ME 359 Introduction to CAD and Machine Components(2 cr)
  • BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major (4 cr)

Second Semester (16 credits)

  • CAS MA 226 Differential Equations (4 cr)
  • ENG EK 210 Introduction to Engineering Design (2 cr)
  • ENG EK 301 Engineering Mechanics I (4 cr)
  • ENG EK 381 Probability, Statistics, and Data Science for Engineers (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major (4 cr)  


First Semester (18 credits)

  • ENG EK 156 Design and Manufacture (2 cr)
  • ENG ME 303 Fluid Mechanics (4 cr)
  • ENG ME 304 Energy and Thermodynamics (4 cr)
  • ENG ME 305 Mechanics of Materials (4 cr)
  • ENG ME 306 Materials Science (4 cr)
  • Electronics elective (4 cr) 

Second Semester (16 credits)

  • ENG ME 302 Engineering Mechanics II (4 cr)
  • ENG ME 360 Product Design (4 cr)
  • ENG ME 419 Heat Transfer (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major (4 cr)


First Semester (16 credits)

  • ENG ME 310 Instrumentation (4 cr)
  • ENG ME 460 Senior Design I (4 cr)
  • Advanced elective (4 cr)
  • Advanced elective (4 cr)

Second Semester (16 credits)

  • ENG ME 461 Mechanical Engineering Capstone Experience (4 cr)
  • Advanced elective (4 cr)
  • Advanced elective (4 cr)
  • BU Hub requirement(s) outside the major (4 cr)