May 27, 2024  
Undergraduate Record 2021-2022 
Undergraduate Record 2021-2022 [ARCHIVED RECORD]

Mechanical Engineering

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Mechanical engineering is the broadest of the engineering disciplines, providing opportunities for employment in industry, business, government, research, and education. The mechanical engineer is concerned with the development of machines and systems for diverse applications in our modern technological society. Talents and interests of a graduate M.E. include those required to plan, analyze, design, and improve components and systems. The practice of mechanical engineering is applied to manufacturing, energy conversion, transportation, construction, and environmental control. In the future, mechanical engineers must provide leadership in developing new sources of power and new systems to accommodate societal demands.

Students take a sequence of basic and engineering science courses. They develop engineering problem solving skills in the areas of mechanics, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, materials and automatic controls. Students learn to use higher mathematics, statistics and modern computer techniques and productivity tools. Students will use symbolic and high-level mathematics tools, solid modeling and finite element analysis tools, as well as computational fluids dynamics and materials selection tools. They also have access to a state-of the art rapid prototyping facility with numerous 3D printers, CNC machines, laser cutters, and the like.  

The rapid prototyping facility can be used both for course work, as well as individual entrepreneurial initiatives. Mechanical engineering principles are reinforced and integrated through design assignments and “hands-on” laboratory courses in experimental methods, digital electronics, and electro-mechanical systems. Students conduct experiments in labs where they use digital data acquisition systems to evaluate the performance of instruments, motors, engines, electrical circuits, signal processing equipment and solid state control devices. For each lab module, students develop a hypothesis, design the experiment, carry out the test, and perform the data analysis.

The three-semester lab sequence familiarizes students with the state-of-the-art equipment used in modern industry. Working both individually and in teams, students also develop communications skills and learn about the complex cultural, legal, ethical and economic factors which influence the engineering profession. Those who wish to may select courses that satisfy the requirements of a minor area of study (e.g., computer science, materials science, physics and engineering business).

Young engineers need relevant experiences to be competitive in the global economy. As indicated by discussions with recruiters and industry leaders, graduating students are now expected to have some practical and/or unique experience that they will be able to apply in an industry in the near term. These experiences may come from laboratory work, projects at the University, or summer jobs or internships with industry.

Program Objectives

Graduates of the Mechanical Engineering program at the University of Virginia have the knowledge, skills, and attitudes that allow them to make tangible contributions, meet new technical challenges, contribute effectively as team members, and be innovators in the analysis, design, and implementation of mechanical devices and systems.  They communicate effectively and interact responsibly with colleagues, clients, employers and society.

Mechanical Engineering Curriculum (128 credits)

Second Semester Credits: 17

Fourth Semester Credits: 17

Fifth Semester Credits: 17

Seventh Semester Credits: 15

  • MAE 4XXX MAE Design I Elective (See Footnote 6 below) Credits / Units: 3
  • Credits: 3
  • Math-Science/Tech Elective 1 (See Footnote 2 below) Credits / Units: 3
  • Math-Science/Tech Elective 2 (See Footnote 2 below) Credits / Units: 3
  • HSS Elective 2 (See Footnote 4 below)

Eighth Semester Credits: 15


(1) Unrestricted electives may be chosen from any graded course in the University except mathematics courses below MATH 1310 and courses that substantially duplicate any others offered for the degree, including PHYS 2010, 2020; CS 1010, 1020; or any introductory programming course. Students in doubt as to what is acceptable to satisfy a degree requirement should get the approval of their advisor and the dean’s office, located in A122 Thornton Hall.
(2) Chosen from the MAE Department’s approved Math-Science/Technical Electives List (see website).
(3) Chosen from: BIOL 2100, 2200; CHEM 1420; MSE 2090; PHYS 2620; and any APMA course 2000 or higher not already required by a student’s major and does not duplicate material from another APMA course.
(4) Chosen from the approved Humanities and Social Science list available in A122 Thornton Hall.

(5) Any course which meets the Second Writing Requirement as specified in the College of Arts & Sciences (CLAS) may be substituted for STS 2XXX/3XXX.
(6) Chosen from MAE 4610, 4620, 4630, 4640, 4670, 4680, 4690, 4700.


Public Professional Licensure Disclosure

As a member of the State Authorizations Reciprocity Agreement, the University of Virginia (UVA) is authorized to provide curriculum in a distance learning environment to students located in all states in the United States except for California. (34 CFR 668.43(a)(6)& 34 CFR 668.72(n)).

Upon completion of the Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the UVA School of Engineering, graduates may be eligible for initial professional licensure in another U.S. state by applying to the licensing board or agency in that state.

Please visit the University’s state authorization web pages to make an informed decision regarding which states’ educational requirements for initial licensure are met by this program. (668.43(a)(5) (v)(A) - (C))

Enrolled students who change their current (or mailing) address to a state other than Virginia should update this information immediately in the Student Information System as it may impact their ability to complete internship, practicum, or clinical hours, use Title IV funds, or meet licensure or certification requirements in the new state. (34 CFR 668.402).

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